Physical Therapy During Pregnancy

How Physical Therapy Can Help Moms with Pregnancy and Childbirth

By: Marie Serrado

Both pregnancy and childbirth can take a toll on a woman’s body, especially for first-time
mothers. Carrying a baby, picking up toys, to even doing laundry can be a physically demanding
experience, but physical therapy can help play a key role in helping moms regain their strength
and mobility. When looking for a physical therapist make sure to find a PT who has experience
working with pregnancy to ensure you are safe.

Here are some ways physical therapy can help moms with pregnancy and childbirth.

    1. Back Pain Relief: Back pain can rise due to the change in both posture and pressure given to the spine. As your belly grows it can cause a shift in the alignment of the spine, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Physical therapy can offer spine manipulation techniques “Techniques using hands or a device to apply a controlled thrust to the joint” (“Spinal Manipulation: What you need to Know” pg.1). Most of the spinal manipulation can be done with a chiropractor.
    2. Regain Muscle Strength: According to BMC Women’s Health, 82.6% of women who were pregnant developed a Diastasis Recti. Diastasis Recti is a condition that occurs in women who are pregnant or postpartum. It's when the six-pack ab muscles also known as the rectus abdominis muscles, become stretched. This can lead to your belly sticking out and other issues. A physical therapist can help provide targeted exercises that can help heal the area and also restore core strength.
    3. Scar Tissue Management: C-Sections along with other surgeries can lead to scars which can limit mobility and cause pain. Physical therapists can help by providing gentle massage, stretching, and using techniques such as IASTM (Instrument Assisted Scar Tissue Management)- “technique uses special stainless steel instruments of various shapes and sizes to massage and move tissues. Your PT may use this technique by rubbing your scar tissue with an instrument to “break up” the tissue.”

      Physical therapy can help moms recover from both pregnancy and childbirth. By addressing a range of issues related to muscle weakness, pain, and limited mobility, and by working with a physical therapist, moms can regain their strength and confidence and can enjoy a healthier,
      more active lifestyle.


      1. Brett Sears, P. T. (2022, July 26). Scar tissue massage and management. Verywell Health. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from massage-and-management-2696639
      2. By: Adaku Nwachuku, D. O. P.-R. (n.d.). Management of back pain in pregnancy. Spine.
      Retrieved April 28, 2023, from
      3. Diastasis recti (abdominal separation): Symptoms & treatment. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2023, from
      4. Fei, H., Liu, Y., Li, M., He, J., Liu, L., Li, J., Wan, Y., & Li, T. (2021, February 15). The relationship of severity in diastasis recti abdominis and pelvic floor dysfunction: A retrospective cohort study – BMC women's health. BioMed Central. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from
      5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Spinal manipulation: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from