Your Baby and You - page 37

your baby and you
Pelvic Floor Exercises
In women, pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, bowel and womb and
therefore have been affected both by the pregnancy and the delivery,
regardless of how your baby was born. It is important that these muscles
are exercised following the birth of your baby in order that they continue to
support these organs in later life. Women with strong pelvic floor muscles are
less likely to suffer from prolapse or leakage from their bladder or bowel.
Toning these muscles in the short term can also reduce swelling and soreness.
Pelvic floor exercises are quick and simple and can be done anywhere as
long as you maintain good posture, as the pelvic floor muscles function much
better this way. You should feel a gentle lift and squeeze around your front
and back passages. This is the basic exercise that will tone these muscles.
Every woman is different and it is important that you don’t strain yourself.
Start gently by holding this ‘squeeze’ for five seconds. Rest and repeat the
exercise up to ten times.
Gradually increase the length of time you can hold it for (up to a maximum of
ten seconds) as the muscles become stronger.
Next try to squeeze and lift more quickly and release slowly (up to ten times).
This will help to reduce leaking urine when you cough, sneeze or laugh. It is
important that if you have any problems with your bladder that you discuss it
with your GP.
DO NOT:
Hold your breath
Tighten your tummy excessively
Tighten your buttocks
REMEMBER:
Start gently and increase the strength and frequency of the exercises, as
feels comfortable. Try to repeat these exercises four to six times everyday.
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