Look After Your Pelvic Floor

Look After Your Pelvic Floor

July 2014

Your pelvic floor muscles are literally the floor or base of your pelvis. The muscles attach to your tailbone all the way to your pubic bone. They support your internal organs, maintain bladder and bowel control, support your spine, help you to enjoy sex, and during pregnancy, they help to rotate your baby’s head into the correct birth position. Therefore, it is vital that the strength of these muscles are maintained and restored to the best of their ability after birth and during pregnancy.

There are different exercises that you can do to build these muscles:

Short Squeezes

  • Sit or lie down comfortably with your knees slightly apart. Pull muscles surrounding your back passage in, as if stopping yourself from passing wind. Add a squeeze towards the front around your vagina and bladder, as if stopping yourself from urinating. Let go straight away after a maximum of 2 seconds.
  • Rest for 1-2 seconds and then repeat.
  • See how many of these short squeezes you can do before your muscles get tired.
  • Make sure that you are not squeezing your buttocks or holding your breath during this exercise.

Long Squeezes

  • Sit or lie down comfortably with your knees slightly apart. Pull muscles surrounding your back passage in, as if stopping yourself from passing wind. Add a squeeze towards the front around your vagina and bladder, as if stopping yourself from urinating. See how long you can hold the squeeze for, and then release.
  • Rest for 1-2 seconds and then repeat until your muscles get tired.
  • Recommended starting time to hold the exercise is 4 seconds.

These exercises are great and easy to integrate into your everyday life, during pregnancy and after. During pregnancy it is recommended to do these exercises a few times each day and after birth it is suggested to start off with gentle, short squeezes and then work up to doing the exercises around 4-5 times each day until your pelvic floor seems to be back to normal.

Here are some links to some important information about why you should and how you can look after your pelvic floor!

http://www.nct.org.uk/pregnancy/pelvic-floor-exercises-during-and-after-pregnancy

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a536339/your-pelvic-floor-in-pregnancy

http://www.joannahelcke.com/postnatal/pelvic-floor-exercises/