Pelvic Floor Exercises

Hello mums, we can never put enough emphasis on the importance of exercises after giving birth. On our previous blog post on exercise and fitness, we explained the physical changes that happen to a woman’s body during the nine months of carrying the baby, and that it is basically normal that a woman’s body will definitely not be the same as it was before giving birth. Read more at http://goo.gl/oXHQNA .

Well one of the major muscles that require enough attention is the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles are located between your legs, and run from your pubic bone at the front to the base of your spine at the back. They are shaped like a sling and hold your pelvic organs, i.e. the uterus, vagina, bowel and bladder in place.

During pregnancy, the pelvic floor can become stretched and weak because it has to support a lot of weight. During birth, the baby passes through the pelvic floor, which can leave it bruised and sore afterwards. If your pelvic floor muscles have become weaker during pregnancy, your bladder, bowels, vagina and womb are not getting enough support. This can feel uncomfortable, like a dragging sensation in your pelvis. It can reduce sensation and make sex less enjoyable. Therefore it is paramount to get into pelvic floor exercises as soon as you can.

Here is how to do pelvic floor exercises:

You can do pelvic floor exercises anywhere you like, but to begin with, try doing them at home so you can concentrate. Birth can affect the nerves in the pelvic floor, making it difficult to feel if you are doing it right at first.

If it’s very soon after the birth and you feel sore, try doing pelvic floor exercises lying on your back or on your side to begin with. You could also try doing them when you’re in the bath

  • Sit comfortably on the edge of a table or on an upright chair.
  • Imagine you are stopping the flow of urine in the middle of going to the toilet. At the same time, clench your vaginal muscles and your anus, as if you are trying not to pass wind.
  • Don’t clench your buttocks or hold your breath at the same time.
  • Hold it for a moment, and then relax again.
  • Repeat this 10-15 times, or as many as you can manage
  • As your muscles get stronger, you can try holding each squeeze for 4 or 5 seconds or longer

How often to do pelvic floor exercises?

Try to do your pelvic floor exercises 3 times a day. To help remind you, try doing them after every meal.

Don’t push yourself too hard at first, especially soon after the birth when your body is tired and sore. Listen to your body and always stop if you feel uncomfortable. After a few weeks, you should start to feel the benefit of your hard work, as it becomes easier to control your bladder

NB: Doing regular pelvic floor exercises is a good habit to get into for all women, pregnant or not, as it can help prevent stress incontinence later in life. Doing pelvic floor exercises before and during pregnancy is helpful too.

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