An antenatal M.O.T can be carried out from 12 weeks gestation. You may have noticed some symptoms developing or just wish to prepare your body in the best possible way for pregnancy and labour.
During the M.O.T you will be offered an abdominal and vaginal examination. You will also be given helpful tips to maintain fitness safely throughout your pregnancy, education about postural changes which are likely to occur as your bump grows and also how to prepare your body for labour.
Pelvic floor assessment
A vaginal examination of the pelvic floor muscles can easily confirm whether or not you are doing the pelvic floor exercise correctly. Many women actually exercise the wrong muscle and it is much easier to correct your technique and strengthen the muscle prior to delivery, and before you have to care for a new baby.
During pregnancy the abdominal muscles stretch around your growing baby. This is a very natural process but it is important to maintain abdominal muscle strength to prevent back problems and possible separation of the muscles.
Posture in pregnancy
It goes without saying that your body undergoes dramatic changes during pregnancy. As your abdomen and breasts enlarge your centre of gravity changes and your body does its best to maintain a good posture. The extra weight tends to pull you forwards and downwards and as a knock on effect the pelvic tilts and lumbar curve increases.
Safe antenatal exercise
The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth.
Keep up your normal daily physical activity or exercise for as long as you feel comfortable. Exercise is not dangerous for your baby – there is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.
Massaging the perineum - the area between the vagina and anus - in the last weeks of pregnancy (from 34 weeks gestation) has been shown to reduce the likelihood of tearing and the need for an episiotomy during a vaginal birth. You can do it alone, or your partner can help you. This technique can be taught if necessary.