Why pelvic health is important in pregnancy
When most people think of physical therapy, they think of pain management, like taking care of shoulder, neck or back pain from sports, age, or disabilities. Physical therapy also works on strengthening muscles and improving function for example, after a stroke, or from Parkinson’s.
One segment of physical therapy focuses on pelvic health which can be thought of the trunk or middle of your body – your pelvis. The pelvic floor muscles, which is the lower portion of the pelvis, support the uterus, bladder, large intestine and rectum. Pelvic health physical therapy can help with things like incontinence (inability to control urination) and constipation (difficulty passing stool). Some of our therapists in pelvic health specialize in changes that take place with the pelvis area during pregnancy and post-pregnancy.
In pregnancy, hormonal changes cause tissues to soften and stretch more easily. These changes, along with the weight of a growing baby, put extra strain on the pelvic floor muscles. This can increase the chance of suffering from bladder or bowel problems during pregnancy and after birth. Our pelvic health therapists can also support breastfeeding with the treatment of blocked ducts and other breastfeeding support.
Physical Therapist Beth Stegora explains, “There are many tools that Pelvic Health Therapists can teach patients to help improve function and mobility during and after their pregnancies. Also, pelvic rehabilitation can take place at any point during the lifespan. So, if you are having any issues related to pelvic function, please reach out to your provider for a referral to a Pelvic Health Physical Therapist.”
An anonymous patient who continues to seek physical therapy explains, “It was very awkward to go to that first appointment, but Beth put me at ease right away. Problems like incontinence can happen during pregnancy and shouldn’t be thought of as embarrassing. I am getting better and my confidence about going out and not worrying about accidents has improved.”
During Physical Therapy Month, we celebrate all our physical therapists!
Pelvic health physical therapy is available at our Clinic & Specialty Center in Minneapolis our neighborhood clinics in Richfield, Brooklyn Park, and our Whittier Clinic in Minneapolis. A referral is needed.
Beth Stegora, PT, DPT, is a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic health. Beth sees patients at our Richfield Clinic. Dr. Stegora received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Pre-Physical Therapy with a Sports Medicine Minor. She received her Doctorate from the University of Southern California.