Pregnancy and postnatal pelvic floor exercises: The how and why

Exercising your pelvic floor frequently and regularly is something all women should do for life to avoid incontinence issues in later life.

Commencing exercises during pregnancy can help women have less back pain during pregnancy, and can improve recovery times postpartum. Incontinence is something no woman should have to endure, and good care of your pelvic floor is crucial to preventing and managing incontinence both during pregnancy and postpartum.

Pelvic floor exercises need to be done many times a day every single day; this needs to be well above just a few here and there when you think of them. The recommendation is for eight exercises three times a day, but for those experiencing difficulties it is a good idea to do more (a total of 100 exercises a day is a good target). Additionally it is a good idea to attend to some core exercises, as well as light stretching. A combination of these three things can reduce many pregnancy discomforts.

There are many great opportunities to do them:

  • While the kettle boils
  • While you breastfeed your baby
  • When you lay down to go to sleep
  • Waiting at the traffic lights
  • As you brush your teeth

It is a good idea to regularly attend your pelvic floor exercises during normal routine activities.

To make them really effective, it is also important to do some variations. Don’t just do quick pull up exercises, also do some where you hold it for a few seconds (a count of 4 is a good start), as well as doing some more challenging variations where you pull up in steps and relax the same way (this means pulling the muscles up over 3 steps, and then releasing the muscles over 3 steps, if you can do this you have excellent pelvic floor muscles).

If you would like more assistance with managing pregnancy discomforts or postpartum incontinence, please contact Bundle of Care for a consultation. Bookings can be made via the online booking form for home visits, online consults and email support.