After giving birth, it’s normal for new mums to experience some degree of pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, uterus and bowel. Childbirth, along with pregnancy itself, often strains these muscles and nerves, sometimes leading to urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and other issues.
Performing pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen these muscles and reduce symptoms. It’s recommended new mums start pelvic floor physiotherapy once signed off by a doctor. However, it can be difficult to find the time and motivation to do these exercises at home, especially with a newborn. Attending specialised pelvic floor exercise classes offers an accessible way for new mums to prioritise self-care while bonding with other mothers.
This article outlines five unique pelvic floor workout classes tailored for postpartum women. They provide a supportive environment for mothers to focus on restoring muscle strength through exercise. Several options also allow mums to bring their babies. With expert instruction and community, new mums can feel empowered to take control of their health.
What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor refers to the group of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that form a sling or hammock across the opening of the pelvis. Collectively, these muscles span from the pubic bone to the tailbone and attach to the sides of the pelvic wall. The pelvic floor provides crucial support for the pelvic organs, including the bladder, uterus in women, and rectum.
During pregnancy and childbirth, the pelvic floor endures an immense amount of stretch and strain. Vaginal delivery can overstretch or even tear muscles and nerves. Weakness in the pelvic floor after birth is extremely common. This often manifests as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, difficulty holding in gas or stool, and pain during sex. Pelvic floor dysfunction can persist long-term without proper rehabilitation through exercise.
Performing Kegel exercises and other pelvic floor muscle contractions helps “wake up” and strengthen the pelvic floor after pregnancy and delivery. When done correctly, these exercises lift up the pelvic organs and tighten the vaginal muscles. Over time, a regular routine can reduce urinary leakage, improve bowel control, decrease prolapse, and relieve discomfort. Pelvic floor classes provide instruction on how to effectively contract these muscles.
Why Pelvic Floor Exercises are Important for New Mums
Performing pelvic floor exercises after giving birth provides many benefits for a woman’s health and recovery. Most importantly, these exercises can drastically improve urinary continence and bladder control issues stemming from a weak pelvic floor.
Additionally, diligent pelvic floor exercise helps new mums feel more empowered and in control of their bodies after the intense experience of pregnancy and labour. Making pelvic rehab a priority can improve confidence and self-esteem. In contrast, neglecting these muscles after birth often worsens issues like incontinence over time. Starting pelvic floor physiotherapy soon after delivery is key for the best recovery.
Whether working with a women’s health physiotherapist or attending specialised classes, new mums must make pelvic floor exercises part of their postpartum routine. With dedication and proper instruction, new mothers can rebuild pelvic floor strength and function after pregnancy.
Preparing for Pelvic Floor Exercises
Ideally, new mums should begin pelvic floor rehabilitation once signed off by a doctor. Starting pelvic exercises too early isn’t recommended, but new mothers should schedule a postpartum consultation by 6 weeks at the latest. This allows a women’s health physiotherapist or other pelvic health specialist to assess muscle damage and create an appropriate exercise routine. Based on the state of healing and presence of any tears, they can advise when to integrate Kegels and other muscle contractions safely.
Before beginning a structured pelvic floor class, new mums should touch base with their obstetric provider as well. Discuss any lingering pain, incontinence issues, or difficulties with intercourse. The doctor can rule out any infections or granulation tissue causing discomfort. With the all-clear, new mothers can start rebuilding muscle strength through a tailored pelvic floor workout.
5 Pelvic Floor Exercise Classes For New Mums
Special prenatal and postpartum yoga classes cater to new mums needing to rebuild pelvic floor strength. Poses are gentle and modified, with a focus on engaging core muscles. Breathing techniques also help connect with the body to isolate and contract the pelvic floor. Many studios offer “mum and baby” classes where baby can come along.
Like yoga, Pilates emphasises core strength and stability throughout each exercise. Classes tailored to the postpartum period incorporate specific pelvic floor activations during mat work. The focus is on coordination and control to target supporting muscles. Some classes also have “baby Pilates” classes where infants can lie, roll, and play nearby.
Dedicated core classes utilising resistance bands, small weights, and bodyweight movements help new mums regain abdominal muscle tone and pelvic stability. Licensed postpartum trainers lead recovery-focused sessions including progressions to re-strengthen the pelvic floor safely. Classes build full-body fitness while prioritising healing.
Outdoor buggy fit classes allow mums to get fresh air while working out with baby in tow. Blending walking intervals with strength and HIIT, a buggy fit workout boosts cardio endurance and tones the lower body, core, and pelvic floor. Classes may also incorporate squats, lunges, and balancing exercises using park fixtures, adding a fun way to rebuild muscle.
Low-impact barre or balance-focused classes concentrate on controlled, small movements to improve stability, posture, and coordination. They integrate subtle holds and pulses to engage the pelvic floor as other major muscle groups work. Classes provide new mums a gentle but challenging recovery workout minus high-intensity exercises.
Rehabilitating the pelvic floor through exercise is a crucial step in a new mother’s postpartum recovery. Pelvic floor classes tailored for postpartum women provide an accessible and supportive environment to prioritise muscle strengthening. With expert guidance and community, new mums can begin rebuilding core strength and stability after pregnancy and childbirth.
By being proactive and engaging in regular pelvic floor training early on, women can reduce undesirable effects like incontinence that often worsen over time. Whether you opt for Pilates, balance, or buggy fit, commit to pelvic floor health with consistency. Your body will thank you.