Welcome back to week two of the Surrey Mama Sunday self-care series. Last week we showed you some practical exercises to help with your pelvic floor and this week we are talking about how to get your pelvic floor happy again.
As last week I have the lovely Nicky Herringshaw, a Chartered Physiotherapist who will take you through ‘knowing more about your pelvic floor’…
Getting a fix for your lady bits – how to get your pelvic floor happy again
If you’re a woman and you’ve had a child, there’s a fair chance you’ve heard of pelvic floor exercises. But how many of you know exactly what you should be doing, let alone when and why? For some, the midwife may have advised you to start doing pelvic floor squeezes after having your baby but many don’t. And just squeezing your pelvic floor isn’t always the best thing to do, in-fact in many cases, it can be making everything down below much worse. Sounds crazy I know but I’m going to explain why in a sec.
So, let’s start with the basics:
Why does the pelvic floor need to be exercised?
Well like any other group of muscles, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Add a baby into the mix that’s been sitting on your pelvic floor for 9 months and well, it gets a bit pooped. To top things off, a big old babies head passing through your lady bits does stretch things a fair bit and with the tissues down below being quite elastic, once it’s been over stretched it’s just not as sprightly as it used to be!
The pelvic floor has many roles. As the “floor of the pelvis” it literally is what holds in everything above it – and there’s a lot of organs in your tummy needing support! It also gives your pelvis internal stability, stopping your pelvis being all wobbly and therefore giving your spine and legs a stable base to work off.
But probably the most well-known function of the pelvic floor is to help control your wee and poo. To do this it has to be fully functional, meaning it needs to be able to fully contract up but also fully relax down again. This is a really important part of the pelvic floor exercises but is rarely explained. Many of us have what is called an overactive pelvic floor. Think of your calf muscle going into cramp…now imagine that in your lady bits. Not pleasant! It can give you constipation, pelvic, back and tummy pain, pain during sex to name but a few. So to help this, you need to be able to let go of your pelvic floor BEFORE you can start strengthening it.
Check out the videos below on what to do for an over-active pelvic floor and then how to do your strengthening exercises.
To be sure you’re doing these right or to be assessed to see if you have over activity, please get your GP to refer you to your local NHS women’s health physio or book to see one privately. 1 in 3 women have pelvic floor problem…1 in 3!!!!! You are not alone! Please don’t suffer in silence, there’s lots that can be done to help you. I’m always happy to answer any queries you might have so please feel free to get in-touch at www.totalhealthphysiotherapy.com
Next week we are back with some self-care tips on how to look after your skin and taking care of yourself.