A: It is estimated that virtually all women experience some degree of musculoskeletal discomfort during pregnancy. Studies show that at least 25% of pregnant women have temporary disabling symptoms such as stress urinary incontinence and 50% suffer with low back pain. Many of these women report they have stopped performing at least one daily activity over the course of their pregnancies due to low back pain. Low back pain is also reported in 30-45% of women in the postpartum period.
There are different types of urinary incontinence, but it is stress urinary incontinence that most commonly affects pregnant and postpartum women. This condition is often under-reported and untreated as most women are unaware of physical therapy as an intervention.
Both prenatal and postpartum periods are a time of great change for women physically, emotionally, hormonally, and musculoskeletally. A physical therapist will educate pregnant women and postpartum moms about these health problems which can arise during that time in their life.
If you are pregnant and experiencing low back pain, urinary incontinence, and/or other discomfort you should seek advice from your physical therapist.