During pregnancy and childbirth, your pelvic floor muscles which support the pelvic organs and help to maintain continence, are stretched and may become damaged. This can leave the muscles very weak and cause some women to leak urine when they sneeze, cough, lift, or when exercising. Some women may also experience other bladder or bowel symptoms. It is very important that you strengthen weakened pelvic floor muscles after having your baby, as they provide support to the pelvic organs and help to prevent any urine leakage. Urinary incontinence is common postnatally however it is not normal for the symptoms to persist.
Pelvic floor exercises are aimed at improving the strength of your pelvic floor muscles and therefore help to reduce the risk of potential problems arising.
Weak pelvic floor muscles can contribute to bladder and bowel control problems. They can be strengthened by doing regular pelvic floor muscle exercises. This animation shows the location of your pelvic floor muscles - Pelvic Floor Anatomy
The physiotherapy team have put together a presentation with regards to the role of pelvic floor - to view this please click here.
The following is a video and leaflet explaining pelvic floor exercises:
Information on how best to get back to your daily activities and return to exercise can be found in the following leaflets:
After having your baby, if you experience any problems with your bladder or bowels, pain when you resume sexual intercourse, or discomfort from a perineal tear or Caesarean section scar, ask for advice from your midwife or other health professional. You can also find useful advice in the sections below.