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Nurturing Wellness: A Guide to Physiotherapy for Women during Pregnancy and Postnatal Care

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, 4 min read

Nurturing Wellness: A Guide to Physiotherapy for Women during Pregnancy and Postnatal Care

Pregnancy and the period after is an exciting period in a woman's life, accompanied by unique physical challenges. It can be helpful to look at what physiotherapy after pregnancy and during pregnancy can offer to help expectant and new mothers with the challenges and symptoms encountered. This blog post will delve into the conditions treated, and the role of physiotherapy, based on UK NHS guidelines and insights from Pelvic Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP). 

Conditions Treated

Physiotherapy can help support various conditions and symptoms during pregnancy, and also after during the postnatal phase, including:

  • Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP): PGP is a common musculoskeletal issue that affects the low back, hips and pelvic joints. Physiotherapists can offer advice on how best to manage this, and provide the best exercises for helping, in order to alleviate pain. 
  • Diastasis Recti Abdominis (DRA): This condition involves the separation of abdominal muscles during pregnancy. Diastasis Recti Physiotherapy is focussed on advice on how to improve this, and targeted exercises to strengthen the deeper tummy muscles and reduce the gap. 
  • Urinary Incontinence: Pregnancy and childbirth can lead to weakened pelvic floor muscles, resulting in urinary incontinence. Physiotherapists, guided by NICE guidelines, provide assessment and pelvic floor exercises to improve muscle control.

What Physiotherapy Can Do to Help

  • Individualized Exercise Programs: Physiotherapists design tailored exercise regimens to address specific conditions, promoting strength, flexibility, and overall well-being.
  • Manual Therapy: Hands-on techniques, such as massage and joint mobilization, can provide relief from musculoskeletal discomfort. 
  • Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation: Specialized exercises for the pelvic floor muscles are integral to preventing and treating urinary incontinence

When to Seek More Urgent Help

While physiotherapy is valuable for many conditions, certain symptoms necessitate urgent medical attention. Refer to NHS guidelines and seek help if you experience:

  • Severe Pain: Intense and sudden pain should not be ignored, as it may indicate underlying issues that require immediate attention. Look out for persistent and severe headaches or significant calf pain. 
  • Significant Swelling: Sudden, severe, or localized swelling should be reported promptly to a healthcare provider, particularly in the calf muscles. 
  • Changes in Fetal Movement: Any noticeable decrease in fetal movement should be communicated to healthcare professionals urgently.
  • Changes in Bowel or Bladder Function or Bleeding from the vagina: these require prompt attention and intervention.

Myth Buster

Myth: Exercise during pregnancy is harmful.

Fact: It is safe and beneficial for the majority of women to exercise during pregnancy, and it can help improve your overall health. There are some instances where exercise may not be encouraged, so always check with your NHS GP or midwife to ensure this is appropriate for you. 

During pregnancy, the aim is to maintain your current level of fitness. Then after your baby is born you can then initially aim to regain that former level of fitness, and steadily improve on it. 

Please see this infographic from the government with advice on physical exercise in pregnancy and after childbirth.

How long will it take to improve?

The duration of physiotherapy management varies based on the condition and individual response. Consistency with exercises and adherence to physiotherapist recommendations are crucial for optimal results.

How to Effectively Self-Manage:

  • Consistent Exercise: Adhere to prescribed exercises regularly.
  • Maintain Good Posture: Proper posture reduces strain on muscles and joints.
  • Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration supports overall health.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any discomfort or pain and adjust activities accordingly.

eMed Physiotherapy

eMed physiotherapy offers the convenience of virtual consultations, allowing women to access expert physiotherapists from the comfort of their homes. This platform provides assessment and screening. They can then give you tailored advice, signpost you to services and resources, and provide you with a personalized exercise programme if appropriate.  

  • No Waiting. Appointments in minutes.
  • Diagnosis and exercise plans to manage your condition.
  • Referrals. If needed.
  • Start your recovery journey right now. Book your first appointment for £48.

Book Now

Physiotherapy, based on NHS guidelines and POGP insights, emerges as a vital component of holistic care for women during pregnancy and postnatal periods. By understanding conditions, recognizing signs, and embracing self-management strategies, women can navigate this transformative journey with confidence, supported by the expertise of physiotherapists and the convenience of eMed physiotherapy.


  • NHS. (2022). Antenatal care - Pregnancy and baby guide. Retrieved from
  • NHS. (2022). Pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy. Retrieved from
  • Pelvic Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP). (n.d.). Conditions Treated. Retrieved from
  • NHS. (2022). Urinary incontinence. Retrieved from
  • American Physical Therapy Association. (n.d.). Women's Health. Retrieved from
  • NHS. (2022). Back pain in pregnancy. Retrieved from
  • NHS. (2022). Exercise in pregnancy. Retrieved from

The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of a doctor with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never delay seeking or disregard professional medical advice because of something you have read here.

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