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Ever wondered how to prepare your pelvic floor for delivery of your baby?

These are a few tips and things that you can start to work on to prepare your body for birth. When I’m working with clients that are pregnant at around the 34 week mark, we will switch from working on the strengthening of the core system and the pelvic floor to relaxation techniques.

A lot of women have heard of a kegel, which is the shortening of the pelvic floor muscles or a pelvic floor contraction. A lot of people do this throughout their pregnancy, because they’re trying to keep their pelvic floor and their core strong, but around that 34 week mark, we want to encourage our pelvic floors to get long and have the ability to relax. In order for the baby to come out, we need those pelvic floor muscles to lengthen-the opposite of what a kegal is; a kegel is the shortening and closing off of your anal, vaginal, and urethra sphincters. We don’t want to do that. If we’re going to tighten everything up, that’s going to be really hard for the baby to get out. We want to do the opposite. I will teach women what we call a reverse kegel or a pelvic floor drop, where we’re opening and melting that pelvic floor.

This can be done with breathing. I typically start to teach women probably on their side or, if they’re still comfortable, on their backs. If you’re on your side, you would lay down on your side and then you’re going to inhale and think about your lower belly – your TA and your pelvic floor muscles, and your vaginal and your anus opening. You’re going to inhale and think about those opening or melting or your pelvic floor dropping, and then you’re just going to exhale as normal. On your side you could put your hand on your belly to feel it relax, you’re just going to take a breath in, think about that opening, that melting and then exhale naturally.

You can do a few of these on your side and then you can also practice in different positions. On your hands and your knees is a good place to practice. This is going to encourage that pelvic outlet – that goal to open even more. On your hands and knees, you can inhale think about that pelvic floor melting and opening and then exhaling as you naturally would. You could also go into a child’s pose if that’s comfortable for you, where your big toes are coming together, knees are going out wide, and then just sit your hips back. When you’re in this position, you’ll go back to that relaxation breath where you’re inhaling, things are melting and opening, and then exhale as you relax. So those are a few different techniques or a few different positions that you can start to incorporate once you hit that 34 week mark.

Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.