Continuing Education Courses > Care of the Pregnant Patient
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Attention: We have updated this course to better reflect the latest evidence and treatment techniques. We felt a name change was appropriate (Updated Course Page - Pregnancy Rehabilitation), and we have modified our 2020 events for this course to reflect this. Please Contact us with Questions.
|Price: $475 (Early Registrant Price $450)
Experience Level: Beginner
Contact Hours: 15
Evaluating and treating a patient during pregnancy can be daunting. Questions about safety and efficacy of evaluation and intervention arise, and most rehabilitation providers do not feel well prepared in working with patients who are pregnant. In a survey of therapists who were members of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Section on Women's Health (SOWH), Krum & Smith (2005) found that "A majority of respondents...had received minimal academic education specific to women's health issues." (p. 31)
This 2-day, beginner-level continuing education course provides a foundation in education specific to caring for the patient during pregnancy. Foundational to diagnosis of the musculoskeletal issues present in the peripartum period is an understand of the amazing changes that occur in the body, and the potential risks and benefits of evaluation and intervention techniques. These physical changes are driven by significant hormonal shifts. Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, relaxin, oxytocin, and prolactin are discussed, and the effects of these and other hormones, some that are present only during pregnancy, are presented. An understanding of typical hormonal effects can allow a therapist to answer a patient's questions and to provide reassurance about the changes that are experienced during pregnancy or the gestational period.
Some of the musculoskeletal changes and approaches to rehabilitation are like those in the non-pregnant population, yet the potential for risks from interventions such as manual therapies, modalities, and exercise approaches must be understood in order to proceed safely with care of the pregnant patient. Participants will learn about contraindications for modalities such as US, TENS, and the applications of specific exercises within safe postures throughout the gestational period.
Despite the often-held belief that exercise during pregnancy is unsafe, moderate to vigorous exercise (for the patient who is not high-risk) offers many health benefits towards depression, maternal self-image, weight gain, and even offers benefit to the developing child. (Clapp, 2002) The participant will learn about these benefits, exercise recommendations, as well as guidelines from organizations such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For conditions that are specific to the peripartum period, such as pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain or diastasis recti abdominis (a separation of the rectus abdominis at the midline that can occur in more than half of women according to Boissonnault and Blaschak, (1998) and Spitznagle and colleagues (2007)), this continuing education course instructs in risk factors, clinical diagnostic tests, and interventions including use of pregnancy-support belts and braces.
With higher instances of carrying multiples and an increase in high-risk pregnancies, therapists must be familiar with medical screening for the pregnant population. In this course, therapists learn to screen for conditions including thyroid dysfunction, deep vein thrombosis, and pregnancy-related hypertension. Course instructors will also answer your questions about billing and reimbursement for this special population, marketing and the language of obstetrics, special tests during the pregnancy period such as amniocentesis, and preparing the patient for labor and delivery.
This continuing education seminar is targeted to physical therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapist assistants, registered nurses, nurse midwives, and other rehabilitation professionals. Content is not intended for use outside the scope of the learner's license or regulation. Physical therapy continuing education courses should not be taken by individuals who are not licensed or otherwise regulated, except, as they are involved in a specific plan of care.
Are you interested in expanding your practice to treat prenatal patients? Herman & Wallace has put together a Pregnancy and Your Pelvic Floor marketing presentation to help you underscore the importance of prenatal physical therapy.
Boissonnault, J. S., & Blaschak, M. J. (1988). Incidence of diastasis recti abdominis during the childbearing year. Physical Therapy, 68(7), 1082-1086.
Clapp, J. F. I. (2002). Exercising through your pregnancy. Omaha, Nebraska: Addicus Books, Inc.
Krum, L., & Smith, S. (2005) Educating physical therapists in women's health: recommendations for professional (entry-level) and post-professional curricula. Journal of Physical Therapy Education. 19(2), 31-41.
