Yes - come now, don't wait! Blog over. :)
This is a question I get asked often in discovery calls. And all of my conversations in these calls center around a main theme.....you will always feel more grounded, more strength, and more support when you tap into a deeper understanding of your body, and it is always more beneficial to PREVENT symptoms than to have to treat them later. In a very reactive healthcare society, a proactive mindset is sometimes discouraged and we are told things like "just get through the pregnancy and you'll be fine", or "just take care of it after your pregnancy". Basically, ignore it, deal with it, and keep going. If you are having any pain, leaking, instability, or anything of the sort, absolutely seek out a professional to work on balancing and stabilizing your pelvis to support the pregnancy! And even if you are not having symptoms I advocate working to learn and understand the core and pelvic floor balancing concepts so your body can continue to support the pregnancy without compensation patterns developing! Besides, doing this during pregnancy can not only help with any symptoms, but it can possibly help with the birthing process and also give you information for your postpartum recovery when your time for PT is somewhat zapped by a new sweet baby entering the world.
Think about posture during pregnancy. Obviously some adaptations are necessary to accommodate a growing baby. But there are ways we stand out of fatigue and habit that put MORE pressure through the abdominal wall and pelvic floor - particularly when we let the weight of our belly pull our pelvis or our spine forward. This also starts to compress our spine and SI joints in the back, causing tension or pain. Understanding alignment can help shift the pressure, support the belly, and help to prevent diastasis recti or pelvic pain from developing.
Think about pelvic floor during pregnancy. Obviously there is some more pressure and more work going on during pregnancy, not to mention there is the important task of giving birth! And, even if the baby doesn't pass through the birth canal, pelvic floor issues can arise postpartum because of pressure and postural changes. The pelvic floor needs to be able to be able to eccentrically lengthen as well as lift! Connection and control can help you support your pregnancy and stabilize your pelvis, as well as help you through labor, and potentially help to avoid complications such as tearing, tailbone issues, and stalling.
Think about the breathing changes that happen during pregnancy. Our diaphragm, along with many organs, starts to run out of room toward the end, causing shallow breathing and tightness to develop. Learning patterns, breathing techniques, and ribcage mobility can help maintain mobility, and since our breath is the gateway to our inner core and pelvic floor, it can help to maintain function there!
Think about the growing belly and stretching abdominal wall. Our core musculature starts in our back and wraps all the way around to the front. Picture wearing a tight shirt and gathering the fabric at the back into a knot - what happens in the front? It pulls apart because of the tightness in the back! Muscle and ribcage tightness can do the same thing to our abdominal wall! This increases pressure and tension, and also increases the risk of diastasis recti after pregnancy. Working on mobility now can again help to support your pregnancy in a balanced way and prevent problems once baby is here.
Besides all of the above benefits, resolving symptoms and working on pelvic/core strength and balance helps us tap into more stability and power in our bodies. And who doesn't want that during pregnancy?
I have many clients who find me in the postpartum period to work on recovery and returning to exercise, and then COME BACK during their next pregnancy to get ahead of the game because they see the value in keeping their inner core and pelvic floor healthy and balanced. It's never too early and it's never too late, so wherever you are in your journey, if you need support or have questions, please don't hesitate to contact me!