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Are You Exercising Your Pelvic Floor?

While new mothers have a ton of new things on their minds after giving birth to a baby, one of the most important things they need to keep in mind is the importance of self-care, particularly the tightening of pelvic muscles to prevent further decline. For many women, practicing pelvic floor exercises can help repair their pelvic muscles and speed up recovery time.

Tighten Your Pelvic Floor with Kegels
Woman sitting on exercise ball

Kegels, or pelvic floor muscle training, can be especially helpful for women who may be experiencing urinary incontinence due to pregnancy or childbirth. The great thing about Kegels is that you can do it discreetly, and just about anywhere or anytime. To make sure you have the right muscles, stop urination midstream. If you succeed, you have the right muscles. (However, be sure not to do this often, as doing Kegel exercises while emptying your bladder can actually weaken the muscles.) Once you identify your pelvic floor muscles, follow these tips to help tighten them:

  • Empty your bladder and lie on your back. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.
  • Maintain your focus on your pelvic floor muscles only. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks, and avoid holding your breath. Focus on breathing freely during the exercises.
  • Repeat times three. Once you feel comfortable flexing and relaxing your pelvic floor muscles, aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.

Pelvic Reconstruction Surgery

While Kegels can be helpful in repairing pelvic floor muscles, it’s not a solution for every woman. The uterus, vagina, bladder and rectum can be injured during childbirth, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms for women after they give birth. These symptoms include pelvic pain, pelvic heaviness, back pain, bladder leakage, pain during intercourse, sexual dysfunction, and many others, and can be difficult to talk about. Sometimes, pelvic reconstruction surgery is necessary depending on the level of discomfort of the symptoms. The physicians at Cherokee Women’s Health are expertly trained in surgery to repair a woman’s reproductive and pelvic organs. If you are suffering from pelvic floor problems due to pregnancy, childbirth or age, don’t suffer silently. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to speak to one of our doctors.