How Do You Know If Your Exercises During Pregnancy Are Good For Your Pelvic Floor?
Before we jump into what exercises you should/shouldn’t be doing during pregnancy, let’s first talk about what your pelvic floor is and the role it plays throughout your pregnancy.
What Is The Pelvic Floor?
Your pelvic floor is much bigger than you may think it is. Think of your pelvic floor as a diamond that runs from sits bone to sits bone (bony parts of your bum) and from the front of your pubic bone to the back of your bum (anus).
What Does My Pelvic Floor Do During Pregnancy?
Your pelvic floor is essentially the base that is holding up your baby + everything else during pregnancy. As you progress through your pregnancy, your pelvic floor has to work harder and harder to hold up your growing baby bump.
Your pelvic floor also plays a major role in your labor + delivery process. Learning how to relax and release your pelvic floor can help you work with your contractions to ease your baby into the world with zero to minimal tearing.
How Do I Safely Engage, Relax + Release My Pelvic Floor?
I want you to sit tall to where it’s comfortable for you and close your eyes.
- Relax your hips and visualize your pelvic floor spreading.
- Breathe deep into your back, ribs and pelvic floor.
- On your exhale, lightly draw that diamond (pelvic floor) together, zip up through your low belly and lengthen tall through the top of your head.
- On your inhale, let everything relax + release.
- Repeat multiple times throughout your day to begin creating that muscle memory.
What Exercises Should I Avoid During Pregnancy?
You want to avoid ANY exercise that puts unnecessary stress on your pelvic floor and impacts its function. If at any time you are doing an exercise and experience any incontinence (peeing your pants), stop doing that exercise immediately. Incontinence is your body’s way of telling you that you are putting too much pressure on your pelvic floor. You also want to avoid crunches all together during pregnancy. Doing crunches can shut off your pelvic floor and lead to incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and worsening of diastasis recti (abdominal separation). I also recommend women switch from running to walking as they progress into their pregnancy. While everyone’s bodies are different, the pounding from running can be too much for your pelvic floor to handle so make sure you are listening to your body and if something doesn’t feel good or you start to experience some incontinence (peeing your pants), then it’s time to switch it up!
To learn more, check out the Knocked-Up Fitness® Membership. It is full of great information, tutorials, nutrition tips and workouts that are bump-safe!