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5 Ways to Help Your Pelvic Floor After Birth

Introduction: What is the pelvic floor?

Congratulations mama! You’ve just welcomed a beautiful baby Earthside. Your whole body, but especially your pelvic floor did A LOT of work over the past 9 months. Let’s dive into what your pelvic floor is, how birth impacts it and holistic ways to strengthen it.

The pelvic floor is a group of essential muscles that support the pelvis, low back, hips and many of your organs. This all-encompassing collection of muscles is what makes up your entire core system. The core, or pelvic floor muscles, helps to support and stabilize your spine, protect your body from injury and sustain healthy functioning of your interconnected systems (bladder, rectum and reproductive system).

A strong pelvic floor is important for optimal internal and physical functioning of your body. When the pelvic floor is weakened, oftentimes during pregnancy and after birth, unwelcome issues can arise (pelvic discomfort, incontinence, sexual dysfunction). Because of its essential role in the body’s overall physical health, keeping your pelvic floor strong and healthy is so important!

How is the pelvic floor impacted by birth?

During pregnancy, as your baby grows, so does your body. As your body changes and ultimately prepares for birth, the weight of your growing baby begins to put an exponential amount of pressure on your pelvic floor. This increase of weight causes the muscles, tendons and connective tissue of the pelvic floor to stretch and weaken. Although this stretching may seem unnatural, it's quite the opposite! All of this stretching is important to help prepare the pelvis and birth canal for childbirth.

In some cases, during childbirth the pelvic floor may experience further impact if there are any tears or cuts (episiotomy) that occur in order to allow the baby to fully pass through the birth canal and finally make it’s way Earthside. If left uncared for, a weakened pelvic floor can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction, which may involve incontinence, pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction. Due to both the major changes to the body during pregnancy, and impacts of childbirth, your pelvic floor can take quite a toll.

5 ways to restore your pelvic floor after birth

As you Navigate Your First 60 Days Postpartum, taking care of your mind and body are just as important as taking care of your little bundle of joy. Restoring and retraining your pelvic floor muscles to help support your physical core and mental grounding are essential to your overall recovery and adaptation to being a new mama!

  1. Practice kegel exercises - Kegels are one of the ways you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, anywhere anytime. Practice kegels by squeezing the muscles that help to stop the flow of urine. Try to aim for 10 repetitions, about 3-4 times per day. This common practice exercise may seem simple, but when done correctly, it is deceivingly difficult.

  2. Daily exercise - Consistent daily exercise is important to strengthening your pelvic floor. Choose safe, appropriate and effective exercises that focus on foundational movements aimed to restore and rebuild your pelvic floor strength. Consider exercise regimens such as Pilates which focuses on strengthening the pelvic floor and learning how to use your core to help stabilize your spine. If you are looking for more, the BirthFit Program is uniquely designed for any mama looking to learn safe and smart exercises during the prenatal or postnatal stage.

  3. Maintain a healthy weight - Excess body weight can continuously put additional pressure on the pelvic floor. Eating a balanced, nutrient rich diet combined with safe and effective daily exercise are a simple formula to help rebuild a strong pelvic floor and sustain your overall health.

  4. Don’t lift anything heavy - Unnecessary strain on the pelvic floor muscles from heavy lifting can cause further damage to an already weakened pelvic floor. Try to avoid lifting or moving anything heavy (more than your baby’s weight) through the first two to four weeks after childbirth and/or if you are experiencing any pelvic pain related to pelvic floor issues.

  5. Pelvic floor specialist - Seeking out the help of a professional pelvic floor specialist or physical therapist can be a very effective way of treating any pelvic floor pain, concerns or dysfunction. With the support of a pelvic floor specialist, you can overcome many of the side effects stemming from a weakened or compromised pelvic floor.

Chiropractic care for your pelvic floor

As we know, the human body is a complex interconnected system. The nervous system helps to keep all of our internal systems functioning and happy. When one system is weakened or stressed, the nervous system can lose its sense of balance. This ultimately impacts many important systems within your body. Luckily, this is where chiropractic care shines!

Chiropractic care is a holistic approach that offers one of the safest options available for women who are dealing with postpartum pelvic floor issues after pregnancy and delivery. Safe, gentle and effective adjustments can help to relieve pelvic pain, restore proper organ functioning and calm the nervous system. The nervous system may be in overdrive when the body experiences pain, discomfort or dysfunction. Support your pelvic floor by balancing your nervous system and improving your pelvic floor’s impact on your WHOLE body.

Conclusion: Strengthening your pelvic floor means you’re strengthening yourself!

The pelvic floor is often an overlooked system. But this essential yet complex CORE part of the body is critical to a healthy and pain free pregnancy, delivery and beyond. Staying in tune with your inner body by listening to the workings of your pelvic floor is so important to your overall health and well-being. Foundational exercises, a balanced diet, and seeking out professional care for acute support or long-term maintenance are all ways that you can help to strengthen your pelvic floor and restore proper functioning as you acclimate to life as a new mama!

Dr. Cristina Padilla Bravo | Mobile Family Chiropractor in Jacksonville, FL

Dr. Padilla’s practice focuses on expecting mothers, babies, and children, creating a supportive and educational space for women and their families.

Thrive Family Chiropractic, LLC was founded by Dr Padilla in the fall of 2017 with the idea that Chiropractic care should be convenient and accessible to all, with a focus on facilitating care for families, women during pregnancy and children. Throughout her years of practice, Dr Padilla has seen how challenging it can be for families to incorporate Chiropractic into their lifestyles and make it a priority rather than a luxury. With this thought in mind, Dr Padilla wants to provide the best, most personalized, and individualized Chiropractic care to women during pregnancy and to children of all ages, to help improve their lifestyle, prevent chronic illness and allow them to express their full potential in life, sports, and school.


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