The physical assessment of pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood

Woman wears baby on her chest in a carrier and a young girl stands at her feet

Before I had kids, I thought of myself as a fit and healthy person.

I had never broken a bone, spent the night in the hospital, or sustained an injury so severe that it required rehabilitation.

The physiotherapy allowance from my private health insurance went unused every year.

But that all changed when I gave birth to my firstborn three years ago. Through pregnancy, childbirth and the demands of raising children, I found myself in all sorts of pain and discomfort, requiring regular visits to the physio.

I was three weeks pregnant when I was sick with mastitis, a breast infection due to breastfeeding. I didn’t know a physio could help me with something like this, but the GP and lactation consultant referred me when their terms of reference couldn’t help me further.

The physio used therapeutic ultrasound to unblock a clogged milk duct and a low-level laser to treat a milk blister. She then sent me home with chest exercises and stretching to avoid re-infection.

Say hello to mom’s thumb

When my baby was about six weeks old, I started having a sharp, stabbing pain in my left wrist and arm.

When the pain, not the baby, woke me up at night, I knew I needed help. Back to the physio.

I was diagnosed De Quervain’s tenosynovitisa wrist condition caused by lifting, holding, and feeding the baby around the clock. It’s so common among mothers that it’s called “mommy’s thumb.”

I wore a splint for six weeks and could only lift my baby like a forklift: elbows and wrists at 90 degrees, one hand under the baby’s head and the other under his bottom.

I also had comical thumb exercises that I obsessively did to avoid steroid injections on the track.

Job May 19, 2022May 19, 2022Thu May 19, 2022 at 11:50 p.m., updated May 20, 2022May 20, 2022Friday, May 20, 2022 at 12:56 a.m.