Pevlic Floor Exercises

The following exercises are brought to you thanks to the NHS and Dr. Hannah Strom of Awake Pelvic Health and Wellness.

If you are currently pregnant, it is beneficial to incorporate the exercises outlined below into your daily routine. These exercises are designed to strengthen your muscles, supporting the additional weight of pregnancy. They also promote stronger joints, improved circulation, alleviate backache, and contribute to your overall well-being/mental health.

Stomach-strengthening exercises: To address the increasing hollow in your lower back as your baby grows, these exercises target and strengthen your abdominal muscles, potentially relieving backache, which is common during pregnancy. Here's how to perform them:

  1. Start in a box position, with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Keep your fingers facing forward and lift your abdominals to maintain a straight back.
  2. Engage your stomach muscles and raise your back toward the ceiling, curling your trunk while allowing your head to gently relax forward. Avoid locking your elbows.
  3. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly return to the box position.
  4. Be mindful not to hollow your back excessively, ensuring it always returns to a straight or neutral position.
  5. Perform these movements slowly and rhythmically, repeating them 10 times to engage your muscles and move your back with care.
  6. Move your back only as far as is comfortable for you.

Pelvic tilt exercises: This exercise involves standing with your shoulders and bottom against a wall, maintaining soft knees. Follow these steps:

  1. Pull your belly button toward your spine, flattening your back against the wall. Hold this position for 4 seconds, then release.
  2. Repeat this sequence up to 10 times.

Pelvic floor exercises: The pelvic floor muscles undergo significant strain during pregnancy and childbirth. Strengthening these muscles can help reduce or prevent stress incontinence, which is common in pregnant women and may persist after giving birth. Here's how to perform pelvic floor exercises:

  1. Find a comfortable position by sitting or lying down with your knees bent.
  2. Squeeze and tighten the muscles around your back passage, as if you were trying to stop the flow of urine and prevent flatulence.
  3. Inhale as you squeeze and tighten the muscles, then exhale while relaxing them.
  4. Initially, try to perform these exercises quickly.
  5. Gradually increase the duration of each squeeze, attempting to hold it for as long as you can before relaxing. Aim for a count of 10.
  6. Aim to complete three sets of eight squeezes every day. You can associate each set with a mealtime to help remember.
  7. Additionally, practice tightening your pelvic floor muscles before and during coughing and sneezing.

By following these exercises and incorporating pelvic floor muscle contractions into daily activities, you can enhance the strength and function of your pelvic floor muscles during and after pregnancy. For the best optimization and a tailored exercise plan for your needs, ask for a referral to PFPT. Please see our peer recommended provider resource section to find an exceptional PFPT in your area.