The importance of pelvic floor exercises in pregnancy

Why should I do pelvic floor exercises? I’ve heard that it needs to be relaxed during labour, not contracted. 

Pelvic floor exercises are vital for several reasons including not weeing yourself post labour(!), and are an important part of the labour preparations too. Relaxing it is important but the exercises are what enable you to control it as directed by midwives in labour, so they very are important. People also say they help prevent prolapse too and although that’s true it’s also uncommon.

I’ve heard that it’s more important to practice squats during pregnancy than pelvic floor exercises. Is that true?

There’s no denying that squats are beneficial, especially if you think you might like to give birth in that position. However pregnancy is not the time to start hitting the squat rack if you’ve never set foot near it before.

Instead maybe try squatting against a wall. Lower yourself down until your knees are at a right angle. Hold the position if you can. If not raise yourself up and down for about a min. Keep your back pressed into the wall.

What pelvic floor exercises should I do?

  1. Slowly relax and contract the pelvic floor ten times, then do the same quickly.
  2. Image your pelvic floor as a lift that goes up three “floors”. Lift it up to each floor and release back down stopping at each “floor” on the way.
  3. Contract the pelvic floor and hold it for a count of ten.

Try and do these at least three times a day. Maybe every mealtime? Or every time you stop at a red traffic light? You could also set a reminder on your phone.

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