What is obstetric physiotherapy?

Obstetric physiotherapy is a type of physiotherapy that focuses on women during pregnancy and post partum to bring a stress free pain free and happy pregnancy. Obstetric physiotherapists may specialize in:

  • Antenatal physiotherapeutic care for pregnant women, including antenatal classes for both the woman and her partner.
  • Postnatal care to help the patient’s muscles to recover after giving birth.
  • Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles.

Obstetric physiotherapy is used to prepare the pelvic floor for childbirth, decreasing the risk of muscle weakness post delivery. It will also improve post-partum recovery and reduce muscle and bone pain.

Why is obstetric physiotherapy done?

Obstetric physiotherapy has several applications:

  • Assess and treat the pain related to pregnancy and postpartum.
  • Prepare and adapt the joints and muscles involved in the process of gestation and delivery.
  • Postpartum recovery, to prevent pelvic floor dysfunctions.
  • To prepare for or aid recovery after surgery.

What does obstetric physiotherapy consist of?

Obstetric physiotherapy consists of a series of gentle exercises that will prepare the patient for delivery:

Prenatal care and management – obstetric medical monitoring, follow up and physiotherapeutic support is carried out from the beginning of pregnancy until delivery.

Preparation for childbirth – the patient is informed about the anatomy of the pelvis and the changes that occur in the body during pregnancy. This will be useful for understanding the mechanisms of childbirth, the signs of labour, the mechanisms and management of childbirth, postures and pushing, the difference between natural and induced birth, etc.

Prenatal exercises – active physical exercises whose purpose is to improve the physical condition of the pregnant woman, strengthen the muscles that will participate in childbirth, conscious breathing and postures.

Treatment of musculoskeletal pathologies – treatment of back and pelvic pain, pelvic floor problems, and diaphragm and respiratory mechanics.

Postpartum assessment and rehabilitation – assessing the musculature of the pelvic and perineum is very important to control possible disorders and dysfunctions of the pelvis and the perineal region after delivery. This would include postpartum exercises.