Pelvic floor health is crucial during pregnancy, particularly to prevent symptoms such as urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
When you attend a Pregnancy Assessment, you will be asked a series of questions about your bladder health, bowel health, sexual health, past medical conditions, gynaecological history, pelvic floor symptoms and any other concerns you may have. This will help us guide you safely through your pregnancy.
We can also assess the integrity and strength of your pelvic floor via an internal vaginal examination. This is important to get your baseline strength so when you are postnatal, we know exactly what needs to be done to restore your pelvic health.
Whilst the internal vaginal examination can help us deliver the most effective treatment and advice for you, it is not for everyone and is absolutely fine if you don’t want to have this done. There are many more other ways we can assess your core and pelvic floor so you feel most at ease.
Other conditions we treat in pregnancy include:
- pelvic girdle pain
- SIJ pain
- SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction)
- round ligament pain
- lightning crotch
- sciatic pain
- back/hip pain
- numbness/pins and needles down the legs/arms
- tailbone pain
- wrist pain
- rib pain
- neck and shoulder pain
- vulval and lower limb varicosities
This assessment is conducted after your Initial Pregnancy Assessment at 34 and 35 weeks. These consultations will run through the following:
- perineal tears: how to reduce your risk of tearing and how to manage these tears
- perineal massage
- pelvic floor downtraining and relaxation to help open up the birth canal
- instrumental delivery (forceps/vacuum): latest research on how to minimise your risk and improve postpartum recovery
- education and latest research around epidurals and how the effect on the pelvic floor
- education and latest research around episiotomies vs. tearing naturally
- risk factors for pelvic organ prolapse and how to minimise your risk
- labour and birth positions (1st stage, 2nd stage)
- pain relief tips including Obstetric TENS hire (we hire these machines at the clinic)
- caesarean section preparation – what to do before and after your caesarean
- latest research on abdominal exercises to commence straight away to aid in the healing of your abdominal separation (this includes crunches!)
- abdominal compression garments, we will measure you for SRC Recovery Shorts here
- hospital bag checklist
… and so much more!