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Understanding Pelvic Floor Health In Pregnancy

It's not a secret that pregnancy and childbirth are risk factors for developing urinary incontinence.

This is not just postpartum, either.

Urinary incontinence begins in the second and third trimesters for many women. In fact, one-third of pregnant women will develop urinary incontinence during pregnancy.

This is problematic for many reasons. One of which is that it is recommended for pregnancy women to exercise for 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Physical activity during pregnancy can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes (GDM) or assist to control blood sugar levels, decrease risk of pre-eclampsia, decrease risk of back pain, and decrease depression and anxiety.

But what if you find yourself leaking pee or developing prolapse during pregnancy?

In pregnancy, pelvic floor health is the key to fitness.

So what does pelvic health look like during pregnancy?

The pelvic floor muscles need to be able to fully contract and fully relax in all directions throughout pregnancy.

You need to have awareness and voluntary control over all aspects of the pelvic floor during pregnancy, as body movement mechanics change and impact the pelvic floor with the progression of pregnancy.

The pelvic floor muscles can become dysfunctional when they are either too tight, too weak, or over/under lengthened in a particular direction.

Problems can arise when any of these conditions are met. Finding out which of these issues you may be dealing with is the job of a pelvic floor physical therapist.

That said, there are general exercises that can target muscles that support the function of the pelvic floor, thereby reducing your risk of developing a compensation strategy.

Your Pelvic Floor Does Not Work Alone

These exercises include strengthening the hamstrings, inner thighs, deep core and maintaining good breathing mechanics throughout your pregnancy.

You can find a couple of examples below!

Hamstring Strengthening

Breathing Mechanics

Deep Core Activation

If you are dealing with pee leaks, prolapse or pain during your pregnancy, make sure to reach out and book a session here with us today!

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