1. Use a stool for your stool!
Place a stool under your feet to lift your knees towards your chest. Sit tall and relax your abdomen. Open your knees wide and rest your elbows on your knees, leaning forward from your hips. Now relax and let nature take its course. Never strain as this puts huge pressure through your pelvic floor.
2. Stop lifting heavy weights.
If you give birth vaginally you will always have some degree of weakness through your pelvic floor afterwards. Whilst you are recovering try not to lift anything heavier than your baby. This will give the pelvic floor chance to heal properly and not be stretched even more. Remember this if you return to the gym.
3. Don’t run if you leak.
If you leak when you’re running then your pelvic floor is not strong enough to cope with the impact from your abdominal contents above. This could happen with any high impact exercise. It is important to avoid this type of exercise for at least the first 5 months after you’ve given birth to allow your pelvic floor to heal. Instead try low impact and core strengthening exercises.
4. But don’t stop exercising!
If you do have issues with your pelvic floor you must continue to exercise but at a leave that suits you.
5. Eat well.
Make sure you have a variety of fruit and vegetables in your diet as well as good fats/oils and fibre. This will keep your tissues healthy and bowels regular, and stop you straining.
6. Become a pelvic floor athlete!
Exercise your pelvic floor muscles every day! Athletes train every day of the year to be in the shape they are – that’s exactly what your pelvic floor needs too. Women with incontinence have thinner pelvic floor muscles, but after exercise they become thicker. Don’t forget that by having an orgasm you are strengthening your pelvic floor! The pelvic floor can contract between 5-15 times at intervals of 0.8 seconds during an orgasm.
7. Ease off at period time.
In the week before your period you may have vaginal heaviness, less bladder control and PMT and then at the time of your period, back ache and uterine cramping. This is all due to hormonal changes and if you need to rest more and ease off your exercise at this time then do so.
8. Control your need to pee.
Try to empty your bladder only 5-6 times a day. The normal length of a wee is 8 seconds, if it’s much shorter than that then you might be going too often or be dehydrated.
If you feel that you need to go more regularly
- Stop using artificial sweeteners
- Stop drinking caffeinated drinks including coke, tea, coffee & green tea
- Chocolate contains caffeine too
- Remember that alcohol relaxes the bladder
9. Teach your children.
When the kids move from a potty to the toilet, ensure they don’t slump by putting a high stool under their feet so they are supported.
Make sure your daughters and the women in your life understand the importance of their pelvic floor and taking care of it from an early age through their lives. Then we may see the end of those awful Tenna Lady ‘Oops’ adverts!!!!!
Some information taken from:
My Pelvic Flaw by Mary O’Dwyer