How to prepare your pelvic floor for birth

If you’ve read that you need to be doing kegels to strengthen your pelvic floor ready for birth you may be surprised to hear that kegels (squeeze and release exercise) are not a main feature of my pregnancy movement classes.

Your pelvic floor needs to be able to yield so it can carry the added weight of your pregnancy without being strained and it also needs to be able to open to allow your baby to be born.

If you only ever work on tightening you will be at more risk of creating an overly tight pelvic floor and leaving yourself open to develop sneeze pee, incontinence or prolapse.

The only preparation you need to do for your pelvic floor is to ensure that your pelvis is balanced so your pelvic floor can function properly.

In order to create a balanced pelvis you need to work on

1) building strong glutes, hamstrings and calves

2) release tension in your upper back and shoulders

3) create a strong, reflexive core

4) ditch shoes with any kind of heel

5) keep your pelvis aligned when you sit, stand and move

What about squatting?

You either hear ‘never squat’ or you hear ‘squat is better pelvic floor preparation that kegels’  So what’s the deal? Well we don’t squat at all really in our society so going straight from no squatting to squatting with the goal of being better prepared for birth can really cause issues not just with your pelvic floor but also put stress and strain on your knees, hips and back.

Being able to adopt a squat position whether that is a full squat, partial squat, hands and knees or kneeling are all great positions for birth, they allow gravity to be involved in the birth process, allow baby an easier route through your pelvis and allow your pelvis, sacrum  and coccyx to open fully to allow the baby plenty of room to turn and move through the pelvis.

So a pregnancy and birth prep class needs to have you working on a squat programme that lengthens and strengthens the muscles that will allow you to adopt whichever of these squat positions you need when it comes to birthing your baby.

Interestingly, all the points that get you a balanced pelvis will also prepare you beautifully to squat, perfect don’t you think?

I am about to open the doors for booking for my Move for Birth classes in April.  If you want to be strong, balanced, confident and ready for birth you’ll get everything you need in my weekly classes.

My waiting list is now open so if you want to be one of the first to be notified once booking is open click on this link and enter your name and email for April.

Rosie Dhoopun is a Movement Teacher, Pregnancy & Postpartum Exercise Coach, Pelvic Floor Health Specialist and Antenatal Teacher. She runs classes for women in all stages of their life in and around Ipswich. You can find out more about her classes by clicking on this link

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