As much as we’re excited to meet our little ones the process of pregnancy can be a physical struggle. The mother’s weight steadily increases during pregnancy, which can add a lot of stress on the joints and muscles. But what about after pregnancy? After pregnancy mom can be left weakened and achy. Which can set her up for an injury if she is hasn’t strengthened one very important key area of which is the pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor is a series of muscles that span the bottom of the pelvis. Basically, it supports moms internal organs and the baby in the womb. As the baby grows more stress is placed on the pelvic floor.
Have you experienced urinary dripping or leaking when you sneeze, cough, or exercise? This is in relation to your pelvic floor.
Feeling constipated during birth? This puts even more stress on the pelvic floor.
Research actually shows that the pelvic floor can become weak and stretched from as early as 12 weeks into your pregnancy.
This issue with prolonged stress on your pelvic floor is that it can weaken over time and not contract optimally. If this happens your chances of low back, hip, pelvis injury increases.
Because many exercises require adequate hip and core stability, having a weak pelvic floor makes doing these exercises risky.
Here are some more symptoms in relation to a weak pelvic floor:
-the urge to urinate or a painful urination
-constipation or bowel strains
-low back pain
-discomfort during sexual intercourse
-the pressure in the pelvic region
-muscles spasms in the pelvis
So how does mom return to exercise after getting clearance from her doctor? She starts by strengthening her pelvic floor!
We suggest consulting a pelvic floor physiotherapist or someone who specializes in pelvic floor rehab to learn proper form and exercise prescription. The main exercise they will prescribe is known as a Kegel. A Kegel is a pelvic floor strengthening exercise that really works!
How to perform Kegels:
A kegel contraction should feel like you’re lifting your vagina and butthole up into your body. You perform the kegel contraction when you are exhaling, and you hold the contraction anywhere from 3-5 seconds. So you basically pull up through your internal pelvis as you exhale, hold, inhale (relax pelvic floor) and repeat 5-10 times.
Again we suggest consulting a pelvic floor physiotherapist or someone who specializes in pelvic floor rehab to learn proper form and exercise prescription. Once you pelvic floor gets stronger, you can begin doing more core exercises. This will build a strong foundation for your body so you can eventually merge into full body exercises with no issues J