Harborne • Kings Heath • Solihull
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Location: Mums Clinic Solihull
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originally published: January, 2016

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What is Specialist Pregnancy, Post Natal & Pelvic Physiotherapy

What is Specialist Pregnancy , Post Natal & Pelvic  Physiotherapy  at Barefoot Birmingham, UK?

Let Fiona help you or your wife, partner, friend or relative

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Barefoot Birmingham is one of the few West Midlands ( UK ) Physio clinics to offer a specialist Pregnancy, Post Natal & Women’s health Physiotherapy service. Fiona Mitchell is one of the  leading Physios in this area and also works with some of the international leading experts in this area including Marie Elliot ( London ) . Barefoot is also one of the only Physio clinics in the UK to run internationally  recognised Physiotherapy courses in this specialist area.

Check out the Specialist Pregnancy, Post natal and Pelvic Courses we run

What do Specialist Pregnancy Physios do?
A lot
 , they make a huge difference to women ante natally who have developed a condition called Pelvic Girdle pain. This can affect up to 1 in 5 women and although more common through the latter stages it can occur at any stage. Pelvic Girdle can lead to quite “nasty” pain in your back, hips, pubic area and lower limbs. It can also affect your mobility or walking and disturb your sleep.

Is it hormonal?
Many women are told it’s due to “lax ligaments” but the current thinking is that it’s more of a problem with some of the joints in your pelvis which may be the pubic symphysis ( at the front) Sacro Iliac ( back ) and or the joints in your low back. This is good news as joint and muscle problems can be treated. Check out this great info

The Pelvic Partnership

Can I have treatment even though I’m Pregnant?
, we see a lot of ladies in the clinic and we get really great results with them. Treatment consists of very gentle joint techniques around your pelvis & Spine, gentle soft tissue techniques to relax some of the muscles in spasm, specialist taping to give you more confidence in moving and reduce some of the apprehension, specialist pregnancy exercises that are safe to do . More importantly we will explain in detail what is going on and what you can do to help at home. Sleep can be a big problem for ladies with pelvic girdle pain and we spend a lot of time sorting this out with you. Everything is a bit better when we get some sleep especially when there is a new baby on the way!


What else does a pregnancy physiotherapy specialist do ?

The Active and sporty Pregnant Female
We also see ladies who are pregnant who develop neck and low back pain, shoulder, knee problems and we are very comfortable treating these.

In Barefoot we have a lot of expertise treating a range of female sports people from Elite Athletes, Yogis , Tri-athletes, Runners, Hockey and netball players, dancers, weekend warriors and recreational athletes. Pregnancy doesn’t mean having to stop exercising but modifying it. The sporty and active pregnant female is always re-assured coming to us in Barefoot as we have a unique combination of sports and pregnancy expertise.

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What else does a Post Natal Physiotherapy Specialist do ?
In Barefoot we probably see several different groups of mums

Post Natal Complications
Those who come may be  having  problems such as Low back or pelvic pain, Rectus Diastasis ( Tummy gap) Pelvic floor issues, urinary leakage , constipation, abdominal ( tummy ) weakness , difficulty returning to sport & exercise. We also see ladies who have symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse or pain and symptoms post perineal trauma.

Mummy MOT
Fiona is one of a select few UK Physiotherapists who have been personally trained by International and Harley Street Pregnancy Physio specialist Maria Elliot. The Mummy MOT is a 6 week physio led check focusing on

  • Tummy gap, Pelvic floor function, pelvic and low back check, Posture and breathing.

Fiona has developed a great reputation in The West Midlands for her Mummy MOT which gives her ladies the confidence to return to their normal activities , look after their baby and return to optimum health, activity and function. It gives the busy new mum an opportunity to prioritise her health and body also and a chance to ask those burning questions. Make time for yourself even though it’s difficult.

