Physical Therapy During Pregnancy & Post-partum

Published On 07/11/2011

Our physical therapists are specially trained in women's health and can safely and effectively help you overcome issues from childbearing—so you can focus on being a mom.

During pregnancy and childbirth, a woman’s body experiences the following:

  • Blood volume increases, which causes swelling.
  • Hormone levels change, which may cause lower back or pelvic pain, changes in digestion, and headaches.
  • The rib cage expands, which puts pressure on nerves and tissues above and between ribs. This can cause difficulty with deep breathing, general discomfort in the trunk area, and mid/upper back pain.
  • Weight gain puts extra stress on feet, legs and back. The forward weight of the baby changes spinal curves and can weaken overstretched abdominal muscles.
  • As your breasts grow, larger breasts may alter posture.
  • A vaginal delivery can cause injury to the pelvic floor, which for some can cause pain, incontinence, and other urinary problems.
  • A cesarean delivery can cause scarring, weak abdominal muscles, and pain.

A physical therapist, trained in working with pregnant and post-partum women, can help with many of these physical changes. Ask your doctor to consider a referral if you have:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Shoulder/arm pain and tingling
  • Upper back and neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Incontinence
  • Urgency of urination
  • Pain associated with scars
  • Leg/foot pain, weakness, and/or swelling
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Hip pain
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Musculoskeletal issues related to bed rest
  • Diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles)
  • Prolapse (lack of support in the pelvic area that allows the organs, like the uterus, to fall from their normal position
  • Coccydynia (tailbone pain)

Physical therapy for new and expectant mothers is available at:

Methodist Outpatient Rehabilitation
Jewish Community Center Location
6560 Poplar Ave.  
Memphis, TN 38138

For information call 901.767.3061.