Physiotherapy In Pregnancy: Is Physiotherapy Safe During Early Pregnancy?

Physiotherapy is perfectly safe during early pregnancy and can be an effective way of keeping your pregnancy related aches and pains to a minimum. It can also help to improve your mobility, making for a much smoother pregnancy and labour. However, it is important to tell your Physiotherapist that you are pregnant as your treatment will need to alter.



There are 3 important things you should know about how your Physiotherapy treatment will change when you are pregnant in order to keep you and your growing baby safe.


3 Ways your Physio Treatment will need to change when you’re pregnant


1. NO Dry Needling/ Acupuncture

While many Physiotherapy techniques are perfectly safe during all stages of pregnancy, Dry Needling (also known as Western Acupuncture) is not recommended and will not be used during your treatments.


2. Creams & Lotions

Many topical creams are unsafe for use during pregnancy (and sometimes breastfeeding). These include the commonly used Flexall, Voltaren and any creams or lotions that include essential oils (it is recommended that no essential oils are used during pregnancy whether in creams or in a diffuser).


3. Natural Pain Relief

Many of the common over the counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications are not safe during pregnancy (speak to your Doctor for safe medications). Your Physiotherapist can recommend natural alternatives to help reduce your pain, e.g. kinesio-tape over your belly or back, maternity support braces, Pregnancy shorts, heat (never on your tummy),TENS.


WHEN to tell your Physio you are pregnant


  • If you are pregnant, no matter how early in your pregnancy you are, it is important tell your Physiotherapist at the beginning of your appointment
  • If you are trying to get pregnant it is best to tell your Physiotherapist as they will often alter your treatment techniques just to be on the safe side
  • If there is a chance you are pregnant, even if you are not 100% sure, tell your Physiotherapist as again, she will likely alter your treatment.

*You can rest assured that any information you share with your health care professionals is confidential.

Click here to learn more about how physio can help during your pregnancy.

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