Why is it helpful?
- To get an idea of what your pelvic floor is like prior to delivery.
- so we know what are we trying to get back to after baby is born.
- To check if you know how to contract your pelvic floor correctly! This makes sure you are doing the right thing while pregnant, but you also know what to do after bub is born.
- To give you an individualised pelvic floor program to work on while you are pregnant, you may need to work on your strength, endurance, speed or "the knack" (switching on your pelvic floor functionally).
- To identify those who may have an overactive pelvic floor - this is important because they will need to work on trying to RELAX their pelvic floor, not strengthen it.
- To identify those who are at increased risk of having more severe perineal tearing with vaginal delivery, and giving strategies to work on this and counselling on birth choices.
- To check if you know how to relax/bear down on your pelvic floor (ie pushing!) to assist you for second stage of labour.
- To help address any pelvic floor issues you may be having.
Why do I need my pelvic floor assessed while I'm pregnant?
While frequency (going to the toilet more often) is normal in pregnancy, bladder leakage and urgency is NOT normal. Even if you are having a planned c-section, or end up having one, your pelvic floor will be weaker after pregnancy, so it is helpful to know what it is like before delivery, and how to contract properly for post natal reconditioning.
We suggest having an appointment after your 20 week scan to make sure there aren't any contraindications to doing an internal assessment (placenta previa or having a short cervix means we wouldn't do an internal, but can certainly do a visual or ultrasound assessment).We can certainly see you sooner if you are having any specific issues. You do not need a referral to see a physiotherapist and appointments can be made online.