Pregnancy is an exciting experience that can bring great joy but can also take a toll on your body with many women experiencing physical discomfort at differing stages of their pregnancy. One of the most effective ways to prevent or manage those niggles during pregnancy is exercise. While many women are hesitant to engage in physical activity during pregnancy, being pregnant does not mean you have to stop exercising. We’ve summarised the top 6 benefits of doing Clinical Rehabilitation before and after pregnancy!
1. Improved Mental Health
Studies have shown that women who keep fit during pregnancy have a better sense of well being, body image and self-esteem, and increased energy levels. Specifically, Clinical Rehabilitation’s holistic approach to exercise can help reduce stress, improve mood and therefore help you cope better with the emotional and physiological strains of pregnancy, including the demands of labour and motherhood. This positive effect on mental health continues after pregnancy and can decrease the incidence of postnatal depression and anxiety.
2. Decreased risk of pregnancy complications
According to recent research, training large muscles groups through exercise such as Clinical Rehabilitation, can help to normalise blood sugar levels, fluid levels and blood pressure. As a result, women who exercise regularly during pregnancy are less likely to develop gestational diabetes mellitus, pregnancy induced hypertension, and pre-eclampsia than those who are physically inactive.
3. Manage Weight gain
Although it is normal to gain weight throughout pregnancy, maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy can help you to return to your pre-baby confidence quicker. It also reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus, which is more common in mothers who are overweight.
4. Improve Sleep and Fatigue
Many women during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester, report having a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. According to recent research, those who exercise regularly report the quality of their sleep has improved and as a result they wake up feeling more rested!
5. Strengthen your pelvic floor
During pregnancy, the additional weight of your baby, the coinciding hormonal changes and childbirth – particularly vaginal delivery – can weaken your pelvic floor muscles. If the pelvic floor becomes stretch, weakened or damaged during activities that increase your internal abdominal pressure and put pressure on your bladder wall – such as coughing or heavy lifting – a urinary incontinence can happen as your pelvic floor is too weak to counteract the pressure.
Clinical Rehabilitation is an excellent way for strengthening your pelvic floor, as well as other supporting pelvic muscle such as multifidus (deep back extensors) and transverse abdominals. When the pelvic floor is strong, it supports the pelvic organs and reduces the risk of problems like incontinence and prolapse of the bladder, bowel and uterus that could develop during or after pregnancy.
6. Reduce Back and Pelvic Pain
By strengthening the deep Abdominals and deep back Extensors muscles through Clinical Rehabilitation, you are less likely to develop back and pelvic pain. Clinical Rehabilitation also helps to give you better awareness of your posture, which tends to change as your baby grows which further helps to decrease pain in your back and increases your pelvic stability.
How Can I Get Started?
At Perth Physiotherapy and Pilates, our physiotherapists are trained in maternity physiotherapy and women’s health and will recommend pregnancy-safe, low impact exercises tailored to your needs. We can provide health and body advice and supervised exercise sessions leading up to, and after delivery. If you’re looking to starting Clinical Rehabilitation, call our friendly team to book in for an Initial Clinical Rehabilitation Consultation with one of our amazing Physiotherapist or click here to book an appointment online!