Expecting a baby should be a wonderful time, but changes to your body may cause you to experience pain or discomfort. Lara Maddison, a specialist physiotherapist in Women’s Health at The Forge Clinic, has put together a safe and effective guide to help you improve your posture, tone your muscles and ease back or pelvis pain and other complaints such as leg cramps and rib flare.
Care for your pelvis and back
Our pregnancy guide explains why your need to look after your pelvis and back, with advice on which activities you should avoid and how to exercise your core muscles.
When you’re pregnant it is especially important to strengthen your pelvic floor with the exercise outlined here:
How to exercise your pelvic floor
You should practise this exercise in two ways – as a slow contraction and a fast contraction. Do your pelvic floor exercises three times a day, standing, sitting or lying down.
- Before you start, imagine a zip running between your legs from the back to the front. Breathe in to prepare and as you exhale firmly close your back passage as if you are stopping yourself from passing wind.
- Draw that same contraction forwards and upwards as if you are doing up a zip between your legs and trying to stop the flow of urine.
- Once you feel the pelvic floor muscles lift, hold onto this contraction, BREATHE and count to a maximum of 10 seconds. Release very slowly, the rest for three seconds. Repeat 10 times.
To practice this exercise as a series of fast contractions and releases:
- Lift and squeeze your pelvic floor muscles as tightly as you can. Hold for one second, release and rest for one second. Repeat 10 times.
Expert help for expectant mothers
At The Forge Clinic in Richmond we offer a range of specialist services to support you through your pregnancy and help you get back into shape after your baby is born. If you would like more information or advice, please call us on 020 8332 6184 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Women’s Health (ACPWH) has produced a guide to help you cope with the physical demands of your pregnancy. You can download ‘Fit for Pregnancy’ here.