As a mother of four and expecting my fifth child, I cannot stress how important looking after your pelvic floor muscles is both during pregnancy and immediately afterwards.
As a mother of four and expecting my fifth child, I cannot stress how important looking after your pelvic floor muscles is both during pregnancy and immediately afterward.
Believe it or not, one in three women experience pelvic floor
weakness at some stage in their lives and the most common cause for us ladies is pregnancy
Realistically nobody wants a leaky bladder. Personally, there is nothing more embarrassing than laughing, coughing or sneezing and piddling yourself at the same time, there really isn't. But here's the thing you CAN help prevent a weak pelvic muscle
and you can start right now as you read through this article.
Alongside urine incontinence, there are many other symptoms of a weak pelvic floor including bowel incontinence, which means you cannot always control the passing of wind or faeces. In some cases, a weakened pelvic floor can cause sexual difficulties such as reduced vaginal sensation and let's be honest who wants that? A strong pelvic floor will help make intercourse more pleasurable.
Prevention is better than a cure, here are our top tips to look after your pelvic floor:
To practise simple pelvic floor exercises, you must pull your muscles in then up as hard as possible. Make sure you squeeze your bum closed and lift your vagina upwards and hold it for three to five seconds at a time.
- Always remember to breathe during your exercises; holding your breath is not recommended.
- You can practise pelvic floor muscles at any time of the day. While you are going to the toilet, in the shower, brushing your teeth or even cooking dinner.
- It is recommended to pelvic floor exercises numerous times throughout your day. Start with five hard pulls holding each pull and build yourself up to 10-15 seconds at a time. After a couple of weeks, you will begin to notice a huge improvement in your muscles.
- Next time you need to use the toilet use it as an opportunity to practice tightening your muscles. When you begin to pee try to stop or slow down the flow by pulling your muscles tight and upwards.
- If you feel like you are about to sneeze, cough or laugh and you think you might leak urine, try to squeeze your pelvic floor and hold it hard until the activity is over.
- Having a healthy pelvic floor after pregnancy is extremely beneficial to your over health as your body returns to its pre-pregnancy state. It will help you return to your active lifestyle and heal much quicker regardless of how you delivered your baby.
If you are struggling with the exercises and need some guidance don't suffer in silence, mention it to your Obstetrician - he or she will be able to help you and if they can't they will refer you to a physiotherapist who sure as hell will. A few sessions will have you in tip top shape in no time.
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of kids aged 2, 3, 4 and 8. A self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie's love include coffee, doughnuts, travel and sharing every day true to life moments on Instagram of her expanding family. Follow her on Instagram.