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How can physiotherapy help during pregnancyTo begin with, I would like to mention that normal and

To begin with, I would like to mention that normal and healthy pregnancy should NOT be painful. The only exception is when your baby develops and grows - so you are little bit heavier, you have less space in your body and your centre of gravity is somewhere else. Your body needs to react in a very short time. In this short time, let´s say it should be a few days, it is normal to feel unwell. However, if the pain does not go away after a week (or longer), or in case of very sharp and acute pain, it is wise to visit a specialist. Inform your midwife or gynaecologist about this and pay a visit to a physiotherapist.

The physiotherapist should be able to find the origin of your pain and then help you release it. During pregnancy pain may occur in various areas: lower back, pelvis, feet, chest, and so on. Everything is usually related to the pregnancy changes. With the soft tissue technique and proper exercise you will be fit again and you can even prevent future problems.

Sometimes there are smaller problems which seem to be normal. We can talk about problems with sleeping or digestion (the most common is heartburn), also breathing difficulties. Your physiotherapist can help you with those by releasing the tension from your body and calming down your nervous system. You can feel like you have more space in your body thanks to the work with breathing and your core muscles.

If you are used to exercising or to playing sports and you have questions about safety, your physiotherapist, once again, should be able to advise you about an optimal training load or amount of other kinds of physical activity. If you have never exercised, you can discuss together how to start and what kind of sport or exercise could be the best for you.

You can also physically prepare yourself for the labour. Physiotherapists can help you release the pain and guide you how to better perceive your body and how to work with your breath. Breath is a very powerful tool during the delivery. It will provide oxygen to you and your baby, it can help you focus on the process, calm you down and release the pain a little. If you learn to direct your breath, you can use it for a better dilatation of the cervix during the first stage.

During the postnatal period, it is better when the physiotherapist visits you at your place. He or she will show you how to safely get up from bed or lift your baby and how to slowly start with easy exercise – mostly with pelvic floor muscles and with your core muscles. In case you have a new scar, your physiotherapist can teach you how to treat it so it heals better.

For the best result it is always good when the physiotherapist cooperates with your midwife because they can help each other with their points of view and expertise. The midwife can inform the physiotherapist about the position of the baby in the belly. The physiotherapist can inform the midwife about the tension in the muscles and your ability to relax and work with your body and breath. Together we may be able to solve a problem called "Breech position" - when the baby is lying bottom first.

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