Pregnancy and Beyond – Motherhood Program
You have decided that this is the time to transition into the role of a mother and for a lot of women the reality is you will be wearing many hats and that change is on the horizon.
Some women feel like a new wonderful person in the early stages of pregnancy and other women wonder how they are going to get through the next 9+ months.
Expecting moms can be dealing with:
- Fertility challenges
- Waves of fatigue/sleep deprivation
- Worry that they are not eating appropriately for the new “two”.
As your body changes you realize that you cannot simply “do” the things you used to.
- Why is getting out of a car or chair suddenly giving you sharp back pains?
- Are you dreading the first couple of steps of walking?
- Are you wondering, “Am I doing too much?” or “Should I really be exercising the same way I used to?”
Is it Safe to Exercise During Pregnancy?
YES! It’s also highly recommended. Prenatal physical activity reduces the risk of pregnancy complications and enhances maternal physical and mental health. Here are the following recommendations from the 2019 Canadian Guidelines for Physical Activity throughout Pregnancy:
- All women without contraindication* should be physically active throughout pregnancy including those who were previously inactive, who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, and those who are categorized as overweight or obese pre-pregnancy.
- Pregnant women should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week to achieve clinically meaningful health benefits and reductions in pregnancy complications.
- Physical activity should be accumulated over a minimum of 3 days per week; however, being active every day is encouraged
- Pregnant women should incorporate a variety of aerobic and resistance activities to achieve greater benefits.
- Pelvic floor muscle training may be performed on a daily basis to reduce the risk of urinary incontinence. Seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist is recommended to obtain optimal health benefits.
- Pregnant women who experience light-headedness, nausea or feel unwell when they exercise flat on their back should modify their exercise position.
* Note: a contraindication refers to a condition or factor that serves as a reason to not use a certain treatment (like physical activity or exercise). Please follow the advice of your care provider if they have informed you of a contraindication of exercising during pregnancy.
Treatment for the following pregnancy-related topics:
- Pelvic floor anatomy
- Pelvic floor muscle relaxation/strengthening
- Safe exercises during pregnancy
- Positions to promote pelvic muscle relaxation for delivery
- Correct pushing techniques
- Perineal massage
- Gentle home program to start in early postpartum
GWHA’s pelvic health physiotherapists provide education, treatment and guidance on your pregnancy journey. Even after baby arrives!
Occupational Therapy may be a fantastic addition to your treatment team. Your OT will help you to develop individualized strategies for
- managing your symptoms
- managing the emotions intertwined with them
- navigating your relationship with your symptoms, your body, and with movement
- re-engaging in the life activities, roles, and relationships that are important to you.
Individualized care plans may include nervous system regulation, somatic & sensory tools, Cognitive Behavioural Therapies, Graded Exposure, mindfulness techniques, and exploring day-to-day functioning, day-to-day demands, and life balance.