When pregnant, you’ll hear a lot about your pelvis floor muscles. These muscles start from the front pubic bone all the way to the backbone and control the openings of the urethra. During and after pregnancy, these muscles can relax or become weak, meaning that you have less control over when you urinate. Urine can slip out when your body is under additional strain such as when you’re coughing, sneezing or laughing. This is known as stress incontinence and is experienced by most pregnant women/new mothers at some point, so is nothing to be embarrassed about!
Although the weakening of pelvic floor muscles is a natural part of childbirth and is nothing to be ashamed of, it is irritating and can cause worry. Thankfully, there is something we can do about this! Pelvic floor exercises really do work, and are worth the effort invested. You can start pelvic floor muscles at any time, even if you’re not pregnant and the more you do, the stronger your pelvic floor muscles will become, thereby reducing your chances of experiencing stress incontinence after the birth. It’s never too late to start pelvic floor exercises as they will begin to help incontinence straight away. Consequently taking the time when you are at home, work, at the cinema or even at the doctors can give you the best chance of strengthening those pelvic floor muscles. No one will know you’re doing it, and you can be sure that it will only help, there are no bad consequences to this!
How To Do It
Basically, you’re using your pelvic floor muscles when you hold in urine or bowel movement. To strengthen these, squeeze the muscles (as if you were trying to hold something in or stop the flow of urine) for 10- 15 times in a row. You can try holding them for up to ten seconds, too, but don’t over strain. To avoid mistaking other muscles for your pelvic floor, try not to tighten your stomach or thigh muscles while performing your pelvic floor exercises. Any amount of exercising will help, but if you do three sets of 10 squeezes a day you should start to notice any incontinence get better within a few months. It’s also worth doing pelvic floor exercises to improve your sex life too, as these muscles tightening will mean that you will feel more sensitive when it comes to sex. So for exercises that you can do at the table or without anyone even noticing, it’s quite a good deal!
This article is written by Rosanne Moulding from www.pregnancy.co.uk and she likes finding out fitness tips to help new parents.