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.