In my 10 years of practice as a physical therapist, I have treated many different injuries and have recorded trends in different outcomes. What I have observed is that females who are pregnant are oftentimes not getting enough information about how they can be proactive in their approach to health and self-care. Think of the process of being pregnant as buying a house. Realistically, it happens 1-3 times for most households. The process can move quickly and there isn’t always enough time to know the right questions before getting into the thick of it. Pregnancy, in many eyes, is recognized as a 40-week event. In reality, the process should be considered a 52-week event at the very least from the planning process through postpartum. This is why seeing an experienced practitioner to guide you through the process is important.
Pregnancy Pains and Physical Therapy. How Can PT Help?
Completing physical therapy at the right times along the pregnancy process can significantly improve comfort during the process from conception through the delivery date and postpartum. While in physical therapy you will receive a full biomechanical evaluation, improve core strength, correct alignment issues, improve flexibility, reduce pain, and learn how to continue this process after you have completed your treatment plan.
What Can I Do to Improve My Pregnancy Experience?
From the moment you begin to think about getting pregnant you should start to improve your core strength. Joining a gym is a great way to build up your core strength. Once you do get pregnant then consider joining a mom’s fitness group that is tailored to what you need. While pregnant you do not want to dramatically change your workout routine. Steadily building up your workout intensity in a healthy way is the best and safest way to achieve a great outcome.
Research support groups on pregnancy and consider joining a Reddit or Facebook delivery date group. Being able to communicate with others who are experiencing similar events with similar questions may help you answer a question you’ve had in the past. These groups should not be used for medical advice but are great support options and can provide you with topics and suggestions to discuss with your OBGYN, Midwife, or Physical Therapist.
Start Physical Therapy Before it’s Too Late
Generally, the sooner you begin physical therapy the better the outcomes. If you are a healthy person and are moving well then there is no need to rush into PT, however, pregnancy is an evolving process that can bring new stresses to the body. The second trimester is usually when the baby grows rapidly and weight gain happens. At this point, those back ligaments that have been loosening from hormones start to quickly ache. In my experience treating pregnant women, typically the 25th week is when patients should start.
Ready to get started?
Depending on insurance, patients may or may not need a referral for physical therapy. However, Massachusetts is a direct access state, meaning patients are free to choose the physical therapist of their choice without a referral. Give us a call today at (781) 859-4189 or book an appointment online.