Why should you see a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist during pregnancy?

Group of pregnant women in exercise class

Women are bombarded with information during pregnancy – this advice can range from helpful to even harmful (I’m looking at you, kegels!). With all the misinformation out there, why not have a health professional dedicated to your physical health and recovery work with you during this special time?

With that being said, what can a pelvic health physio help you with?

Exercise and movement recommendations:

As movement specialists, a physiotherapist can help to settle ailments and discomforts, and increase strength and stability where required. In 2018, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) and the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) came out with guidelines for activity during pregnancy that state that all women without contraindications should be physically active throughout pregnancy. This means 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week, to achieve clinically meaningful health benefits and reductions in pregnancy complications. Appropriate activity can include aerobic exercise, resistance training and stretching. The authors also recommend pelvic floor muscle training may be performed on a daily basis, however, instruction in proper technique is recommended to obtain optimal benefits. Exercise and movement can feel a bit overwhelming with all the changes happening, and a pelvic health physiotherapist can help tailor a program that is beneficial.

Pregnant woman cross-legged yoga posePostural alignment recommendations:

With a growing belly, the body’s center of gravity will shift and posture will change accordingly. This is very normal – but understanding these changes can help minimize their long term effects.

Pelvic floor muscle assessment and optimization:

Although a strong pelvic floor can be helpful, what’s best in this period is learning to lengthen these muscles. Pelvic health physiotherapists are trained and qualified to do internal pelvic exams that assess the strength and functioning of pelvic floor muscles. What we are looking for is quite different from a gynecological exam, and can be helpful in preparing for labour, delivery and postpartum.

Labour and delivery positions and preparation:

Did you know movement can also help in the birthing room? Becoming aware and getting comfortable moving in your body can be extremely helpful.

Supporting an easier transition into the fourth trimester and postpartum:

This transition can be made much easier with a better connection to and understanding of your body and it’s healing.

When is the best time to book your pelvic health physio appointment?

Any time!

  • Planning to conceive? It can be a great time to work on postural alignment and get yourself geared up and connected to your overall musculoskeletal and pelvic health.
  • First trimester – Internal exams are contraindicated in this timeframe, however, there are many other preparations we can embark on in this time.
  • Second and third trimester – internal exams are deemed appropriate at this time and can give both the provider and you a good idea of your pelvic health – including strength, connection, and pliability (lengthening).


About the author:

As a provider on your care team, Andrea is committed to nurturing, supporting and helping to create harmony in this changing season. Matrescence can be an exciting time, however, a better understanding of the changes happening in your body can help better support you mentally and physically. Andrea prides herself on addressing the “I wish someone told me that” issues, so that you are prepared and were told “all of that”!



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