It’s safe to say that I never bloomed during pregnancy, to start with I suffered from morning sickness like most mums but it extended to all day/night sickness which then led to me not eating very much. I didn’t have that healthy glow and most of the time I looked terrible. It didn’t stop there though, towards the end of my second trimester I started to develop a case of symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) along with Sciatica which limited my mobility, the longer I went into pregnancy the worse it became. I saw physiotherapist’s doctors and consultants to try and ease my problem but I wouldn’t be free of it until I had given birth. Like it or not I was stuck until my baby arrived so had to persevere with it. When my third trimester hit I was provided with a back support and also a set of crutches to aid my mobility and in a way they did help. It is a common problem and I had spoken to other mothers to be that were experiencing similar problems to me, it became my support group and we would all share tips, this is where I discovered pelvic floor exercises. Yes, really exercises for your pelvis!
They help to strengthen the muscles around the pelvis and the supporting tissues and ligaments around the pubic bone all the way to your spine at the back. Overtime and with the added pressure of pregnancy these muscles and ligaments can become weak and stretch causing a number of problems later on. You see the pelvic floor supports a lot including your bladder bowel and uterus.
The weakening of the pelvic floor muscles can result in bladder weakness, great, that was another thing that I had to worry about. Peeing myself, that would have been the icing on the cake. Sneezing, coughing and even exercising (not that I was doing much of that) with weak pelvic floor muscles could cause a person to leak a little wee especially with the added pressure of a baby. If that wasn’t embarrassing enough from my research I discovered that a pelvic floor weakness could affect you sexually meaning that you could find the sexual acts less…..satisfying. Bladder weakness can affect women of all ages!
If they were not reasons to kick me into gear then I don’t know what would, maybe the fact that you need to carry on these exercises after the birth of your child to prevent these problems later on?
Don’t be alarmed though, I can see some of you may resemble bunnies in the headlight right now but the exercises do work. I haven’t sneezed and pee’d my pants yet and I am over 12 month’s post-partum. I dread to think what it could have been like if I hadn’t have done the exercises, even crippled with SPD I was still able to do a few exercises a day.
Having strong pelvic floor muscles will most certainly benefit your during pregnancy especially with the extra weight not to mention the added benefits of labour, particularly the second stage of labour (the hard part where you push the baby out)
So how do we do it? Do you need tools? No you don’t, it’s very simple. The easiest way to do it is to imagine you are trying to stop the flow of urine whilst you wee. It’s the same muscles that you are trying to work on. So you squeeze and lift around your front and back passage. The trick is to not squeeze your buttocks or legs together and to not hold your breath. It is recommended to do this in sets of eight and three times a day and you should start to notice a difference remembering to continue after birth.
If you are looking for more useful tips, lights by TENA have launched a brand NEW app, available via the Apple App store and Android Market, called ‘my pff’ — my pelvic floor fitness. It has been created to expertly guide you through pelvic floor exercises at any time and no matter where you are without anybody knowing. If you are like me and very forgetful, don’t worry the app is designed to remind you when to do your pelvic floor exercises.
So there you have it ladies, If I haven’t scared you away I hope you have found this useful.
This post has been sponsored by My PFF, but all thoughts are our own