Spitznagle, T., Leong, F., & Van Dillen, L. (2007). Prevalence of diastasis recti abdominis in a urogynecological patient population. International Urogynecology Journal & Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, 18(3), 321-328.
Upon completion of this continuing education seminar, participants will be able to:
1. Understand common definitions and medical testing used in obstetrics.
2. Avoid all contraindications for evaluation and treatment of the pregnant patient.
3. List 3 major hormones and how each affects the musculoskeletal system during pregnancy.
4. Describe the pregnancy-related physiologic changes in the cardiorespiratory, integumentary, gastrointestinal, urinary, reproductive, immune and musculoskeletal systems during pregnancy.
5. List 2 common conditions that occur in pregnancy for the spine and trunk, abdomen, pelvic floor, pelvic girdle, upper and lower extremities.
6. Instruct in safe exercises and activities for the low-risk and high-risk patient.
7. Educate the patient in methods to prepare physically for birth.
8. Complete medical screening for referral for the pregnant patient.
9. Apply and utilize surface EMG with external sensors for pelvic floor muscles.
10. Market a program of physical therapy care for the pregnant patient.
We always want to hear from those interested in hosting our courses. We work with healthcare organizations of all types, sizes, and locations. Please, Contact us about Hosting Care of the Pregnant Patient or any other course!
This was a very helpful course; I feel like I can educate/treat women who are pregnant with more confidence in PT.
- Heidi Anne Ilan, PT - Benicia, CA
Such a great course! Excited to take this knowledge with me.
- Myra Addenbrooke, PT, DPT - Kailua, HI
Loved all the content and the additional info about immediately after birth. I already treat pregnant ladies, but feel so much more confident now.
- Carly Soltman, PT, DPT - Camarillo, CA
I felt like it taught me so much for myself and my patients.
- Heather Hunt, PTA - Mission Viejo, CA
Excellent course. Looking forward to next course!
- Sara Kotschi, DPT - Milwaukee, WI
Great information – hoping to learn more information about approaches to treatment vs evaluation.
- Erin Epperly, DC - Maplewood, MN
Pam was an amazing instructor who was current with the literature and was able to explain with good detail so that everyone could understand. I feel comfortable with this to help me treat on Monday morning.
- Helene Strange PT, DPT - Alexandria, VA
This course has a good learning for me, reminds one that pain in pregnancy does not only happen in the back or pelvis and to treat the body as a whole for optimal outcomes.
- Megan Gottlieb,PT, DPT - Endicott, NY
What a great class and very knowledgeable instructor! It was great seeing the biofeedback lab and experiencing.
- Jessica Shepler MOTR/L - Superior, NE
Even after the 1st day I already had a lot of valuable information I could apply to current patients. I texted a co-worker and my student about interventions because I was so excited, at the end of the 1st day.
- Emily Deno, DPT - Owatonna, MN
Such a comprehensive, well rounded course.
- Sarah Cornwell, PTA - West Lafayette, IN
Very well presented, Informative course.
- Jennie Murray, DPT - Santa Rosa, CA
I feel so much more confident and excited to work with women who are expecting now that. I took this course. I also feel much more comfortable and prepared going into my own pregnancy.
- Amanda Jordan PT, DPT - ALBANY, OR
I really like Jenni’s mindfulness of protecting our bodies! Joints and manual work but it’s always a good reminder.
- Lisa English, PT, DPT - Livermore, CA
I thought the course was very thorough relevant to include with of my patients. It was a great experience for me as well being 27 wks pregnant when I took the course. It is always great to be able to experience what our patients may not be feeling. Great course, great group of PT’s, great teacher!
- Summer Lamborn PT, DPT - Wilmington, NC
Allison is really knowledgeable and provide great information!
This is my 3rd how course live attended and it did not disappointed!
The care of the pregnant patient was a well crafted lecture series that has provided increased knowledge to better treat the pregnant women.On another notw Allison ariail is a gem of a presenter,good knowledge and was willing to have her personal knowledge + experience. Thank you Herman & Wallace for providingsuch quality instructors!