Today marks 25 weeks that I’ve been growing this little munchkin inside me, and the soreness of the extra weight I’m carrying has started to present itself! With my body’s history of injury, I had started to feel soreness in my lower back and outer hips around 18 weeks and sought out physical therapy as a way to prevent future injury and increase my strength.

In December, I began going to Seal Beach Physical Therapy on a weekly basis. After an initial assessment by Dr. Fumi Isshiki, it was determined that my hip flexors were too tight and my glutes were too weak and that my posture was beginning to suffer from the added weight in my midsection with baby. I had been doing workouts four times a week from my favorite Jillian Michaels book, but it clearly was not enough!

In fact, the American Physical Therapy Association said a few years ago that: “Only 14.6% of the respondents followed the current exercise prescription for exercise during pregnancy (3 or more times a week for at least 20 minutes at moderate intensity).”

The crux of it all, is that lower back pain “affects approximately 50% of pregnant women, forcing nearly 30% of those women to stop performing at least one daily activity over the course of their pregnancies.” Surgery or not, I was bound to have a few aches and pains so I’m glad I started physical therapy early.

My visits include 30 minutes of manual muscle manipulation by the therapist (which is a massage that has me on the brink of tears, but feels AMAZING afterward), and then 30 minutes of strengthening exercises that range from planks to clamshells with resistance bands. I repeat the exercises and perform additional stretches at home now, which has prevented me from needing my back brace (a common pregnant-lady accessory) just yet!

To all you mamas out there who may be feeling the weight (literally and figuratively) of your pregnancy already, consider getting some physical therapy into your routine! The earlier the better, and your body will thank you for it!