What do members of the ACPWH do?
Members of ACPWH specialise in the physiotherapeutic care of women in relation to childbirth, both antenatally and postnatally, including the teaching of antenatal classes, in the treatment of incontinence (both female and male), and in the care of women undergoing gynaecological surgery.
ACPWH members are specialists in the treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions both during pregnancy, and immediately postnatally. Some members also specialise in the treatment of psycho-sexual problems in women.
The obstetric physiotherapist aims to prevent or alleviate the physical and emotional stresses of pregnancy and labour. This is achieved by improving the mother’s physical fitness and her understanding of the changes taking place in her body during pregnancy. The obstetric physiotherapist is a skilled teacher of effective relaxation, breathing awareness and positioning and thus is able to prepare the woman and her companion for labour. The preparation of both parents for labour and parenthood is undertaken ideally in collaboration with midwives and health visitors. Where problems arise, such as backache, pelvic pain and stress incontinence, the obstetric physiotherapist is a skilled clinician in the treatment of these conditions.
Post Natal Care
Postnatally, the obstetric physiotherapist is able to help the mother in her recovery by teaching exercises, backcare and general health education, including coping with the stresses of parenthood. She can assess and alleviate such problems as a painful perineum, backache and stress incontinence.
In this field, the professional expertise of the clinical physiotherapist, combined with sensitivity and understanding, is invaluable to patients whether undergoing gynaecological surgery or suffering incontinence or pelvic disorders. Some members of the Association take part in psychosexual counselling workshops which enable them to help patients with sexual problems.