By Coach Jules
Mom Fit and the Pelvic Floor
The pelvic floor muscles sit like a bowl or hammock at the bottom of your pelvis. Their job is to hold your organs, and babies, inside your body.
They also help to stabilize your core and are the gatekeepers for urine, feces and anything coming in or out of your vagina. This means strengthening them is important to avoid prolapse or urine/feces leaking (among other things), however too tight is also not ideal, as we still need things to come out through our pelvic floor- like babies. Not to mention that any tight muscle cannot function through its full range of motion and therefore a tight pelvic floor can also lead to incontinence (leakage).
After a baby
After carrying a baby for the good portion of a year, the pelvic floor muscles can be tired, and rightly so, as they have had extra pressure, literally, on them. And then… they must loosen and stretch during birth. It is unrealistic to assume these muscles will just bounce right back to their full function after all that.
Our goal in Mom Fit is to reconnect with these muscles and re-train our mind to muscle connection, both at rest and during exercise, so they can function properly and will serve us in time of need- meaning they will automatically contract when necessary (such as during a sneeze or sudden high impact movement) and also relax automatically so we can go to the bathroom and have sex without strain or pain.
Abs and Supporting Muscle
Supporting muscles that we will also target include: the abdominal and back muscles, the diaphragm, abductors and adductors, and the glutes. These are all connected to help with full function of the pelvic floor. Conversely, if any of these muscles are too tight or weak they can keep the pelvic floor from doing its job well.
Pelvic Floor Specialist
ALL THAT SAID: if you have any signs or symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction it is highly recommended to see a pelvic floor physical therapist. Our exercise together is supplemental to any work with a specialist.
Note: You can have pelvic floor dysfunction if you have not had a baby and if you are male. This is not unique to postpartum women, it is just more common due to the nature of pregnancy and birth.
Sign/symptoms of dysfunction and when to see a specialist:
- Urinary, fecal or flatal incontinence (leakage, or involuntary loss of pee, poop or gas)- either at rest or during stress/strain- such as coughing, sneezing, exercising.
- Difficulty or discomfort emptying bowel or bladder
- Increase frequency or urgency for going to the bathroom
- Pelvic pain
- Pain around c-section incision/scar
- Diagnosis of pelvic organ dysfunction
- Pain with intercourse or penetration
- Feeling heavy or dragging in their perineum (area between vaginal opening and anus)
- Feeling like something is going to fall out of your vagina
- Difficulty inserting a tampon
- Unexplained bleeding during or after exercise
Interested in getting started with our next Mom Fit Class? Book a Free Consult today!
Mom Fit is Bend, Oregon’s premier postpartum class. Oregon CrossFit has been helping Bend, Oregon residents live happier, healthier lives since May, 2009.