Physiotherapy For New Moms And Pregnant Women

Prenatal and postnatal physiotherapy can play a crucial role in supporting expectant and new mothers as they navigate the physical challenges associated with pregnancy and post-delivery recovery. Read on to find out more.

By URLife Team
13 May 2023

During and after gestation, a woman goes through a transformative journey filled with joy, anticipation, and, of course, physical changes. From feeling the first kick from her baby bump to post-delivery recovery, a woman's body goes through an incredible transformation. UR.Life Lifestyle Management and Therapeutic Programs (LMTP) focus on helping mothers manage and reduce stress levels through various techniques such as relaxation exercises, mindfulness practices, and stress-reducing strategies.


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However, amidst the joy, it's essential to recognise and admit that these changes can also bring discomfort and pain. During pregnancy, expectant mothers often deal with various physical discomforts such as back pain, and even after giving birth, the journey to recovery is not always smooth sailing. A weakening pelvic floor, discomfort in moving about and other changes can make it uncomfortable to go about daily life while taking care of your baby. That's where the support of prenatal and postnatal physiotherapy comes in, offering a helping hand to navigate the challenges and provide much-needed pain management. Weight management programs by UR.Life provides guidance and support to mothers in managing their weight through a combination of healthy eating habits, physical activity, and lifestyle modifications.

Let's find out how these specialised therapies can assist women during and after pregnancy, helping them embrace motherhood with confidence and comfort.


Related story: Energising Prenatal Yoga Flow For Second And Third Trimester


Importance of Physiotherapy For Pregnant Women

During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes remarkable changes, and one notable change is the increase in body weight, typically ranging from 15 to 25 per cent. This weight gain places additional stress on the joints, tendons, ligaments, and other supporting structures in the body. Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in supporting women during pregnancy due to the numerous physical changes and challenges they experience. As the pregnancy progresses, the weight of the embryo advances, and the mother's centre of gravity shifts forward. The mother may gain weight naturally, and it can put additional stress on the spine and joints. Besides, the abdominal muscles may stretch and separate to accommodate the growing baby weakening the core muscles.

Physiotherapy can help pregnant women manage discomfort, maintain mobility, and promote overall well-being throughout their pregnancy journey. Physiotherapy sessions provide a supportive environment where new mothers can discuss their concerns, receive education about their bodies, and obtain guidance on self-care strategies. This holistic approach helps address emotional well-being alongside physical recovery.


Here are some reasons why physiotherapy is important during pregnancy:

1. Pain management: Pregnancy can bring about discomforts such as lower back pain, pelvic girdle pain, and joint stiffness. The increased body weight can lead to discomfort and strain on the joints, particularly in the lower back, hips, knees, and ankles. The joints may experience a higher load than they are accustomed to, which can result in pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility. Physiotherapists are skilled in providing techniques to alleviate these pains, including manual therapy, gentle exercises, and advice on ergonomic modifications to daily activities. Learn pain management with Eddie Stern.

2. Pelvic floor health: In a 2019 study by Reliva Physiotherapy And Rehab, during pregnancy, the pelvic floor muscles drop by 2.5 cm or 1 inch. The pelvic floor muscles undergo significant strain during pregnancy, leading to issues like urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Physiotherapists can guide women in strengthening and retraining these muscles through targeted exercises, reducing the risk of such complications. 

3. Postural adjustments: As the pregnancy progresses, the growing foetus and the increase in breast volume shift the women's centre of gravity forward and this can disrupt the body's natural balance and alignment creating despair as back pain, pelvic pain, sciatica, and other musculoskeletal discomforts. Physiotherapy can help pregnant women improve their posture and body mechanics to prevent discomfort and maintain optimal alignment.

4. Preparation for labour and delivery: Physiotherapists can teach expectant mothers breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, and positions to optimise their physical readiness for labour and delivery. These techniques may enhance endurance, promote relaxation, and provide tools to manage pain during childbirth. Besides, physiotherapy also helps to reduce the risk and complications associated with childbirth. 

