Preparing for childbirth is an exciting time for expecting mothers. However, often pregnant women go through the child birthing process with questions about their pelvic floor and safe exercise unanswered.
In France, women get three months of government funded post-natal support. In Australia, hospitals will occasionally check for abdominal separation but rarely provide education and support around pelvic floor recovery, toileting/self-care, musculoskeletal concerns, prolapse or return to exercise. Many women join pre-natal classes, however, these courses focus on the birthing process and do not include pelvic floor assessment and the impact of birth on the mother.
To provide the best care its useful to see expecting mothers at least twice before birth and two follow ups after. Often women will opt for more physiotherapy sessions, but this base of sessions provides a better understanding of pelvic floor and what exercises they can do in pregnancy as well as recovering from birth. This is why we have created a Women’s Health Package. The aim of this package is to support and educate women through their pregnancy and following birth.
What is included in the Women’s Health Package?
In the first pre-natal assessment you and your Women’s Health Physio will cover education on the pelvic floor anatomy and risk factors for pelvic floor dysfunction. We will also assess your pelvic floor strength using a peritron and use a screening tool that provides objective information when deciding to have vaginal or caesarean delivery. The second appointment serves to discuss common musculoskeletal pains that occur in pregnancy and how we manage them, as well as a thorough education on the benefits of exercise for you and your baby during pregnancy. We also look at movement patterns to assess for muscle strength and range of motion differences that we can address with exercise.
In our post-natal assessment, we will re-assess your pelvic floor for sensitivity, strength, and recovery. This is also a time to address issues around bowel/ bladder changes, prolapse or incontinence. We will also assess your abdominal separation to you a clear guideline for returning to exercise. The second post natal assessment gives a guided approach to return to exercise that builds on the objective assessment from the first post natal assessment that is tailored to a women’s individual recovery.
Lastly the Women’s Health Package also includes two Pilates sessions and a take home program for the patient, so they have a clear understanding of exercises to do at home. Each Pilates class will be tailored to the individual’s needs, stage in pregnancy as well as any muscular pain they might be experiencing.
As pre- and post-natal care is important to a healthy pregnancy we bundled the sessions for a reduced price instead of purchasing individually. For more information on the women health package please click here.