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Before you became pregnant, you probably gave no thought to your pelvic floor muscles. Then, as your pregnancy progressed, you slowly began to realize that having weak pelvic floor muscles was not so good. The trouble is, as the baby grows, things can get a whole lot worse. So how exactly are the pelvic floor muscles affected during pregnancy and how can you ensure you don’t suffer any long term problems?

Where are the Pelvic Floor Muscles?

The pelvic floor muscles are, funnily enough, in the pelvic region. They act as a support for the bladder, uterus and bowel. When the pelvic floor muscles are in a good condition you have good control over your bladder and bowel and everything works just fine. But when these muscles are weak, which can happen when the region is placed under considerable pressure from a growing baby, stress incontinence may become a problem.

Simple Exercises for Pelvic Floor Muscles

It is very easy to keep the pelvic floor exercises in good condition and you won’t even need to visit the gym to do a workout. A good way of identifying the pelvic muscles is to try and stop urinating mid flow, although some women find it easier to have a go at squeezing and tightening their pelvic floor whilst lying down. Once you are familiar with the sensation of tensing your pelvic floor muscles, you can practice tightening your pelvic floor at different times of the day.

Try and make a point of exercising your pelvic floor regularly throughout the day. It can be helpful to associate pelvic floor exercises with mundane everyday tasks such as standing at the sink to wash the pots, watching TV or brushing your teeth. Just make sure you relax and breathe normally whilst squeezing, tightening and releasing your pelvic floor muscles.

Reasons to Exercise Your Pelvic Floor During Pregnancy

  • A strong pelvic floor will help to reduce the risk of developing urinary incontinence problems during pregnancy.
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles increase the risk of urinary urge incontinence—this is when a woman feels the need to urinate more frequently.
  • Strong pelvic floor muscles will help your body recover more quickly from the effects of childbirth.

Reasons to Exercise Your Pelvic Floor after the Birth

  • Women who have strong pelvic floor muscles and who continue to exercise them after childbirth are less likely to suffer from stress incontinence in the first few weeks post delivery.
  • Exercising the pelvic floor muscles after the baby is born will help the pelvic tissues recover more quickly from the ravages of childbirth.
  • Weak pelvic floor muscles after the birth can lead to problems in later life, particularly when menopause comes along.

Exercise for Life

Exercising the pelvic floor muscles is something that women of all ages should do. Older women are particularly at risk of suffering from the problems associated with a weak pelvic floor. Stress incontinence, sexual dysfunction and vaginal prolapse can all be caused by weak pelvic floor muscles, so before, during and after pregnancy, make a point of exercising your pelvic floor at least once per day.

About the Author: Jack Stevens, a fitness enthusiast. He suggests that exercising the pelvic floor muscles is something women of all ages should do to avoid the associated problems. His day job is at Shenzhen XFT Electronics, providers of quality pelvic floor exerciser.

 

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