What can affect your pelvic floor muscles?

When planning a pregnancy, thinking about your overall health brings many benefits to your body, and one area, your pelvic floor, will directly benefit.

We often think about pelvic floor muscle exercises. Are we doing them? Am I doing them correctly? But what about all else that affects your pelvic floor? Here are 3 tips to consider, in looking at your pelvic floor health.


1. What you eat affects your pelvic floor muscles


Constipation is a key risk factor for causing incontinence, as when it occurs regularly, it results in stretching of the pelvic floor muscles and connective (support) tissue. This means that the muscles are looser, and are less able to contract correctly and quickly when needed. Drinking water is also recommended as a tip to help keep your bowel motion soft, and the amount of water will depend on your activity level, the environment that you live in (temperature and humidity), the type of food that you eat and your body type. So tip number one, find out more about fibre for you, if you know that you need to.

2. Stress affects your pelvic floor muscle function

When we are rushing and busy, we may hold our breath at times, or become tense in our muscles. When we do this, additional tension in the abdominal area may actually cause in some women a tendency to bear down upon the pelvic floor muscles without even realising it, which is particularly of concern if the pelvic floor muscles are already weakened from having a baby or children. Tip number two, take a slow deep breath, and repeat twice. One more makes four.
For more information on relaxation tips read Using Relaxation Pre Pregnancy .

3. Your posture affects your pelvic floor muscles

Standing tall immediately causes your postural muscles to work, that is those muscles that hold you up. When you slouch or sag, it is likely that so does your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor muscles do have the job of holding up your pelvic organs, that is, your bladder, uterus and bowel. Sagging in the middle around your waist area, means that your tummy muscles are relaxed, and it is likely that so will your pelvic floor be too. Tip number three, sit and stand tall. Put your back to the wall and feel yourself stand tall. Slouch and sag, and feel your pelvic floor sag too. Choose the best posture for you.

To find out more about your pelvic floor for pregnancy and beyond, register for this course.

So sit tall, eat well, take a deep breath and also drink the right amount of water for your health.


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