5 Tips for Improved Pelvic Floor Function
What each person needs for optimal pelvic floor function is really very dependent on your individual needs which is why Tip #1 is so important! But these simple tips can make a significant difference and impact on how your pelvic floor and core are functioning.
See a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist!
Honestly, this is so important with mama’s both pre and postpartum. You don’t have to be experiencing symptoms of dysfunction (leaking, incontinence, heaviness in the pelvic floor, pain during sex etc.) to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist. In fact seeing one prior to becoming or during pregnancy can help prepare your body for labour and prevent symptoms from arising postpartum. And following up postpartum for an assessment (at any stage postpartum) is so important. Every person is different so this will allow you to know what your body specifically needs to heal and function at your best. I
Pay attention to alignment.
Our bodies change a lot during pregnancy / postpartum and paying attention to how you sit, stand and move throughout the day has a direct impact on your pelvic floor and core function. And while we know that moving frequently throughout the day is ideal, as a new mom you may find yourself in the same positions repeatedly or lifting your little ones constantly, so how you’re stacking your bones makes a big difference! Think when your glutes are tucked and shoulders are tight and rounded forward how this increases intra-abdominal pressure. So shift your glutes back and out over your hips and stack your ribs over your pelvis and if you need more help with this I can help!
Remember to breathe mama! Exhale when you are lifting, picking up your little people, car seats, strollers or weights. This decreases the load on your pelvic floor. Also when you’re breathing normally throughout the day where are you feeling it? Try to feel expansion through the side ribs on inhalation (instead of belly or chest). This type of breath allows the diaphragm and pelvic floor to function well together, improving function.
Relax your belly.
This was such a tricky one for me and it’s something I’m still working on! But constantly sucking in significantly increases pressure in your intra-abdominal cavity, so it can put pressure on your abdominal wall, low back or pelvic floor.
Wear clothes that you can move in.
This relates to the above tip. Wearing tight pants that you can’t move or breathe with ease also increases that pressure in the intra-abdominal cavity. Thank goodness for stretchy jeans and yoga pants!