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Updated on October 20, 2020

Pelvic Floor and Core Exercises during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the increasing weight of the baby produces change in the pelvic muscles and may cause stress incontinence during pregnancy (and even after delivery).  In addition, around 50% of pregnant mothers also experience back pain during their pregnancy.  The reasons behind these 2 phenomena are;

  • The extra weight gain from your baby places a strain on your back and pelvic floor
  • The hormones during pregnancy loosens the ligaments and joints to prepare you for childbirth but at the same time, decreases the support for your back and pelvic floor muscles
  • The change in your centre of gravity places more strain on your back
  • Your muscles get stretched as your body expands

As such, it is important for you to try and do some of these exercises regularly to reduce these effects.  Do discuss with your doctor before you start any of these exercises.

Click to view MaterHealth video on Pelvic Floor Exercise

Pelvic Floor Exercises

The muscles of the pelvic floor come under great strain during pregnancy and childbirth and can result in you leaking urine when you cough or sneeze. This is called stress incontinence and it can continue after pregnancy if the pelvic floor muscles remain weak.  You can strengthen these muscles by doing pelvic floor exercises to reduce the risk of stress incontinence after pregnancy

  • Close up your bottom as if you’re trying to stop yourself going to the toilet
  • Draw in your vagina as if you want to stop the flow of urine
  • At first, do this exercise quickly, tightening and releasing the muscles immediately
  • Then do it slowly, holding the contractions for as long as you can before you relax
  • Repeat 3 sets of 8 squeezes every day

Click to view Atlantic Physical Centre video on Core Exercises

Stomach Muscle Strengthening Exercises

You will be prone to get back ache as your baby gets bigger.  Try to start these exercises early during your pregnancy to strengthen stomach (abdominal) muscles to reduce the risk of back ache as your pregnancy progresses

  • Start in a box position (on all 4s) with knees under hips, hands under shoulders, with fingers facing forward while keeping your back straight
  • Pull in your stomach muscles and raise your back up towards the ceiling, curling your trunk and allowing your head to relax gently forward
  • Hold for a few seconds then slowly return to the box position
  • Do this slowly and rhythmically 10 times and feel your muscles work

Stop if you experience the following

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Contractions
  • Vaginal bleed or fluid leakage

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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