Our women’s and pelvic health physiotherapists have extensive training and experience in the assessment and management of the following pelvic floor concerns during pregnancy and in the postnatal period:
- Bladder and bowel incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Pelvic floor rehabilitation and strengthening post pelvic floor injury (perineal tear, episiotomy) and general strengthening post pregnancy.
Why should I get my pelvic floor checked?
We strongly recommend that ALL women, no matter their delivery type (i.e. vaginal or caesarean), have their pelvic floor assessed and undergo pelvic floor rehabilitation for the following reasons.
- Optimal preparation for child birth. It is ideal to have your pelvic floor muscle function assessed during your pregnancy to identify any potential issues with your pelvic floor such as overactivity i.e. that you pelvic floor is too tight, or weakness which may predispose you to experiencing pelvic floor related issues after the birth of your baby.
- Generalised stretching and weakening of the pelvic floor during pregnancy. During your pregnancy, as your baby grows, the weight of your baby combined with softening hormones contribute to a slow and progressive stretch of the pelvic floor muscles and supportive structures in the pelvis. This (combined with the weight of your baby) can lead to a heavy, full sensation in the pelvic region. Your pelvic floor tone will improve over time as your hormones return to normal, however if there is still some weakness in the pelvic floor, you can experience symptoms such as leaking during exercise, a feeling of your vagina being “loose” or a generalised “weak” feeling around your hips, back and pelvis.
- Management of pelvic pain or pain during sex. Sometimes there can be some scarring at the opening and within the vagina if you have had a perineal tear which was repaired with stitches. This scar tissue can become tight as it heals, and combined with vaginal dryness (with breastfeeding), you can experience some pain during sex, when sitting or exercising.
- Reduced chance of pelvic floor injury and incontinence/prolapse during exercise. If your pelvic floor is weak, and you are doing inappropriate exercise you may increase your risk of injuring your pelvic floor and developing incontinence or prolapse. We strongly recommend that you have a pelvic floor assessment prior to returning to any form of exercise.
When should I have my pelvic floor assessed?
- During pregnancy: from 20 weeks gestation
- Postnatal period: Typically from 6 weeks post delivery
We always ask your consent to do any examination and if you do not want a particular exam done that is completely fine. We will always try to examine you as thoroughly as possible to give us the best indication of your pelvic floor function and we can then advise, educate and treat you effectively. We can get a general indication of your pelvic floor function using non-invasive measures, so please don’t let the fear of an internal examination scare you off!
There are some instances such as high risk pregnancies, that we will not do any internal examination. For more information on what’s involved in a pelvic floor examination – please click here
Our obstetric physiotherapists that can assist with pelvic floor rehabilitation are:
We have extensive experience and training in the assessment and treatment of a range of pelvic pain conditions that can occur throughout pregnancy and the postnatal period. Our treatments always include significant reassurance and education as there are usually other factors such as constipation, posture etc that can make pelvic pain worse. We make it an absolute priority that our clients always feel safe, in control and as comfortable as possible.
The common obstetric-related pelvic pain conditions which we treat include:
- Painful sex
- Pelvic pain from scar tissue / adhesion formation (post repair of perineal tear / episiotomy)
- Vulval varicosities
- Anal fissures
Our obstetric physiotherapists that can assist with pelvic pain are:
The physical nature of pregnancy and looking after a baby is incredibly taxing on a woman’s body. Our physiotherapists have extensive experience and skills in treating a wide range of musculoskeletal aches and pains that commonly occur in this period.
Examples of obstetric-related musculoskeletal conditions which we treat include:
- Low and mid back pain
- Neck pain and headaches
- Pelvic girdle pain / Pubic symphysis dysfunction / Sacroiliac joint pain
- Hip & groin pain
- Coccyx / Tailbone pain
- Rib pain
- DeQuervain’s Synovitis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Overuse injuries
- General muscular tension
Our physiotherapists that can assist with obstetric-related musculoskeletal pain are:
We understand the highs and lows that come with breastfeeding and we can offer women gentle and effective treatment for the following breastfeeding related conditions:
- Blocked ducts
We utilise a wide range of hands on and hands off techniques which provide effective relief including:
- Breast massage
- Lymphatic drainage and massage of the breast, neck and underarm
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- Education regarding positioning, attachment and self care
Our women’s health physiotherapist that can assist with breast care is Alice Mackenzie.
Fit Savvy Mama (FSM)
Mum & Baby Exercise & Education Class
Delivered by a Women’s Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, the Fit Savvy Mama classes are aimed at helping you reach your fitness goals safely.
The FSM classes are run in 4 week blocks and they incorporate cardio, strength and functional exercises for parenting, mat Pilates and stretching for comprehensive fitness. Each class includes a different discussion topic related specifically to postnatal recovery. The topics include:
- Abdominal Muscle Separation
- Pelvic Floor
- Back, neck and wrist care
- Bladder and Bowel
When can I start?
Ideally when your baby is 6-8 weeks old. You will need to have a postnatal assessment with one of our Women’s Health Physiotherapists prior to starting the FSM classes.
Our Fit Savvy Muma classes are run by Ocean Kabikwa.
Baby massage helps to reduce crying and fussiness, improves sleep quality and assists in treating constipation and colic.
For all our baby treatments we use heavenly natural products from MooGoo – a wonderful Australian skincare company designed for people and babies with sensitive and problematic skin. Please visit their website for further information: https://moogoo.com.au
Alice Mackenzie can show you how to massage you baby.