I read all the hits before giving birth. I went to all my prenatal appointments. I worked out regularly, cardio and stretching as well as prenatal yoga (tree pose!). Yet somehow, two of the most important words regarding birth preparation eluded me. Pelvic Floor.
It’s a basket of muscles that before pregnancy I never had to think about. Bowel and urinary functions, core stabilization, breathing - all without a second thought. It turns out carrying and delivering a baby can put this group of muscles under strain. This strain can result in a variety of physical aches, pains and dysfunction. It turns out I was familiar with the symptoms - years of hearing “I can’t really run, I carried babies” from the matriarchs in my life. But I was completely in the dark about the root cause issues.
Luckily, after giving birth to my second child, I was able to see a pelvic floor physical therapist to help correct both the physical function and just as importantly the behavioral cues my body had started responding to during and after pregnancy, like going to the bathroom before I left the house and pre workout. It took commitment to retrain my body to breathe deeply, using diaphragmatic breathing exercises and a variety of pelvic floor, glutes, and core stabilization exercises to improve function of the groups of muscles that had been affected during and after pregnancy.
At Partum Health we’re on a mission to make sure every family we work with hears these two special words: PELVIC FLOOR and that they have options to get the proactive support that can lead to minimizing impact during labor and delivery, reducing incidence of incontinence and other pelvic floor dysfunction, and generally having the best possible mobility during and after pregnancy.