Why do we need to work our pelvic floor muscles….

Emma has complied a fact sheet for mums about why and what you need to do for your pelvic floor muscles. Take a look, its an interesting read….

Pelvic Floor Muscles written by Emma Redding Founder and director Buggyfit

We talk about our pelvic floor muscle as a singular however it is a group of pelvic floor muscles which act as a hammock to support the uterus, bladder bowels and other pelvic organs.  As with the rest of our body, as the baby grows the weight bearing on the pelvic floor muscles increases and they become over stretched and weakened.

The most common ongoing problem caused by this is incontinence (a distinct lack of bladder control resulting in the leakage of urine.)

The pelvic floor muscles play a variety of vital roles during pregnancy and during childbirth and the stronger they are the better they will aid in the turning of the baby in the latter weeks and in helping to actually push the baby out.   The pelvic floor muscles come under severe weakening even after a caesarean birth; this is due to the weight weakening the muscles in pregnancy.  Multiple births will generally lead to a weaker pelvic floor.

It is vital we exercise these muscles as soon after childbirth as is comfortable.

 

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Pelvic Floor Exercises

These exercises are essential for all new Mums, whether you have delivered naturally or by caesarean section, as a lot of damage is done to weaken these muscles in pregnancy due to the weight of the baby; it’s not just during the birth that the damage is done.

Some new Mums often find PF exercises very hard in the first few weeks, as they are unable to feel the exercise and become very despondent.

Persevere, there are a variety of ways to do them, and eventually the hard work will pay off.  A great way of feeling the sensation of the strengthening exercise is that that you should imagine they are ‘slurping spaghetti’ with your vaginal muscles, this creates the correct technique.

As mentioned before, the pelvic floor is a collection of muscles creating a hammock.  These muscles are made up of a mixture of slow and fast twitch muscle fibres, which benefit from being exercised at different speeds.  In short, the slow twitch fibres support the pelvic contents and the fast twitch fibres are recruited spontaneously to tighten the pelvic floor and prevent urine leakage.  These muscles must be strengthened like all others muscles to provide their function adequately.

Firstly we need to locate the pelvic floor muscles.

The action starts from the back (near the anus) as we pull in our front passage and vagina will follow suit.

Try stand with your toes turned in to locate their front squeeze, then toes out to locate a back and squeeze. This should help you locate your pelvic floor.

Remember:

The midwives are right – pelvic floor exercises can be performed in any position; we can work them as a separate muscle group or during exercises that isolate other areas too.  i.e.: tummy sucks or pelvic tilts.

You SHOULD be able to do them without it being obvious.  Keep breathing throughout.

Like all muscle groups, the pelvic floor will fatigue.  Once you feel the muscles have fatigued, take a break and resume the exercises later.

It is a great idea to have triggers that remind you to do these exercises, i.e. sitting at red traffic lights.  (Great if you live in city centres, not so good if you are in the middle of nowhere!!!!!)  While the kettle boils, while breastfeeding.

Some wear a hair bobble on their wrist, put stickers around the home etc. etc.

As a new Mum it is a good idea to try and plan a programme to do at home, keep it simple and start with few and build up.  If you make your goal too big you are less likely to do them.

If you are really concerned about anything regarding the function of your pelvic floor, and have been exercising it, then you should ask for a referral to a specialist women’s physio. See www.acpwh.org.uk to find one in your area.

There are also plenty of gadgets on the market that you may have already bought that can really help and give these exercises a bigger purpose.

It has recently been suggested that bigger exercises such a squats and lunges (which we always do in buggyfit classes) will help to strengthen your pelvic floor as much if not more than the traditional ‘contracting/squeezing ‘ exercises, but her are some to help.

Exercise prescription:  *A mix of these is ideal*

Quick – lift and release. Contract the muscles and release them in two counts

Endurance - Contract the pelvic floor muscles by squeezing and lifting then holding for up to 10 seconds then aim to gradually release.  Start with 5 sets of 10 repetitions per day and work up to 10 sets per day. You could also try this by doing a figure of eight, each way.

The Wave - Contract the muscles from back to front and release from front to back.

The Elevator - Imagine you have just stepped into an elevator.  As the doors close – Contract your pelvic floor muscles by lifting slowly (1 floor at a time).  The elevator stops at floor 6, the doors open and close (at which point you hold the contraction) and then begins to descend – (you slowly lower through the floors again)

Pelvic floor muscles can be tested while passing urine.  See if you can stop the flow of urine completely.  Only do this test once in a while, as it can be bad for the bladder.

Another way of testing and indeed strengthening these muscles is during sex.  Simply tighten the vaginal wall around your partner’s penis.  It is known to also improve your sex life!

When doing these exercises you should not be, pulling your abs in excessively, or squeezing your legs or butt muscles.

