The pelvic floor supports the intestines, uterus and bladder. It is an important group of muscles that can become weaker over time. Pregnancy puts extra pressure on these muscles. This happens due to the hormone progesterone that loosens the ligaments in order to accommodate the growing baby. Another reason is the actual pregnancy weight, as well as the delivery of the baby.
Why pregnant women should strengthen their pelvic floor muscles
This group of muscles is particularly important for pregnant women. However, all women should take the time to strengthen them. Strong pelvic floor muscles can have the following benefits:
- Preventing urinary incontinence, a condition that affects many women after the age of thirty. Also, women that go through an episiotomy during delivery are more prone to this issue.
- Preventing hemorrhoids due to the increased blood flow in the rectal and vaginal area.
- Preventing the need for an episiotomy, as stronger muscles could lead to an easier delivery and less tearing. Women that have a strong pelvic floor can better control the pushing during labour and delivery. These muscles guide the baby through the birth canal and help it assume the right position during delivery.
- Better and faster recovery after childbirth, even if you’ve had an episiotomy.
- Preventing uterine and vaginal prolapse later on in life, a condition that requires surgical intervention.