Expert / 21 June, 2021 / Jenny Constable
All you hear about in pregnancy is “are you doing your pelvic floor exercises?” When asked this, I think most women nod frantically because they think they should know how to do it but in reality inside they are thinking “how do I know if I am doing them right?”
It is important to remember that the pelvic floor is a muscle, just like in your leg. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. These are the wise words from Jenny Constable, a specialist physiotherapist who specialises in the pelvic floor. Jenny shares her top tips on the best pelvic floor exercises to strengthen muscles and avoid incontinence.
The problem is that around 30% of women will be doing the wrong thing when they try to contract their pelvic floor muscles. One of the main reasons is that as we can’t see the muscles, it is really difficult to know how to tighten them.
Where are the pelvic floor muscles and how do they work?
The muscles start around your tail bone, then come forward and wrap around your back passage, vagina and urethra (the tube urine comes out of) and attach to your pubic bone on the front of your pelvis. It might help to think of it like a jelly fish: it moves up and down as it squeezes and lets go.
Now you understand a bit about where the pelvic floor muscles are, this is how and why it’s important to do your pelvic floor exercises, and how we want you to do the exercises:
The ideal exercises that we teach to work the pelvic floor muscles are:
Try to repeat this exercise 10 times in a row 3 times a day.
You might feel that these exercises are a lot, but just try to get into a routine of doing them a few times a day, for example when you’re having breakfast, breast feeding or watching TV during an advert break.
What to do if you need help
If after following this guide to pelvic floor exercises and you’re still struggling, then help is out there. A women’s health physiotherapist will be able to check your pelvic floor muscles and set a specific routine to follow. Don’t suffer in silence!
By Jenny Constable, Specialist Physiotherapist at Six Physio
To find a physiotherapist that can help, visit https://www.squeezyapp.com/directory/.