Physiotherapy and Osteopathy Centre, ul. Limanowskiego 15, Krakow

Osteopathy and physiotherapy during pregnancy – why and for whom?

Osteopathy and physiotherapy during pregnancy

Can osteopathy and physiotherapy during pregnancy help minimize the risk of perinatal complications? Maintaining an active lifestyle is always important, but let’s not kid ourselves, most people need strong motivation to start exercising regularly and taking care of their physical condition. When it comes to pregnancy, the issue of a beautiful figure is rather secondary, although physically fit women recover their pre-pregnancy figure more quickly. Preparation for pregnancy and pregnancy itself can be a good motivation to think more intensively about one’s body, but not in the context of its beauty, but rather the function it will have to fulfill. Muscle strength, endurance, good physical condition, and stability are elements that can be developed and which will definitely translate into pregnancy and childbirth. Many women, who were theoretically well prepared for childbirth and who coped well with pain, failed not because of complications but precisely because of a lack of strength. How can an osteopath and physiotherapist help in preparing for childbirth?

Osteopathy and physiotherapy during pregnancy – for whom?

The choice of appropriate exercises should depend on the pregnant woman’s health status, her capabilities, and preferences. There are many cases where physically active women did not even give up strength exercises (e.g. with a barbell) and coped perfectly. However, it is not recommended to jump into high-intensity strength training based on videos of pregnant fitness on YouTube. Observing current trends, we get the impression that there is either a ubiquitous fear that movement can harm the child (e.g. the famous raising of hands up), or a task-oriented approach that forces being a “fit mom” at the gym. Meanwhile, it is worth taking care of appropriate exercises individually selected by a therapist.

Osteopathy and physiotherapy during pregnancy – why?

Checking the correct alignment of the pelvis is important as a rotated pelvis can cause problems during pregnancy (such as bladder issues and gastrointestinal discomfort) as well as during childbirth. It’s not possible to diagnose pelvic rotation on our own, so it’s necessary to see an osteopath or physiotherapist. During such a visit to an osteopath, one can also ask for suggestions from the specialist regarding physical activity choices.

Strength training is often recommended to strengthen the body. However, it may sound scary during pregnancy. Each body is different, so information on a YouTube video that shows “basic exercises for pregnant women” is not enough. A set of exercises individually selected by a physiotherapist will be the best solution.

Aerobic exercises, such as cycling, running, or swimming, help increase the body’s endurance and prepare it for longer periods of exertion. The choice and intensity of aerobic exercises should also be selected by a physiotherapist.

Stretching, relaxing, and deep muscle strengthening exercises such as yoga and pilates can help learn the correct breathing technique, strengthen the abdominal muscles and diaphragm, which are essential during childbirth. Such classes for pregnant women are available in almost every fitness club and are highly recommended. However, they should not be the only activity – those mentioned above are also recommended.

Our physiotherapist Barbara Larwa conducts individual meetings for pregnant women, while osteopath Monika Mól-Kovalczykowska works on tensions, pelvic rotation, and internal organ interaction. Both training and therapy are completely safe for the woman and the fetus. After birth, the patient and the baby are also followed by specialists.

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