Maintaining Your Pelvic Floor Health
Before pregnancy, you probably didn’t think too often about your pelvic floor, but we bet that once you became pregnant, you started seeing and hearing about it everywhere! That is because your pelvic floor is very important for your pregnancy health. During pregnancy, the pelvic floor stretches to make room for your baby as they grow. When you have strong pelvic floor muscles, it helps decrease the damage and strain your body experiences during this time.
But pregnancy isn’t the only time you should consider your pelvic floor health. Maintaining a strong pelvic floor before and after your baby is born will help you be better equipped for labor and recovery. Want to learn more about maintaining your pelvic floor health? Let’s dive in!
What is the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is essentially a group of muscles that support your bladder, uterus, and bowel. They line the inside of your pelvis and work in conjunction with your diaphragm. When you inhale, your diaphragm and pelvic floor expand in a downward motion, and when you exhale they lift up together.
When your pelvic floor expands for the baby, it doesn’t always go right back to the way it was before, which is why some people notice that after the baby, they have a harder time controlling their urine when they exercise, laugh, or even sneeze.
Other symptoms of a weakened pelvic floor include:
- Pain in your pelvic area
- Constantly needing to go to the toilet
- Sensation of heaviness in the vagina
If you have noticed that your pelvic floor may be weak, try these exercises to strengthen and maintain your pelvic floor health.
- Bridge: Lay on your back with your feet flat on the ground. Slowly lift your pelvis up and down. This exercise is great for activating the pelvic floor muscles.
- Bird Dog: Start on your hands and knees. Brace your core while raising and straightening your left leg and right arm. Repeat with opposite leg and arm.
- Squat: You might think squats are just for your bum, but they are also great for your pelvic floor. Stand and squat down, keeping your knees in line with your toes while also tightening your core.
Birthways Family Birth Center offers two different classes for you to learn more about the pelvis and pelvic floor. In Foundations of Pregnancy, you will learn what to eat & what to avoid, healthy movements & exercises, alternative healing modalities safe for pregnancy, how to protect your pelvic floor, and more. Foundation of Birth talks more about how a baby is born, the anatomy of the pelvis, and types of labor, signs, and stages of labor.