Me and My Pelvic Floor - Part 1

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


The above photo is a taste of what's to come in Part 2 of "Me and my pelvic floor"
Be sure to keep reading below for Part 1! No cheating :)

I get lots of questions about pelvic floor. We all talk about working our pelvic floor muscles but really, how many of us do it on a daily basis and do we really know how to engage it correctly?

This blog post is for anyone needing some more information or if you're wanting to double check you're on the right track.

And yes once you've nailed the technique you can begin to include it in whilst using my Pregnancy and Postpartum Stretching eGuide.

Like any other muscle group it can become stronger with exercise, so if you're happily wetting your pants from all the silly dad jokes your partner is pulling out, don't worry, there's hope!


What is pelvic floor?

When I talk about pelvic floor, I am talking about the group of muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, uterus and bowel.

Why pelvic floor?

The obvious is - it means you have better control over your bladder and bowel. It can also reduce the risk of prolapse ( a topic for another day!).

Where is my pelvic floor?

The two most common methods I have come across for how to find your pelvic floor were 'Stopping the Flow' and 'Visualisation'.

It seems silly to reinvent the wheel so below is what you can find on the 'Pelvic Floor First' website www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au

I chose this site as not only is it credible, I found their instructions easy to follow and not too technical. :)



HOW CAN I FIND MY PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES? 
Method 1 - Stopping the flow 
The first step in performing pelvic floor muscle exercises is to identify the correct muscles. There are several ways which may help you to correctly identify the different parts of your pelvic floor muscles. One way is to try to stop or slow the flow of urine midway through emptying the bladder. Stopping the flow of urine repeatedly on the toilet is not an exercise, but a way of identifying your pelvic floor muscles. This should only be done to identify which muscles are needed for bladder control.If you can, stop the flow of urine over the toilet for a second or two, then relax and finish emptying without straining. This 'stop-test' may help you identify the muscles around the front passage which control the flow of urine. It is not recommended as a regular exercise.
 Method 2 - Visualisation
Another method to identify your pelvic floor muscles is to imagine stopping the flow of urine and holding in flatus (wind) at the same time. This can be done lying down, sitting or standing with legs about shoulder width apart. 
    Relax the muscles of your thighs, bottom and tummy.
    Squeeze in the muscles around the front passage as if trying to stop the flow of urine.
    Squeeze in the muscles around the vagina and suck upwards inside the pelvis.
    Squeeze in the muscles around the back passage as if trying to stop passing wind.
    The muscles around the front and back passages should squeeze up and inside the pelvis.
    Women who are familiar with using tampons can imagine squeezing in the vagina as if squeezing a tampon up higher in the vagina.
   
Identify the muscles that contract when you do all these things together. Then relax and loosen them.
http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/pelvic-floor-muscle-exercises-for-women.html

They also have this great part about technique, which I thought was really helpful too.


GETTING THE TECHNIQUE RIGHT

This is the most important part of the pelvic floor muscle exercises as there is no point doing them if you are not doing them correctly.Imagine letting go like you would to pass urine or to pass wind. Let your tummy muscles hang loose too. See if you can squeeze in and hold the muscles inside the pelvis while you breathe. Nothing above the belly button should tighten or tense. Some tensing and flattening of the lower part of the abdominal wall will happen. This is not a problem, as this part of the tummy works together with the pelvic floor muscles.Try tightening your muscles really gently to feel just the pelvic floor muscles lifting and squeezing in. If you cannot feel your muscles contracting, change your position and try again. For example, if you cannot feel your muscles contracting in a seated position, try lying down or standing up instead.After a contraction it is important to relax the muscles. This will allow your muscles to recover from the previous contraction and prepare for the next contraction.It is common to try too hard and have too many outside muscles tighten. This is an internal exercise and correct technique is vital. Doing pelvic floor muscle exercises the wrong way can be bad for you, so please see a health professional if you cannot feel your muscles hold or relax. 
http://www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au/pages/pelvic-floor-muscle-exercises-for-women.html 





I will be putting up a Pelvic Floor Workout soon so keep your eyes open for a fun workout to do with your bub or by yourself.

In the meantime – find that pelvic floor and nail the technique!!

And if you’re interested or want to know more head over to the Pelvic Floor First website for additional interesting and useful information.


I hope you've enjoyed this blog post ladies. If there's anything you would like me to discuss further please let me know. I will try me best! 

If you haven't picked up my Pregnancy and Postpartum Stretching eGuide, be sure to check it out and  start stretching whilst using these techniques. 

Sending you all my love!

D

xx




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