Your pelvic health isn't just about that all-illusive pelvic floor. If you can't giggle or sneeze without a panic-ridden sphincter, we're here to help, with an approach to pelvic health that goes far beyond the daily squeezes.
Pelvic Health Basics
So, what exactly is the pelvic floor? Well, it's like the MVP of your nether regions, a hammock of muscles and tissues that cradle your bladder, uterus, and rectum. It's kind of like the unsung hero of your body, supporting all your vital organs down there.
Because of everything that's involved in pelvic health, focusing on the pelvic floor alone is like trying to make an apple crumble with just apples. Our close collaborator and pelvic health physio extraordinaire, Clare Bourne, takes a more holistic approach. Find her new book, Strong Foundations, here.
Big life moments: when pelvic health gets all the limelight
Pelvic Health in Pregnancy
Ah, pregnancy—a time of wonder, cravings, and let's face it, the occasional waddle. As your body changes to accommodate a little human being, your pelvic floor may sneak into your awareness more than before.
The Heavy Lifting: During pregnancy, your pelvic floor is working overtime to support the extra weight of your growing baby. Think of it like a trusty trampoline, bouncing to the rhythm of your newfound mom-to-be swagger.
The Kegel Chronicles: Enter the world of Kegel exercises, where you'll become best friends with your pelvic floor. These simple squeezes and releases strengthen your pelvic muscles, helping you bounce back faster after childbirth. Remember, Kegels aren't just for the gym; you can do them while binge-watching your favorite shows or waiting in line for your latte.
Clare Bourne explains more on what's going on with our pelvic floor during pregnancy, and how we can help prepare our bodies for labour and birth:
Shop Victory Oil for support with pregnancy and postpartum perineal massage.
Pelvic Health in Postpartum
The Aftermath: After childbirth, your pelvic organs in general may feel a little fragile. But with patience and those trusty Kegel exercises, it will regain its strength and elasticity. So, don't be discouraged by the occasional post-baby sneeze surprise.
But pelvic health isn't just about kegels. After temporarily housing and evicting a small human, it's normal to feel a bit disengaged from your own body. Breathwork is a wonderful tool to help you re-engage your pelvic floor and get back in touch with your body after giving birth.
Pre and post-natal birth expert, Holly Grant explains the use of breathwork after a C-section, but this technique can be applied for everyone in the postpartum phase.
Support Squad: Don't hesitate to reach out to a pelvic health specialist or a physical therapist if you have any concerns. They're like your pelvic floor's personal trainers, helping you get back to your pre-baby self. We thoroughly recommend Clare Bourne, if you're based in London.
Pelvic health in menopause
Along with hot flashes and mood swings, your pelvic health might throw in a few curveballs. As our hormones begin to decline and bone density starts to drop, you may notice unexpected leaks, or even symptoms of prolapse.
Bone Health Matters: Pay attention to your bone health, too, because strong bones support a strong pelvic floor. So, embrace those calcium-rich foods and incorporate resistance training to keep your bones—and pelvic floor—happy.
Taking care of your pelvic health holistically
Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water keeps your bladder happy and reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.
Fiber Up: A diet rich in fiber promotes healthy digestion and keeps constipation, a common pelvic health issue, at bay.
Stay Active: Regular exercise, like walking, swimming, or yoga, supports pelvic health by improving circulation and muscle tone.
Kegel Time: Don't forget to include those Kegel exercises in your daily routine, no matter your stage in life.
Pelvic Health Check: Consider regular check-ups with a pelvic health specialist to ensure everything is A-OK down there.