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 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.