Your pelvic floor – how childbirth affects it, & how you can strengthen post-birth

I’ve actually lost count of the amount of women who have said to me that “it’s too late” to heal their pelvic floor after childbirth. It makes me sad and even a bit cross that we so easily accept this feeling of being “not quite as good” after babies, and don’t think that we are worthy of healing. Remember: your pelvic floor is for LIFE. Life is long. Tena pads are expensive and crap for the environment.

You ARE worthy of healing and you CAN feel good again. You just need to be a bit curious about HOW and what it is you can do.

Some stats about your pelvic floor which might be eye-opening:

  1. 50% of women experience pelvic organ prolapse with symptoms of bladder and bowel dysfunction. (Hagen et al 2004) • 50% of women who have had children have some degree of symptomatic or asymptomatic pelvic organ prolapse. (Hagen & Stark 2011) • In women with vaginal prolapse, 63% will experience urinary stress incontinence. (Bai et al 2002) • Urinary incontinence during pregnancy nearly doubles the likelihood of urinary incontinence at three months post baby (regardless of delivery method, so Caesarean section or vaginal). (Eason et al 2004) • Women who are incontinent before pregnancy are 5 times more likely to leak after birth than women who are continent before pregnancy. (Sampselle et al 1998) • 52% of women with lower back pain during pregnancy were found to have pelvic floor dysfunction (Study by Pool-Goudzwaard et al 2005) • A study of 1004 women with pelvic organ prolapse showed that straining on the loo is associated with anterior vaginal wall and perineal descent. (Kahn MA 2005) • 52% of women with a pelvic floor dysfunction (stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse) have a Diastasis Rectus Abdominis. (Spitznagle et al 2007) • 66% of women with a diastasis recti abdominis have a pelvic floor support dysfunction (stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse) (Spitznagle et al 2007) • 45% have urinary incontinence 7 years post-natally. (Wilson et al 2002) • 36% have rectus diastasis abdominis 8 weeks after delivery. (Boissonnault 1988) • Prevalence of stress or urge incontinence and intravaginal prolapse was 42% in women with one or more vaginal deliveries as opposed to 35% in women who had a C-section delivery. (Sakala 2006)

Two top statistics on why woman should have post-natal rehabilitation is outlined below, from

• Retraining muscle after injury is essential as inhibited muscle does not automatically reactivate and retrain. (Stener & Petersen 1962) • A survey of 115 postnatal women found that after 8 weeks the gap between the rectus muscle – the inter recti distance or recti diastasis – will not change without intervention. (Coldron 2008).

 Postnatal Pilates can help. But most of all, you have to see that it’s NEVER TOO LATE. You can always, ALWAYS make a difference, even years after having your babies. 

Postnatal Pilates by Anya Hayes

#postnatalpllates #abdominalseparation #pelvicfloordysfunction #pelvicfloorhealth #postnatalrecovery #postnataldepression #pelvicfloorrecovery #pilatesforlife #postnataldepletion #diastasicrecti

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