All month we’ve talked about how important it is for pregnant women to remain active and prioritize health and fitness. This includes paying attention to your pelvic floor muscles, which can weaken during pregnancy and childbirth. The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that support the bladder, uterus, and bowel. During pregnancy, these muscles are put under strain as the baby grows and the uterus expands. This can cause weakness, which can lead to problems like incontinence (leaking urine) and prolapse (when the uterus or other organs shift out of place). Luckily, pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, can help to strengthen these muscles and prevent those issues.
And, the good news is that pelvic floor exercises are easy to do and can be done anywhere, anytime. To perform a Kegel, simply contract your pelvic floor muscles (imagine you’re trying to stop the urine flow). Hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat this exercise several times throughout the day. And just like any other exercise, try to focus on progressing over time. You can start by simply performing 10 – 15 reps holding each rep for 1-3 seconds at a time. Do this for 3 – 4 sets and then rest. Eventually, you can either hold each rep for a longer period, increase the number of reps you complete, or add sets. All are ways to get stronger with time, especially when combined with other pelvic floor strengthening exercises like squats, lunges, and glute bridges. None of them require heavy weights or crazy loads and they can be incorporated into your CrossFit workouts to help protect your pelvic floor while also building strength and endurance for your general fitness.
Also, remember that not all exercises are safe for pregnant women, and each pregnancy is different, so it’s important to consult with your doctor before starting any new workout routine. With the right guidance and exercises, you can maintain your fitness and protect your pelvic floor during pregnancy and beyond.
If you have any questions or are looking for fitness guidance regarding pregnancy, follow @thevfit on Instagram and send us a message, we’d love to help! And if you’re searching for a gym to work with you during your pregnancy journey, head over to thevfit.com for more information on getting started with us today!