Did you know that only half of women know how to perform a pelvic floor contraction and that one in three women who have had a baby wet themselves?
Your pelvic floor muscles are very important – and understanding how your pelvic floor works when you are trying to lose your pregnancy weight and lose stomach fat is equally as important and at Lose Baby Weight we are passionate about educating mums about the importance of taking care of your pelvic floor.
Your pelvic floor muscles are the muscles that hold in and support all of your pelvic organs. The muscles themselves stretch from your pubic bone to your tailbone – they are basically a big ‘shelf’ of muscle that supports all of the organs on top of them.
But what makes your pelvic floor important in the fight to lose your baby weight is the fact that these muscles work together with your stomach and back muscles to stabilise your spine. But whilst you work your pelvic floor to help prevent incontinence, you also help to improve your core, which in turn can help you to lose stomach fat.
What job do my pelvic floor muscles do?
- They help to hold the pelvic organs in place, especially when you do anything that exerts force such as coughing or laughing
- They help you to perform sexually
- They help to keep your pelvis stable
- They help to prevent incontinence
What happens to my pelvic floor muscles during birth?
When your baby travels through the birth canal, your pelvic floor muscles become stretched. These pelvic floor muscles become weak, and in more extreme cases, this can cause incontinence and prolapse of your pelvic organs.
How do I work my pelvic floor?
- You need to contract your pelvic floor muscle – and you do this by engaging the muscle that stops the flow of urine. At first, you might want to practise whilst you’re on the toilet – stop the flow of urine whilst you’re urinating. That’s the muscle you need to engage.
- Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
- Keeping your back passage relaxed, you need to breathe gently through your front passage – contracting the muscle that stops the flow of urine. Some women also imagine that they are drawing a tampon upwards using their pelvic floor muscles.
- Keep the rest of your muscles relaxed and breathe through the exercise
- Once contracted, release the muscle so that you learn how to both contract and release that muscle
Pelvic floor exercise video –
Is there anything I shouldn’t do?
Try not to do the following:
- Brace your abdominal wall
- Clench your bum cheeks
- Clench your thigh muscles
- Tense your thigh muscles
Do I need to do pelvic floor exercises?
As with all exercises, your pelvic floor muscles and how strong or weak they are is personal to you. If you have a weak pelvic floor, and you experience symptoms such as a heavy feeling, a vaginal bulge, a lack of sexual sensation, incontinence or having to rush to the toilet, you do need to do pelvic floor exercises.
Should I avoid anything when I have a weak pelvic floor?
A weak pelvic floor can lead to embarrassing situations such as wetting yourself in public, and so there are some things that you should avoid until you’ve strengthened your pelvic floor again. Avoid high impact exercises such as running, jumping and jogging, as well as exercises that make you feel like you need to bear down or push down such as squatting or lifting.
If you can contract and release your pelvic floor during an exercise, and you can feel the difference between the two, you should be okay to continue the exercise. If you cannot feel the difference, you should probably stop doing the exercise until your pelvic floor muscles become stronger.
Every woman’s ability to both lose weight and strengthen her pelvic floor muscle is different, so if you are ever unsure or if you have any questions, speak to a doctor or your midwife. And if you are suffering from pelvic floor problems, don’t suffer in silence – you can strengthen your pelvic floor, it will just take some time.