Ever had a baby
Pelvic floor muscles take time to get back to their usual state after the birth. In fact the effects of the hormone ‘relaxin' can last up to 6 months in some women after the birth.
Some women are more at risk of pelvic floor problems during pregnancy and childbirth than others. These include women who have had:
- multiple births
- instrumental births (using forceps or ventouse)
- severe perineal tearing, or
- large babies (over 4Kg).
If you have recently had a baby, it is important to reduce the strain on your pelvic floor muscles (especially in the first few months) to help them to recover. Some easy ways to do this include:
- easing back into exercise, and making sure your exercise program is pelvic floor safe
- not lifting unless absolutely necessary, and
- bracing before you lift, sneeze or cough.
It is also important to look out for common signs of a pelvic floor problem, which may include:
- accidentally leaking urine when you exercise, laugh, cough or sneeze
- finding it difficult to empty your bladder or bowel
- accidentally losing control of your bladder or bowel
- accidentally passing wind, or
- a prolapse (this may be felt as a bulge in the vagina or a feeling of heaviness, discomfort, pulling, dragging or dropping).
Pelvic floor muscle exercises are important during pregnancy and childbirth. They are also important after you have a baby and you should always take special care of these muscles.
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