Hey pretty Mama,
WHAT IS THE PELVIC FLOOR?
The pelvic floor is a bit like a “sling”. It’s a set of muscles holding all of your internal organs inside, and they run from your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis right underneath you to the back bone behind you. They also cross across from underneath too from one sit bone to the other. It’s quite a complex series of muscles.
WHAT WEAKENS THE PELVIC FLOOR?
Contrary to belief, it’s actually pregnancy that weakens the pelvic floor muscles. Your baby gets heavier and heavier as your pregnancy develops, and the heavier he/she becomes, the more that the weight builds up, and this then places a lot of pressure on this “sling” set of muscles underneath you.
WHAT IS STRESS INCONTINENCE?
This is the term used when your pelvic floor muscles aren’t strong enough to withstand the amount of abdominal pressure that builds up when you laugh, cough, sneeze etc. What happens then is either urine or even fecal matter (that’s right!) leaks out.
HOW MANY WOMEN SUFFER WITH STRESS INCONTINENCE AFTER BIRTH?
- Typically, 30% of postnatal women will suffer with some form of stress incontinence for 3 months after birth,
- 15% of this 30% will suffer with stress incontinence for up to a year, and,
- If this wasn’t incentive enough to make you work “all areas” of your pelvic floor ladies, a staggeringly 4% of new mothers suffer with fecal incontinence.
WHAT’S THE BEST EXERCISE TO WORK THE PELVIC FLOOR?
Well, in many pregnant women, the pelvic floor muscles are actually quite tight. I don’t know about you, but I’d want a ‘flexible’ pelvic floor, rather than a tight one if I was about to have a baby! And, because a lot of us sit down for the majority of our day, whether it’s work, rest or play, it’s actually ‘tightening’ the pelvic floor muscles even further. So, what’s the best exercise to do? Squats! This helps strengthen your bottom (which tends to be weak), stretches your pelvic floor and puts the pelvic floor muscles in their most optimum position. Stand with your feet hip-distance, sit your butt back against a hard/wooden chair and then stand back up again. Push your bodyweight through your heels and really fire up your gluteal muscles and pelvic floor!
Hope this clarifies your pelvic floor questions. If it didn’t you know where to find me my lovelies, don’t hesitate to ask away.
Happy Squatting pretty Mamas and always be fit, be strong and keep smiling.