Rebecca Adlington urges pregnant women to do their pelvic floor exercises

Olympic athlete Rebecca Adlington has been discussing bladder weakness and other pregnancy-related challenges.

Two photos of Rebecca Adlington. One of her at the Olymics wearing a gold medal. The other she is smiling with her daughter Summer.

Pregnancy blog, 17/08/2017

It turns out that amazing gold-medal-winning super athletes like Rebecca Adlington and Serena Williams aren’t immune from the same pregnancy complaints as you and I. While Serena was telling Twitter about her swollen ankles this week, Rebecca spoke out about the ‘bit of bladder weakness’ she had after the birth of her daughter, Summer.

‘I know all too well the impact pregnancy and childbirth can have on your body, even as an athlete.’Rebecca Adlington

Despite being in top physical shape as a pro swimmer, and being aware of the importance of a strong pelvic floor, Rebecca has admitted, ‘I didn’t do as many [pelvic floor] exercises as I should have during pregnancy or after I had Summer!’

What’s a pelvic floor?

It’s the muscles that support the organs in your pelvis, such as your bladder, womb and bowels. The best way to learn where they are is by trying to stop the flow of wee (briefly) the next time you go. These are your pelvic floor muscles.

Why are pelvic floor exercises SO important?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a pregnant woman in possession of dry pants after a sneeze must have done her pelvic floor exercises.

During pregnancy, hormones weaken your pelvic floor muscles. This, with the added pressure on your bladder from your growing baby, may cause you to leak urine. Exercising the muscles can keep them strong and help you avoid “little accidents” when you cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise.

Find out what pelvic floor exercises you can do…

Our midwife Kate explains further:

‘Pelvic floor exercises are so important to be doing right from the start of pregnancy, as hormonal changes as well as the weight of a growing baby and giving birth will weaken the pelvic floor.  A strong pelvic floor will help prevent problems of incontinence and prolapse during pregnancy, postnatally and beyond.’

More on pelvic floor exercises

  • Pregnant woman doing pelvic floor exercises.

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    Pelvic floor confessions

    I haven't been to pregnancy pilates for a few weeks as the instructor's been away.This week was the first time I'd been back, and the instructor commented on how much of a growth spurt I'd had during that time!

  • Pregnant woman doing pelvic floor exercises.

    Pelvic floor exercises

    Doing pelvic floor exercises regularly will help prevent you accidentally leaking wee when you cough or strain, both during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.

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