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Pelvic Floor Exercises During Pregnancy And After Delivery

Pregnancy workouts


During pregnancy, extra weight is put on the muscles of your pelvic floor that supports the womb. Exercising on pelvic floor muscles help to strengthen them and maintain their shape by holding the extra weight of the growing uterus during pregnancy.

Continuation of these exercises even after delivery helps in preventing the long-term problems such as prolapsed bladder or uterus.

During pregnancy, the pelvic floor exercises helps in rotating the baby’s head into the correct birth position and supports the weight of the baby. Pelvic floor exercises also helps in preventing constipation and piles problem.

Weaken pelvic floor muscles may make you leak urine when you coughing or sneezing. This is known as stress incontinence, which may continue after pregnancy. By doing the below simple pelvic floor exercises, you can strengthen the pelvic floor muscles to avoid or reduce stress incontinence after pregnancy.

All the pregnant women are advised to do pelvic floor exercises even if they are not suffering from stress incontinence at present. Pelvic floor muscles are tend to weaken with the age and this can be prevented by doing the below.

  • Always try to squeeze and hold your pelvic floor muscles before coughing and sneezing.
  • Empty your bladder completely whenever you go to the toilet.
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids and take foods rich in fiber to avoid constipation and piles.
  • Always lean forward when sitting on the toilet with your knees slightly higher than your hips and rest your elbows on your knees or thighs so that your back becomes straight and relax your pelvic floor.
Exercise Option 1

Position – Sit your legs crossed. Exhale and leave your pelvic floor completely relaxed as you do when passing urine.
Give slight contractions to the pelvic muscles as when you interrupt the flow of urine for a while. Do it for 3 times.

Exercise option 2

Position – Sit your legs crossed. Relax the pelvic floor muscles.
Give strong contraction of your pelvic muscles as you do when you want to pass urine badly but have to wait in the queue to control the passing of urine. Hold the contractions strongly for a count of 6 and then release. Repeat this for 2 times.

Pelvic Lift Exercises

These are standard exercises seen in both yoga and normal exercise programs. These pelvic lifts exercises are helpful in strengthening the lower back muscles, lower abdominal muscles, and groin area. These kinds of pelvic lift exercises are prescribed to relieve lower back aches. Always do stretches before exercising and if for any reason you experience pain, stop doing it and consult your physician to start doing it again.
  • Position – Lie on your back on a flat surface with your knees bent and keep your knees flat on the floor.
  • Put your weight on both the feet and slowly raise your feet off the floor.
  • Once you have raised your feet, stay in that position for 10 counts or more and gently lower to the floor. Do it for 1 or 2 times.
  • If you cannot lift your pelvis up independently, you can take the assistance from someone there to lift you up.
Leg swings

In the present day situation, sitting on chairs for longer time in front of the computer makes the leg joints so inflexible and really need the exercises to make them flexible by bringing some movement in the legs. Try the following exercise for the same.

Exercise 1

Position – Stand normally with your hands placed on your hips.
Incline slightly to your left side and swing your right leg forwards and backward for about 1 foot and for 4 times and then repeat the same with left leg for 4 times by inclining slightly to your right side. Do it slowly and if you lose balance at any point, pause for some time and start again.

Exercise 2

Position – Stand normally with your hands placed on your hips.
Swing one leg sideways and bring back to the straight position and do it with other leg the same way. Do it for 3 times with each leg.

Leg lifts

During pregnancy, there is a possibility of forming varicose veins in the legs. Varicose veins are dark appearing veins that appear above or below the knees due to the circulation of impure blood in the legs and this impure blood cannot flow back to the heart for purification process due to the congestion in the groin area. The leg lifts help prevent varicose veins.

Position – Lie on one side with one arm stretched outwards and placed under your head and the palm of your other hand placed on the floor in front of you. You can keep a pillow between your stomach and floor to prevent any pressure putting on the stomach.

Raise the upper portion of leg higher than your hip and hold for a count of 6 and then slowly bring back to the starting position. Repeat the same with other side also and do it for 3 to 4 times with each leg.  

Ankle movements

This exercise helps in reliving the pain at ankles, as most of the extra weight carried during pregnancy is put on this area of the body.

Position – Sit with one of your legs outstretched and the other leg is bent at the knee and resting on the thigh of the outstretched leg.
Hold the bent leg ankle with one hand and with other hand; rotate the foot from the ankle. Rotate 5 times clockwise and 5 times anti-clockwise.  Repeat the same procedure with other leg.

Deep Breathing

It is good to do this breathing exercise in the early morning near plants, as the plants makes oxygen when the sun shines in the morning. Breathing exercise provides oxygen to you and your baby.

Position – Sit your legs crossed keeping your back straight and your head and neck in one straight line.

Take a short breath in and then exhale slowly through your pursed lips to the maximum you can and then breathe normally for about 3 breaths and repeat this for 3 times.

Walking to reduce the leg cramps

Leg cramps occur due to lack of blood circulation in the legs. The below exercises help you circulate the blood in your lower limbs.
Stand normally and first walk across on your toes, then walk on your heels and then walk on your outer side of your feet for about 10 feet length. Do it once in a day before doing to bed.

Find here some of the topics related to exercises during pregnancy:

Which exercises are best during pregnancy ?

Exercises during pregnancy and after delivery

Some simple pregnancy exercises

Relaxation techniques during pregnancy

How to avoid stress during pregnancy ?

FAQ's about exercises during pregnancy