During pregnancy, your uterus expands to aid your growing foetus, this puts a lot of strain on the pelvic floor muscles, these are the broad sling of muscles, ligaments and tissues that sit between your pubic bone in the front and the tail bone at the base of the spine.
Pregnancy Yoga classes at Bloom emphasise the importance of your pelvic floor muscles and we discuss why it's so important to know and understand how this part of your body operate: before, during AND especially AFTER birth.
It's a common myth that if you have a caesarean birth then you don't need to do pelvic floor exercises - WRONG! As your baby grows and becomes bigger, this additional weight on your pelvic floor causes it to stretch and weaken. Learning safe and correct techniques to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles will help prevent leakage when you sneeze or cough – something that becomes a lot harder to restrain from after giving birth!
Strong pelvic floor muscles will also help you hugely in the delivery room when you start to push; pelvic floor exercises can also prepare you to both relax AND contract your muscles in preparation for childbirth. This will help assist your baby in moving through the birth canal and prevent injury or tearing during delivery.
We know from research that women who practice pelvic floor exercises are known to experience a shorter labour - yay!
Performing safe + effective pelvic floor exercises while pregnant also aids in blood flow to your genitals which will also aid in healing after childbirth. And because you've practiced these exercises so regularly during your pregnancy, you'll be familiar with them already and can resume doing them once your baby arrives - regardless of how they are born!
Studies have shown that women in the first year following birth tend to be pro-active with regards to their pelvic floor, however women who are roughly 7 or so years post-natal often suffer from some bladder leakage, a weak core and back ache which can often be attributed to a weak pelvic floor. Like everything else in our body, these muscles are prone to the effects of gravity and ageing - it's really a case of if you're not using it you're loosing it! So as women it's important for us to include pelvic floor exercises as part of of daily self-care routine.
And while we're here, It's also worth mentioning your sex drive! Practicing pelvic floor exercises can tighten and strengthen your vaginal muscles which makes sexy time a far more pleasurable time...just in case you need some extra motivation!
There's far more to your pelvic floor than you might think - and more to it than just doing Kegel exercises.
Join our specialty workshop, Essential Core + Pelvic Floor presented by Exercise Physiologist, Stacey Pine who shows us up-to-date research, tips, techniques and take home exercises to get more from your pelvic floor.