Congratulations on the arrival of your baby! Throughout your pregnancy and delivery, your Pelvic Floor Muscles (PFM) have undergone HUGE changes. Think about a little baby elephant sitting on a trampoline and you’ll get an idea of what happens to your PFM as your pregnancy progresses. Then in labour, the PFM stretches three times beyond its normal length to allow the baby’s head to pass through. This is only possible under the hormonal changes that occur at this time, and is equivalent to your hamstring allowing your leg to go well beyond your head (think Cirque du Soleil)!
Consequently, your PFM is in desperate need of attention and rehabilitation! Please do not ignore this need! Follow the program below for at least three months after the delivery of your baby. It will reduce your chances of incontinence and prolapse, and also increase your sensation with sex and improve your efficiency with other exercise, such as running.
We highly recommend seeing one of our specially trained physiotherapists 6 weeks after delivering your baby (vaginal or C-section), to ensure you are on track with your recovery.
1. LOCATE the PFM – the muscles that stop flatus and the flow of urine at the same time
2. ISOLATE the PFM – keep your tummy, buttocks and legs relaxed
3. BREATHE – continue to breathe normally throughout the exercises
4. RELAX – your PFM completely between contractions
5. POSITION – lying down, 4 point kneeling, sitting or standing
Your PFM program to be performed 3-5 times per day:
1. STRENGTH: imagine your PFM as an elevator, creating a squeeze and lift sensation in your vagina.
2. Contract your PFM to level 1, 2 and 3 then release. Repeat 10 times.
3. ENDURANCE: now contract your PFM to level 2. Hold for 8 seconds, lift again at 4 seconds to ensure you do not lose the contraction. Repeat 8 times
4. SPEED: quick contractions, on/off/on/off. Repeat 10 times
5. FUNCTIONAL: contract your PFM before you lift, cough or sneeze
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