Read more about the Best breathing exercise for a smooth pregnancy and easy delivery

5. Exercise guidance: Staying active during pregnancy is essential for overall well-being. Physiotherapists can design safe and effective exercise programs tailored to each woman's specific needs, taking into account the stage of pregnancy and any existing conditions. These programs help maintain fitness, improve strength, and support healthy weight management.


Related story: What You Need To Know About Pregnancy Weight Gain


Physiotherapy for pregnant women

Physiotherapists can provide tailored exercises and stretches to improve strength, stability, and flexibility. They can also offer guidance on maintaining proper posture, body mechanics, and ergonomic modifications to reduce strain on the joints. Every pregnant woman's needs and capabilities are different. Physiotherapists assess individual circumstances and tailor their recommendations accordingly, ensuring that prenatal care techniques are safe and suitable for each woman's specific situation. Physiotherapists recommend a range of prenatal care techniques tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of pregnant women. 

Common techniques and practices that physiotherapists may recommend:

  • Prenatal yoga and pilates: Physiotherapists design safe and effective yoga and pilates programs that focus on maintaining fitness, strengthening the core, and improving overall muscular strength and flexibility. These programs may include a series of controlled, slow, balanced movements and low-impact activities targeting different muscle groups. Try 5 easy pregnancy exercises to ease back pain.
  • Manual therapies: Manual therapies are integrated to reduce pelvic and lower back pain during pregnancies. Physiotherapists guide pregnant women in performing pelvic floor exercises, also known as Kegels, to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These exercises help prevent urinary incontinence, support the pelvic organs, and aid in postpartum recovery. Here’s why your pelvic floor needs attention
  • Postural awareness and correction: Physiotherapists educate pregnant women about maintaining proper posture and body mechanics to reduce strain on the spine and joints. They provide guidance on how to sit, stand, and move with optimal alignment, ensuring better musculoskeletal health and minimising discomfort. Read: Pregnancy exercises you can do at your desk
  • Breathing and relaxation techniques: Physiotherapists teach breathing and relaxation techniques to help pregnant women manage pain, reduce stress, and promote relaxation during pregnancy and labour. Techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and visualisation can benefit physical and mental well-being.
  • Chiropractic treatment: Chiropractors can help manage pregnancy-related discomforts such as lower back pain, pelvic pain, sciatica, and joint stiffness. They use gentle, non-invasive techniques, including spinal adjustments, soft tissue mobilisation, and stretching exercises to alleviate pain and restore proper function.


Importance of Physiotherapy for New Moms

Physiotherapy plays a vital role in assisting new moms in their recovery journey, optimising physical function, and supporting their overall well-being. By addressing physical concerns and providing guidance, physiotherapists empower new moms to regain strength, manage pain, and fully embrace their role as mothers.


Here are some reasons why physiotherapy is crucial for new moms:

1. Postpartum recovery: Physiotherapy aids in the recovery process by addressing issues such as muscle weakness, abdominal muscle separation (diastasis recti), perineal tears, and caesarean section scars. Therapists can provide exercises, manual therapy, and guidance on proper movement techniques to promote healing and regain strength. If you are in your postpartum recovery phase: here’s what to expect after giving birth.

2. Pelvic floor rehabilitation: The pelvic floor musculature may be torn during the birthing process. This can weaken muscles leading to problems like urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and sexual dysfunction. Physiotherapy focuses on pelvic floor rehabilitation, including targeted exercises, biofeedback techniques (teaching pelvic floor muscle contraction and relaxation), and advice on lifestyle modifications to improve muscle mass and function. Try these 4 moves for strengthening your pelvic floor

3. Core stability and posture improvement: Physiotherapists assist new moms in rebuilding core strength and improving posture, which may have been affected during pregnancy. Restoring core stability helps alleviate back pain, promotes proper alignment, and enhances overall functional movement. You can also try safe pregnancy exercises to strengthen the upper body

4. Postpartum back and neck pain: Physiotherapy offers effective pain management techniques for postpartum discomforts, such as lower back pain, neck, and shoulder pain from breastfeeding or carrying the baby, and joint stiffness. Therapists can provide manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and pain relief strategies to alleviate these symptoms.

