Pregnancy is a time of enormous physiological change
Nausea, vomiting, peeing more frequently, enlarged uterus, increased heart rate, increased blood volume, skin changes, weight gain, insomnia, swelling, pregnancy rashes, slowing of intestinal activity (HELLO constipation) and boob changes just to mention a few!…...Fact of the day.....the breasts do not fully develop/mature until a pregnancy!
What else goes on during these 40 odd weeks you ask 🤔…….some impressive changes occur in the mothership I'd say!: the pelvic girdle is uniquely formed to respond to hormonal and postural changes experienced during pregnancy. The rising cocktail of hormones reduce the density of connective tissue, cartilage and ligaments and increased quantity of synovial fluid allow for a greater degree of mobility and flexibility in the pelvis, to accommodate a little human or humans!
🤰 The stomach muscles lengthen allowing for bump to grow….NORMAL. Muscles can only lengthen so far, that the linea alba will then lengthen and widen to allow for further growing of your bump…..NORMAL. 💡 That’s probably why we have a linea alba!....rather than for a cosmetic purpose to show of the 6 pack muscles 😲
🍑 As bub grows and sits further down in the pelvis woman may experience bowel pressure, pelvic pain, back pain or pressure, sciatic pain, vulva swelling, vulva varicosities and multiple toilet trips for a drip of urine! 🏃♀️
🍉 Increased curvature of the spine progressively occurs in the later parts of pregnancy as the woman's centre of gravity is displaced back over the pelvis to compensate for the growing weight within the abdominal and mature boob region!. This can lead to those pregnancy aches and pains in the upper or low back, ribs or pelvis.
🙅♀️ Pelvic girdle pain (sacroiliac or pubic symphysis) is commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth, it is thought to affect up to 1 in 4 pregnant women to varying degrees, were some continue to experience serious symptoms postpartum. Women may experience mild to severe pain in the hips, lower back, groin, lower abdomen and legs. Characteristic by waddling gait, difficulty climbing stairs, or pain with rolling over in bed (completely unfair). It can occur at anytime through pregnancy but more commonly in late pregnancy and with women who have an elevated BMI. Individualized physiotherapy can help to reduce or eliminate symptoms. This may involve stretching and strengthening exercises, pelvic support garments, strapping and modification of daily activities.
🔥 THE PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES……small but powerful. They are essential in the support and control of bladder and bowel continence. The pelvic floor muscles weaken by 20% during pregnancy (if you don’t do your pelvic floor exercises!). making them an essential exercise through all parts of life but especially during pregnancy and postpartum.
You’re not alone
👉38% of women experience incontinence up to 3 months postpartum
👉1 in 10 women experience anal incontinence
👉50% of women have a POP postnatal
👉Pelvic organ prolapse 20 years following childbirth has been directly correlated to weakened pelvic floor muscles
You bet ya, the bodies journey during pregnancy is pretty amazing (and I haven't even talked about the impact of vaginal or c-section delivery on the body), seeing a pelvic health physio for a check during pregnancy and postnatal regardless of delivery should be part of your normal routine.