Importance Of Pelvic Floors Muscles During Pregnancy

Have you ever wondered about what happens to your pelvic floor muscles after birth? There is a lot of talk surrounding the importance of having a strong pelvic floor, not only throughout pregnancy, but for general bladder and bowel control. With that in mind, let’s dive in and learn why having strong pelvic floor muscles are important for women during pregnancy.  

Why Are They Important?  

Your pelvic floor is a group of muscles that support your bladder, uterus, and bowel. Keeping these muscles strong and active will help maintain good bladder and bowel control, as well as be a great support for a growing baby. Throughout pregnancy, there’s added pressure and weight placed upon these muscles causing them to stretch and become weak, especially during labour and delivery.  
According to research, every 1 in 3 women develops incontinence after birth, making it essential to build up the muscles over the term of the pregnancy. Furthermore, having strong pelvic floor muscles will help ensure that you do not experience any unexpected leaks or prolapses and help you recover from pregnancy, faster.  

Within the first 6 months after giving birth, your pelvic floor muscles may build strength naturally. However, if you are experiencing inconsistent bladder and bowel issues, take control of your pelvic floor muscles with simple, at-home exercises.  

Kegel Exercises  

Kegel exercises are a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which involves repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles apart of the pelvic floor. This exercise can be done anywhere, anytime either sitting, standing, or laying down.  

1- Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles. 

2- Hold this as tightly as you can, up to 8 seconds or for as long as you can. 

3- Relax and rest for 8 seconds. 

4- Repeat as many times as you can. 

While every individual and pregnancy is different, it’s important that you have the right support by your side to help you transition into motherhood. Our women’s health physio, Suzie and the wider Progressive Physio team, are here to help our clients during this transition and regain control of their pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy. 

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.