sujata martin demonstrating a pelvic floor exercise

How to Do Pregnancy Pelvic Floor Exercises, According to an Expert

By Melanie Curry
March 12, 2024

When you’re pregnant, your healthcare team may encourage you to do low-impact exercises and activities like aerobics and yoga. These exercises can help you maintain your mental and physical health. What may be less discussed is doing pregnancy exercises for the health of your pelvic floor.

Your pelvic floor is the tissues, bones, and muscles between the tailbone and pubic bone that support your bladder, bowel, and uterus. For many people, pregnancy is the first time they even think about the pelvic floor, and it’s an especially important time to take good care of it.

During pregnancy, your pelvic floor may begin to weaken because of hormone changes and the baby’s growing weight. A weak pelvic floor can cause issues during and after pregnancy. So for many pregnant people, strengthening the pelvic floor is important for daily comfort and to prepare for delivery.

“Making sure the muscles around your urinary opening, vagina, and anus are strong helps to avoid problems like urine leaking and pubic, hip, and sciatic pain,” says Sujata Martin, a pelvic floor therapist, doula, and Twill Care expert, in the video below. These muscles must be flexible to make vaginal delivery easier, as well.

In the video, Martin also demonstrates the pregnancy pelvic floor exercises that can help increase flexibility and strength. Grab a yoga ball and/or a firm cushioned sturdy chair as Martin breaks down all the exercises step by step.

By watching this video, you’ll learn more about:

  • Why pelvic floor exercises matter in pregnancy
  • Symptoms of a weak pelvic floor in pregnancy
  • How to find your pelvic floor muscles
  • How to do a kegel correctly (and common mistakes people make!)
  • The best pelvic floor exercises for every trimester
  • How often you should be doing exercise for your pelvic floor
  • Pelvic floor exercises to increase flexibility

Martin notes that these exercises are helpful for many, but they may not be right for everyone. You should stop doing these pregnancy pelvic floor exercises right away if you feel pain or urinary leakage when you start. In those cases, it’s often a good idea to talk to your ob-gyn to discuss whether pelvic floor physical therapy may be helpful.

“A pelvic floor therapist like myself can give you one-on-one feedback on how to do these exercises correctly,” Martin says. “And if you need some other exercises to support your system, they can teach you that as well.”

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