By Suzina Williamson of Home Fitness Personal Training During by bestt571


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									                     By Suzina Williamson of Home Fitness Personal Training

During pregnancy you will often hear about the pelvic floor and of pelvic floor exercises.
Here I provide a description of what it is, how to exercise it and the importance of doing so.

The Muscles
The Pelvic Floor Muscles are located in the lower pelvis area between your legs. They go from your
pubic bone (at the front) to the base of the spine (at the back).
Their role is to support the bladder and keep the bowel and womb in place. They also control the
vagina, urethra and anus. During childbirth these muscles can be weakened or damaged. If so, it could
result in stress incontinence, prolapsed bladder and decreased sexual satisfaction.

Doing pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy means the pelvic muscles will be able to support the
extra weight of the abdomen, assist during the 2nd stage of labour and assist in healing the perineum
(between the vagina and anus).

How do you find your Pelvic Floor muscles?
At first it can be difficult to know if you are using your pelvic floor. Persist, it does become easier as
you become more body aware.
Imagine you are trying not to ‘pass wind’. You can also try to stop yourself from urinating mid flow
(never do this for the 1st wee of the day). You need to squeeze and lift, as if closing up the front and
back passages.

However, ensure you are not:

   •   Holding your breath
   •   Pulling in your stomach
   •   Squeezing your legs together
   •   Tightening your buttocks

How to exercise the pelvic floor
This is a guide to performing pelvic floor exercises. You can often do these anywhere although there
are variations, which will need to be performed in a suitable location.

   •   Hold in the muscles in your front and back passages
   •   Squeeze them 3 times
   •   Hold the contraction on each (but not your breath)
   •   Relax
   •   When in the normal position, push the muscles out. (This will help you to push during labour)
   •   Retighten the pelvic floor
   •   Repeat several times a day

You can perform both fast and slow pull-ups. You can sit or stand with your feet slightly apart or lie

Slow Pull-ups-Slowly tighten the pelvic floor muscles as hard as you can (keep breathing). Hold for
as long as possible. Release.
Fast Pull-ups-Repeat as above but pull the muscles up and then release immediately.

Repeat each five times or until tired.
As the muscles get stronger you can hold each contraction longer. You will also be able to perform
more pull-ups. It should take just a few weeks to see an improvement but you must exercise them
regularly for several months to really improve their strength.

How many should I do and how often?
It will vary from person to person depending on how weak they are to start with. Aim for 50 a day but
increase it to 100 a day over the months.
If you are suffering incontinence you need to perform enough repetitions to ensure this no longer
As a test to see how you are improving you can stop yourself mid flow whilst urinating.

Even when the muscles are strong you must continue the exercises. You can perform them a couple of
times a day forever.

Other tips

   •   If you are going to sneeze, contract the pelvic floor to prevent leakage
   •   Don’t urinate just incase. Only go when you have to
   •   Be careful not to put on excess weight as this will put more stress on the pelvis

Written by Suzina Williamson of Home Fitness Personal Training
Telephone: 07930 302 102

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