Carrying a tiny miracle to term and enduring the labour process have large ramifications on your body. Most notable is the impact on the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. Science has now confirmed that the abdominal core region does not automatically restore itself following labour and delivery.
By the third trimester your abdominal region is protruding so much that your abdominal core is ineffective. What does this mean exactly? Normally our abdominal core supports our spine and pelvis as we bend, flex, twist under the demands of normal life. By the third trimester, the abdominal wall is stretched beyond the point of being effective, forcing the body to recruit gluteal muscles as a substitute. This however, comes at a price and can result in hip, low back and pelvic pain and even sciatica that can persist after delivery.
To address pain, specialized massage and manual therapy techniques can unwind overloaded muscle tissue and reduce pain.
Core strengthening is also indicated during pregnancy – and can be continued late into the third trimester.
Systematic reviews, or the highest level of scientific research indicate that participation in exercise during pregnancy reduces the risk of pregnancy related hypertension and gestational diabetes, decreased the risk of urinary stress incontinence post-partum and reduces the risk of post-partum depression.
If you are prenatal or postnatal and are experiencing pregnancy related muscle or joint pain or complications from excessive swelling, contact Clinical Director and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, Alicia Hagedorn.