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27 Jun To Pelvic Floor or Not to Pelvic Floor…

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I’ve been a bit taken aback recently to see on social media some articles written which claim that pregnant women should not do pelvic floor exercises. I have been asked this question by pregnant friends who have been told by people that it is not advisable to “tighten” the pelvic floor prior to a vaginal delivery when you want everything to be “loose”.
You are so inundated with information when you are pregnant, it can be hard to decipher what is and isn’t relevant to you.
I can’t stress enough that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to the pelvic floor. So if you are reading an article or getting advice which tells you not to do pelvic floor exercises, this may or may not be good advice for your own situation.
Pelvic floor muscles are like any other muscle in the body. They can be too lengthened, too tight, or activate at the wrong time, they can be affected by posture. Everyone is different, and hence you need to get advice pertaining to YOUR specific circumstances. This means a pelvic floor assessment, by someone who is trained to do so. They can then give you advice based on your own personal assessment.
I have also been a bit horrified to see people claiming that pregnancy does not cause pelvic floor dysfunction. Citing that there are people are out there who have not had children who have PFD (pelvic floor disfunction), and people who have had children who do not. Again, this is because it is not a one size fits all condition. Pregnancy is a RISK factor. And anyone who has been through pregnancy will tell you that they understand why it is a risk factor. Having carried three children (including a set of twins) I certainly know all about it. Of course this does not mean it is a problem restricted only to people who have had children. Other risk factors include; increasing age, increased BMI, repetitive coughing, menopause, repetitive straining, hysterectomy and repetitive heavy lifting.
The bottom line is, regardless of whether you are pregnant, post delivery, or never had children, if someone is giving you advice regarding your pelvic floor, and that person has not assessed your pelvic floor muscles, then it is impossible for them to give you advice. You need to see a physiotherapist who is trained to assess your muscles for you, and give you advice based on this assessment.
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