Pelvic Floor Exercises for Pregnancy
Having a strong pelvic floor can make your delivery easier and speed up your recovery process after birth. The pelvic floor muscles support all organs in your pelvis and keeping them fit is vital if you want to get proper control over your bladder and bowel and avoid urine leakage. Today we’ll share some techniques and exercises that can help you achieve just that.
Belly breathing is an easy exercise that you can practice any time you need to relax or relieve stress. This exercise keeps your abs and pelvic floor strong, increases the chances of easy delivery, and lowers the risk of incontinence.
How to do belly breathing:
- Find a comfortable position. Sit with your legs crossed or lie flat. Make sure your lower back is supported.
- Keep your shoulders still. Put one hand on your belly.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose. Your chest and shoulders should remain still.
- As you exhale through the mouth, draw your abs in. Make sure you push all air out.
- Repeat it 3 to 10 times.
Squats relieve lower back pain and are excellent for maintaining motion and strength in the hips, glutes, abdominals, and pelvic floor muscles. Aside from being an excellent resistance exercise, squats can also ease the delivery process because they open your hips and pelvis. This is an easy exercise you can perform during pregnancy without equipment.
How to do squats:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Press your palms together and slowly bend your knees.
- As you approach the deep squatting position, open your palms and place your hands on your knees to maintain balance.
- Stay in this position until you feel comfortable.
Slow Squeeze Pelvic Floor Exercise
Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and help the body support the growing weight of the baby.
How to do a slow squeeze:
- Slowly tighten and pull up the pelvic floor muscles.
- Try lifting the muscles inwards as long as you can.
- Try to achieve a string muscle tightening and hold it for 4 seconds,
- Rest for a bit and then repeat the contraction.
Can a Weak Pelvic Floor Cause Pregnancy Pain?
Yes, a weak pelvic floor can cause pregnancy pain and it can also lead to urinary and fecal incontinence as well as pelvic organ prolapse. Women with a weak pelvic floor also struggle with pelvic girdle pain and lower back pain. Exercising the pelvic floor muscles before and during pregnancy has a number of benefits. First, a healthy pelvic floor can decrease the damage done to the muscles by the weight of the baby. It decreases the risk of vaginal prolapse and injury during vaginal birth. Additionally, a strong pelvic floor muscle improves bowel and bladder control and makes sex more enjoyable during pregnancy.
How Do You Relieve Pelvic Pregnancy Pain?
There are a number of recommended ways that can help you reduce pelvic pain and discomfort:
- Do pelvic floor exercises regularly and relax with your hips elevated.
- Take warm baths.
- Rest as much as possible.
- If you start to experience severe pain, talk with your doctor about pregnancy-pain relievers.
- Wear flat shoes.
- Treat yourself with a prenatal massage. Make sure you contact a therapist certified in treating pregnant women.
- If possible, exercise in water. Swimming is considered to be one of the safest workouts for pregnant women because the buoyancy of the water prevents injuries during exercising. Aqua aerobics is another great option.
- Take pelvic physiotherapy sessions with a certified therapist. Pelvic physiotherapy can reduce symptoms of urinary and fecal incontinence and strengthen your pelvic floor, abdominals, back, and hip muscles.
- If you experience severe pain, use support equipment such as a belly sling or pelvic floor support crutches.
- To reduce back pain, apply a heating pad to your lower back for 20 minutes.
- Avoid activities in which your pain flares up.
If you need physical therapy treatment, please do not hesitate to contact our team at Pelvic Health PT.