I know, that title is a bit of a gut wrencher... it always sucks to feel lied to.
I get it, trust me.
BUT I hope you are reading this because you care more about your health and your pregnancy than many of the healthcare professionals that you are speaking to...
Yep. I said it. A LOT of birth professionals have agendas that are NOT your and your care.
I also have to throw in that a lot of healthcare providers ONLY focus on the health of the baby and once the baby is born, that's it. You birthed the baby so you are expected to be fine.
I do NOT stand for that.
Because, the truth of the matter is:
YOU CREATED A HUMAN! And YOUR body went through a ton of changes as well. Therefore, you deserve care as well!
That is incredible already and you deserve the care and attention that your body needs to reach your postpartum goals as quickly as possible!
There are MANY things to consider during pregnancy and I know a lot of things are overwhelming. So, I've simplified just a few of the most searched and most common questions I get for you below.
I've listed out the Top 8 Lies you are being told about pregnancy and am going to lay it all out for you so you can find some peace with the process!
1. Your Vagina Will Rip Open.
Your vagina is actually MADE for intercourse and giving birth. I want to clarify and say, yes, there is always a potential that you will have perineal tearing, but that is not something to be afraid of. When you are pregnant, your body goes through a ton of changes to help prepare for giving birth, this includes during labor your pelvic floor muscles will actually stretch! They will stretch to help prepare the way for your baby to safely come through.
With that being said, there are a few things to consider when going into labor and delivery.
You want to be sure your pelvic floor muscles are relaxing and connecting to your breathing so you can NOT KEGEL during delivery. One of the worst things you could do is kegel during delivery. You want to RELAX and let go during this phase so your baby can come out and your body can do what it does.
Also, if you're having an epidural you can STILL connect to your breathe and help your pelvic floor muscles relax. The goal is really to let your pelvic floor muscles relax and let your breathe do most of the work. This can significantly decrease your risk of tearing.
2. You have to give birth on your back.
This is not true! You have choices. YES, if you're getting an epidural, you MAY have very limited options for birthing positions. BUT if you are able to, ask them to move you a bit to your side, or let you lay with a pillow between your knees etc.
If you are not getting an epidural, you can literally labor however you want to.
Some of the best positions to help your pelvic floor relax would be: deep squatting, hands and knees, in the tub... honestly your body will tell you how you want to deliver!!!!
3. Pelvic floor physical therapy won't help you during pregnancy, just postpartum.
This simply is a lie. If you are able to see a pelvic PT during pregnancy you will be able to determine if you have ANY risks at all going into the transitions and changes that occur with pregnancy.
For example, if you come in during your first trimester, we can assess and determine where you are with pelvic floor muscle contractions and if you have any risk at all of having issues as you get to your next trimester.
If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, you will be able to work with your pelvic PT to work on improvement of those symptoms.
We can also help you and your body prepare for labor and delivery!
4. You cannot exercise or lay on your back.
This is somewhat true and somewhat not. I always tell clients it depends. It depends on if you're having any symptoms at all and it also depends on your comfort level.
If you have no symptoms, you can stay there for a short period of time. I do not recommend sleeping on your back during pregnancy if you can prevent it, however, a few sets of exercises on your back should not be an issue!
5. Sex isn't healthy during pregnancy.
Ha! This one is a kicker. But mainly because of the false information out there.
Sex can significantly help you with your hormone fluctuations and also help you work your pelvic floor muscles by having an orgasm!
Also, peace of mind, your spouse/partners penis will NOT hit or hurt your baby!
6. You shouldn't exercise as hard as you're used to.
This depends as well.
If you've been exercising through pregnancy and haven't had symptoms, you are okay to continue exercising.
However - keep in mind that pregnancy is NOT the time to set new fitness goals or try and hit a personal record/best.
Your body is already going through so many changes, it isn't worth the risk to push it further.
7. You are too petite to birth vaginally without tearing, or, your pelvis is too small.
Your body is still made for this, mama! Ignore these nay-sayers. You can do this!
Yes, some women have a more petite pelvis that others, however, miraculously, your vagina has the ability to birth your baby regardless.
Same concepts- focus on breathing and relaxing your pelvic floor specifically during that 3rd trimester.
8. You should hold your breathe and push your baby out with your butt.
NOOOOO! There is a specific way you can breathe and connect to your pelvic floor to breathe your baby out!
We teach this as pelvic PT's... so again... go get you one!
Breathing IN and relaxing your pelvic floor, then adding the push with your exhale is the general rule of thumb!
I hope this gives you some peace of mind to know that YOU can do this. YOU are worthy of care as well. If you have any concerns, feel free to let me know!