Childbirth is an incredible experience and the care of a new child frequently takes priority over the mother’s recovery. Many fail to see the all-encompassing impact of pregnancy and childbirth on a woman’s body. During pregnancy, hormones prepare the body for birth by loosening many of the important ligaments in the back and pelvis, therefore decreasing stability. These changes matched with abdominal wall expansion often have an impact on symptoms. Sciatica and low back pain experienced during pregnancy can even continue post birth.
Thankfully there is action that can be taken, both during pregnancy and after, to help keep the body happy. Gentle strengthening and stretching exercises during pregnancy can improve stability and prevent the likelihood of pain or injury. Following birth, these exercises can be progressed to reduce separation of the abdominal wall and promote a tight core preparing the body to return to previously enjoyed activities such as weight lifting or Pilates.