How to do Pelvic Floor Exercises and love them!

During your pregnancy, your pelvic floor muscles will loosen due to hormonal changes in your body. This loosening, along with your growing baby pressing on your bladder, may cause you to leak urine when you cough, laugh, sneeze or exercise.

Doing pelvic floor exercises will strengthen these muscles and help you control any accidents. It will also help you ease your baby out and recover faster after the birth.

Where 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 (uterus, vagina, bowel and bladder) in place.

The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and bowel, and give you control when you urinate. They relax at the same time as the bladder contracts (tightens) to lets the wee out.

Why are women encouraged to do pelvic floor exercises when pregnant?
If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you can start doing pelvic floor exercises straight away. The exercises will lower your risk of experiencing incontinence after having your baby.

Weakened pelvic muscles can cause problems, such as urinary incontinence and reduced sensitivity during sex. There is also a risk of pelvic organ prolapse, where one or more of the pelvic organs bulges into the vagina.

Stress incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence where small amounts of urine leak out during an activity. Doing pelvic floor exercises can help to improve stress incontinence by keeping your pelvic muscles strong.

How to do pelvic floor exercises
You can feel your pelvic floor muscles if you try to stop the flow of urine when you go to the toilet. However, it is not recommended that you regularly stop your flow of urine midstream, because it can be harmful to the bladder.

To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles 10 to 15 times in a row. Do not hold your breath or tighten your stomach, buttock or thigh muscles at the same time.

When you get used to doing pelvic floor exercises, you can try holding each squeeze for a few seconds. Every week, you can add more squeezes, but be careful not to overdo it and always have a rest between sets of squeezes.

After a few months, you should start to notice the results. Your incontinence should improve, as well as the sensitivity you experience during sex. You should carry on doing the exercises, even when you notice them starting to work.

Why are pelvic floor exercises important for labour and birth?
During labour many women feel the urge to go for a poo, this is not a poo, but instead the baby nicely in the birth canal ready to be born. If you have practiced tightening and relaxing the pelvic floor during pregnancy, you will automatically know how to relax your pelvic floor at the time of giving birth. This helps put less strain on your body and you are likely to minimise any damage to this area.

After birth, continue to practice these exercises, in fact, it is recommended never to stop practicing them, as with age this muscle becomes looser, so the longer you can keep it toned, the longer you will reap the benefits.

About Magical Baby Moments

Magical Baby Moments offers group hypnobirthing courses in Romford and Upminster, and private courses across Essex and London. Check online at http://www.magicalbabymoments.com/classes to find out upcoming dates.

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Mind the Gap, lift the floor and stop pain

After many years of experience of seeing ladies within healthcare. The Mummy MOT feels that this is such an important time for mum and that there should be a great focus on advice and education to empower ladies so that they can make the best choices for their health and that of their family.

  • Around 25% of ladies experience pain throughout pregnancy, and they feel they have to put up with it
  • 17% of young ladies may suffer urine leak and will recall being given a leaflet about Pelvic Floor Muscle Exercises, doing them for a short while after delivery and then stopping
  • 39% of ladies still have a tummy gap at 6 months post-natal. Many ladies will watch their tummies make a funny pointy shape when lifting their babies and caring for their toddlers without a thought to how their bodies are recovering from 9 months of pregnancy and possibly traumatic or prolonged labour.

Pain
During pregnancy, there are changes to your skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and endocrine system, which mean your body faces new challenges. Whether you are slim or stocky build, young or mature, this does not make a difference to how you cope in pregnancy and beyond. What is more important is getting the right advice and therapy straight away. Simple exercises and modifications to your daily routines can make a huge difference but also massage, manual therapy and acupuncture can have a great effect.

The Floor
The pelvic floor muscles are a ‘hammock’ of muscles underneath your pelvis. They attach at the front of the pelvis to the pubic bone and span backward and sideways to attach at the base of the spine and the borders of the pelvis. There are three main layers. The openings of the bladder, vagina and bowel all pass through this layer of muscle.

