Your pelvic floor is one of those things that you take for granted before giving birth. It’s just there. Then you give birth and it’s not! After my first pregnancy, I went to a weekly buggy workout where we were talked through the kegel exercises and I remember being so utterly bored by them that I quickly lost interest in doing them. Give me crunches or squats any day, but kegels?!
All those well meaning pieces of advice about doing them while sitting at a red light or while making a cup of tea didn’t help at all. My head is way too full of thoughts to remember doing things like that. The thing is, I’m paying for it now. I didn’t realise quite how much until I went trampolining with my daughter. Yikes! Well after ten minutes, let’s just say that I was sitting it out.
So, when I’m sitting here telling you how important it is to look after your pelvic floor, I mean it!
Thankfully, I have Anita Lambert on the podcast today, who is going to help you look after your pelvic floor. But not only that, but she is also going to share with us her wonderful positive birth story. Anita starting listening to the podcast before she was pregnant as she wanted information for her pregnancy and post-natal clients. Then she got pregnant and had two super reasons for listening. She also shares how she used the head trash clearance method to tackle some of her fears duing her pregnancy.
One of the fears Anita worked on during her pregnancy was her fear of pain and interestingly, she says that she didn’t really experience pain during labour. I say “interestingly” because I’m sure that has a lot to do with the fact that she didn’t fear it. There is a known scientific link between a fear of pain and our experience of it and *that* is why is find that so interesting! Anita went on to have a lovely birth which you can hear all about.
Here she is with her gorgeous little daughter!
Looking after your pelvic floor
Anita is a physio from Toronto who works with women during pregnancy and afterwards to help them to improve their pregnancy and birth experience, but also to assist them with their post-birth recovery. There is so much that Anita shares in terms of how you can work closely with a physio during your pregnancy and afterwards that it’s well worth a listen. She’s also makes it all sound so straightforward! Some of the things Anita shares include;
- what your pelvic floor actually is and how to think about it
- the pelvic floor check you can have BEFORE you’re pregnant
- the physio appointment that is worth having at 37 weeks to check that you’re well aligned for birth
- pelvic floor exercises you can do other than the dreaded kegel ones
- why it’s important to be able to relax your pelvic floor as well as tighten it
- what you can do to help you go trampolining again
- what you can do to help make sure you can sneeze or laugh without looking silly
- why it’s not too late to get your pelvic floor “fixed” and what you can do
- the importance of the mind-body connection when it comes to your alignement
We also talked about Pelvic Girdle Distress aka symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) as this was something that I suffered from during my second pregnancy.
This is an important episode and I would urge you to listen.
Anita has kindly shared some fabulous resources to support you in this area.
Spinning Babies – this is a great resource by midwife, Gail Tully, for creating pelvic balance and alignment during pregnancy and labour to help with a smoother childbirth (and can help turn a breech baby)
Prepare to Push TM – ebook / ecourse created by Kim Vopni of Pelvienne Wellness and Bellies Inc with helpful information to prepare your body for birth and postpartum recovery
Anita’s free resource guide – The Top 7 Tips I Used to Have a Positive, Fear Free Birth
Anita Lambert, MSc (PT), BKin (Hon), PMA®-CPT
I’m Anita, a pelvic health and orthopaedic registered physiotherapist with a holistic view on birth and health. Having gone through pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum recovery, I know that there are many conflicting opinions on ‘what’s too much or too little exercise’ or even what type of
exercise is safe and effective. You may worry if the many uninvited symptoms such as leaking urine, prolapse, diastasis and pelvic pain are normal or where to turn for guidance to maintain your health while trying to conceive, grow, birth and raise a little human being. This is why
Holistic Health Physiotherapy came to be. My physiotherapy practice is focused on guiding you to prevent and heal physical ailments that
are common but shouldn’t be considered your ‘new normal’ while preparing for or during pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Alexia supports families planning pregnancy and birth. She helps them to overcome their fears and feel calm and confident about birth and pregnancy.
Alexia also trains birth professionals in the Fearless Birthing, a unique approach to birth preparation that is ideal for those who have fears around birth.