The following is the third part of our three-part series that explains how physical therapy can be so beneficial to expecting mothers at all stages of their pregnancy. In the first section, we explored how physical therapy can help prepare you for what’s to come, and in the second section, we discussed how PT can be helpful as you move through the middle section of your pregnancy. In this section, we explore how physical therapy can help expecting mothers in the final few weeks of their pregnancy.
Physical Therapy During Your Third Trimester
Physical therapy is helpful during all stages of pregnancy, but you may find that the benefits of physical therapy are most obvious during the final stage of your pregnancy. Here’s how PT can help during the third trimester.
- Decrease Discomfort – You will likely experience your highest levels of discomfort during the third trimester of your pregnancy. Your body has grown to accommodate your developing baby, and hormones are being released to help loosen up soft tissues and aid in the delivery process. All of this can be quite uncomfortable on your body, but physical therapy can help to lessen this discomfort or teach you different techniques to help manage discomfort on your own. Whether it’s postural improvements or breathing exercises, we can help decrease the level of discomfort you’re experiencing during your final trimester.
- Improve Your Core Strength – Having a stronger core can help make the delivery process easier, but you also lose a fair amount of core strength as your body goes through the process of being pregnant. We can help develop a core strengthening routine that is tailored to your strengths and deficits at any stage of pregnancy. Working with a physical therapist can help you develop your core without overstressing certain areas of your body that have been affected by developmental changes during your pregnancy.
- Breathing Techniques – Your physical therapist can also help teach you some breathing exercises that will be helpful at the end stage of your pregnancy. As we touched on in the first point, breathing exercises can help to decrease discomfort during your pregnancy, and they can also be extremely helpful during the delivery process. Breathing may seem like a simple act, but teaching you how to consciously draw more healthy air into your lungs when you’re uncomfortable or during labor can make a world of difference.
- Safe Exercise Techniques – Most women’s care providers will want you to remain active into your third trimester, but you’ll want to ensure that you’re not overdoing it or putting yourself or your baby at risk. Our physical therapy team can teach you some helpful exercises that get your heart rate up without putting you or your baby under undue stress during the latter stages of your pregnancy. Safety is a top priority for all of our clients, but it’s even more of a point of emphasis for expecting mothers.
- Decrease Labor Intensity – The final point is simply a culmination of the hard work you’ve put in if you’ve connected with a physical therapist to improve the previous four points. If you’re stronger, you know how to manage discomfort and you practice some breathing exercises, you’ll be able to decrease the intensity of your labor. You may not notice it at the moment, but you’ll be better off during your labor if you pursue physical therapy during your third trimester (and the other two trimesters for that matter). Let us help you make labor less uncomfortable.
If you’re looking to connect with a physical therapist at any point in your pregnancy, or you’re not pregnant but looking to overcome an injury or recover after surgery, reach out to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.