Before, throughout and after your pregnancy the main muscle you should be working on is your pelvic floor. These muscles lay deep within your core and also help stabilise your core muscles. Throughout your baby journey you need to think core and floor.
Benefits to a strong pelvic floor and exercise
improve bladder and bowel control
reduce the risk of prolapse
in women, this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping
in men, this may be felt as a bulge in the rectum or a feeling of needing to use their bowels but not actually needing to go
improve recovery from childbirth and gynaecological surgery
increase sexual sensation and orgasmic potential
increase social confidence and quality of life.
Prevent Diastasis Recti (separation of stomach muscles)
quicker delivery with pregnancy
body will recover quicker after having a baby
Simple Pelvic Floor Exercise
Lie/ sit/ stand with your feet slightly apart.
Draw up and tighten the muscles around your back passage and hold, then take the feeling around the front, lifting up through the vagina.
For slow contractions hold for a count to six, release with control, repeat for desired reps.
For fast contractions hold for a count to one, release with control, repeat for desired reps.
You can do this sitting, standing, lying flat on your back or on all fours.
Concentrate on your breath inhale and exhaling through the nose
Counting to five and on your fifth inhale pushing your belly button into your back (imagine your doing up a tight pair of jeans) tilt your pelvic up towards the ribs, do not squeeze your bum and contract all your TVA (transverse abdominis) muscles. Relax half, then relax half again so you are at about 30% of the maximal voluntary contractions. You should be able to hold this contraction and breath through it at the same time. The best way to describe the feeling is as if your holding your wee but please do not do this as it can lead to Urination trac infections.
Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat as many times as you can.
Aim to build up to 10 sets of 10 second holds and repeat three times a day or as often as possible.(no lying after the first trimester in pregnancy).
But I don’t have time? It only takes a few seconds to do and if you add it in to your morning and evening routines (whilst brushing your teeth, in the bath or shower) you will be well away building a strong core foundation.