A qualified physiotherapist can assist you in maintaining good health at many stages throughout your life. With their expert knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, physiotherapists are able to assist in both preventative and rehabilitative procedures. However, physiotherapists are not only concerned with disease or injury; physiotherapists are also able to assist women in managing the many changes their body undergoes during pregnancy. Finding a physiotherapist who specializes in antenatal services could help ease the transition between trimesters and all the way up to labor and postnatal recovery.
While there are many ways in which a physiotherapist might assist a woman in maintaining good health through her pregnancy, antenatal massage remains one of the most popular. Although antenatal massage is only recommended and performed after the first trimester, it can be safely performed any time up until labor. The specific techniques utilized by your physiotherapist will depend on what stage of pregnancy you are in.
In the earlier stages of pregnancy, your physiotherapist will focus on stress reduction and trying to loosen up your muscles, relieving some of the aches and pains associated with pregnancy. Many people view the discomfort associated with pregnancy as inevitable, and while nothing can alleviate it entirely, a qualified professional will be able to assist in minimizing it. A good physiotherapist will tailor their techniques to your specific condition. As you move into the later stages of your pregnancy, your physiotherapist will begin to switch their focus towards the lower body. This means they will be trying to release the tension around the hips and lower legs as well as the lower back. This is where a lot of stress will be carried, and the increased weight from your growing baby may also be causing strain in the lower regions of your body.
By the third trimester, the focus of your antenatal massages will be on increasing blood flow and loosening tight muscles in preparation for birth. Your physiotherapist may also spend some time working on your hands and feet to aid in the case of swelling. Physiotherapy at this stage of your pregnancy should be more relaxing than physically taxing, and the extra time to yourself will help you get in touch with what your changing body needs.
Regular physiotherapy massages during pregnancy can relieve stress and anxiety, enhance fetal health, relieve swelling and other discomforts and improve your quality of sleep. Pregnancy should be a time to enjoy and prepare for the exciting time ahead, so don't suffer any more than you need to. A physiotherapist with experience in this area will assist you in preparing your body for the challenges of labor and postnatal recovery.