Potential post partum pelvic floor issues are well established in the consciousness these days and might include: incontinence; urge incontinence (you don’t quite make it to the toilet); or urgency (you make it to the toilet, but then there’s not much urine voided) and pelvic organ prolapse. Diastasis recti, hip and low back pain post partum are also often linked to pelvic floor dysfunction, whether deliveries were natural, assisted or surgical.
But did you know there’s much that can be done to help avoid or at least minimize these issues before birth, decrease the likelihood of complications during birth, as well as tackling them after your baby arrives?
How do we do this?
The pelvic floor is made up of 4 muscles (that work in conjunction with other layers, including the sphincters) that support pelvic organs, control urination and defecation and help with sexual function. Typically people have heard about strengthening these muscles, for example with kegals, but that’s not always appropriate.
The pelvic floor is actually part of a much bigger system – the intrinsic core – and works best when it’s working well with the muscles that it’s partnered with. This is why those who have C sections can, and do still suffer incontinence – because pregnancy affects the whole system.
In other words your pelvic health is linked to how well your pelvic floor is relating to the other muscles of the intrinsic core, not just whether you pelvic floor is ‘strong’, because strength alone doesn’t equal function. Equally your ‘core’ (as perceived by the fitness industry in general) can only work well when your pelvic floor is onboard.
(Pelvic health is a big area, and not just related to women or post natal issues.)
In order to establish how you’re doing, we need to look at the neurological connection to all the muscles involved, ensuring it’s neither over or under active, and how the muscles relate to one another in order to optimize the system. Using a functional neurological screen identifies muscle imbalances to determine whether muscles are inhibited, and if so what might be compensating for them.
Body positioning is crucial in helping reestablish brain body (neurological) connections, whether it’s release or activation based. This will form an essential part of your individual corrective homework to restore your appropriate patterning. Progression strategies develop based on your personal development.
You’ll be pleased to know internal or external examination of the pelvic floor by your practitioner is not needed, as all pelvic floor tests are carried out using indicator muscles.
So if you’re pregnant, planning to get pregnant, and are looking to minimize partum and post partum issues, or have had your baby, and are looking to optimize your health, get in touch to claim your free consultation.
Still not sure if you need to get checked out? Do you ‘grip your abs’ or hold your breath when you pick everyday items up? For example pencil off the floor, or carrying the shopping. If you do, you do :o)