We always start our postpartum clients with pelvic floor work. Why? Because just like a house without a solid foundation, a body without perfectly functioning pelvic muscles has to work on unstable ground.
The pelvic floor is essentially the “guide” for the rest of your body.
The pelvic floor muscles are integral to how your hip bones align.
How your hip bones align sets the stage for your alignment above and below the pelvis too.
How well your pelvic floor functions affects how your core engages, and even how you breathe!
All of this makes it surprising that most women know so little about the pelvic floor in the first place…until we are forced to because we are peeing on ourselves.
In the next few blogs, we’ll go through exactly what the pelvic floor looks like, how to properly engage (and release!) it, and give you some imagery to help.
But first, we always get a bunch of questions about the pelvic floor when we meet new moms. You probably have similar questions!
Won’t the pelvic floor just go back to doing what it’s supposed to do after pregnancy and childbirth?
It might! But it’s more common that, post-pregnancy and childbirth, we have to retrain the pelvic floor muscles to do what they are supposed to. That is, contract and release when they are meant to, with the right amount of effort and in the right direction.
Your pelvic floor muscles have been turned ‘off’ for the 10 months of pregnancy – and maybe more depending on how far postpartum you are.
You have to turn them back ‘on’ and get them working the way they are meant to. Getting them working correctly usually takes some work. But you’re totally in the right place to learn to do this! (Learn more about our programs to help you do that here!)
Will I have to do pelvic floor work forever?
Postpartum pelvic floor re-engagement takes a bit more focus and work because of the traumatic effects of pregnancy and childbirth.
But the great news is, like any muscle, once you get the muscles functioning 100%, they will start to work on their own without your intervention, as they should.
You might have to do additional pelvic floor work if you have other children, have another physical event that causes the pelvic floor to lose some function, but by then, you’ll have the tools to re-engage it!
What if I don’t work on my pelvic floor?
Look, no one is holding you down making you pay attention to your pelvic floor. But you are here for a reason, right?
Maybe your core is not firing the way it used to. Maybe you have back / hip / knee / shoulder / neck / foot pain that’s frustrating you. Or maybe you can’t jump or run without peeing a little or feeling like your insides are falling out.
ALL of this *could* be related to your pelvic floor.
*Side note: see your Pelvic Floor PT if you have pain in the pelvis or for additional personalized information.
If you don’t pay attention to the weakness in the pelvic floor NOW, it can cause even more issues later (back / hip / knee / shoulder / neck / foot pain, headaches – we’re looking at you). And a weak pelvic floor can also make it harder to heal any ab separation.
Take the time now. It will pay off in dividends later, we promise!
Resources & Links
Looking for support to stay active during your pregnancy or start your postpartum recovery? Here are some options to get you started on a great path forward:
1) Take the Pelvic Floor & Core Strength Quiz. After taking the quiz, you'll get a score and based on your results, guidance on what steps to take to move you forward in your recovery.
3) If you're pregnant, want to be way more active than you have been, AND want connection with other mothers, but don't know where to start…join the Expecting to Flourish™ Membership - a mom-driven and expert-guided virtual space empowering moms with a new approach to prenatal fitness and birth prep that actually prepares you for the physical and emotional hurdles of motherhood.
If you’re postpartum and ready to get moving, need to heal your body but you don’t know where to start…join us for Postpartum Repair & Restore LIVE, a science-backed and fun-stacked, Diastasis and Pelvic Floor Strength program. Start healing your diastasis and eliminating leaking in 8 weeks or less with our guidance.
4) Do you prefer working one-on-one, or have a high risk pregnancy, a severe diastasis or leaking that won’t quit? You might be a candidate to work with us privately. To find out, take this quick self assessment! If you qualify, you'll be invited to schedule a complementary Postpartum Strategy Session with us where we'll take a good look at what's not working in your repair process, and come up with a great plan just for you.