Pre and Postnatal Physical Therapy

By Chloe Sandberg – CC’s Staff

Pre and Postnatal Physical Therapy

It is a joyful season of life – being an expectant mother or a new-to-the-mom-club member! Speaking for myself (as I am currently expecting my first babe) there is a lot of apprehension and questions and worries entering pregnancy, and more specifically, the later stages of pregnancy. Evvveerryybody likes to ask or comment something like, “How are you feeling?” “How’s the heat affect you?” “Doesn’t your back hurt?” “You must be getting uncomfortable.” I get it – people are generally coming from a good place. But what these little questions or comments end up doing is placing a little nugget of worry in the back of mom’s brain, kind of like “Oh yeah, I guess my back does hurt a little.” Or “I feel pretty good, should I be feeling worse??”

There is no right or wrong way to feel during pregnancy! Every BODY handles it differently. But for those women out there who have real musculoskeletal issues arise during pregnancy, please know help is available! Physical therapy management of pregnancy and post pregnancy related aches and pains is very successful!

There are normal spinal posture changes that occur during pregnancy. This is a brief synopsis:

  • First, as the belly grows outward/forward the woman’s center of gravity moves forward and it also moves up. This generally causes an increase in the curve of our low back, or lumbar spine area.
  • Second, in part due to the increased curve of our low back but also due to the increasing size of the breasts and breastfeeding postures once baby arrives, the middle of the back starts to hunch and the shoulders round forward.
  • Third, in order to keep our eyes looking straight ahead of us, our neck or cervical spine curve increases.

This picture gives a nice visual of the increased spinal curves that happen during pregnancy and can remain afterwards. It also includes good examples of the musculoskeletal aches and pains that can accompany each part of the body due to the changes.

Physical therapy treatment and management of these conditions doesn’t look any different than it would on someone who isn’t pregnant. At CC’s, we have a pregnancy bolster that allows mom to lie on her stomach for full access to treatment of the spine (see picture below), hips, neck, and shoulders. And for new moms, your baby (or other kids!) is always welcome to accompany you to your appointment.

If anything on this list/picture above sounds like something you, a pregnant woman dear to you, or a new mom you know has talked about, please urge her to give us a call! We have the tools and modifications necessary to help you manage your pre and post natal concerns! 😊

Post Author: Chloe Sandberg

Chloe is a PT, wife, soon-to-be-mommy, MN to ND transplant, exerciser obsessed with food, Star Wars and Game of Thrones fangirl.


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