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When a woman becomes pregnant she experiences, throughout the entire process, physical changes that go beyond the diameter of her belly. Your spine, your hips, your joints and your muscles, among others, will gradually adapt to house the baby and give birth later.
All these modifications will cause discomfort to the future mother and the care of a physiotherapist will be of great help to minimize the normal pains of the process, prepare her for childbirth and compensate for changes in her body.
The hips will widen thanks to the hormone relaxin, which softens the symphysis pubis, increasing the space for the baby to pass during delivery. During pregnancy it is normal for this space to increase by 2-3 mm, when in the usual situation of absence of pregnancy it usually measures about 4 or 5 mm. If the gap is 10 mm or more, diastasis is diagnosed.
It's normal that this separation causes pain and discomfort when walking, when going down or climbing stairs, when separating the legs, in the lower part of the back and the pelvic floor and in the front of the lower extremities.
In these cases, the physiotherapist can act, always in agreement with the doctor, with gentle joint manipulation techniques; make use of electrotherapy, more specifically ultrasound (use is not contraindicated for pregnant women) to reduce pain; massage to loosen tight muscles; and the optimal maintenance of the tone of the abdominals and the pelvic floor to avoid hypermobility of the pelvic girdle. The application of cold, active rest and the use of a special girdle, can provide quick relief from these discomforts.
Other changes that cause discomfort are the growth of the breast and the weight of the baby causing back pain and / or sciatica. In these cases, the physiotherapist using massages, gentle techniques, stretching and advice on postural hygiene It will greatly alleviate these pains.
It is also important that the woman prepare herself physically. A woman with a good aerobic background, good general musculature, mainly of the pelvic floor, with muscular endurance and strength, will enjoy not only a speedy recovery, but also a reduction in the time of labor and the possibility of preventing her from have an episiotomy or tear.
The physiotherapist will be able to personalize the future mother a program according to its evolutionary state at all times and their needs, which include toning, elasticity, perineal, breathing and relaxation exercises, because it is also important that women have stress levels under control.
Practicing Pilates or yoga, attending prepartum classes, stretching every day and walking are also good complements to be in shape.
Marián Zamora Saborit
Physiotherapist. Pilates Technician
Psychomotor in Early Childhood Education
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