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Pregnancy

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

Interesting read! I wonder how many women suffers from postpartum pelvic floor symptoms. No one ever mentioned these things. But I ain’t taking any chances!

Apparently in France, it’s the standard of care for every new mom (entitled by the national health system) to receive pelvic floor physical theraphy (10-20 sessions) after she delivers a baby. It is called ‘La rééducation périnéale’ provided by ‘kinestherapeutes’ (physical therapists).

Quoting from Actively Embracing Motherhood blog:

Basically, the sessions all followed a similar format starting with some basic squeezes, which are also to be repeated at home as often as you can: 10 rapid, 10 holding for 3 seconds, 5 holding for 5 seconds and then 2 for 8 seconds. Using the “probe” the therapist measures the strength of your pelvic floor muscles during these initial exercises. Then it’s time for the dreaded electro stimulation part where the therapist sends an electric current through the probe to stimulate the muscles. In later sessions when you are strong enough, you are asked to accompany the current with a different set of squeezes.

Also, some exercises that can be performed at home which I gathered from various online resources:

  • Floor Bridge – This basic exercise strengthens all the muscles in your hips, legs and abdominal.

Lie on the floor on your back with your arms out to the sides. Bend your legs and bring them close to your buttocks. Keep your knee and feet hip-width apart. Place a yoga block or firm cushion between your knees. Lift your buttocks as high as you can without arching your lower back. Tighten your buttocks and hold this position for two deep breaths. Lower your hips until it is barely touching the ground. Repeat the movement 10 to 15 reps for two to three sets.

  • One-Leg Bridge This exercise strengthens your buttocks and pelvic floor muscles by working them one side at a time. If one side is weaker than the other, do an extra set on the weaker side.

Lie on the ground and place a 1-foot foam roller under your right knee joint. Bend your left knee to your chest and grab it with both hands. Lift your hip off the ground by tightening your right buttock and pushing your right leg against the foam roller. Hold the position for one deep breath and lower yourself to the ground. Do 10 reps on each side for three sets.

  • Squat with hip mobility Because your pelvic muscles are supposed to activate unconsciously, this exercise helps to facilitate that awareness in your brain.

Stand with your legs hip-width apart, and point your feet forward. Bend your legs and hip joints a little, but do not round your back. Roll your knees toward the center of your body and out to the sides in a circular pattern. Your feet should roll with the entire leg. When you complete 10 rotations, do another 10 in the opposite direction. You can put a soft foam ball–about the size of a cantaloupe–between your knees to keep your pelvis in place.

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