Postpartum & Prenatal Pain

Relief for Women Pre and Post-pregnancy through Postpartum & Prenatal Physical Therapy

At ReQuest Physical Therapy we offer care for new moms and soon to be moms who are wanting to get stronger and move more effectively before and after having their baby. We are here to assist women in beginning an effective prenatal exercise program, and in learning how to safely return to sport and activity postpartum.  

Before and During Pregnancy

A typical pregnancy is between 38-40 weeks and each of the three trimesters can pose their own unique associated symptoms. We treat pain that might go alongside those different phases of pregnancy, such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, foot pain, and many other orthopedic conditions. We work in close communication with women’s health specialists and physicians to ensure the most holistic approach to your treatment. Physical Therapy at ReQuest can help you prevent and manage current symptoms, as well as help you create the healthiest pregnancy possible for you and your baby.  

After Pregnancy

Postpartum, the body can take time to relearn how to move without a baby inside. Normal changes that happen to make room for the baby during pregnancy, like Diastasis Recti, can cause core weakness postpartum. At ReQuest, our experts will help you regain strength through corrective exercises catered specifically to postpartum women. Whether you had your baby 4 weeks ago or 10 years ago, you are still a powerful, postpartum woman, and it is never too late to address any weaknesses that may remain. Contrary to popular belief, voiding when sneezing, jumping, or laughing is not something that needs to plague postpartum women. We are here to help you utilize breathing techniques, corrective exercises, and helpful cues to regain normal pelvic floor function and return to the activities that you love.

View our blog post on prenatal and postpartum physical therapy >> 

Associated Symptoms and Timing for PT programming

First Trimester: 

This is when symptoms may be all over the place and your body is getting used to having a baby growing inside of you.

Symptoms may include:  

  • Fatigue 
  • Heartburn 
  • Nausea

During this time, it is important to give yourself grace with exercise and activity. Every day will probably be different. Things to keep in mind with exercise:  

  • Listen to your body. If you are tired, it’s ok to rest!  
  • Be mindful of blood pressure changes with activity.  
  • Stay hydrated

Second Trimester: 


The golden trimester––this is when those early symptoms start to regulate. Women are usually feeling pretty good at this point! This is a great time to take advantage of exercise and activity.  

Things to keep in mind:  

  • Ligament laxity begins to increase 
  • Stay hydrated  
  • Breasts begin to enlarge, causing increased strain on the back 
  • Be mindful of blood pressure changes with activity  

Third Trimester: 

This is when it begins to be time to slow down. Time to get ready for your baby!  

  • Shortness of breath as the baby grows and takes up more space.  
  • Be mindful of potential blood pressure changes with activity  
  • Birth Prep – education on breathing through bowl movements, perineal massage, and importance of meditation.  

Physical Therapy can help:  

Back Pain: 

  • Back pain frequently is caused by poor posture or muscle imbalance during pregnancy and postpartum. Increased weight in the front of the body causes a need for increased stability in the back; lacking this strength can cause back pain.
  • Physical therapy can help by providing education on correct posture and exercises to create increased stability and strength.
  • Physical therapy can also encourage proper breathing mechanics and self- mobilization techniques that can be done to prevent future pain during the prenatal and postpartum time.  

Diastasis Recti: 

  • Diastasis Recti is a normal thinning and separation of the central abdominal fascia that occurs during pregnancy. Postpartum, this shows up as a squishy segment that may bulge up when using the core.  Physical Therapy can help with this. If the separation is not extreme and surgery is not required, physical therapy for diastasis recti can completely correct the separation through exercise. Careful cueing for body mechanics during core activation, breathing techniques, and exercise progressions are used depending on the need of the patient.  

Shortness of Breath: 

  • During pregnancy, the space that the diaphragm has to work with gets smaller and smaller. The body compensates for this by allowing the ribs to expand, but knowing how to breathe efficiently as possible can definitely come in handy. Shortness of breath can occur if we are not allowing ourselves to utilize “360 degrees” breathing. Your physical therapist can use verbal and tactile facilitation to ensure you are using your body to its full potential to avoid shortness of breath during pregnancy.  

Straining While Lifting or Using the Restroom:  

  • One thing that should be avoided in daily life and especially during pregnancy, is straining or “baring down” while lifting or using the restroom. Your physical therapist can help provide education on breathing through lifting objects and through a bowel movement to decrease the risk of conditions such as pelvic organ prolapses during pregnancy and postpartum.  

Click here for information on how we treat these conditions with physical therapy.

If you are looking for relief, prenatal & postpartum physical therapy will likely be beneficial to you. Contact Us Today at Gainesville & Newberry, FL Centers to request an appointment with ReQuest Physical Therapy today to get started!