Pelvic floor exercises and a Pilates take on Pelvic floor.
Making them work hard for you!
The pregnancy exercises that you may have heard of (or will probably hear about) are the kegel pelvic floor exercises. These are generally advised by the practitioners or physiotherapists at your hospital visits and information sessions.
These involve locating and lifting you pelvic floor muscles. Essentially, they are the muscles (that aren’t your butt) that you sit on and the ones you use to hold it in; when you need to hold it in. Once you have worked out where they are, the idea is to draw them up and inside the pelvis bowl, with the aim to hold them for 5-10 seconds whilst breathing. You can do this where ever and whenever and the degree of difficulty will change depending whether you are standing, sitting or lying down.
These exercises are best suited for those with stress incontinence (a little leak when you laugh sneeze or cough) and not so much for women with severe leakage.
A Pilates take on pelvic floor
Clinical Pilates exercises may also be able to aid the control and strength of your pelvic floor as well as help engage through your core – this is not your six pack (rectus abdominals) or part of your waist muscles (obliques), but the layer lower and closer to your spine; your transverse abdominals (TA) and multifidi.
We are a little biased, but these are a LOT more fun then just raising and relaxing. A good one can be when you are kneeling on all fours (ensuring that your knees are under you hips and wrists are under your shoulders). Whilst stabilising the rest of your body, kick one leg in and out, ensuring that you are breathing through this exercise and repeating 15-20 times gently on each leg. It can be a little tricky to get this all co-ordinated so ask your exercise health care practitioner.
Each mum-to-be will have a different plan and idea of how they want their pregnancy and birth to go (and have different incontinence issues). Have a think about what you would like and have a chat to your partner. Make sure you share your thoughts with the practitioner looking after your pregnancy and birth so that everyone is on the same page. If your incontinence symptoms or low back and leg pain are impacting your daily activities or if you have any concerns, make an appointment to see your health care practitioner for advice and referral if needed.
Exerts taken from healthcreationformumsandbubs.wordpress.com
Written by Dr Christine Fraser of Health Creation Centre.