Despite living a hectic lifestyle, all working mothers and active women can follow some simple tips to strengthen pelvic floor muscles and avoid damage:
Ø Pelvic floor exercises – Pelvic floor exercises are extremely beneficial, and not just for your pelvic health. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will result in:
– Faster recovery after childbirth.
– Easier future pregnancies.
– Reduced risk of prolapse.
– Increased control over incontinence.
– Better sex life and increased orgasms!
There are lots of exercises you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor. An easy one is to sit in a chair and squeeze your abdominal muscles in towards you. You should do the exercises daily and repeat them throughout the day to have the most impact. The most commonly practised technique is the Kegel exercise, which takes time and effort, but is also very easy to merge it into your everyday routine, so no excuses.
Ø Posture – It’s time to drop bad habits of slouching and to practise perfect posture. Both the Eldenkrais method and Alexander technique teach you how to adjust movement which in turn will resolve poor flexibility, better spinal alignment and help pelvic floor weakness and dysfunction.
Ø Heavy lifting – Avoid lifting heavy objects, which puts a lot of strain on your pelvic floor. If you need to lift something heavy, make sure your posture is straight to avoid causing any damage. If it hurts to lift something, it’s probably because pressure inside the abdomen is pushing downwards on the pelvic floor muscles. It’s actually the same movement that happens when you sneeze, cough or vomit, which can also be taxing on your pelvic floor! So remember, always try to lift from waist height instead of ground level if you have to lift something heavy – and avoid it if you can!
Ø Diet – Eat healthily and drink plenty of water! Hydration helps keep constipation at bay, which can also strain your pelvic floor. The trick is to find a balance for water consumption – too much will overfill your bladder, too little will irritate it. It is wise to moderate your alcohol and caffeine intake in order to keep a healthy bladder. Indulge in lots of protein, as it will help the pelvic floor muscles and tissues repair more quickly. As tempting as it may be, avoid processed foods as much as you can– yes, that means no fish and chips on Friday night!
Ø Urinating – AVOID pushing or straining when you are urinating. The top tip here is to only going to the toilet when you need it – not ‘just in case’. An effective technique is to try to stop your urine mid-stream; this builds up strength in your pelvic floor muscles. In the long term it will give you more control over incontinence – particularly useful after childbirth.
Guest Post provided by Sophie Turner at TheBeautyandFashionDiary
Image courtesy of ImageryMajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net