A concept we tend to be aware of before pregnancy, knowing we should probably do our pelvic floor exercises and maybe remembering to do them once a year (no shame there, as I was totally guilty of that too).
Then once pregnant we often find ourselves a lot more aware of these exercises and perhaps feeling a little panicked we never did them beforehand.
Pelvic Floor Exercises are something so important, but also something so easy to neglect.
The pelvic floor is made up of a combination of fibres known as:
Slow Twitch Fibres - these contract slowly and provide us with toning at all times.
Fast Twitch Fibres - contracting quickly, and providing toning when we cough, sneeze or laugh.
We ideally want to work both sets of fibres when we perform our Pelvic Floor Exercises, and these are worked in separate ways:
Long holds of the pelvic floor help to tone our slow twitch fibres,
Whilst pulsing holds help us to engage our fast twitch fibres.
(I have just uploaded a new video guiding through sets of these exercises on the Yoga, Birth and Beyond Online Studio)
We want to try and repeat these exercises daily, or even better, multiple times a day, remembering to breathe whilst we do these, as it is so easy to hold our breath!
Remembering that both the hold, and the release are important parts of these exercises (as in childbirth we want to be able to actively release and relax our pelvic floor muscles to help our baby pass through).
Pelvic Floor Exercises also play a key role in childbirth by helping to prevent tearing, aiding with a faster recovery after birth, as well as working with the body to help give birth to your baby.
Apps such as Squeezy can help remind you to do your exercises, or you can set a reminder on your phone, or even allocate a specific time of day when you do them (perhaps when you first wake up, or even when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil for your morning tea).