Pregnant? Me Too! Consider seeing one of our physical therapists.

There is a growing awareness of how physical therapy can help mothers AFTER baby delivery with a variety of symptoms ranging from pelvic pain, urinary leakage, pelvic pressure, diastasis recti (abdominal separation), and the list goes on. Often, these issues are brushed off as "normal", but our pregnancy specialist PT's employ many types of intervention to alleviate them. We can absolutely help you if you are having any of these symptoms.

Even better, consider seeing one of our specialists in physical therapy BEFORE your delivery! 

Your body changes a lot during pregnancy including an increase in joint laxity, a change in weight distribution,  and postural alterations due to a growing belly. Following are some basic exercises that we have found to be helpful throughout pregnancy outside of your typical kegels.

Diaphragm Breathing

The body's pressure system changes during pregnancy and the rib cage has to expand for growing baby. Working on proper breathing relieves discomfort from pressure imbalances and also prepares for proper delivery mechanics to help prevent tearing. The following photo demonstrates a relaxed, long spine posture that will allow movement of inhalation and exhalation into the rib cage and abdomen by using your diaphragm. Alternatively, you could sit on the edge of a chair or bed with feet supporting on the floor. 

Relaxed Diaphragm Breathing

*Proper breathing sequence is first inhalation and expansion of the abdomen and second expansion of the chest with a tall, relaxed posture. Exhalation is then slow and relaxed blowing through pursed lips as if blowing out a candle. 

For more detail, check out our previous article on Diaphragmatic Breathing By Clicking Here

Transverse Abdominal Activation

On of the abdominal muscle layers encircles the lower trunk running from one side of the spine, all the way around the trunk to the other side of the spine. This muscle, called the Transverse Abdominis, is very important for trunk and back support and stability. Adequate control of the transverse abdominis helps give your back and pelvis more support with the change in laxity and posture that occurs during pregnancy. It is also beneficial to keep this muscle tuned in preparation for the pushing that is helpful during labor. 

Activation of Core and Transverse Abdominals

*When performing this exercise, lie in the position below on your back and hold one leg up in the 90 degree position shown. Keep breathing and simply hold the position steady for a prolonged period of time to turn on these important stabilizing muscles. Try starting with a 30 second hold, then repeat for the other leg, and do each leg 3-4 times. Do this daily to 2x/day and over 2-4 weeks build up to 2 reps of 60 seconds each leg, and perhaps 1 rep of 90 seconds. Fatigue is OK as well as temporary sore muscles, but stop if you have sharp pain or this hurts your back or sacral/tailbone area. (If it hurts, let us help you!) REMEMBER TO KEEP BREATHING. 

Thoracic Mobility

Due to the expanding ribcage and change in posture with a growing belly, midback (thoracic) stiffness and strain can increase. Working on simple active range of motion on all fours with the cat-cow exercise can be helpful.

*From the Hands and Knees position pictured below, simply round your back upward like an angry cat and tuck your head and tailbone to gently move your whole spine into flexion, then slowly and move back into a sagging position (as pictured below) and repeat the entire movement alternating flexion and extension of your spine in a painfree range of motion, for 15-30 repetitions AND CONTINUE BREATHING.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any pregnancy related discomfort, please share this with them. 

You can learn more about our physical therapists and clinics with offices in Downtown Milwaukee and Pewaukee at 

 Questions? Email to discuss how we can help! You can even set up a free phone consultation By Clicking This Link

bodymechanics locations

731 N. Jackson  | Suite 800
Milwaukee, WI 53202  (map)

1177 Quail Court | Suite 200
Pewaukee, WI 53072  (map)