During pregnancy our body changes a lot. Some changes are really obvious but others are not like the ones that occur to the pelvic floor muscles. Below is a summary of all the things you should know to understand how does pregnancy affect your pelvic floor.
From Le Fit Mom, we want to pay special attention to all the symptoms that we can experience during pregnancy. Let’s start with the basics:
What is my pelvic floor?
It is the set of muscles and ligaments that surround the abdominal cavity in its lower part. They support all the pelvic organs (bladder and urethra, uterus and vagina, and rectum) and ensure their normal functioning.
Pelvic floor dysfunctions during pregnancy
During gestation we can suffer some dysfunctions that can make us feel uncomfortable and make the process harder. In the following list you will find the most common ones, so you can detect if you’re experiencing any and learn how to improve your situation:
- Lower urinary tract (Urinary incontinence, urgency and frequency, slow or intermittent stream and straining, feeling of incomplete emptying).
- Bowel (Obstructed defecation, functional constipation, faecal incontinence, rectal/anal prolapse).
- Vagina (Pelvic organ prolapse).
- Pain (Chronic pelvic pain).
- Sexual function (Painful sexual intercourse, orgasmic dysfunction).
What can I do to enhance my pelvic floor muscles?
The only secret is to strengthen your pelvic floor through specific exercises. Learn how to relax them when needed is also useful to avoid a hypertonic pelvic floor. What is a hypertonic pelvic floor? Occurs when the muscles in the pelvic floor become too tense and are unable to relax. Many people with a tense and non-relaxing pelvic floor experience pelvic health concerns such as constipation, painful sex, urgency and pelvic pain.
It’s really important to exercise your pelvic floor at any stage of life. It will improve a lot of aspects in their life like having a more satisfying sex life.
We have specific 8 weeks programs that will guide you and give you all the tools to start working. We work with groups of 6-7 fit moms to ensure the attention is always personalized and you feel comfortable. First of all we start with an initial assessment to determine your needs and set up the goals you want to achieve.
How will the pelvic floor y core restore program help me?
We will work on the strength of your pelvic floor muscles so you will be able to:
- Support the extra weight of pregnancy without suffering.
- Prevent all the dysfunctions such as urinary incontinence, chronic pelvic pain, orgasmic dysfunction and many others.
- Prepare your body for delivery and recover from birth.
- Improve your sexual life.
- Reduce the risk of prolapse.
You can also read our previous article Pelvic Floor Restoration: Best Exercise for Quick Postpartum Recovery for more information.
How to protect my pelvic floor during pregnancy?
Having an optimally functioning pelvic floor isn’t just important for pregnancy and birth. Being able to contract and fully relax your pelvic floor during pregnancy is one of the best ways you can begin to prepare for your postpartum recovery. Follow these easy steps:
- Drink plenty of water
Remember to stay hydrated and consume soluble fibre to avoid constipation and relieve your pelvic floor of putting additional strain through on it.
- Learn how to activate your pelvic floor muscles properly
Have your pelvic floor assessed by a Women’s Health Physio and join our specific programs for Pelvic Floor y Core Restore.
- Relax the muscles
Make sure you allow for your muscles to relax completely before contracting again.
- Control your posture
Chest over pubic bone. Learning to move well will help to protect your pelvic floor and core during pregnancy and also protect your lower back particularly if there is more than one child to manage.
Think about ‘blow before you go’ i.e. exhalation on exertion to minimize downward stresses on your pelvic floor and core during pregnancy and also protect your lower back.