Physiotherapy for pregnancy


Helping treat the different types of discomfort and dysfunction you may experience during or after pregnancy

About physio and pregnancy

During and after pregnancy you may experience aches and pains, the function of your pelvic floor muscles, bladder or bowels might change, and sex could feel different. If you've had a c-section, it can also take some time for your body to recover.

The Women’s Health Physiotherapy teams at The Portland Hospital, The Lister Hospital and HCA at The Shard offer highly-specialised assessment and treatment for a variety of conditions, to help you through your pregnancy and following delivery. Every woman experiences pregnancy differently, therefore we recommend a 1:1 individual physiotherapy assessment to ensure you get the correct advice tailored specifically for you.

If you have your baby at The Portland Hospital, one of our women's health physiotherapists will visit you after you've given birth. You'll see your physiotherapist again when your baby is around six weeks old, and you also have the option of a one-to-one Pilates class.

For outpatients, we can offer physiotherapy for any stage of your antenatal and postnatal period. We also offer a postnatal assessment around six weeks after you've given birth to help you strengthen your core, abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. This can help to reduce pain and assist you back to daily activities and sports. If you choose to return as an outpatient we can also focus on pelvic floor rehabilitation, keeping those vital muscles functioning well for the long-term.

Pregnancy problems a physio can help with

Any pain developing in pregnancy or following delivery:

  • Pelvic Girdle Pain - Symphysis Pubis (pubic bone) Dysfunction / Sacro-Iliac Joint and lumbar spine dysfunction (may present as unresolved pain from previous episodes in the past)
  • Wrist or hand pain - Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Thoracic spine or rib pain
  • Hip and/or lower limb pain

Lots of women experience these types of issues in pregnancy or following delivery and it can be a very ‘normal’ part of being pregnant, but physiotherapy can still help to improve the situation.

  • Urinary leakage on activities such as coughing, sneezing or lifting
  • Difficulty controlling wind, bowel urgency, bowel control issues
  • A heavy and / or uncomfortable feeling in the perineal or vaginal area
  • Perineal discomfort following delivery or stitches, pain with sex
  • Abdominal discomfort following caesarean section, or from gapping in the tummy muscles
  • Advice and information about scar massage

During a 1:1 session we can also offer advice regarding activity and exercise in pregnancy if you have questions about how much exercise to do, or what type of activity you want to carry on with during your pregnancy.

Our physiotherapy teams

At each facility we have a team of physiotherapists who specialise in supportive physiotherapy during and after pregnancy. 

As well as inpatient care when you are in hospital, we also offer outpatient physiotherapy sessions, where your physio will help identify the cause of your problem. Your first session will be a consultation with demonstrations and will determine a progressive plan for ongoing therapy sessions as needed.