Safeguarding your pelvic floor
SAFEGUARDING THE PELVIC FLOOR
Part of avoiding PFD is about avoiding putting TOO MUCH pressure down on your pelvic floor, through:
Breathing mechanics and ensuring that the diaphragm and upper abdominals aren’t overactive
We will go through this in detail in the Breathing 1
Breathing out through the effort in movement and exercise
This helps reduce intra-abdominal pressure and prevent excess demand on the pelvic floor. We will cover this in Breathing 2
Keeping your pelvic floor strong with kegels
Head to the "Kegels" section
N.B. we also want to make sure that your pelvic floor isn't too tight, or overactive, and that you can relax it.
There are some simple things you can do on the toilet to prevent bearing down on your pelvic floor, which could cause overactivity in the muscles, pelvic floor dysfunction, pain, tightness, hemarrhoids or even Pelvic Organ Prolapse! This is essential for all woment to know, especially during pregnancy and postpartum - head to the lesson on Toilet Habits.
Not lifting too much weight
While lifting weights is safe and recommended for pregnancy, we want to ensure that we don't lift TOO MUCH weight. Rather than an arbitrary number (like "3 kilos" or "11 kilos") I help you identify exactly how much weight is safe (and effective) for you in the lesson "How much weight is safe?"
Exercises that are high demand on your pelvic floor
You also need to know which exercises are higher demand on the pelvic floor - this doesn't mean that they are bad, just higher demand. So a squat can be very high demand because we are standing (and the weight of our organs and baby is on the pelvic floor) AND because the pelvic floor gets stretched at the bottom of the squat. By contrast, a glute bridge is very low demand on the pelvic floor
Impact can also be high demand on your pelvic floor. This programme is zero impact for that reason. Some of you might choose to continue running, so check out the lesson on running.
Symtoms of Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
It is important to be aware of signs that an activity is too much for your pelvic floor - symptoms like leaking, or a feeling of heaviness or bulging might mean that the demand is a little too high.
Your glutes support your pelvic floor, and this programme will help you keep them strong.
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy
Finally - it is a good idea to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist if you have any problems whatsoever, as well as after your birth.
Whether you are new to lifting weights or an experienced lifter, if you follow these guidelines, you’ll safeguard your pelvic floor.