Pelvic floor education – by Eugenie

Posted on 13 January 2015 by Kristrun


While giving birth is usually the most momentous time in a woman’s life, the nine months of pregnancy and the labour that follows have a significant impact on your pelvic-floor. The baby’s weight puts pressure on it, the increase of hormones (oestrogen and relaxin), and finally the birth itself will stretch the muscles. The combination of these factors will lead to a loss of tone and the muscles may not be able to play their role as before. This is unavoidable and if left untreated, can lead to serious consequences (incontinence, prolapsed womb, back pain, reduced sexual sensation). But although it is unavoidable, it is not irreversible. Labor can cause pinched nerves, check out Neuropathy Relief Guide to help get rid of the nerve pain.

Pelvic-floor re-education will allow you to regain the strength and tone of your muscles and therefore will allow you to avoid suffering these complications in the future.

Your perineum plays a very important role: it is the muscle supporting the womb and the bladder, and it’s tone allows continence by closing the sphincters (uthrethra, vagina and anus). And finally, it is the base for good back health. A stretched perineum will not be able to maintain all of those functions as well as reducing normal sexual sensation.

When is pelvic floor re-education necessary?

There is growing support in favour of beginning to exercise before the birth (antenatal). Your awareness of this muscle will facilitate the labour and reduce the risk of a tear (episiotomy).

After childbirth (postnatal), it is best to wait at least six to eight weeks before starting any re-education or sports. It is very important to not start any abdominal re-education with a weak pelvic-floor because it would increase the stretch of the perineum and increase such symptoms as incontinence. After these six to eight weeks, you may start your pelvic floor re-education whenever you feel ready for it, even years later you will still be able to benefit from it. The most common re-education techniques to treat perineal muscle weakness and incontinence are pelvic floor exercises.


Every pelvic floor re-education starts with an assessment and check up of the strength of your perineum and of your level of awareness of it. Following the check up, the midwife will determine a personalized treatment (pelvic floor exercises +/- electrostimulation) based on your medical background, the course of your pregnancy and the method of childbirth as well as on your level of awareness of your muscles. Finally she will show you the exercises that you will do between the sessions in order to increase the benefits of the treatment. A maximum of 10 sessions is required.


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