Complete Ante-natal Physiotherapy for a Healthy Pregnancy

What is Better Bumps?

Better Bumps is a comprehensive Ante-natal Physiotherapy assessment, recently launched with the aim of reducing Pregnancy-related Musculoskeletal and Women’s Health issues. A Woman’s body and posture changes dramatically during pregnancy, which may lead to a variety of concerns, such as low back and pelvic pain, joint pain, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Sciatica and more. The pregnant woman may also have problems with her pelvic floor particularly as the baby grows, and may suffer symptoms of stress or urge urinary incontinence. Due to fluctuating hormone levels, she may also experience problems with stress and anxiety and constipation.

Seeing pregnant and post-natal women in clinic on a regular basis, it is surprising as to how many do not know where their pelvic floor or core muscles are, or how to activate them. These muscles play a vital role in keeping the pelvis and spine stable and strong, and functioning normally, both during pregnancy and after birth. During pregnancy these muscles weaken as the posture changes and so it is essential to keep exercising them in an appropriate way.

At Enliven Health we are passionate about improving the Ante-natal education of pregnant women. We believe that if women are more aware of their bodies and how to exercise their pelvic floor and their core muscles during pregnancy, this may lead to an improved birthing experience and less problems developing after birth, with an enhanced postnatal recovery.

Better Bumps has been created with the intention of addressing any current or potential issues the pregnant woman may have, and guiding and educating her through her pregnancy, thus preventing the likelihood of future problems developing. The Better Bumps assessment may be carried out at any point during pregnancy, providing that you are having a complication-free pregnancy. If you are having complications you may still have the assessment, however it is recommended to wait until after 13 weeks.

The assessment is undertaken by a Women’s Health Physiotherapist, experienced in the treatment and management of the pregnant client.

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What does the Better Bumps Assessment involve?

Alexandra Chapman is an experienced, Chartered Physiotherapy practitioner with over 13 years clinical experience, is also a certified APPI Pilates instructor and has undergone specialist training in the treatment and management of the pregnant client. As a mum herself, she understands what being pregnant can involve and the differing pressures it can bring, both physically and mentally.

The Better Bumps Assessment will involve the following:

  • An in-depth 1hour ante-natal assessment with a Specialist Physiotherapist to cover your symptoms, concerns and general health and medical history
  • Detailed examination of mobility and posture, including tummy gap
  • Assessment of any physical problems that have arisen during pregnancy
  • Detailed questioning and examination of your pelvic health [this will not require an internal exam unless absolutely indicated, which will then always require informed consent from the client]
  • A bespoke ante-natal exercise programme devised especially for you, your lifestyle and goals. This will include specific and pelvic floor-safe exercises to maintain stability, posture and core activation.

Who can have a Better Bumps Assessment?

At Enliven Health we feel that ALL pregnant women should have a Better Bumps assessment in order to equip them with the information required to keep their core strong and functioning well during pregnancy. If problems are identified they may be addressed, which can help prevent issues developing or persisting post-natally.

  • 52% of women with lower back pain during pregnancy were found to have pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Stress urinary incontinence is the most common type of incontinence in pregnant women and is known to have detrimental affects on the quality of life in approximately 54.3%
  • Women that experience urinary incontinence during pregnancy are twice as more likely to have urinary incontinence 3 months post-natally, regardless of delivery
  • Pelvic Floor Muscle exercise has been shown to be useful as a preventative strategy for incontinence of urine during pregnancy.

It is important that women do not feel embarrassed to discuss any problems they may be experiencing, or worse, feel as though these symptoms are normal or are to be expected just because you are pregnant. Better Bumps helps women to avoid these distressing and often embarrassing symptoms. SO MANY symptoms are controllable and improvable and can even be resolved with the right treatment and advice.

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What happens after the Better Bumps Assessment?

Once you have had the Better Bumps assessment, your Physiotherapist will explain the findings to you. An appropriate treatment plan will be discussed with you depending on these findings. You may require some ‘hands on’ treatment if you are experiencing musculoskeletal problems, and you will be given a home exercise program individualised to suit your needs at your specific time of pregnancy.

It is recommended that you have a Better Bumps Assessment during each trimester of pregnancy as your body and needs will change as the pregnancy progresses. This means that some exercises prescribed may not be appropriate or suitable for later stages of pregnancy. You may also wish to enrol into our Better Bumps Pilates exercise class, in order to continue regular exercise during your pregnancy, which is Physiotherapist-led. Treatment options will be made available to you on the day of your assessment and then you may make the informed choice as to which treatment pathway to take.

If you would like any further information regarding the Better Bumps assessment please contact us.