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Baby Steps to Pelvic Health: Why Your Pelvic Floor Muscles Must Be Checked During Pregnancy

During your prenatal visits to your doctor, don’t forget about your pelvic floor! Let’s delve deeper into why you and your baby need to have the best pelvic health during pregnancy.

  1. You need them when you are pregnant.

As your baby grows, there is increasing pressure on your bladder, bowel, and pelvic floor muscles. Optimising pelvic floor muscle function during pregnancy can help prevent issues like urinary incontinence, pelvic heaviness, or prolapse. This proactive approach may also enable you to stay active, even if such problems might otherwise limit your ability to exercise.

  1. You need them for birth.

During vaginal delivery, the pelvic floor can stretch up to three times its resting length without injury and can recover. Pelvic floor muscles must relax to allow the baby to descend through the birth canal. Understanding how your pelvic floor muscles function and engaging in pelvic floor exercises can expedite the second stage of labour and contribute to a smoother and faster recovery.

  1. You need them immediately after birth.
    As soon as you sit or stand after giving birth, it’s game on. The pelvic floor muscles are in the early stages of healing and require rest. If you’re not in pain, not using a urinary catheter, and have no complications, it may be a good time to begin with gentle pelvic floor contractions. Remember that your goal is not to achieve personal bests. Focus on small wins, with movements that regenerate nerves and heal without causing pain. Prior knowledge and guidance are important for effective and safe postpartum pelvic floor exercises.
  2. It’s easier to practise and master.
    Between sleep deprivation and having a baby that needs your constant attention, your pelvic floor recovery may not be a top priority. Similar to athletes practising before a competition, mothers can benefit from preparing in advance to ensure a smoother postpartum recovery.
  3. Pelvic floor recovery shouldn’t be an afterthought.
    By the four to six-week post-delivery mark, when many mums schedule their postnatal assessments, pelvic floor recovery is well underway. Knowing of do’s and don’ts during this period can further support and enhance the recovery process.

6. If you’re not doing them right, it may be counterproductive.
Up to 50% of women perform their pelvic floor contractions incorrectly, often bearing down instead of drawing up and in. Incorrect techniques, such as exerting downward pressure on a recovering pelvic floor, can be counterproductive and hinder healing. Pelvic floor exercises are more than just attempting to stop urination.

The bottom line: You only get one pelvic floor. While postnatal healing takes time, knowing what to do beforehand can take the stress and anxiety out of it and help you bounce forward to embrace life!

If you would like to learn more about getting your pelvic floor muscles checked during pregnancy or how to perform pelvic floor exercises, please call or WhatsApp us at 9780 7274, or get in touch by email at help@embracephysio.sg.

Feel free to look through our website, where you can learn about other women’s health conditions we treat. This is a safe space where we can discuss how we can help you with physiotherapy.

Note: While I am a physiotherapist, I am not your personal physiotherapist. The contents of this website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as personal medical advice.

References:

  1. https://www.embracephysio.sg/what-is-urinary-incontinence/
  2. https://www.embracephysio.sg/managing-pelvic-organ-prolapse-yes-you-can-feel-better/
  3. https://www.embracephysio.sg/what-is-a-womans-pelvic-floor/
  4. https://www.embracephysio.sg/the-6-week-postnatal-appointment/#content
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/kegel-exercise
5 Star Google Reviews
Embrace Physiotherapy is committed to 5 star client satisfaction.

My experience with embrace from start to finish was nothing short of professional, warm and understanding. After my third pregnancy, I had lots of dull, heavy tugging pain low in my abdomen. I had also been suffering for years with urinary hesitancy. Went to so many different doctors and specialists to find out what was causing it, with no luck. It was only when I chanced upon embrace’s blog did I get some insight (or even awareness at all) into women’s pelvic health. I wrote in to enquire, and my worries were met with assurance and suggestions, at no cost. Preet is friendly, approachable and made me feel comfortable throughout what could have been an embarrassing therapy. It was so comforting to finally be heard, understood and not dismissed as “this is normal” the way all the doctors had. No amount of reading up compares to having real time feedback with kegels by a trained professional. 6 months in and I feel a world of difference! If anyone out there feels any less about her body after pregnancy or feels pain or discomfort in any way, or resorted to accepting “this is my new normal”, trust me you’re not alone. If you’re living in the east, I’d recommend embrace physiotherapy. They don’t pressure you to commit to regular sessions at all. No harm giving it a shot!

ayshaalkaff Avatar ayshaalkaff
June 27, 2022

I started seeing Preet about 6 weeks ago to try and resolve a niggling back pain. Preet was patient and thorough in her review of what was causing the problem. I found Preet approachable, trustworthy and professional in her approach. She showed me a handful of exercises to do which reduced the pain and made me feel so much better. Her genuine passion for what she does alongside her practical approach makes the service at Embrace unbeatable. Thank you!

Elizabeth Taylor Avatar Elizabeth Taylor
April 1, 2020

I had a fantastic experience visiting Preet’s clinic 6 weeks after I delivered my baby. The physio Alex was detailed, caring and thorough in her assessment of my pelvic floor, back and abdominal muscles. The clinic is a beautiful, calming place and perfect for new mums to get taken care of. Thank you and I would definitely recommend visiting Embrace not just for post-partum issues, but any issues to do with your physical well being particularly for women’s health. Keep up the good work Preet, Alex and the Embrace team!!

Ashima Taneja Avatar Ashima Taneja
February 3, 2022

Embrace life. Embrace Physiotherapy.

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