Pelvic Floor Exercises: 3 Core Moves

You had a kid, which means your core and pelvic floor have performed an Olympic-scale feat and deserve special attention. Dara Bergeron, founder of Belly Bootcamp, shows your three moves that strengthen your pelvic floor. Start with two to three minutes of diaphragmatic breathing and then do eight to 20 reps of each exercise—only do as many as you can with good form. Try doing these exercises daily, slowly building up your reps. And make sure you are practicing these easy stretches that will help realign your posture.

By Today's Parent

Pelvic Floor Exercises: 3 Core Moves

After you've had your baby, crossed everything off the newborn checklist and started to feel more like yourself—you might notice that your core strength isn't quite what it used to be. These expert-approved pelvic floor exercises are easy enough for anyone to do at home, promising better muscle and bladder control, tone and posture.

Gear you may want for pelvic floor exercises:

Why are pelvic floor exercises important, anyway?

A study observed by the National Institutes of Health shared, "PFME (pelvic floor muscle exercises0 strengthen the pelvic floor muscle to provide a backboard for the urethra to compress on. Clinicians should understand pelvic floor muscle anatomy, evaluation and regimen."

What does all this mean? That if you don't love the pee-when-you-sneeze feeling, pelvic floor fitness is an essential part of your daily routine. Sure, if helps with belly tightening and toning, too, but there are significant health benefits beyond just liking the way you fit in your clothes.

The research findings continue, "In addition, it is necessary for clinician to teach patients how to train the pelvic floor muscles to relieve the symptoms. PFME is a unique exercise that take time to master, but with repeated training, most patients are successful."

Working this hyper-specific muscle group helps stay in control of your urinary tract release and the flow of urine, the muscles that help pass gas and even posture and back pain.

When to start pelvic floor muscle exercises

Most experts agree that women should be doing pelvic floor exercises throughout their lives, before, during and after pregnancy. The key is to put as little pressure on your abdominal muscles as possible. The workout should be coming from deep within your core.

These moves can be done sitting or standing, though pregnant women and those recovering from surgery should opt for gentler seated exercises.

When to start pelvic floor exercises after hysterectomy or C-section

Hysterectomy and C-section surgeries place a major toll on the body. Medical experts suggest waiting six weeks post-op to begin gentle pelvic floor exercises before working your way up at about 12 weeks to a full routine. It may take a few weeks after surgery for sensation to fully return so you can find your pelvic floor muscles.

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This article was originally published on Feb 16, 2016