Introduction to Caring for the Pregnant Patient

presented by Holly Tanner

Accreditation Check:

This course introduces the learner to rehabilitation principles for the patient who is pregnant. Holly Tanner of the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute covers topics including the significant hormonal shifts that take place in a woman's body during pregnancy which create necessary changes in support of a healthy pregnancy. Specific shifts within body systems as well as the common physiologic changes will be discussed. The typical musculoskeletal conditions and common complaints during pregnancy will be highlighted, with body regions divided into upper quarter, lower quarter, trunk and spine, and pelvic floor. The learner will observe demonstration with a model that includes how to fit for a sacroiliac belt or a lumbar support belt during pregnancy. Exercises demonstrated with a model also include light strengthening and stretching on a therapy ball.

Many therapists are appropriately concerned about causing harm to a pregnant woman or to her developing child. Therefore this course does list the common precautions and indications such as safe positioning and modalities. Exercise prescription, benefits and risks of exercise, and exercise for conditions such as gestational diabetes are also discussed with reference to current research. Although this is an introductory course, the learner will feel much more comfortable with caring for a pregnant woman after watching the videos and completing the learning assessments. You will learn in this class how to utilize tools that you already have so that you can apply them with safety and effectiveness when treating the pregnant woman.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Holly Tanner, DPT, PT, MA, OCS, LMP, PRPC, BCB-PMD, CCI

    Holly Tanner, PT, DPT, MA, OCS, LMP, PRPC, CCI is a 1995 graduate of the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Holly spent over a decade working for Apple Physical Therapy in Washington state, where she developed clinical programming for education and for women's and men's health for many of Apple's clinics. She has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and is currently adjunct faculty at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Clinical certifications include orthopedics, women’s health, pelvic rehabilitation, clinical instructing, and Holly holds an active massage therapy license. She teaches nationally for the Herman & Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute for whom she is the Director of Education. On the hermanwallace.com website you can read Holly's blog posts about current pelvic rehabilitation topics. Holly lives in Seattle, Washington and is the owner of Flow Rehab, LLC, a clinic offering orthopedic and pelvic health physical and massage therapy. Holly is also owner of Tanner Therapies, LLC, and offers consulting services for clinic owners, hospitals, instructors, and medical companies.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

  1. Introduction

    1. Introduction

    An introduction to common topics encountered during your treatment of the pregnant patient.

  2. Physiological Changes

    2. Physiological Changes

    Describe the various hormones and their physical effects on the pregnant woman’s body and how these necessary physical changes can contribute to dysfunction.

  3. Common Complaints and Dysfunctions

    3. Common Complaints and Dysfunctions

    List common complaints during pregnancy and the dysfunctions that are typical for the trunk and spine, pelvis, upper and lower quarter, and describe examination and intervention techniques for such conditions.

  4. Exam and Intervention

    4. Exam and Intervention

    List all contraindications that must be considered when treating the pregnant patient. In addition, the learner will be able to describe how to modify examination and treatment techniques for the non-pregnant patient so that current tools can be utilized.

  5. Exercises

    5. Exercises

    List all of the ACOG “signs to stop exercise”, describe precautions and contraindications to exercise during pregnancy, and also describe the benefits of exercise during pregnancy.

  6. Summary

    6. Summary

    Summary thoughts about caring for the pregnant patient.