Time for yourself | Hi, pelvis – how to feel it during your pregnancy
In this video, our pelvic floor trainer Sonja Rakow shows you small pelvis exercises for your pregnancy. Even before giving birth, you find out how to fine-tune your feeling for your pelvis so that you can take care of this group of muscles after your pregnancy, which have the important function of holding your inner organs. Our tip: do these exercises every other day and stick with them. You will feel a huge leap in awareness and be able to return to your inner balance quickly after giving birth.
Pelvic floor? Where is it and why do I have to take care of it?
Many women I support are only truly aware of the functioning or non-functioning of their pelvis after their baby is born. Because the actual job of the pelvis is to hold your inner organs in place, such as your bladder, uterus and intestines – and this can get out of balance from birthing. We often see the pelvis as a “board” that somehow keeps us stable down there. In reality, the pelvis consists of three layers of muscle with a total thickness of about 4 centimetres. So, it’s a really strong package that supports us, for example during sport or from wetting ourselves when put under strain.
Post-natal exercises not a passing fad
With a bit of practice, we can actually train each layer of muscle in a targeted way. But before we set out to do this, each of us must first be clear about the fact that pelvic exercises will be part of our life for quite a while. My post-natal clients often think: “I’ll do ten hours of exercises now and then will be back to normal!” No, it’s unfortunately not so easy! A pregnancy, a higher body weight and, especially, a vaginal birth are enormous burdens on your pelvis’ muscles, causing the muscles to stretch out. After giving birth, you often feel as if you are not really centred. We take on a protective posture, which changes the entire structure of our body. A weak pelvis can actually lead to an entire cascade of muscle tension, which can, in turn, result in pain in other areas of your body.
Self-care: your pelvis is par for the course
Of course, all of this doesn’t sound so great and positive, but these problems can be solved. We simply cannot forget to also take care of ourselves. This is my absolutely favourite topic: self-care! And the pelvis is clearly a part of this. My midwife tips for a stress-free co-existence with your lower body area are:
1) Even when it always has to go fast and we want to help by giving a hand: the carrying of heavy items and lifting are absolute poison for our pelvis. Car seats which our baby is strapped in and that we carry like a basket of strawberries using the lower part of our arm to run through the supermarket are absolutely taboo. You can also let someone else carry the heavy shopping bags, handbags and luggage without feeling guilty.
2) Take care to have a regular digestion without constipation. If you have problems with this, treat yourself to food rich in fibre, drink a lot and snack on two to three prunes in the evening.
Please take your pelvic exercises seriously
3) Take care of your pelvis during your pregnancy. With a few small awareness exercises in advance, you will find it easier to continue with them in a targeted way after giving birth.
4) Please take the exercises that your midwife shows you seriously. Only by frequently doing the exercises will they lead to success. What does this mean precisely? You should plan to do some training for 10 to 15 minutes every other day. This allows you to achieve success relatively fast.
5) Please don’t be shy about speaking with your midwife or gynaecologist about your problems. Should you notice, for instance, that you can’t keep in your urine in rough situations, that you have a feeling of pressure or feel pain, these are reasons enough to get professional help.
Every fourth woman suffers from pelvic problems
I say “no” to embarrassing incontinence! It’s a significant loss in quality of life when we cannot dance without being stressed, laugh or jump around. Today, many medical centres have specialized in pelvic issues and can help quickly when problems arise. Thanks to targeted physical therapy exercises, electrical simulations, round tampons or even operations – depending on the degree of incontinence – improvement can be achieved. By the way, about 25 per cent of women suffer from pelvic problems. We from TUJU want you to feel good and will help you with targeted exercises from our pelvis expert Sonni and from me as a midwife. We want to strengthen you and get you centred again.
Off we go! We’re here for you starting today.
You can begin with post-natal exercises a few days after giving birth. Small awareness exercises help you to feel your pelvic floor and control this in a targeted way. This can be quite tricky in the first days after having your baby.
Often, women don’t feel when they have to use the loo and sometimes they are then in a pickle. Get used to going to the loo at least every three to four hours. If you feel a burning sensation when urinating, simply let warm water run over your vagina. Then get cosy in your bed and try to flex your pelvis when breathing out. Repeat this exercise a few times. You’ll notice that you’ll feel more day by day and have more stamina to flex your pelvis for longer. Use our Stretch Marks Oil to have a stomach massage after giving birth. This encourages post-natal care and simply feels good.