What is the pelvic floor and where is it located?
Pelvic floor is a group of muscles & ligaments, which are located across the base of the pelvis. The pelvic floor supports the bladder, rectum and the vagina.
There are three trimesters during pregnancy. You should take a different approach when exercising. Firstly you body will be going through hormonal changes .The relax hormone is released through the body making your muscle tissues soft preparing the pelvic floor for child birth. The pelvic floor muscles are affected by preparation of birth and after birth; the muscles and ligaments become stretched and lengthened.
An recent study conducted by daybreak suggested the 55% of women avoid performing any type of pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy. It is extremely important to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles before childbirth and after giving birth. Pelvic floor exercises can help maintain fitness and make child birth a less painful experience, also it help bladder and bowel control during birth. Pelvic floor exercises help to lessen the possibility of developing a prolapse before or after childbirth.
Frequency of the pelvic floor exercises
It’s best to establish a routine of practicing the exercises everyday. When holding the contractions you need to be relaxed and count to five repeating this formulate 3 to 5 times.
The aim should be to try and do various pelvic floor exercises for 5 minutes at least three times a day.
You should start pelvic floor exercises as soon as you feel well enough. Sooner the better!
Benefits of pelvic floor exercises after birth
- The healing process will happen more quickly. The exercises will help to heal the perineum and vagina.Reduce the feeling of needing to go to the toilet
- Gain bladder control ensuring urine doesn’t leak
- The swelling and bruising will decrease due to improving the circulation of the perineum
- Increases the vaginal tone and gain back the sexual sensation you felt before pregnancy
- Helping the discomfort or pain from the internal organs which haven’t been supported
Even after having a caesarean it is still extremely important to continue with the pelvic floor exercises. The baby might not have passed through the vagina but there were the pressures from the baby weight on the pelvic floor during the 9 months of pregnancy. There is also a correlation between women over 50 who had caesareans and now have urinary incontinence. The link was that they neglected the pelvic floor exercises after birth.
If you are interested in relevant studies then this will be a good read