As a trainer specialising in pre and postnatal personal training, I have to be in the know about the pelvic floor. In reality the pelvic floor is something all girls and guys need to be aware of. However this particular information is for all of the new mums out there!
As a mum (especially a new one) your pelvic floor is something you need to be aware of and vigilant with when embarking on any fitness plan. Remember, to get started on a postnatal fitness plan you need to be at least 6 weeks postpartum (natural delivery) and at least 12 weeks postpartum if you had a C-section. The most important thing, no matter what stage you are at, is for you to ensure you have your doctor’s clearance before you begin. Remember – look after your body!
Here I fill you in on all of the fun facts about the pelvic floor; what the issues are, how to know if you have them and how to modify your program to work around them.
Depending on many factors including your age, stage of motherhood, your pregnancy and birth experiences, the number of children you have and several other factors; you may experience varying degrees of pelvic floor issues. From your own experiences you might already be well aware of what your body and pelvic floor are capable of when it comes to exercise, and that is great!
If you aren’t quite sure, don’t worry we have you covered. Below is a little information on the pelvic floor, what to look out for, and how to work within your limits.
What is the Pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that form the base of your core muscles; it’s a bit like a sling that holds everything in place. The pelvic floor works along side your tummy muscles, back muscles, and diaphragm to help support your spine and your abdomen. As the name would suggest your pelvic floor also supports your pelvic organs, and plays a large part in bladder and bowel control.
The sure fire ways to tell you have a problem pelvic floor:
- Leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
- Needing to go to the toilet urgently / not making it to the toilet in time
- Needing to go to the toilet frequently
- Difficulty emptying the bladder / bowel
- A prolapse
- Pain in the pelvic area
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Poor sensation or loss of bladder control during sexual intercourse.
I have a great little test I complete with my clients to assess the strength of the Pelvic Floor. You can do this test in the comfort of your own home. If you have no issues at all when completing the test, you are good to go girl! If you do find you have difficulty with the test, no problem; it is simply a case of modifying exercise – no biggie. Here is the test:
Simply complete 10 starburst jumps in quick succession, one immediately following the other. If you manage to complete 10 in a row with no bladder weakness, pain or an urgent need to go to the toilet – you have got this! If you do experience any of these issues, you need to keep your exercise program / any exercise you partake in low impact and continue with kegal exercises. If you have no idea what I am talking about when I say kegal exercises, it is a good idea to consult a specialised physiotherapist who can help you with this.
For more information and a consultation to make sure you are keeping your pelvic floor safe, contact me.