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Engage that floor

Pelvic floor lesson time

What is our pelvic floor?

It’s basically a muscular floor to our pelvis and supports our abdominal organs and the growing foetus, as well as being involved with continence of urine and faeces. It’s effectively a hammock that the urethra, vagina and anus pass through.

What happens to it during pregnancy?

It’s like a piece of elastic and it stretches to allow the baby to pass through during birth. Strong muscles will stretch and ping back, but if weak, they’re effectively like a dud piece of elastic and they go all saggy, ultimately leading to leakage issues.

NOTE: It’s not just down to the actual birth, but also down to the pressure that’s put on the muscle by the growing baby, so not all caesareans get out with theirs still working well.


Don’t do high impact exercises during pregnancy, such as jogging and jumping as these put extra pressure on the pelvic floor

Do pelvic floor exercises regularly to strengthen the muscles. I’m not going to into detail about how you do them as I’m sure you’ve been told, but what I would advise is that on the first go, you count to 10 and see how far you get. If you get to 10 that’s great news - carry on doing 10 second holds for up to 10 repetitions. If you get to say 6 and then feel it falling away, stop and go again, but only to 6. Keep doing as many 6 second holds as you can. Once you’re able to do 10 repetitions, then increase the hold time to 7 and so on. Don’t force your muscles to hold for longer than they’re comfortable with, as you’ll probably end up pulling on your abs/glutes/thighs and not really helping the pelvic floor. Try and do these 3-4 times a day and each time you do the long holds, also do 10 quick ones. I set myself a reminder on my phone to do them, but you could try and do them every time you go to the loo for example. It’s important to also keep doing them once you’ve given birth so the best time then is to do them when you’re feeding the baby.

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