Blush: Pregnancy Physio

A friend of mine recently told me that she’s pregnant (woo!!!) and I asked her to let me know if she thought of anything that made her go “Wow! I didn’t know that!” about pregnancy.

She said this:

“In my second trimester, I’m going to get recommended to a physiotherapist. I didn’t do it for my first, but I really think I should for my second.”

That really made my day.

Because, while my pregnancy with Dragon was pretty mellow, I did have pain in my hips when my ligaments shifted to accommodate the pregnancy changes. And it never ONCE occurred to me to go to a physiotherapist for it.

It seems pretty obvious now.

I thought I should do some research into why it’s recommended, and if there are any risks.

Image from

Please note, I am not in the medical profession. If you have any questions about whether this is right for you, please see your doctor. I don’t know your medical history, whether you are considered high risk, or other factors.

Searching for resources on physiotherapy during pregnancy was difficult, to put it mildly. Most of the sources I found ended up being written by physiotherapists on how to exercise safely while pregnant. Since I thought that was also important information, here is the best article I found on that subject.

Physiotherapy is recommended to prevent and help lessen pain in the lower back and joints of people who are pregnant. It will also help prepare for labour.

A good physiotherapist will also give home exercises to do to keep mobility up and pain down.

Risks that I found seemed to be related only to exercise in general (if you’re bleeding, stop; if you feel increased pain, stop; etc). However, any physiotherapist will tailor their routine to your needs and that of your body.


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Blush: Kegels

Your doctor may have mentioned that you should be doing Kegel exercises, no matter what your genitalia looks like.

Cute exercise picture. Because cute. Image from pinterest.
Cute exercise picture. Because cute. Image from pinterest.

Why should you bother?

There is one major reason to do Kegels: to strengthen the pelvic floor.

Who cares about the pelvic floor?

Well, everyone should. You may not have any problems with incontinence now, but over the course of your life, your pelvic muscles loosen, allowing for leakage from the bladder to happen. Hence the market for TENA, Poise, Always (yes, they have bladder protection pads as well as menstrual pads), and Depends.

Ok! Pelvic strength is important! How do I exercise it?

First you need to find the muscles. Go to the bathroom and start to urinate. Then stop it mid-stream. The muscles you use to stop the flow are your pelvic muscles.

Now that you know which muscles you’re supposed to be exercising, it’s time to get to it.

The general process is fairly easy: tighten your muscles for 5 seconds, release for 5 seconds, and repeat 10-15 times, three times daily. Gradually build up your strength by increasing the amount of time you tighten your muscles; 10 seconds, 15 seconds, etc. The easiest position to do these exercises is when lying down, moderate position is sitting up, and hardest is while standing.

Please note: Don’t exercise the wrong muscle group. The rest of your body should be relaxed during this time. Don’t hold your breath, clench your teeth, or tense any other muscles.

If you have any trouble finding the correct muscle group, the reference below gives more techniques for finding them. It also has some suggestions about when you can do the exercises. I do mine at meal times, because then I didn’t forget to eat, or exercise!


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