Pregnancy is an exciting time often filled with anticipation, joy, and lots of questions. And whether it is your first pregnancy, or you have been pregnancy before, a Pre-Natal Women’s Health assessment with a Women’s Health Physio can provide information, answer questions, and help you prepare for birth.
What is a Pre-Natal Physio Assessment?
A Pre-Natal assessment is between you and your Women’s Health Physio to go through your medical history and a physical assessment to better understand factors that may play a role in your childbirth. A thorough history gives your Physio a better understanding of bladder function, incontinence symptoms, pelvic pain, gynaecological and family history as well as lifestyle factors that can influence pelvic floor function.
During your assessment we also discuss any pregnancy related joint, muscular or nerve pain you may be experiencing and can formulate a treatment plan for best management. As most women experience some degree of pelvic or low back pain during pregnancy it is useful to understand what you might experience and treatment options. Many women with pelvic pain benefit from muscular release, pregnancy belts, life-style modifications and a pregnancy specific exercise program planned with their women’s health physio. See this blog for updated research on exercise in pregnancy.
Our Pre-Natal assessment also includes an assessment that follows the UR-Choice guideline study by Wilson et al 2014 and an objective assessment of key pelvic floor measurements. The UR-CHOICE questionnaire includes factors such as pre-natal incontinence, height and weight, family history, previous pregnancies and other predictors in pre-natal women that have been identified in sustaining pelvic floor dysfunction.
In addition, your assessment includes objective measures of your pelvic floor – the size of the muscles in the pelvic floor, presence of prolapse and pelvic floor strength and activation. Objective measurements also provide a base for women to understand their pelvic floor strength so they can build their pelvic floor strength following child birth with a clear goal in mind.
With the information from your assessment, you can create a comprehensive birth plan that is tailored to their personal needs as well as commence an exercise program to help you stay active during your pregnancy.
For more information book in to see our Women’s Health Physio, Meredith, here at Bend + Mend in Sydney’s CBD.
To get prepared for after your baby’s birth also take a look at our blog on Post-Natal Assessments.