Part One: Getting to the Core of the matter.
What needs to be as flexible as your tongue, as strong as your abdominals and is incredibly important to the pregnant and postnatal body?!
Well, yes, but I was referring to your Pelvic Floor! Along with the transversus abdominis, multifidi and diaphragm, the Pelvic Floor is considered part of the “Inner Core” or “True Core”.
What does the Pelvic Floor do?
These muscle systems work together to stabilize the pelvis, lumbar spine and rib cage when stress is placed on them… ummm, like during pregnancy or when carrying a newborn baby around.
The Pelvic Floor muscles help to hold the pelvis together and connect the pelvis to the femur (thigh bone). Daily, they work against gravity to hold up the contents of the abdomen and control what comes out, and when!
During pregnancy, the weight of a growing uterus and baby put a great deal of extra load on these muscles. Two of the most obvious and uncomfortable issues with a weakened Pelvic Floor are incontinence and hemorrhoids. A strong Pelvic Floor is needed for a more comfortable pregnancy.
Looking into the pelvis at the muscles of the Pelvic Floor.
Why do we need a healthy Pelvic Floor?
A healthy Pelvic Floor is also essential for childbirth. Equally as important to a strong Pelvic Floor is a flexible Pelvic Floor. During birth it must know how to release, relax and expel! This flexibility can make pushing more effective, and therefore, possibly shortening this stage of labour and making it less exhausting.
After the birth of a baby, including a Caesarean birth, the Pelvic Floor is compromised and needs special attention to heal and function well. We highly recommend all postnatal bodies to see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist within the first six weeks of recovery.
A physiotherapist will be able to let you know specifically what to address within your body. If unattended, a dysfunctional Pelvic Floor can lead to a host of uncomfortable and undesirable affects including:
- Urinary Stress & Urge Incontinence
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Chronic pelvic pain
- Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)
- And can even contribute to back pain and cause mummy tummy.
Don’t panic! Appropriate and safe exercising will help with blood circulation and delivery of oxygen to these important muscles as well as exercising the muscles themselves.
Let us show you how to show your Floor some Love!