If you are pregnant or postpartum and have done any kind of internet search on your body during this time, you’ve probably read something about your pelvic floor. When it comes to fitness and really overall well-being during the perinatal period, prioritizing the health and strength of your pelvic floor is vital. Here’s why:
1. These muscles help support posture
Working in conjunction with other muscles in your stomach and back, the pelvic floor muscles help support your posture. Consistently poor posture has been linked to increased issues like incontinence. This is significant to discuss during pregnancy and postpartum as many women’s posture changes due to body changes. Maintaining good posture is important to so many aspects of your health!
2. These muscles participate in breathing
You have a whole system in the midsection of your body that is supporting your breathing. When you take a breath in, the diaphragm flattens down, which, in turn, pushes your internal organs down. It’s the responsibility of the pelvic floor muscles to relax and lengthen to allow for this proper intake of breath. Proper breathing helps support the healthy function of the pelvic floor muscles and keeps everything flowing the way that it should
3. These muscles support organs
Specifically the uterus, bladder, cervix, vagina and rectum are the organs supported. When there is improper support for these muscles, this can lead to issues of incontinence and prolapse. Many women think that surgery is their only option to fix these kinds of complications, however, targeted work aimed at developing both the ability to contract and relax the pelvic floor muscles can go a long way in abating symptoms.
Whether you’re pregnant or postpartum having and maintaining a strong pelvic floor is going to be very important in your overall health. A weak or overactive pelvic floor can lead to a whole host of other symptoms and side effects – many of which are common during the perinatal period because women don’t know how to strengthen these muscles! Follow along this week to find out how!