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Pregnancy: How can I prepare for labor and delivery?

Does this sound like you? You just found out you are pregnant and already you are wondering about labor and delivery! This is completely normal and smart! 

                                          Pregnant woman looking at ultrasound scans and touching her belly in the living room

It's impossible to completely plan for your delivery as babies do what they want! But pelvic floor physical therapists can help you prepare your body for labor and recovery.  

Pregnancy and injuries

Perhaps you have an old injury that you never quite took care of, do it now! We treat patients who are pregnant all the time! Chronic injuries are prone to flaring during pregnancy for a variety of reasons. The new stress of added weight, the shifting of the pelvis (widening of the pelvic girdle), and the high amounts of the relaxin hormone around weeks 11-13. 

New injuries are just as likely for the same reasons. Center of gravity is shifted more in front of you as pregnancy progresses. Which means falls can happen, or even a sprained ankle! 

Connect with your pelvic floor

                                             pelvic floor2

Being physically active (within reason) will help you labor and recover. Physical therapists can guide you through safe exercises geared towards you and your pregnancy. 

Learning how to properly contract the pelvic floor (Kegels!) will help you tune into your pelvic floor during labor. Being able to connect with the pelvic floor can help make your pushes during labor more effective. Your pelvic floor therapist will help you with identifying your pelvic floor and how to contract it. 

Perineal stretching

                                        Close up of a cute pregnant belly-1


Physical therapists will also help guide you in perineal stretching! Starting around 35 weeks pregnant you are encouraged to stretch the pelvic floor manually. The purpose is certainly to decrease the risk of perineal tears but also to help you tolerate delivery! What?! Perineal stretching when done correctly doesn't exactly feel the most enjoyable. Time to get comfortable with being uncomfortable! 

Think of pelvic floor physical therapists as the movement specialists that are specially trained to handle your needs during pregnancy. 

If you're pregnant (or even thinking about becoming pregnant), contact us today to get started! 

                                                       Pelvic Floor Dysfunction-2