You must have probably heard the term pelvic floor, but you might not know what it actually does. The pelvic floor is a set of sling-shaped muscles that supports the colon, rectum, spine, and reproductive organs. These muscles contract and dilate to promote the passage of gas and to start and stop the flow of stool and urine. These muscles may weaken over time or while engaging in certain activities. This happens most frequently during pregnancy and after delivery.
Since the pelvic floor supports vital organs, it is essential to take care of the pelvic floor health, especially during pregnancy. So, read on to find more about the pelvic floor.
How does pregnancy affect the pelvic floor?
The pelvic floor stretches throughout pregnancy to provide a place for the developing baby. Due to added weight, these muscles weaken over time. Instead of bouncing back to provide support, the weak muscles in the pelvic floor may not return to their former position.
You know that bladder control is difficult throughout pregnancy and becomes more difficult in the later months. This is due to the weakening of the women's pelvic floor muscles, making it challenging to contract the muscles required to keep pee from escaping the bladder. Another sign of a weak pelvic floor is a potential urge to urinate frequently throughout the day.
When there are issues in the pelvic floor health, it may also lead to pain during sex. It is crucial to develop pelvic floor muscle relaxation skills to preserve the pelvic floor's health. Additionally, if you have any of these signs, it is advisable to see a women’s health physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehabilitation.
How to improve the health of the pelvic floor?
Although being pregnant places strain on your pelvic floor, there are things you can take to ensure that it is in better health. Before deciding to become pregnant, a women's pelvic floor needs to be taken care of. This will assist in getting your pelvic muscles ready for the pregnancy and it will also provide support after the childbirth.
- Try to keep your weight within a healthy range. Although weight gain is common during pregnancy, it should only be within the acceptable range.
- While staying active throughout pregnancy is crucial, you should stay away from workouts and activities that impose pressure on your abdomen. Additionally, you must allow yourself time to rest and recover after exercising.
- You might indulge in pelvic floor exercises like pelvic tilts and Kegels. For assistance you can download the “Squeezy” app from the NHS.
It is vital to maintain the best possible pelvic floor health before pregnancy, during, and after pregnancy. If your pelvic floor health is excellent, the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy can assist and reduce the harm these muscles sustain from the pressure of carrying a baby. Additionally, a strong pelvic floor facilitates a quicker postpartum recovery.