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If You Only Do One Pregnancy Exercise…

You may not be able to see it, and may just believe you can feel it, but your pelvic floor is the most important body part to work out in pregnancy. Find out why…

So it’s an exercise you know you’re supposed to do. And you know it’s easy to do. But chances are you spend your morning train journey looking out of the window rather than concentrating on your pelvic floor exercises.

But now your pregnant, there really is no excuse. There isn’t a better pay off either – an easier birth. Ready to learn more?

What is your pelvic floor?

Well, quite simply, it’s a muscle. A very important muscle that allows you to control your bladder, bowel and uterus (womb) – basically, it stops you having any little accidents and keeps your unborn baby in place – and is a vital part of giving birth.

Why you need to work it

Having a weak pelvic floor, makes it harder for you to squeeze the muscles (sphincters) at the bottom of your bladder to stop wee escaping. A common clue that you have a weak pelvic floor is if a little wee escapes when you sneeze or exercise.

On the flip side, exercising your pelvic floor helps things work out in your favour.

This is not only around the time you give birth, if you have a weak pelvic floor, you find the lack of control of your bladder continues long after you have given birth.

Your pelvic floor affects your vaginal muscles, too – leading to sex being less satisfying for you.

On the flip side, exercising your pelvic floor helps things work out in your favour.

A strong pelvic floor equals an easier birth!

We all want as easier birth as possible, and getting to grips with your pelvic floor exercises on a regular basis during your pregnancy is your best chance of achieving this. Having a strong pelvic floor can help to shorten the second stage of labour (when you push your baby out).

‘Doing these exercises regularly in pregnancy can help maintain a healthy pregnancy and support a positive natural birth,’ says Teresa Walsh, a midwife childbirth educator at The Portland Hospital, London.

That baby weight you carry around when you’re pregnant can be hard going, but made easier if you have a strong pelvic floor – the muscle will help you to support that extra weight.

Following the birth, it can also help to heal the area between your anus and vagina (perineum) by increasing the circulation of blood to it.

Another benefit? Women with stronger pelvic floor muscles are thought to be more likely to have orgasms during sex. Benefits all round, then.

find your pelvic floor muscles

Imagine that you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind and trying to stop your flow of urine mid-stream at the same time. The feeling is squeeze and lift, pulling up and in around your front and back passages.

Let’s face it, pelvic floor exercises are not glamorous, but they are so easy to do, and nobody will ever know what you’re up to. Gym gear not needed.

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