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Postpartum Recovery
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These conditions may be due to infections (usually undiagnosed), pregnancy or childbirth, insidious onset, poor posture from chronic low back or SI dysfunction, trauma (e.g. bad fall), or a result of surgery. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles and other tissues that form a sling from the pubic bone to the tailbone. They assist in supporting the abdominal and pelvic organs, and help to control bladder, bowel and sexual activity.

Which postpartum problems can be helped by pelvic rehab?
 

The following conditions can be related to problems with the pelvic floor. These problems are particularly common in postpartum moms, but they can last beyond the first six months after giving birth or strike later in some women.
 

Urinary difficulties.

Anal incontinence.

Perineal pain.

Pelvic pain.

Pelvic organ prolapse.
 

If you are still not sure whether you are tightening the right muscles, keep in mind that all of the muscles of the pelvic floor relax and contract at the same time. Because these muscles control the bladder, rectum, and vagina, the following tips may help:
 

Women: Insert a finger into your vagina. Tighten the muscles as if you are holding in your urine, then let go. You should feel the muscles tighten and move up and down.
 

It is very important that you keep the following muscles relaxed while doing pelvic floor muscle training exercises:
 

Abdominal

Buttocks (the deeper, anal sphincter muscle should contract)
 

Thigh

A woman can also strengthen these muscles by using a vaginal cone, which is a weighted device that is inserted into the vagina. Then you try to tighten the pelvic floor muscles to hold the device in place.
 

PERFORMING PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES:

1. Begin by emptying your bladder.

2. Tighten the pelvic floor muscles and hold for a count of 10.

3. Relax the muscles completely for a count of 10.

4. Do 10 repetitions, 3 to 5 times a day (morning, afternoon, and night).
 

You can do these exercises at any time and any place. Most people prefer to do the exercises while lying down or sitting in a chair. After 4 to 6 weeks, most people notice some improvement. It may take as long as 3 months to see a major change.
 

After a couple of weeks, you can also try doing a single pelvic floor contraction at times when you are likely to leak (for example, while getting out of a chair).
 

A word of caution: Some people feel that they can speed up the progress by increasing the number of repetitions and the frequency of exercises. However, over-exercising can instead cause muscle fatigue and increase urine leakage.
 

If you feel any discomfort in your abdomen or back while doing these exercises, you are probably doing them wrong. Breathe deeply and relax your body when you are doing these exercises. Make sure you are not tightening your stomach, thigh, buttock, or chest muscles.
 

When done the right way, pelvic floor muscle exercises have been shown to be very effective at improving urinary continence.

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