Why Are Pelvic Floor Exercises So Important?
By Anna Scammell
Masters-trained Women’s Health Physiotherapist
We hear so much about our pelvic floor, but why exactly are pelvic floor exercises so important? Well, Masters-trained Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Anna Scammell from The Whole Mother is going to shed light on your downstairs area, and give you the inspiration you need to start your pelvic floor exercises today!
1. To Keep You Continent
The reason we can sneeze, run across the road & hold in a wee when we are busting (without leaking) is our pelvic floor muscles. If the muscles are weak or dysfunctional (i.e. too tight or don’t work when they should) women find themselves leaking urine…not a pleasant experience. Since 1 in 3 women will be incontinent after childbirth, it is essential that women learn how to exercise their pelvic floor muscles correctly during pregnancy & postpartum.
2. To Prevent Your Organs Moving South
Your pelvic floor muscles support your internal organs (bladder, uterus & bowel) and therefore prevent them from moving south – otherwise known as a prolapse. Prolapse affects 50% of women after childbirth, giving them the feeling that their insides our falling out…again, not a nice sensation. The good news is that pelvic floor exercises can prevent prolapse…so get cracking ladies.
3. Optimize Your Childbirth & Recovery
Firstly, having a strong pelvic floor will facilitate your recovery, allowing your muscles to bounce back quicker after a vaginal birth. Secondly (and equally as importantly), learning how to completely relax your pelvic floor muscles and ensuring they are not tense is imperative to allowing your pelvic floor to stretch, enabling the baby to pass through the birth canal. Women who have an overactive (tight) pelvic floor can struggle with a vaginal birth, leading to instrumental intervention, pelvic floor injury or an emergency c-section.
4. Sexual Function
The evidence shows us that regular pelvic floor exercises have been shown to increase sexual function.
5. Core Stability
Along with your deep abdominal muscles, deep back muscles & diaphragm, your pelvic floor muscles are one of your core muscles. This means that your pelvic floor has an important role stabilizing the spine & pelvis. Having a strong core is incredibly important – it can improve your posture, optimise your recovery post-pregnancy, help prevent back pain, and assist you to look & feel stronger.
6. Prevent Weakness Associated with Menopause
Menopause brings about a reduction in oestrogen and causes our muscles to weaken. This includes our pelvic floor muscles. As a result, many women who are asymptomatic during most of their life, can then experience leakage and/or prolapse during menopause. The key is prevention – and that means doing your pelvic exercises during your 30’s and 40’s!
To learn how to exercise your pelvic floor CORRECTLY, grab Anna’s FREE PELVIC FLOOR GUIDE HERE.
Anna Scammell is a Masters-trained Women’s Health & Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist in Sydney, and Founder of www.thewholemother.com. Anna combines her 10+ years of clinical experience and evidence based knowledge to bring women in-person & online consults, E-books and Free Guides. Anna’s mission is to educate, empower & inspire as many women as possible to be the best version of themself during their childbearing years and beyond.
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