Many women wonder at what point during pregnancy is best to seek the assistance of a pelvic floor physical therapist. Of course if you are suffering from general orthopedic aches and pains it is always safe to see a pelvic floor PT at anytime throughout the pregnancy. For pregnancy-specific pelvic floor PT, I typically advise women to come in at thirteen weeks.
Thirteen weeks is a great time to start seeing a pelvic floor PT, which sets the foundation for healthy core support throughout pregnancy.
Thirteen weeks is the mark where most pelvic floor PT's will perform a vaginal exam and coach you on how to bring awareness to your pelvic floor.
For a normal pregnancy where mom has no other pelvic floor or general orthopedic concerns, I typically schedule three prenatal visits.
Here is my structure for prenatal visits:
Visit One: Weeks 13-21
This visit is the initial prenatal assessment. In this visit I educate you about pelvic floor anatomy and how it works with the rest of the core to support you throughout pregnancy.
I perform a pelvic exam if you are open to it in order to check for adequate awareness and overall function of the pelvic floor.
I also educate you about correct core activation techniques to help decrease abdominal separation and maintain correct, healthy core activation throughout the pregnancy.
I help direct your prenatal exercise routine and field questions about healthy movements throughout pregnancy.
And if you have any aches and pains or pelvic floor concerns at this point in pregnancy, I address them!
Visit Two: Weeks 22-35
This visit is very focused on what you are going through during this stage in pregnancy. I help to treat any aches and pains or pelvic floor issues that have arisen.
Common complaints include pelvic pain, low back pain, and neck and shoulder pain.
In this appointment we treat these issues and develop and exercise program for home.
If there are no concerns that have arisen, I provide general hip strengthening and mobility movements to help you prepare for the third trimester.
Visit Three: Weeks 36-40
This visit is so important for pregnant moms. If you can't get in for any other visits, this is the one to attend!
This visit is so important, I've even provided this information to moms in virtual consults all around the world!
In this visit, we practice pelvic floor relaxation techniques to prepare for the pushing phase of birth.
I also teach you how to perform perineal massage to help reduce her risk of tearing during labor. I even have a downloadable cheatsheet for how to decrease your risk of tearing during labor. Make sure you download yours today here!
We go through the best positions to labor in, questions to ask your healthcare provider, and pain management techniques for labor.
This visit is so important I have even written an entire prenatal course with this information in it! You can find the course here if you would like to learn more.
It is safe and encouraged to seek the help of a pelvic floor physical therapist at any time during pregnancy if you are experiencing aches and pains. For pregnancy-specific pelvic floor physical therapy, I recommend coming in for your first visit at thirteen weeks.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is an extremely important part of your prenatal care. In these visits I set the foundation for clients to move through pregnancy with healthy core activation and help to minimize issues such as pelvic pain, pee leaks, prolapse and rectus diastasis.
I also guide women in the best practices to prevent tearing during labor, the best positions to labor in, and set up a framework for early postpartum rehabilitation.
I cannot stress enough the importance of prenatal physical therapy. I have seen time and time again the amazing benefits my clients get from working with me in the prenatal period. If you are currently pregnant and haven't yet made your appointment, make sure you do so here today!