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Pelvic floor exercises – pregnancy 2024

Hello lovely mamas-to-be! Today, we’re diving into a topic that might not be the first thing on your pregnancy checklist but is incredibly important: pelvic floor exercises. As a pregnancy fitness instructor, I’m here to guide you through the ins and outs of keeping your pelvic floor in top shape.

Understanding the pelvic floor

Let’s start with the basics of your pelvic floor. It is part of your core which is made up of your pelvis, lower back, hips and stomach. Its main job is supporting your organs and ensuring everything stays where it should be. It supports the pelvic organs against prolapse, plays a role in preventing or aiding bowel movements, urination and release of gas plus it plays a role in sexual function and orgasm so its super important! Due to their role in supporting these major organs, injury to the pelvic floor muscles can lead to a number of problems including urinary stress incontinence and rectal incontinence.

During pregnancy, as the baby and the uterus grow bigger these muscles have more weight to support, so it’s crucial to give them a little extra love.

Benefits of pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy

Now, why bother with pelvic floor exercises? Well, they’re like a secret weapon for mums-to-be. Not only do they prepare your pelvic floor for the grand finale of giving birth, but they also work wonders in preventing those sneaky incontinence issues and easing the burden on your back. Good posture? Check! Less back pain? Double-check!

When to start pelvic floor exercises

You might be wondering when to kick off this pelvic party. The answer? Right now!

The sooner the better but it’s safe to start at any point during your pregnancy.

Pelvic floor exercises – aka kegels

The main pelvic floor exercise is the kegel. Picture them as your pelvic floor’s gym routine. And as with any good gym routine, it is important to practice pelvic floor exercises in isolation as well as functional ones so that our pelvic floor is prepared for normal life, for example when we move, cough and jump.

Pelvic floor exercise routine for a strong pelvic floor during pregnancy:

  1. Slow twitch kegel – hold for 10 seconds, repeat three times.
  2. Fast twitch kegel – hold for 1-3 seconds, repeat ten times.

Repeat this kegel routine three times a day.

To make these pelvic floor exercises functional, practice them as part of other exercises and think about incorporating your core into the exercises as well. For example

  • While in chair sit against the wall.
  • While in the standing up phase of a squat or lunge.
  • Simply while walking (make sure you are standing up tall with good posture).

Things to note:

  • Take a good breath in, then do a kegel on the exhale.
  • Ensure you fully relax your pelvic floor muscles in between each rep.
  • The best way to ensure you do your pelvic floor exercises is to build it into your daily routine (habit stacking).

Pelvic floor exercises – postnatal

Whether you have had a natural birth or a c section, the journey with pelvic floor exercises doesn’t end there! Your pelvic floor muscles have had a lot going on so this is the time to rebuild and reconnect that pelvic floor strength. I could write a whole other post on that so that is what I will do!

To sum it all up, pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy are your ticket to a more comfortable pregnancy, a smoother delivery, and a happy pelvic region overall. So, let’s make pelvic health a priority, because there is nothing less funny then peeing when laughing!

If you think I have missed anything out, or if you have learnt something on your journey, pop it on the comments below.

No sweat mama. You’ve got this <3