New service to tackle pregnancy-related pelvic health issues

Date: 22/12/2023

From January 2024, thousands of Maternity service users in Milton Keynes will be able to receive increased support to prevent and treat pregnancy-related incontinence and other pelvic floor issues. This is thanks to the national roll out of the Perinatal Pelvic Health Service –which will include increase in education and advice to enable self-management, supported by access to self-referral pathways and both group and 1:1 care using the specialist skills of healthcare professionals including midwives and pelvic health physiotherapists.

Every person receiving maternity care under an MK GP or birthing at MKUH will be able to access the service throughout their pregnancy and following the birth.

Specialist physiotherapists will collaborate with service users who access the service to teach tailored exercise programmes for pelvic floor muscles, helping to prevent problems from developing in the first place. They will also offer advice on diet and fluid intake, lifestyle changes and safe return to exercise following birth offering both group and 1:1 sessions; as well as helping service users to monitor their own progress.

Chrissie Edley, Perinatal Pelvic Health Service – Clinical physiotherapy lead, said:

“Research shows that one in every three experiences urinary incontinence in the first three months after pregnancy, one in seven anal incontinence six months after birth and 1 in 12 report symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse.”

“We know there is a demand for a specialist service, and I’m delighted that we will be expanding the service across Milton Keynes. This is a service which was promised as part of the NHS Long Term Plan, so I am pleased that service users across Milton Keynes will have greater access to high-quality advice from a range of professionals.”

“Crucially, you can self-refer to the service with specific symptoms, so you don’t need to feel embarrassed about seeking help from your GP. GPs, midwives, health visitors and other professionals will also be able to refer service users if they think you would benefit from the help on offer.”

More details to follow in January 2024…