The pelvic floor is basically the band of muscles that support the organs and contents of the pelvis on the underside of the pelvis. These muscles have a tough job to hold the increasing weight of your baby!

The pelvic floor is placed under stretch during pregnancy which can lead to leaking of urine, wind and several other embarrassing events bodily events. A strong pelvic floor assists the birthing process and recovery after birth. I recommend starting these exercises as soon as you find out you are pregnant or directly after birth. It is never too late to start these exercises and women should be doing them daily. Here is how we do it!

 

Find the muscles

It can be difficult to identify your pelvic floor muscles. The easiest way to feel them and understand how they work is when you are on the toilet. While you are urinating try and stop the flow of urine by squeezing the muscles down below. Hold this tight until the flow of urine stops. These are your pelvic floor muscles!

There are 3 openings that these muscles support.

  • Urethra: this is the opening for urine to pass out and is right in front of the 3 openings. Contracting these muscles is the same feeling or action as when you hold in urine or stop the flow while going to the toilet.
  • Vagina: this is the opening in the middle of the 3. Contracting these muscles is the same feeling or action of holding in a tampon or trying to stop blood from leaking out during your period.
  • Anus: this is the opening right at the back. Contracting these muscles is the same feeling or action as holding in wind.

 

Learning to contract

Lie down on your back with your knees slightly bent. Relax your bottom, belly and legs. Slowly tighten, lift and squeeze your pelvic floor with the feeling of either holding in urine, wind or blood (explained above). Close all your openings! The lower part of your belly should flatten slightly but nothing else should tighten or move. This is an internal (inside) exercise and takes a while to perfect. You can tighten these muscles in any position.

 

Exercise 1

  • Find the position that is most comfortable for you to correctly work your pelvic floor.
  • Tighten your pelvic floor and hold this contraction for 10 seconds.
  • Completely relax your pelvic floor.
  • Repeat these 5 to 10 times, 3 times a day.

 

Exercise 2

  • Find the position that is most comfortable for you to correctly work your pelvic floor.
  • Tighten your pelvic floor and once a large contraction occurs then relax immediately.
  • Fully relax the pelvic floor and tighten it quickly again.
  • Repeat these 5 to 10 times, 3 times a day.

 

Exercise 3

  • Find the position that is most comfortable for you to correctly work your pelvic floor.
  • Tighten your pelvic floor and hold this contraction for 10 seconds.
  • Completely relax your pelvic floor.
  • Tighten and relax your pelvic floor as quickly as possible 5 times.
  • Completely relax your pelvic floor.
  • Tighten your pelvic floor and hold this contraction for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat these 5 to 10 times, 3 times a day.

Pelvic floor exercises work wonders! The negative effects that carrying a baby can bring to your toilet habits can be life hanging so it is important to regain strength and control. Do these exercises as often as possible! I recommend that you should do them at least 3 times a day.