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Prenatal 'WoF' physiotherapy appointments

Prenatal 'WoF' physiotherapy appointments

You may have seen or heard about a prenatal women’s health physiotherapy appointment and wondered what this is for, what happens during the appointment, and what the benefits are in booking one yourself. If so, continue reading to learn about whether this might be right for you!

Grace Coombs ·
~3 minute read

What is a pregnancy 'warrant of fitness'?

A prenatal 'WoF' is an appointment with a qualified women’s health physiotherapist that is primarily focused around ensuring that you move through your pregnancy, labor and recovery as comfortably as possible. We call it the 'WoF' as it is similar to a warrant of fitness for your car, in that we are carrying out a general check to ensure that your body can run at it's best over this exciting time.

There are many physical changes that occur over a pregnancy, and it is important to be aware of the ways in which you can best support your body. 

When is it best to book a prenatal 'WoF'?

Anytime from 15-16 weeks is what we advise, as this is when a lot of the physical changes are starting to become more obvious, and it is also the time where physical activity may need to be modified. If there are particular symptoms that you are concerned about, then feel free to book in sooner or as required.

What is discussed in a prenatal 'WoF'?

So many things! Our pelvic health physiotherapy appointments are one hour which gives us plenty of time to educate and guide you on the best management plan. Below are just some of the topics that we will discuss with you during your session. 

  • Pelvic floor changes through pregnancy

  • How to train your pelvic floor throughout this time, and prepare your pelvic floor for labor

  • Perineal stretching

  • Abdominal control and education around diastasis recti or abdominal separation

  • Pelvic girdle pain considerations including the use of support garments and pelvic belts

  • Safe exercise prescription throughout your pregnancy

  • Management of varicose veins or vulval varicosities

  • Bladder and bowel symptom management

  • Early postnatal advice and education with regards to initial recovery, wound management and exercise guidelines

Will there be a pelvic floor assessment in the appointment?

A pelvic floor assessment is a great way for us to assess how this complex group of muscles are functioning, and be able to provide you with individualised advice. This will always be offered as an option that is available should you wish.

Can we help with lower back pain in pregnancy?

Absolutely! All of our Christchurch physiotherapists are trained in the assessment and management of low back pain and we are able to treat this alongside your prenatal physiotherapy sessions. A lot of the time we can do this in the same appointment. 

What are the recommended guidelines for exercising during pregnancy? 

Exercising throughout pregnancy is always advised during an uncomplicated pregnancy, and when medically cleared by your obstetrician, midwife or GP. This is because it provides so many benefits for the health of both mum and bub. 

The current guidelines suggest 30 mins per day, for at least 5 days of the week. This should be carried out at a moderate intensity which means that you are not gasping for air, or building up too much of a sweat. 

A mixture of aerobic based exercise like walking or swimming, and resistance based training like light weights or Pilates is advised.

At Four, we offer pregnancy reformer Pilates classes that are safe to participate in through all stages of pregnancy. They are led by our women’s health physiotherapists who understand which areas to target, as well as the areas to avoid. 

To book an appointment with one of pelvic health physiotherapists, book here.

For further information about our postnatal physiotherapy service - head to our postnatal page.

Women's health