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What are your pelvic floor muscles and what do they do?

June 22, 2022 2 min read

What are your pelvic floor muscles and what do they do?

If you didn’t know about the pelvic floor muscles before, you sure do after pregnancy and childbirth! The pelvic floor muscles might be the most discussed area of the body - other than your growing bump - during pregnancy and it’s crucial that we’re familiar with their purpose.

In this post, you’ll get a complete guide to the pelvic floor muscles - what they are, where they are, what they do, and how to take care of them. By simply reading this post, you’ll be well on your way to avoid peeing when you laugh, cough, run, sneeze...you know, all of those day-to-day unavoidable things! 

What are your pelvic floor muscles and what do they do?

Your pelvic floor muscles are like a hammock of muscles that run between the pubic bone, at the front of the body, to the tailbone, at the back of the body.

Our pelvic floor muscles support the uterus, bladder, and bowel and can become weakened during pregnancy and childbirth.

Their job is to control your bladder and bowel movements, which is why it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to keep them strong and functioning at their best. You’ll feel them working if when you squeeze to stop the flow of urine whilst peeing - this is your pelvic floor muscles engaging.

When our pelvic floor muscles become weak - which can happen as an effect of pregnancy, childbirth, injury, or age - we risk peeing (and in particularly bad cases, pooping) without control.

How can we strengthen the pelvic floor muscles 

Now that we know what the pelvic floor muscles are and why they’re so important, you’re probably wondering about the best ways to keep them healthy and strong.

The great news is that it’s really easy to start strengthening your pelvic floor muscles - and even better, you can do it from anywhere! Follow this simple exercise to start strengthening your pelvic floor muscles both before and after pregnancy:

  1. Squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as though you’re trying to stop the flow of urine.
  2. Hold for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Release for 5-10 seconds.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times.

Practice this several times a day to start rebuilding the strength in this area of your body. You might like to attach it to an activity you do frequently, such as making a hot drink or going to the bathroom.

Don’t practice this activity whilst peeing as it’s not healthy to consistently stop the flow of urine, but you might like to try it a couple of times just to locate the muscles and get familiar with the feeling.

Another option is to invest in a pelvic floor trainer - such as Elvie. These are designed to make pelvic-floor training even easier!

The takeaway

Keeping your pelvic floor muscles healthy can help you to go confidently about your day without the worry of problems related to a weak bladder.

Practice these every day, at least twice a day, to maintain and build strength in the pelvic floor muscles.

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