Other good times to work the pelvic floor are pushing a heavy shopping trolley, each time you lift baby or something heavy.  You must contract your Transverse abdominus (belt muscle around waist) and pelvic floor for these daily activities.

Any high impact work that takes both feet off the floor together (even for a split second) will put pressure on the pelvic floor, so should be avoided in the first 8 weeks postpartum, and until you feel the pelvic floor is strong enough to handle it. Running, jumping etc would be included in the list.

All buggyfit trainers are experts in postnatal fitness and well being, so will be able to help and advice on pelvic floor issues.

See the buggyfit website for classes in your area.

 

 

 

Exciting news from buggyfit HQ…we now have lovely gift vouchers available!

Beautiful, unique and useable gift for new mums and babies is now available.

We are very excited to announce that we now have our gift vouchers here at HQ, available in £10 or £25 vouchers. They can be sent beautifully gift wrapped directly to her or to you. Email info@buggyfit.co.uk, fill in the contact form on the website or call 01844 202081 to order.

Waitrose Weekend Clipping – 3rd January 2013

With the new year Waitrose Weekend magazine did a feature on the new year, new you where they were listing different types of exercise classes to aid the new year resolutions! We were lucky enough to be included in their listings, to take a look at the clipping please see here:

WaitroseWeekendClipping-Jan2013

Buggyfit is mentioned in the Telegraph’s online article…

We were all excited when a google alert came into HQ’s email and we saw that it was for an article on the Telegraph’s website!

The Telegraph’s City diarist has written a wonderfully witty article on her new job of motherhood and happens to reference buggyfit on Clapham Common in the process!

 

Tommy’s 2012 baby races come to an end…

We joined forces with Tommy’s again this year to host 10 baby races and last weekend we had the final race which marked the end of a hugely successful fundraising campaign by Tommy’s and buggyfit.

We have just heard from Tommy’s that as of this morning (27.09.12) the total raised by all entrants stands at a fantastic £70,000. This amazing figure is more than double last years total figure and is thanks to all of the 664 people who registered and took part in the races.

Well done to all the buggyfit trainers who worked closely with Tommy’s to organise and host the amazing 10 races around the UK – well done all its a great achievement and for a fantastic cause.

A picture that we think captures the baby races this year...

To find out more information about what great work Tommy’s do please visit their website.

Our Preston Leyland and Chorley trainer has gained some local media coverage…

Charlene Makinson is our buggyfit trainer for Preston, Leyland and Chorley has gained some great local exposure about her classes in Chorley in the Lancashire Telegraph. Well done Charlene, hope it bought some more customers for you!

You can read the article here: The Lancashire Telegraph.

 

Our Barnes and Kew buggyfit trainer, Susie Harris has had some great local press coverage…

Our buggyfit trainer Susie Harris has gone and got herself a great article all about her buggyfit classes with some great action shots too on the Barnes Mums website.

To read the article in more detail and to find out about other things going on in the Barnes area please click the below link….

http://www.barnesmums.com/2012/buggyfit-barnes

Child Locators

The lovely guys at Safe Girl Security sent us a couple of products to review. We have recently tried and tested the Mommy I’m Here! Child Locator Alert and wanted to share our experience and view of it….

The Mommy I’m Here! Child Locator is a revolutionary breakthrough, offering parents peace-of-mind. The Locator Alert is effective, reliable and very easy to use. Simply attach the teddy bear receiver to your child’s shoe or belt. If your child wanders out of a range approximately 25 feet, the new ALERT feature will cause the keychain transmitter to chirp loudly. Then, simply push the button on your keychain transmitter and the teddy bear chirps, alerting you of your child’s whereabouts, while drawing attention to any situation your child may be in.

Mommy I'm Here Child Locator with new alert feature

The review:

‘This is a great concept and you can not fault the problem it is trying to address. I am aware that I am a mum of one fairly compliant daughter and have not got three or four children under the age of 10 to keep my eye on, however I still feel it needs some work. For example the teddy shaped receiver is too much of a toy for little ones, my daughter was more interested in playing with it then having it stuck to her shoe, which then made it hard to track my daughter rather than the bench or slide it was left on! The plus side is it has a very loud alarm so can be heard when out and about in a loud and busy setting. It will also catch the child attention very quickly sending them back to you straight away, if not with a slightly confused face and questions! Unfortunately I am not sure I would spend the money on this gadget as I feel it is slightly more of hindrance then a helpful piece of kit at the moment.’ Overall I would give this product a 3 out of 5 for its concept alone.

3 out of 5 prams

The Child Locator was tested by Amanda Bracken, a buggyfit mum from Stourbridge.

For more information on this product or to see other products Safe Girl Security sell please visit: http://www.safe-girl.co.uk/kids-safe/29-mummy-i-m-here-child-locator-with-new-alert-feature.html