We are all reminded frequently during pregnancy… don’t neglect your pelvic floor. From the minute we have given birth and whilst feeding through uterine contractions, the midwifes are reminding us to start our pelvic floor exercises, and the health visitor reminds us again at our 6 week check.
Despite this, for some reason pelvic floor exercises don’t rank very high on the new mum agenda, even though they take just minutes to do. We spend our whole pregnancy ensuring we eat well and exercise regularly for the sake of our baby, but once our baby has arrived, we forget to do a simple self care exercise that has a long term impact on our health.
After having Erin, my colleague was quick to remind me. She bluntly pointed out that she had failed to do her pelvic floor exercises after the birth of her 2nd child, and in her own words ‘now peed every time she sneezed!’. Those words stuck with me, and I have been fairly religious about doing them after having Neve back in September.
When you think of the logistics behind it, it makes complete sense to retrain your pelvic muscles! During pregnancy, your body goes through some massive changes, putting extra strain on your pelvic and uterine muscles. After pushing out a baby, or even after the trauma of a section, your muscles are weakened and need to regain strength in order to prevent undesirable accidents!
Incontinence, unfortunately is one of the long term side effects of a failure to do your pelvic floor muscles, but practicing these along with an overall healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk.
Hartmann Direct recently shared an infographic that I think all new mums (or Mums to be!) will find useful, particularly their information about pelvic floor exercises and how to do them correctly (see the bottom of the image). A healthy lifestyle, good exercise and some sensible decisions can really reduce the onset in later life.
I was also once told by a physiotherapist to imagine your pelvic floor is a lift, moving up and down between floors of a high rise building. She would encourage me to raise my ‘lift’ to the top floor, before moving it down to subsequent floors and holding it in position at each level. My concentration face whilst doing this was probably hilarious, but I found visualising the process in my head really helped.
Did you do your pelvic floor exercises? Did you manage to hide the concentration face?? (The latter is something I am working on!!!) 🙂
*This is a collaborative post*