Stop the drop and keep it closed
The pelvic floor muscles are continually working to help support your pelvic organs and abdominal content from underneath and stop them dropping down. They help with bladder and bowel control, circling around the opening for the urethra, vagina and back passage and stop a leak of urine, wind or poo. The muscles need to work harder when you cough, sneeze or exercise to avoid leaking. They will be under extra stress during pregnancy due to the extra load. In addition, during pregnancy, our muscles and ligaments become more relaxed to all for the baby to grow and have space to come out. During childbirth, the pelvic floor needs to lengthen and relax but it is common for it to suffer some soft trauma. Bearing this in mind, it is really important to prepare your pelvic floor for delivery and then exercise it afterward. Also like other muscles in the body, ‘if you don’t use them, you lose them’. The pelvic floor can weaken and lose efficiency over time, especially with menopause, chronic constipation, regular lifting with poor technique and with other specific medical conditions.

Mind the gap
Diastasis Rectus Abdominus (tummy gap) is where two right and left sides of your ‘six pack’ muscles spreads apart at the body’s midline. This can occur at any time in the last half of pregnancy but it is most problematic after pregnancy when the tummy is weak.

This can take longer to improve and may worsen and cause future problems with incontinence, prolapse or back pain if you have poor posture or go back to your usual activities or exercise before you are strong enough.

Top Tips

  • Modify your activities while pregnant and maintain strong core and good posture with the advice of a physio
  • Always tighten your pelvic floor before lifting, coughing or sneezing
  • To relieve the load on your pelvic floor, aim towards and acceptable weight for your height and your build
  • Try to avoid constipation by eating sufficient dietary fibre and ensuring adequate fluid intake
  • Good nutrition will support your tummy and pelvic floor to heal
  • Graduated and safe return to exercise is imperative
  • Avoid activities that may over stress your tummy or pelvic floor until it is back to full strength

So without getting too graphic, you need to get to know your core and exercise it daily FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE otherwise, you are susceptible to pain, leakage or prolapse.

By addressing the factors mentioned and following a program before commencing pregnancy, tummy gap is reduced to a minimum, therefore increasing your recovery and helping you to get rid of your baby tummy quickly post birth. Post-natal should have your tummy and pelvic floor checked by a qualified professional. Your GP or midwife can do a basic check, or you could opt for a whole MOT with a specialist.

This article was kindly provided by The Mummy MOT who can individually set a program to promote recovery in optimal time. They have specialist clinics in Colchester, Manningtree and Chelmsford but are also happy to travel to your home.

Whether you want to prevent tummy gap or would like to recover post-natal they can gear a treatment to your needs.

Visit their website at: www.physiotherapyandpilates.com. Don’t forget to mention that Magical Baby Moments referred you! (Caring is sharing).

About Magical Baby Moments
Magical Baby Moments offers group hypnobirthing courses in Romford and Upminster, and private courses across Essex and London. Check online at http://www.magicalbabymoments.com/classes to find out upcoming dates.

Did you like this article..? Read more at Magical Baby Moments

Did you enjoy these tips? Follow Magical Baby Moments on any of our social channels

#pregnant #pregnancy #postivebirth

The importance of pelvic floor exercises

If you’re pregnant, especially with your first, remember that pelvic floor exercises, while a chore and a bore, MUST BE DONE regularly (like for the rest of your life!!).

At some point you’ll either buy a trampoline for the garden or come to a place like @Jump Evolution. It’s great fun and your mind thinks like a teenager in these places. 

I’ve realised that my body post childbirth (and my youngest is almost 5), isn’t what it was! Jumped off the high jump and my neck is now creaky (let’s see what aches tomorrow brings!) 😞😞

Tried to show Lily that the swing into the foam pit is fun, but didn’t realise that my shoulder sockets can’t hold my body weight!! Ouch!! (Fatty bum bum!!) 😳😳😳

Oh and on a final note, as I’m sharing too much information, I must remember to keep up pelvic floor exercises!! 😆😆😆🙊🙊

Maybe it’s just me…but I suspect there’s more out there who experience this.

Watch my video on how to do Pelvic Floor Exercises to know how to do it!