By Dr Sarah Smith – Osteopath
During Pregnancy the body goes through many changes; postural, hormonal, emotional and functional! There is so much information out there about how to support our bodies during these changes. One common question we get asked at Beyond is, “should I wear support garments during and after pregnancy?
We work with lots of different Pregnant clients, we often see some of the following complaints.
- Pelvic girdle pain and Sciatica: up to 45%
- Lower back pain: up to 50%
- Rectus Diastasis: 100% of separation during pregnancy, with 53% immediately post birth >2.5cms
- Swelling and Variscolisites: up to 70%
- Postpartum Urinary incontinence: up to 40%
Multimodal interventions to relieve these conditions are considered the best approach for treatment . This means let’s try a few things to help, such as exercise, lifestyle advice and manual therapy. Your Osteopath, Myotherapist or Physiotherapist may help you minimize discomfort throughout the journey of pregnancy by having a comprehensive management plan that addresses all facets of your life..
So back to the question- should I wear compression garments during and after pregnancy? It is suggested that compression garments such as Pregnancy and Recovery specific shorts and leggings can assist to provide relief from pregnancy related musculoskeletal pains and varicosities. Pregnancy support garments have shown that they can help in prevention and management of pelvic and low back pain, sciatica and varicosities during pregnancy through their design of true cross compression in their specifically designed layered panels. Physical therapy and use of support belts are helpful for pregnancy related pain, however belts can often be uncomfortable and therefore compliance poor.
Wearing recovery shorts have been shown to produce muscle activity, higher muscle tone, elasticity and stiffness and provide constant pressure to the gusset area during activity and after rest, assisting with recovery of C-section, Rectus Diastasis, low back pain, perineal tearing. The structure of the garments also assist function and mobility of your body postpartum. These garments differ from the ‘shapewear’ we can buy in the department stores which only provide compression and have been shown to switch off muscles in our torso, so will not encourage activation of these muscles for repair. .
At Beyond we have practitioners trained in pre & postnatal treatment, that can assist you on which support wear is best for you, whilst keeping you on track for a comfortable pregnancy and speedy recovery postpartum.
Our practitioners are passionate about helping our clients MOVE THROUGH LIFE during their pregnancy.
Need to buy a pair of SRC Recovery Shorts click HERE for our online shop.
- BMJ v.331(7511); July 30, 2005
- Antenatal care-Clinical Guideline (NICE)
- Bastiannssen, de Bie, Bastiaenen, Essed, & van den Brant, 2005; Vleeming et al, 2008; Wu et al, 2004
- Newton de Barros Junior et al, J.Vasc, Bras, vol9 no.2 Porto Alegre, June 2010
- Thom, D H, Rortveit, G. (2011), Prevalence of postpartum Urinary incontinence: a systematic review. J of Obstet Gynecol Scandanavia, V 89, Iss 12, pp 1511-1522
- George, J. et.al. (2013). A randomised controlled trial comparing a multimodal intervention and standard obstetrics care for low back and pelvic pain during pregnancy. Am J Obstet Gynecol, 208:295e1-295e7