Prenatal / Postpartum Care

Prenatal / Postpartum Care


You do not have to live with back pain just because you are pregnant; or ‘sneeze pee’ just because you had a baby. There are successful interventions available through physical therapy to address symptoms related to pregnancy and childbirth, and to allow continuation of fitness activities during and after pregnancy. Dr. Stendahl has extensive experience in this area, and is also qualified to work with high risk pregnancies. She has her Certificate of Achievement in Prenatal/Postpartum Physical Therapy from the American Physical Therapy Association. Conditions treated include:

  • Back and hip pain
  • C-section scar pain, numbness, and abdominal weakness
  • Diastasis recti abdominis
  • Dyspareunia (painful sex)
  • Incontinence – bowel or bladder
  • Labor and delivery preparation & injury prevention
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Pelvic floor pain
  • Pelvic varicosities
  • Pubic symphysis pain
  • Round ligament pain
  • Scar tissue management (Cesarean or perineal)
  • SI Joint pain

Want more information on what this kind of PT looks like?? READ ON.

Prenatal PT  seeks to improve the pregnancy experience, prepare for childbirth, and reduce the risk of injury during pregnancy and childbirth. Postpartum PT addresses healing from birth injuries and guides return to full function and fitness with reduced risk of childbirth-related issues later in life. Here is what the minimum recommended plan of care looks like with Stendahl PT (may include more visits if addressing specific pain or disability):

First Prenatal Visit:

  • Musculoskeletal assessment
  • Pelvic floor assessment (depends on trimester) – kegel strength, mobility, endurance, coordination, bear down
  • Breath patterns and coordination during exercise and functional movements
  • Technique for getting out of bed, lifting, squatting, etc. to avoid injury/pain
  • Sleep positions for comfort
  • Toilet management (reducing constipation or incontinence as needed)
  • Core strengthening activities
  • Rehab strategies for pain management and function

Second Prenatal Visit: (encouraged to bring partner to this visit)

  • Labor and delivery positions for comfort, to avoid injury, facilitate labor progression, and improve fetal position in the pelvis
  • Knowledge for protecting pre-existing pain or injury like disc herniations, hip problems, joint pain, etc. during your birth experience
  • Labor pain management techniques (self and partner)

Third Prenatal Visit: (at least 36 weeks pregnant)

  • Perineal massage
  • Push prep
  • Birth autonomy discussion
  • Early postpartum exercise plan
  • Postpartum scar tissue management plan

Post-Partum Visits:

  • A series of appointments covering at least 6 months postpartum, up to as many months as needed to meet your goals
  • First visit within the first 2 months postpartum, as early as 4 weeks postpartum
  • Will address pain, injury, scar tissue, general fitness, pelvic floor recovery, abdominal wall recovery, and return to exercise and work
  • If returning to higher intensity exercise or manual labor, PT may be recommended up to 12-15 months postpartum for guided progression (visits are typically once per month)