Pregnancy & Your Pelvic Floor
Many women want to know if, when, and how they should be doing their pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy and so I thought I’d provide a bit of information.....
PREGNANCY & YOUR PELVIC FLOOR
The pregnancy and birth of your baby can place a great deal of strain on your pelvic floor muscles. For this reason, at Activate Physio for Women we encourage all women to have a pelvic floor assessment at some stage in their pregnancy to optimise pelvic floor function. The best time to have your assessment is between 20 and 26 weeks, however we are able to perform an assessment at any time after your first trimester of pregnancy has finished (12 weeks).
WHAT IS AN ANTENATAL PELVIC FLOOR ASSESSMENT?
An antenatal pelvic floor assessment with Activate Physio for Women allows you to make sure you are progressing through your pregnancy with reasonable strength in your pelvic floor muscles and adequate support of your pelvic organs. This allows us to identify any pelvic floor weakness early. If weakness is identified, your Activate Physiotherapist will discuss with you ways to strengthen your pelvic floor and minimise risks of developing symptoms. In addition, if you are already suffering from pelvic floor symptoms, an assessment will assist you in considering options for management in the pre and/or postnatal period.
The initial appointment will involve a discussion of your pregnancy to date and any symptoms you may be experiencing. This is then followed by an internal examination of your pelvic floor muscles to determine your baseline pelvic floor function. Objective measurements are useful in considering realistic goals for progression throughout your postnatal recovery.
Your physiotherapist will work with you to help you know how to contract your pelvic floor muscles correctly and will discuss a treatment plan with you if required.
WILL AN ASSESSMENT MINIMISE MY RISK OF PELVIC FLOOR ISSUES IN THE POST-PARTUM PERIOD?
Pregnancy and birth are both highly variable events, and there is no way to guarantee that a woman won’t sustain some pelvic floor trauma during birth. However, many pelvic floor conditions which women may be at risk of in the post-partum period, are more successfully treated when early detection is possible. Identifying if you are at risk prior to the birth of your baby allows us to monitor changes after birth and implement treatments where necessary, resulting in more favourable outcomes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When should I have my antenatal pelvic floor assessment?
The best time is when you are between 20 and 26 weeks gestation.
When should I have my postnatal follow up assessment?
It is normal to experience some bleeding similar to a period for up to 6 weeks post-birth, we therefore suggest a follow up appointment for an assessment of your pelvic floor muscles at approximately 6-8 weeks post-partum (when your bleeding has ceased). This enables the earliest commencement of your pelvic floor recovery whilst also minimising any chance of infection.
Is my pelvic floor assessment covered Health Insurance?
Most insurance policies include some cover for physiotherapy services, however you will have to check this directly with your health fund.
Do I need a referral from my GP or obstetrican?
No, you can make your appointment directly with Activate Physio for Women.
We will provide a summary for your GP and Obstetrician following your appointment.
If you have any questions, please let me know....I'll be happy to help.
Have a great day,