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How to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor


What is the Pelvic Floor?

The pelvic floor is a group of muscles and ligaments that support the bladder and bowel. The pelvic floor muscles attach to your pubic bone at the back and the base of the pelvis.

Why my Pelvic floor so important?

When the pelvic floor is strong, it supports the pelvic organs and prevents a variety of problems like:

– Incontinence

– Prolapse (lack of support) of the bladder, uterus and bowel.

Things that most commonly cause Pelvic Floor weakness are:

– Child birth especially a big baby or prolonged pushing phase

– Body weight

– Constipation

– Heavy lifting

– Getting older

– Menopause

During pregnancy there is increased pressure on the pelvic floor, and childbirth can stretch the pelvic floor muscles. Also during pregnancy, hormones soften all the ligaments and muscles of the pelvic outlet so that the baby’s head can be pushed out during birth. It is important to do pelvic floor exercises throughout your pregnancy to maintain strength in these important stabilisers.

After having your baby, you can gradually increase your fitness levels from about 6 weeks, returning to normal exercise by about 12 weeks, making sure you get the go ahead from you practitioner. This is so important with regaining strength back to the pelvic floor.

The best thing about the pelvic floor it can be strengthened anytime and anywhere.

How to isolate your Pelvic Floor?

Sit, stand tall, lie on your back with your knees bent and legs comfortably apart or kneel on your hands and knees. Close your eyes and think about what muscles you would tighten to stop yourself from passing wind or hold on from passing urine “stopping mid stream”

To strengthen sit comfortably and squeeze to muscles 10-15 times in a row. You should feel your pelvic floor muscles “lift up” inside you rather than downward. Don’t hold your breath or tighten your stomach, buttocks or thighs at the same time. Try holding this squeeze for 10-15 seconds.

After 4-6 weeks most people notice an improvement but it can take as long as 3 months.

Hot tips!!

Always contract your muscles well. It’s not that easy to do. You really have to concentrate to isolate that activation of the pelvic floor muscles.

Contract your muscles when you cough, sneeze, laugh, lift or blow your nose to ensure good support to pelvic organs and good bladder control.

It can take a bit of time so always keep practising!



This post was written by Dr Deanna Cooper.
You can find out more about Deanna here or book an appointment with her here .
Alternatively, you can contact the clinic on 03 9908 2844.

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