Choosing the wrong workout during pregnancy is like when you chose to dive into an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. You start out thinking that it will probably be a rewarding adventure, but by the end, you really just feel like crap. #selfcare #notselfcare
I hate seeing women engage in activities that they expect to be nourishing but are really damaging.
Most advice about exercising during pregnancy falls completely short. Almost none of it will mention the need to protect your pelvic floor.
Here are some common misconceptions about exercising when pregnant that ultimately leave your pelvic floor vulnerable.
Myth 1: If you were doing it before pregnancy you are fine to continue it.
There are women who are perfectly safe lifting weights, running, or even competing during pregnancy. However, even if your doctor has given you the okay to continue your exercise routine, take a moment to consider the extra impact your normal routine is placing on your pelvic floor.
Emma Brockwell, a women’s health physiotherapists who helps women return to postnatal exercise says:
‘Running puts three times your body weight on your pelvic floor which, if it’s already weak, can lead to a prolapse of the vagina, bladder and/or bowel – where the organ drops down, often into the passage beneath it – months, if not years later,’
Just because your exercise routine is safe for baby, does not mean it is the best routine for you.
A good rule of thumb is that if an exercise is making your boobs bounce, it is making your pelvic floor bounce.
If you feel a weight or dragging feeling in your pelvic floor area while working out, you need to stop and talk with a physical therapist before you continue.
Myth 2: Crunches are the best way to strengthen your core and are absolutely safe for the pregnant mom.
Nothing could be further from the truth!! In fact, if you are suffering from pelvic floor challenges, crunches may make your symptoms worse.
In fact, your pelvic floor is an essential part of your core. The wrong kind of core work can stress your core and your pelvic floor and damage them both.
My friends at MUTU, the medically recommended online exercise program for women healing postpartum, have put together a fabulous resource for you on this. Check out their handout 10 things your doctor didn’t tell you about your post-baby body. You will learn exactly why you should avoid crunches and what to do instead.
Myth 3: Do all the kegals you can.
I know you want to be able to laugh, cry and sneeze without the fear of peeing even a little bit. Many women believe kegals and more kegals are the recipe to prevent leaking. This is not true.
In fact, according to a Seattle based pelvic floor therapist, 40% of women do kegals incorrectly, to begin with!
When you cough, sneeze, jump, poop, pee and push a baby out, you want all your abdominals and pelvic floor to be working together, functionally. If this is happening, you won’t pee your pants, not even a little bit.
How do you take care of your pelvic floor?
When I was pregnant, I was told it was normal to leak a little. I even laughed about my new fear of sneezing. Leaking is absolutely not a routine part of having children. I am glad I now know there is something I can do about it.
I want you to know that you do not have to put up with pelvic floor dysfunction and pain because of your pregnancy either.
The MUTU system 30 day #PelvicFloorChallenge invites you to break the taboo of pelvic floor weakness and explore your own pelvic health. Take this chance to reconnect with those muscles, especially if you have been dealing with pelvic floor challenges for months or years.
97% of women who couldn’t successfully locate or engage their pelvic floor muscles before, were able to after using MUTU System.*
Join the Free 30 day #PelvicFloorChallenge Today
You may find out that 6 minutes a day can transform your pelvic floor health.
Peace, love and coffee mama!
May your pelvic floor be healthier than ever.