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.

Pregnancy insider blog

We started off the beginning of the class as usual with some pelvic floor exercises and to my horror something felt different. It felt weaker somehow and I struggled to find  the 'stop the the flow of urine' tightening I usually get. The 'stop the passing of wind' tightening felt fine but it was the front I was worried about! 

It suddenly dawned on me that for a whole three weeks I hadn't done any pelvic floor exercises at all.

At 33 weeks I had started to notice very small leaks of urine immediately after going to the toilet or when I cough or sneeze. I then had to admit to myself that I only really ever exercised my pelvic floor during the weekly pilates class and sometimes at my weekly yoga class (only if it is incorporated into the class). Oh dear. 

One of the other ladies asked what the best position to exercise your pelvic floor was and the instructor said it was squatting in a door way, with your back against the door frame and your hands supporting you on the opposite side of the door frame.

Apparently this encourages you to work harder and deeper. They all the started talking about how they religiously do their exercises every day and even have apps on their phones reminding them to do them! I kept very quiet, feeling guilty about my lack of dedication to this particular cause and also a bit silly as it's such a simple thing and purely for my own good!

So why have I been so rubbish at doing them?

Since May I have been insanely busy at work so one excuse is – I don't feel like I have the time. Now this really is silly because 10 minutes a day is all it would take, and as with anything new it's just about getting into a routine with it. Rather than laying in bed for 10 minutes browsing social media in the morning I could be doing my exercises – or even better, doing both at the same time!

Some people have suggested doing a few every time you do a regular activity like fetch a glass of water or wash your hands. I personally can't see this working for me and I'd rather get into a routine of doing them at a regular time each day.

Also, I think I always thought that it was something I'd get round to, that I didn't need to worry about it just yet.

Well at 33 weeks there really isn't much time left to be getting round to it! There was also perhaps a bit of wishful thinking mixed in there too – that it perhaps wouldn't happen to me and my pelvic floor would stay nice and strong throughout – just on its own merit!

I know this not to be true and I know I should have started those exercises in my first trimester! It makes perfect sense for a muscle that is shaped like a trampoline to become weak and overstretched if it bears the weight of pregnancy for a whole 9 months!

So I leave you with my renewed determination that in the last weeks of my pregnancy I will exercise my pelvic floor twice a day, when I wake up and before I go to sleep.

I don't believe it's ever too late to start something that can certainly do no harm but hopefully can still do some good!

Read the next instalment of the Pregnancy Insider here

The pregnancy insider profile

Follow our Pregnancy Insider, the blogger who tells it like it is, by liking our Tommy's Midwives Facebook page. Our Pregnancy Insider is 29, lives in East Anglia, practices yoga and is a big fan of House of Cards - and she's pregnant with her first baby. Look out for her blog each week. 

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