Physical therapy before and after childbirth
You may have heard the saying that pregnant women "eat for two". During pregnancy, they may also have to exercise for two. The reason being that excessive weight gain and its attendant problems can be a cause for concern in some women. Getting physical therapy help is beneficial to a woman not only during pregnancy but afterward as well.
Maintaining proper balance is very important during pregnancy. Because of the added weight, the center of gravity in a woman's body changes, causing postural changes, which can affect her balance. Exercise, under the supervision of a physical therapist trained in women's health, is the best way to counteract poor balance and reduce the risk of injury. Physical therapy can also help reduce low back pain due to postural changes, prevent gestational diabetes, improve sleep, increase endurance and prepare the woman's body for delivery.
Following childbirth, a woman's body bears the telltale signs of the changes that took place during pregnancy. Muscle weakness in core muscles, joint laxity, postural changes and sleep deprivation all take a toll on a woman's disposition. Strengthening exercises do wonders to firm a woman's core muscles, strengthen joints and improve posture. Exercise also helps
If the woman has had a vaginal delivery, the pelvic floor muscles may have stretched and become weak, leading to urinary incontinence. Many women are ashamed to discuss this problem, however an experienced women's health therapist will make Kegel exercises part of the therapy session. These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor, getting rid of incontinence and relieving women of the embarrassment of broaching the topic.
A newborn baby does not weigh much, but soon carrying the baby and all the paraphernalia that the baby needs, can add up to a lot of weight. Physical therapy helps to strengthen the upper body, particularly the triceps, making it easy for the woman to lift. Proper body mechanics is also an integral part of any postpartum therapy program. By starting therapy early, a woman can regain fitness, prevent injury and get rid of postpartum blues.
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