Time to work that pelvic floor
What you need to know about the importance of working that pelvic floor
If you want to be able to laugh, cough and jump for the rest of your life without weeing a bit, then it’s time to start building those pelvic floor muscles!
Known as stress incontinence, these small accidents can last long after pregnancy. Many mums have it, so there’s no need to feel even remotely embarrassed.
The problem is pregnancy and labour do nothing whatsoever for your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor muscles surround and support the organs in your pelvis; your womb, bowels and bladder. So starting right now, you need to strengthen those layers of elusive pelvic floor muscles that stretch like a supportive hammock from your pubic bone to the end of your backbone. Pelvic floor exercises can also aid your recovery after birth.
How to do pelvic floor exercises:
These exercises definitely fall into the boring but important category in life, but thanks to all the childish, rude words in the instructions, you won’t be able to get through without a snigger. Here we go:
- close your anus as if you're trying not to fart (we did warn you!)
- at the same time, draw in your vagina as if you're gripping a tampon (yes really), and your urethra as if you’re trying not to wee
- at first, do this exercise quickly - tightening and releasing the muscles immediately
- then do it sloooowly, holding the contractions for as long as you can before you relax. Try to count to 10.
- *ask yourself just how strange your facial expression is right now...
- try to do three sets of eight squeezes every day
Any time, any place, anywhere...
You can do these exercises anywhere – while you’re washing up, watching TV or waiting for a bus.
To help you remember, you could do a set before each meal. Also practise tightening up your pelvic floor muscles while you’re coughing and sneezing – it’s good practice for the future!