One of the questions I often get asked is will my pelvic floor muscles help me get through labour. The answer is yes! and for a couple of reasons.
1.If you have an increased awareness and strength of your pelvic floor muscles which only comes through practice you can learn to turn the muscles on and off. It is really important to be able to switch your pelvic floor muscle off and be able to relax as you’re going through 2nd stage of labour. If you have more awareness of the muscles this becomes easier.
2. The other reason is the stronger the muscles are before they go through trauma e.g. vaginal delivery (hopefully not too much trauma) the quicker and easier they recover. By doing pelvic floor exercises while pregnant the muscles build up what we call a muscle memory bank so when the time comes to do your pelvic floor exercises after delivery the muscles respond quicker and the increase in blood flow to the area promotes healing. When can I do my exercises after delivery you ask? well I say wait 24 hours and give it a go, if it hurts, stop and try the next day. Remember you may not feel much happening the first few times but keep practicing daily gently.
I teach all of this in my pregnancy pelvic floor programs and even if you are in your third trimester it’s never too late to start your pelvic floor exercises. You can register below.
I'm Melanie, a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.
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