Prenatal Pelvic Floor Exercises: A Guide for Pregnant Women and New Mothers

Prenatal Pelvic Floor Exercises: A Guide for Pregnant Women and New Mothers

Prenatal Pelvic Floor Exercises: A Guide for Pregnant Women and New Mothers

Pregnancy brings with it a multitude of changes to the female body, one of the most significant being the additional strain placed on the pelvic floor. This complex web of muscles, ligaments, and tissues is responsible for supporting your internal organs, controlling bladder and bowel function, and facilitating a healthy pregnancy. As expectant mothers and those freshly engaged in the journey of motherhood, it's crucial to understand and address the needs of your pelvic floor.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk through the anatomy, functions, and, most importantly, the exercises that can maintain and enhance the strength and flexibility of your pelvic floor. Let's dive into a vital aspect of prenatal and postpartum care that is often overlooked but can make a world of difference in your health and wellbeing.

Introduction: Prioritizing Pelvic Health for a Strong Pregnancy and Beyond

The pelvic floor is akin to the foundation of a house; it forms the base of your core and plays an integral role in every stage of motherhood. From providing support to a growing fetus to easing childbirth and postpartum recovery, a strong pelvic floor is essential. Many women, however, are unaware of the impact of pregnancy on this area of their body and how exercise can safeguard against issues.

Understanding the Pelvic Floor: Your Body's Unsung Hero

Let's start with the basics. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that extend across the bottom of your pelvis. Its primary function is to support the uterus, bladder, and bowel. These muscles also have a significant role in sexual functionality and are vital in childbirth.

Anatomy 101: Deeper into the Pelvic Muscles

The pelvic floor is made up of several muscles, including the pubococcygeus, the iliococcygeus, and the coccygeus. They form a supportive platform within the pelvis and are crucial for maintaining continence, posture, and overall body stability.

Function: More Than Just Holding It In

Pelvic floor muscles work like a sling, supporting the pelvic organs firmly and holding them up, maintaining continence in the process. They also help control the opening and closing of the urethra, vagina, and rectum, allowing for elimination.

The Plethora of Benefits from Prenatal Pelvic Floor Exercises

Engaging in regular exercises specifically designed to strengthen the pelvic floor can be a game-changer, especially during the prenatal and postpartum periods.

Prevention is Better Than Cure: Staving Off Incontinence

Urinary incontinence is a common problem during and after pregnancy but is not a foregone conclusion. Strengthening the pelvic floor can significantly reduce the risk or severity of incontinence.

Aiding the Journey: Support in Pregnancy and Birth

Well-conditioned pelvic floor muscles offer essential support during pregnancy, helping to prevent the uterus from sagging and making the process of childbirth more manageable.

Quicker Recovery: Returning to Normalcy Postpartum

Recovery post-delivery can be accelerated with a strong pelvic floor, as it assists in controlling bleeding, restoring muscle tone, and promoting healing.

Safe and Effective Exercises for the Expectant Mother

Pregnancy calls for special considerations when it comes to exercise. These prenatal pelvic floor exercises are designed to be gentle yet powerful.

Kegels: Simple Yet Effective

Kegel exercises are the gold standard for pelvic floor conditioning. To perform a kegel, simply contract the muscles you would use to stop the flow of urine, hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat several times throughout the day. As your strength improves, you can hold for longer and perform more repetitions.

Modified Kegels for Adaptability

Expectant mothers can modify traditional kegel exercises to accomodate their changing body. Focus on squeezing and lifting the pelvic floor muscles without engaging the abdominals or gluteal muscles. A healthcare professional can help tailor a routine to fit individual needs.

Exercises to Stretch and Strengthen

In addition to kegels, movements that stretch and strengthen the pelvic region can be beneficial. Yoga and Pilates are excellent disciplines that integrate these exercises into their core routines.

Guidelines for Optimal Exercise Performance

While undertaking a routine of pelvic floor exercises, it's important to follow certain guidelines to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Technique: The Path to Efficiency

Proper technique is crucial. When performing kegels or other exercises, focus on isolating the pelvic floor muscles and avoid holding your breath or tensing other unrelated muscles.

Timing is Key

Determine the optimal schedule of exercise that works for you. For kegels, aim for at least three sets of 10-15 repetitions daily. Ideally, one set is performed in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one in the evening.

Listening to Your Body: The MVP of Exercise

Prioritize tuning in to your body's signals. If an exercise causes discomfort or pain, discontinue it and consult with a healthcare provider.

Craftily Maintaining Pelvic Floor Health

Enhancing your pelvic floor health extends beyond a set of exercises. There are lifestyle choices that can further fortify these muscles.

The Weighty Issue: Pregnancy and Pounds

Being mindful of weight gain during pregnancy is important for many aspects of health, including maintaining the strength and health of the pelvic floor.

Nourishment for the Pelvic Floor

Ensuring that your diet is supporting, not hindering, your pelvic floor is essential. A diet rich in fiber can help combat constipation, a common issue during pregnancy that can strain the pelvic floor.

Seeking Professional Guidance

Every pregnancy is unique, and it is essential to receive personalized advice from a qualified healthcare professional. They can provide recommendations, tailored exercises, and address any concerns you may have.

Conclusion: The Empowered Path to Pelvic Wellness

The journey through pregnancy and into motherhood is filled with changes, both physical and emotional. By incorporating prenatal pelvic floor exercises into your daily routine, you can provide your body with the tools it needs for a strong and healthy transition. Remember to be diligent, listen to your body, and seek guidance when in doubt. Prioritizing your pelvic floor health will not only benefit you in the short term but also set you up for a lifetime of health and wellness.

ProKegel is a leading brand in pelvic floor strengthening and urinary incontinence management.
We offer FDA approved Kegel exercise products. Over 1,0000 women have used this method
✅Reverses prolapse, incontinence and diastasis recti
✅ Reduce pelvic and lower back pain
✅ Increase sexual desire
✅ Improve overall posture
✅Supports postpartum recovery
✅ Stronger core

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