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Pelvic Floor Exercises Information | How to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and get the most from your pelvic floor exercises.
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Choosing an antenatal or postnatal pelvic floor exerciser

 
 

Confused about the different pelvic floor exercise aids available for use before, during or after pregnancy?
Read more below or go straight to our Online Shop to browse our product range.

Different options are available to you depending on your current life stage:

Are you planning a pregnancy?
Are you pregnant right now?
Are you strengthening your pelvic floor muscles either soon after birth or in the early years of motherhood?

Planning a pregnancy
 

There is ample evidence that strong pelvic floor muscles prior to, and during the first trimester of, pregnancy assist labour and reduce the risk of a weakened pelvic floor after childbirth. If you are seeking to improve pelvic floor muscles strength before becoming pregnant, you will probably choose a feedback exerciser or an exercise program on DVD.

Vaginal weights are intended primarily for the treatment of stress incontinence, and may not therefore be as challenging to you as you would like. The exception is the Aquaflex Pelvic Floor Exercise System, which can be used with add-on weights, thus extending the challenge it provides to your pelvic floor muscles. Alternatively vaginal balls and barbells are weight-based products that can offer more challenge.

Electrical stimulation is used where there is little voluntary control over the muscles. This is less likely with younger women, who have not already had children, although may be the choice of women who have already given birth.

Pregnant right now
 

Manufacturers of exercise devices advise against their use during pregnancy, mainly to protect themselves against claims of liability should an infection or problem develop.

If you are currently pregnant, the gentle low-impact pelvic floor exercise component of The Core and the Floor DVD may be an appropriate choice for you (and this DVD will definitely be an essential aid in your postnatal recovery).

Alternatively if you are already fairly fit, you may prefer the all-round exercise program for pregnancy, PreggiBellies Exercises for Pregnancy DVD. This program includes some pelvic floor work, but is primarily a whole body fitness program for pregnancy.

Whatever your choice, we advise that you check with your health practitioner before beginning any exercise program during pregnancy.

It's important that you do your best to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, even without the aid of exercise devices. We're frequently asked about the value of exercising the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy.

Exercising postnatally and in the early years of motherhood
 

You should begin exercising your pelvic floor muscles without an aid, as soon as possible after childbirth. The Core and the Floor DVD guides you through gentle pelvic floor and abdominal exercises that you can begin as soon as you feel ready after the birth. More strenuous core strength routines on the DVD are appropriate once you've had your six week checkup.

Once your postnatal discharge has stopped and you have had a postnatal checkup, you can also use an exercise aid to help you, although we suggest you check with your health care provider first.

Research has shown that vaginal weights, balls, barbells, electrical stimulation and feedback devices can all be useful for pelvic floor strengthening after birth, so it is a question of choosing the type of exerciser that suits you best:
Are you already able to locate your pelvic floor muscle, and now want to build strength? Or do you need help to locate the muscle and know if you are squeezing correctly?
Do you want a product you can use while you move around? Or are you able and willing to allocate the time each day to laying still while you exercise your pelvic floor?

Your choice will depend both on your physical needs, and on your lifestyle. For with choosing the right device for your needs, follow our step-by-step guide to help you decide.

If you are still unsure, discuss your specific needs with your health care provider, and remember that it is quite normal to have greatly reduced muscle tone, and even some level of incontinence, after childbirth.

Pelvic floor weakness and stress incontinence are common after childbirth. But if your stress incontinence is still present three months after your baby is born, it is unlikely to improve on its own. Research shows that the majority of women who suffer from SUI at three months, still have the problem after 5 and even 12 years!

Progressive vaginal cones (Aquaflex) are widely recommended by medical experts as an effective therapy for stress incontinence, and are an appropriate alternative to pelvic floor exercises for many women.


Read more about the pelvic floor and childbirth.



 

 

 
 
Research shows that over 90% of women with stress incontinence 3 months after giving birth will still have the problem 5 years later. It will not go away unless you act!
Aquaflex vaginal cones are an effective first-step, home use treatment for stress incontinence recommended by many medical experts worldwide. Many women welcome them as an alternative to doing regular pelvic floor exercises.
Why don't we stock some of the exercisers you've seen on other websites? Find out more.
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  21 November 2008