Common Vs. Normal: Pain + Incontinence in Pregnancy

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

We are excited to continue our partnership with Beyond Basics PT to share pelvic health tips for each stage of pregnancy. Below we will dive into the second trimester including the common ailments and symptoms that come as pregnancy progresses: specifically aches, pains and incontinence.

The first thing we want to highlight is the difference between what’s _common_ and what’s _normal_. There are many symptoms that you may be experiencing during their pregnancy that are common, as in, a whole lot of people experience them, but not ‘normal’, as in, they can be prevented or treated. Despite popular advice, when it comes to the majority of pregnancy ailments you do not have to “live with it” until after the birth.

Let’s talk pain:

You may find that as your pregnancy progresses, you experience more back, shoulder, neck, hip, or pelvic pain. While these are all common, they should not be dismissed. It’s important to address the pain during pregnancy for two primary reasons. First, we want to make sure you’re comfortable and can move functionally throughout your pregnancy. Aches and pains can limit your mobility, and the benefits of staying active in labor have been clearly documented. Second, aches and pains are almost always a sign of sub-optimal posture (sometimes from preexisting conditions and sometimes the result of how you compensate for your growing belly). Poor posture can influence the position of your baby. Fetal alignment is something we want to be aware of throughout our pregnancy, as stacking the cards in your favor will set you up for the best possible birth experience. The earlier you can work with a pelvic health specialist to assess your posture, alignment, breath, and range of functional movement the sooner you can get tips and tricks on movement techniques to decrease your pain and the potential for it to recur in subsequent pregnancies.

Along with pain often comes different pressure throughout the body (usually in your abdomen or pelvic area). Pressure management is key, and something a PT can help support with. Some examples are prolapse/pressure symptoms or Diastasis rectus abdominis — a PT can help reduce strain and improve stability and core function during pregnancy.

Bladder Leakage:

With a sub-optimal pressure management, we often see leaking begin or worsen in pregnancy. It’s a common joke that during or after you have children, you can’t laugh/jump/run without peeing. Similarly to pain, urinary incontinence or bladder leaks are common, but not normal. Even if it’s just a small amount or only with certain activities, you do not need to wait until after pregnancy to see if it resolves or wait to get help - it is possible for you to have full continence all the way through your pregnancy.

Through exercise, support tools and daily practice, you can help relieve pain and find better positioning for work, daily activities and sleeping — which we all know tend to be some of the hardest things to do as you progress.

Stay tuned for our next blog as we tackle the third trimester.

Are you or someone you know in the second trimester and facing some of these ailments? Our highly rated course, Push Prep, would be a great supplement to your current learnings.

In this 2-hour class we will start with anatomy and walk you through the bony pelvis, pelvic floor muscles, fetal alignment, and breathing techniques so you can understand the _physiology_ of pushing. You will practice pelvic floor contractions and relaxation, as well as various pushing positions to help train your body for the main event. Class is relevant and important for those planning a medicated or unmedicated birth!

_Push Prep can be taken alone or as a part of our Childbirth Education classes for those looking for a more comprehensive experience._

Find live, virtual & on-demand classes and support groups near you:

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