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Pregnancy

There are certain changes that everyone’s body goes through during pregnancy that affect the Pelvic Floor and Abdomen.  For some the changes will be minimal and for others much more significant.

We go into more detail below about how your Pelvic Floor & Abdomen are affected during Pregnancy.

Changes to the Pelvic Floor

The Pelvic Floor tends to be a muscle that most Women only realise they have once encounter issues such as leakage and strange feelings down below. It is in fact one of the most important muscles in your body acting like a sling helping to hold up your bladder, bowel and uterus. And when pregnant also supporting and holding up your baby. The weight of your baby and increased uterus puts extra weight down on the Pelvic Floor muscle which can become stretched and weaker. This then can lead to unwanted symptoms. There are simple exercises that you can do throughout Pregnancy to help lessen these changes in the Pelvic Floor.

Changes to Abdomen

There are also major changes that happen to your Abdomen during Pregnancy and the increased weight of your baby and uterus on this changed Abdomen can lead to problems such as low back pain, pelvic pain and pain down the back of the leg. Exercises that help build the Deep Core Strength helps to reduce the impact of this increased weight causing these issues.

Symptoms that Can Arise from these Changes in Pregnancy

  • Incontinence – leakage of urine or faeces
  • Feelings of pressure down below
  • Prolapse
  • Lower back pain or Pelvic Pain
  • Pubic Symphysis Pain – pain around pubic area
  • Stretched abdominal muscles and in some cases tears can occur in the muscles
  • Separated abdominal muscles – Diastasis Recti.

Go to next Lesson to learn how our simple Pelvic Floor & Core Exercises can help reduce or prevent these symptoms.

Factors Before & After Pregnancy that can make these Symptoms Worse

Factors that can be present before Pregnancy and during Pregnancy that can cause the changes to be more significant include:

  • Older Age – >35
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Chronic constipation or straining during bowel movements
  • Heavy lifting of weights
  • Chronic coughing issues
  • Advanced abdominal exercises
  • Number of Pregnancies
  • Twin, Triplet or Quad Pregnancies

1) Improve Overall Pelvic Floor & Core Function

To have a well Functioning Pelvic Floor and Core it needs to be have good strength and endurance as well as the ability to be able to fully relax helping prevent it becoming overactive which can lead to other issues.

2) Improve Strength & Endurance of the Pelvic Floor

Certain Pelvic Floor Exercises help improve the strength, endurance and speed it can work.  By improving these factors it helps to withstand the increasing pressures inside of you caused by the expanding weight of the baby and uterus on the Pelvic floor and Abdomen.  The Foundation stage of this Program will help teach you how to connect to your Pelvic Floor and Core Muscles and how to activate them with simple exercises.  Once you have grasped these Foundation exercises there are simple 6-7 min Workouts you can do to help progress these Foundation exercises and get the core muscles working with Movements and Resistance.

3) Improve Ability of Pelvic Floor to be able to Fully Relax

It is also important to learn to be able to fully Relax the Pelvic Floor.  This will help prevent issues from developing that can be associated with an overactive Pelvic Floor and also help the Pelvic Floor to be able to relax during the birth helping to reduce chances of Tears and Prolapse.  The Foundation Stage of this Program will teach you how to fully relax the Pelvic Floor and then there will Pelvic Floor Relaxation to practice at the end of each of the Pelvic Floor and Core Workouts.

1) Watch the 2 Intro Videos (just 5 mins in total) to learn:

  • About the basics about the Pelvic Floor & Core
  • How to Breathe correctly with the 360 Breathing Technique and relax your Pelvic Floor
  • How to Engage the Pelvic Floor & Deep Core Muscles Correctly
  • How to Fully Relax your Pelvic Floor
  • NB. To get Maximum Benefit of the Exercises and Meet the Challenge it is important to watch these videos to learn how to correctly work the right deep core muscles and not the wrong muscles

2) Learn the 4 Foundation Exercises to Improve Muscle:

  • Strength,
  • Endurance
  • Repetition & Speed Ability
  • Elevation Control

3) Practice the 4 Exercises 3 Times A Day.  Try to practice in the different positions at different times.  Once you have got to grips with these 4 exercises then you can move on to trying the workouts.  Start with Workout 1 and if can complete easily move to the next Workout.

The great thing about this challenge is you can do the exercises anytime and no equipment or space needed.

The 2 Introductory Videos

The Exercises

There are 9 Pelvic Floor & Core Workouts and each is 6-7 Minutes Long

When it says ENGAGE in the exercise that means engage your Pelvic Floor & Core muscles and when it says RELAX in the exercise that means to relax those muscles.

There are 2 options for Each Workout

Option 1 – A Video Timed Playback of the workout which you can just click play and follow along to.  There are 10 second rest intervals between each exercise showing the next exercise coming up

Option 2 – A Self Led Version – you can work through each exercise at your own pace and it tells you how many Repetitions of each exercise to do

The Workouts get progressively harder.

Start with Workout 1 and practice on a daily basis until you can do all the repetitions in the exercises with no problems (see our next 2 sections on Medical Symptoms to be Wary Of & Tummy Doming).  Then you can tick COMPLETE and move onto the next workout.

Once you have completed all the Workouts then we advise to continue with one a day throughout your Pregnancy to help maintain the Pelvic Floor strength and function and stop the unwanted Pregnancy symptoms starting.  This is because as the weight of the baby and uterus continues to increase during Pregnancy it will continue to put more pressure on your Pelvic floor and Core.

The best results will come from practicing the workouts on a daily basis.However we know that this is not possible for everyone so choose a number of workouts to do each week ie 2, 3 or 4 and try to stick to doing that number of workouts per week on certain days.  One workout a week is better than nothing but as with any exercise will just not be as effective as doing more.

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