5. Rehabilitation after childbirth: Physiotherapy facilitates rehabilitation after childbirth, helping women regain strength, flexibility, and mobility. Therapists create individualised exercise programs and advise on safe return to activities, gradually restoring physical abilities while considering any specific postpartum concerns.

6. Infant handling and postural education: Physiotherapists can guide proper body mechanics and postural techniques when lifting, carrying, and caring for the baby. This education helps prevent injuries, strain, and the development of postural imbalances during the frequent physical demands of infant care.

7. Mental well-being: Physiotherapy provides a supportive environment where new moms can discuss their physical and emotional challenges. Therapists offer education, guidance, and emotional support, promoting mental well-being and helping moms adjust to the demands of motherhood.


Related story: 7 Nutrition Tips For Nursing Mothers


Physiotherapy for New Moms

Physiotherapy is of great importance for new moms as they navigate the postpartum period and recover from the physical changes associated with pregnancy and childbirth. It empowers them to perform their caregiving tasks with less strain and discomfort, promoting a healthier and more enjoyable parenting experience. The activities such as bending to pick up the baby, leaning over a crib, and manoeuvring a car seat, can contribute to back pain and discomfort. 

Techniques to prevent strain and stress in new moms:

  • Fixing repetitive strain injuries: The activities such as bending to pick up the baby, leaning over a crib, and manoeuvring a car seat, can contribute to back pain and discomfort. Physiotherapists teach techniques for lifting, bending, and carrying the baby, as well as advise on optimal positioning during breastfeeding, changing diapers, and soothing the baby. 
  • Core and back strengthening: Physiotherapists design exercise programs that target core muscles and the back to improve strength and stability. Strengthening these muscles can help support the spine and alleviate the strain caused by repetitive movements. Therapists can teach specific exercises to strengthen the core, back, and postural muscles, enabling new moms to better handle the physical demands of caring for their baby.
  • Postural awareness and correction: Physiotherapists assess a new mom's posture and identify any imbalances or poor alignment that may contribute to back pain. They can provide corrective exercises and techniques to improve posture, ensuring proper spinal alignment during activities like bending, lifting, and leaning. By maintaining good posture, new moms can reduce the risk of developing RSIs and alleviate existing discomfort.
  • Stretching and flexibility exercises: In addition to strengthening exercises, physiotherapists may recommend specific stretches and flexibility exercises to relieve muscle tension and improve overall flexibility. Targeted stretches can help alleviate tightness in the back, shoulders, and hips, which commonly occur from repetitive movements involved in caring for a baby.
  • Manual therapy: Physiotherapists may utilise manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue mobilisation, joint mobilisation, and massage to address muscle tightness, trigger points, and discomfort in the back and related areas. Manual therapy can help relieve pain, improve mobility, and enhance tissue healing.


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Visit UR.Life LMTP to start your physiotherapy today to experience a healthier tomorrow. 


UR Life Studio's Lifestyle Management and Therapeutic Programs

UR.Life Studio offers a range of programs under its Lifestyle Management and Therapeutic Programs (LMTP) unit. Each program is tailored to meet individual needs, and the studio's professionals work closely with clients to create personalised plans that address their specific goals and challenges. Here are some examples of programs offered by UR Life Studio:

  • Stress Management Program
  • Weight Management Program
  • Chronic Pain Management Program
  • Postural Correction Program
  • Wellness Coaching Program
  • Functional Fitness Program
  • Rehabilitation Programs


UR.Life LMTP likely aims to help pregnant women and new mothers cope with any persistent or chronic pain they may be experiencing, which can be common during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. The services involve a range of approaches such as exercises, therapies, and lifestyle adjustments to alleviate pain. This program may focus on correcting postural imbalances and providing exercises, stretches, guidance to improve posture and prevent discomfort or pain, restore functional movement, improve core strength, and enhance overall physical fitness in 

Click here to learn more about the UR.Life Corporate Wellness programme and unlock better health. 




Anjaneya Reddy 15 May 2023


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