If you are pregnant then having a strong and healthy pelvic floor is extremely important. Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support your bladder, bowel, and uterus. During pregnancy and childbirth, these muscles can become weak and stretched which can lead to problems such as incontinence (leaking wee or poo), prolapse (when organs drop down into the vagina), and backache.
Pelvic floor exercises (also called Kegel exercises) help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. Doing these exercises regularly during pregnancy can help to prevent or reduce incontinence and prolapse after you have your baby.
You have to be very careful with all the exercises, and if there are any complications, avoid doing them or just consult your pelvic floor physiotherapists first.
Important Muscles While Pregnant
There are two important muscles that make up your pelvic floor:
The pubococcygeus (PC) muscle
This muscle stretches from your pubic bone at the front to your coccyx (tailbone) at the back. It is sometimes also called the ‘love muscle’ as it is used during sex.
The levator ani muscle
This large, fan-shaped muscle sits under your PC muscle. It attaches to the side of the pelvis and goes all the way back to the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of your spine). When you do a Kegel exercise, you are tightening and toning both of these muscles.
How to Find Your Pelvic Floor Muscles
There are a few ways to help you find and feel your pelvic floor muscles:
- When you go to the toilet, try to stop your wee mid-flow. The muscle that you use to do this is your pelvic floor muscle.
- Inserting a clean finger into the vagina and feeling around. You should be able to handle the pelvic floor muscles surrounding your finger.
- Tighten your anus like you are trying to hold in poo. Again, the muscle that you use for this is your pelvic floor muscle.
The key to doing pelvic floor exercises correctly is understanding how to properly engage and relax your pelvic floor muscles. When these muscles become weak, they can cause problems such as incontinence, prolapse, and sexual dysfunction. Fortunately, there are a number of exercises you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic Floor Exercises for Pregnancy
Pelvic floor exercises are often recommended during pregnancy to help prevent incontinence and other problems. These exercises can also be beneficial after childbirth. Let’s look at some of the best pelvic floor exercises for pregnancy.
One of the most effective pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy is the Kegel exercise. This exercise is performed by contracting and relaxing the muscles that control urine flow. To do this exercise, simply stop urinating midstream and then contract your pelvic floor muscles for three to five seconds. Release and repeat 10 times.
Another great pelvic floor exercise is the cat-cow pose. This yoga pose helps to stretch and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. To do this pose, start on your hands and knees with your spine in a neutral position. As you inhale, arch your back and tilt your pelvis upward. As you exhale, round your back and tuck your pelvis under. Repeat 10 times.
The pelvic tilt is another excellent exercise for the pelvic floor muscles. This exercise can be done sitting or standing. To do the exercise, simply tilt your pelvis forward and back while keeping your back straight. You should feel a gentle squeeze in your pelvic floor muscles as you tilt your pelvis. Repeat 10 times.
The bridge pose is a great way to strengthen the muscles around the pelvis and the lower back. To do this pose, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Raise your hips off the floor until your thighs and torso are in line with each other. Hold for three to five seconds, and then slowly lower your hips back to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Get Help From Professionals
Proremedy is Mississauga’s top physiotherapy and pelvic floor rehab clinic.
We provide 1-on-1 pelvic floor physiotherapy to help women with the following:
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary or faecal incontinence
- Pre and postnatal support
- Recovery from surgery
Our team of registered Physiotherapists and Chiropractors will create a custom pelvic floor physiotherapy treatment plan to address your specific needs and help you reach your goals. We take pride in providing individualized care and achieving amazing results with our patients.
If you’re struggling with pelvic floor issues, we can help. Contact us today to book an appointment.
Pelvic floor exercises are a great way to prevent or treat pelvic floor problems. If you’re pregnant, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program. And if you’re struggling with pelvic floor issues, consider seeking help from a physiotherapist or other healthcare professional.