As discussed in the last blog (http://fixandflex.com.au/pregnancy-and-the-pelvic-floor/), pregnancy & labour can place a large amount of strain on your Pelvic Floor muscles, which can cause weakness and lead to problems such as incontinence &/or an increased risk of prolapse.
Like any muscle, the pelvic floor muscles often do not return back to their full strength without a proper targeted training program. Pelvic floor exercises, if done correctly & regularly before, during and after pregnancy, can help address any weakness while you’re pregnant & after your baby is born. In addition to knowing how to correctly activate your pelvic floor, it is also just as important to learn how to let go & release these muscles, as during labour they need to have the ability to relax completely.
It is often quite difficult to feel if you are doing pelvic floor exercises correctly, so it is important to consult a practitioner trained in this area, such as a physiotherapist or Women’s health specialist.
For many women during pregnancy or for recovery post birth, it is important to follow a specific exercise program tailored to your individual needs. When done in the right environment, Pilates can achieve this. In addition to core muscle strengthening (including the pelvic floor), Pilates can address any other weakness or imbalances caused or exacerbated by pregnancy & birth, such as around your pelvis and spine, and can work on improving any pain in these areas. This often involves strengthening muscles such as your Glutes. Pilates can also address posture correction, as you may find you are often in positions that adopt a hunched back & rounded shoulders due to feeding, carrying or lifting the baby. Thus any resulting tightness or pain around your mid to upper back, neck and shoulders can be managed or prevented.
At Fix and Flex we can help with any of the above areas if you are thinking about getting pregnant, are pregnant, or have given birth, either recently or 30 years ago. It’s never too late to work on your core strength, posture or flexibility!