Do you associate pelvic floor health with a healthy pregnancy and recovery? Pregnancy, labor, birth, and recovery are some of the biggest challenges a woman’s body faces throughout her life. When I was pregnant with my children, I realized how much we women don’t know about our bodies as we go through our body changes during and after pregnancy.
One of the main reasons I became a prenatal yoga teacher was to help spread awareness on pelvic floor health. Yoga can aid in the combination of length and strengthening the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles. Yoga not only helps support baby and organs, but also becomes a vital piece in the birthing and recovery process as well.
Typically moms think of postpartum recovery and think about how they may end up peeing a little when they jump, cough, or sneeze. I am not too surprised by this though, since 50% of women report having some sort of urinary incontinence throughout their lives whether they gave birth or not, according to a study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology. But there are also people who suffer from a tight pelvic floor, which can also cause issues during and after pregnancy.
This is why I strongly believe prenatal yoga is so beneficial to pregnancy. It not only helps strengthen a weak pelvic floor due to pregnancy, but it can also loosen a tight pelvic floor, which will become a major asset during birth. In class we don’t just stop at creating that mind body connection with the pelvic floor, we also focus on the transverse abdominis that works in conjunction with the pelvic floor. Strengthening your transverse abdominis can be key to more effective pushing.
It’s also important to be able to relax between contractions and learn to ride the wave of birth. This is where the mindfulness and breath work that we practice during class comes in. Plus it’s important to strengthen the glute muscles that also aid in pushing during contractions and bringing the bones of the pelvis back together after birth. By strengthening these muscles in yoga class you are building up your stamina, strength, and endurance that will allow you to hold different birthing poses and last the entire birth. So while we do work on Kegels with breathe work and strengthening those surrounding muscles in prenatal yoga we are also learning to loosen and relax so when it’s time for the cervix to open it will come with more ease resulting in less pushing and tearing.
If you would like to work on strengthening your pelvic floor, join one of my Prenatal classes on Mondays. You can register here. If you have any questions or want more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.