Mummy MOT Front sheet new 1


Post Natal Return to Sport & Exercise
Whether it’s Triathlon, Mud run, couch to 5, pilates , yoga, buggy fit or Zumba returning to exercise can be challenging especially if there is an increased tummy gap, weak pelvic floor or post natal symptoms such as pelvic pain, low back pain or urinary leakage. Seeing a post natal physio specialist will allow you to return to exercise at an appropriate level and will give you the confidence that to do so. Exercise is good and important but with the right amount and type post natally.

Female Athletic Pelvis Service

gemma 3

Are you a sports woman in Ballet, Performing arts, gymnastics, athletics, Olympic or power lifting? Are you a Tri-Athlete or runner or maybe you enjoy Crossfit , boot camp or Military fitness? Maybe you have recently returned to sport after having a baby.

Whether you have had children or not you have a pelvic floor which works with your rib cage, breathing mechanism and abdominals to support your lumbar spine and pelvis. If you do sports especially at a high level your Pelvic floor is very very important.

We know the incidence of stress incontinence in the general public is 1/3 and has been found to be much higher in some elite sports. People performing at elite level sport tend not to have had children so this relates to you also even if you haven’t had kids. Ok there are exceptions like Paula Radcliffe and Jessica Ennis but they are the exception. Check out our blog on this , it will tell you what we do

The Female Athletic Pelvis

What other ladies would a pelvic or women’s Health physio see ?
Pelvic or Women’s Health Physiotherapists are incredibly specialised and highly trained but because of that it can be challenging to find someone. Well done on getting this far. It has taken many much longer. 

Do you only see people who have had a baby?
Although a lot of ladies we see have had a baby at some point we also see a lot of ladies who have not.

What do we see ?

WH flyer front

Some of the main conditions we see are

Urinary Incontinence
There are many types of urinary incontinence ( involuntary urinary leakage) and it affects approx. 1/3 of women. This responds very well to expert and specialised pelvic rehab.Check out the video from our friends down under !

What does a Specialist Pelvic Physio do ?

Pelvic Organ Prolapse
This is where your pelvic organs ( bladder, uterus ) may bulge or press down into the vagina. You can also get a rectal prolapse. Ladies who have a pelvic organ prolapse often describe heaviness or pressure in the vagina, lump in the vagina, problems passing urine, difficulty with bowel movements, pain on sexual activity and a lump bulging out of your vagina.

Pelvic Organ Prolapse

Pelvic Pain
What is pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain can be described as ongoing symptoms in possibly the pelvic area, abdomen, anorectal  area ( bum ) , scrotum or testicles.  There may also be pain on sexual  activity or passing urine or on  bowel movements. It’s likely you will also have undergone considerable examinations such as urological, colorectal  with usually negative findings which can be both reassuring and frustrating as the pain and symptoms remain despite the negative tests. The absence of any infectious or bacterial cause also usually results in the somewhat  worrying  diagnosis of Chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The impact of Pelvic pain and it’s devastating effects are outlined well in Stephanie’s blog. Help is out there though even though finding it will have challenged you 

Stephanie Prendergast Blog on Pelvic Pain


Sexual Dysfunction
This is another very specialised area of Pelvic physiotherapy where there is pain on sexual activity or an inability to be sexually activity due to pain. Some of these conditions may include an over active pelvic floor, vuldodynia, vagissmus, clitoral pain or persistent sexual arousal.

break free


Bowel dysfunction is something one of our colleagues Annette is specialist at. Check out our blog on this and we can put you in touch with her. She’s brilliant.

Pooing your pants & Physiotherapy

comedy poo

Peri/ Post Menopause (3rd Age) 
Fiona has a particular interest in these ladies as she is a leading Third age clinician to include adrenal function,  exercise, bone health, nutrition, pelvic health,  bowel health.

We also see ladies post breast cancer and gynaecological cancer.

What do people say about our Pregnancy , Post Natal & Women’s Health Physio? 
Fiona is amazing but don’t take our word for it. Check out these success stories

Physio Success Stories

Let Fiona  help you or your wife, partner, friend or relative 

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