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Really weak pelvic floor muscles - just never sure I'm doing the exs right -any advice?

(16 Posts)
extremelychocolateymilkroll Thu 01-Oct-09 22:15:54

I'm 20 weeks into my 2nd pregnancy and have a heavy cold. It seems that every time I cough or sneeze - unless I've just been to the loo - I leak a little. I've just started to do my pf exs but, as in pregnancy 1, never sure if I'm doing them right. Any tips or is there any machine you can safely use when pregnant? TIA

Jacksmama Thu 01-Oct-09 22:30:49

There is a thing called Pelvic Floor Educator. It's a tiny little wand (about the size of a super tampon) with what looks like a long (6") toothpick attached to it at an angle. You sit on the floor, insert the wand in the vagina - the wand only, not the toothpick/indicator) , and then you can look down (or use a mirror if bump is in the way) and see if the indicator moves when you do your PFE's. It's a really great tool because it tells you you're doing it right, and the visual feedback keeps you motivated.

Pelvic Floor Educator

There is also a link to Frequently Asked Questions about the Educator.

I got one after DS's birth tore my bits to shreds and I had no pelvic floor muscles to speak of after the subsequent reconstruction op. Worked extremely well.

bethylou Thu 01-Oct-09 22:33:48

There are several different gadgets you can buy but not sure if ok during pregnacy. The best thing to do is to ask midwife or doc whether there is a women's physio at your local hospital. Mine was brilliant and got everything sorted for me.
I learnt the following: you do need to do the exercises at least 4 times a day for an extended period of time to see a difference. You also need to do them in different positions too. If the weakness is related to weeing you should lean forward slightly to practise once you know you are doing them correctly. You can check if you are doing them correctly by stopping weeing mid-flow - don't do this more than once or twice as a test, as it's not a good thing to make a habit of doing, but will show if you are using the right muscles.
Hope this helps!

extremelychocolateymilkroll Thu 01-Oct-09 22:36:00

Thanks very much for your reply Jacksmama but unfortunately the faq say it's not suitable during pregnancy - something I suspect will apply to all these little instruments. Definitely something I will look to use after dc2.

extremelychocolateymilkroll Thu 01-Oct-09 22:37:08

Thanks bethylou - will check and see if I can see a physio.

RubyBlueberry Thu 01-Oct-09 22:40:05

Right, you know how you feel if you think you are going to fart in church? The muscles that hold the escaping fart are the ones that you need to get practising!
(this is what my physio said.... wink)

extremelychocolateymilkroll Thu 01-Oct-09 22:43:53

Thanks Ruby - will have a go on Sunday. wink

Jacksmama Thu 01-Oct-09 23:53:57

Oh cr*p - I guess I should have read the FAQ's myself blush. Sorry.

Jacksmama Thu 01-Oct-09 23:54:51

Are the fart escaping muscles different from the poo escaping muscles? [interested]


Comma2 Fri 02-Oct-09 00:21:51

There is a new form of callanetics that takes care of the pelvic floor, plus a good forum website (google for callanetics and Hanna Sandra, I think). It really helps and the instructor can tell you how to modify for pregnancy.

extremelychocolateymilkroll Fri 02-Oct-09 10:12:38

Thanks again Jacksmama - unfortunately my knowledge of biology is not sufficient to answer your question! Thanks Comma2 - will definitely look into this.

fiziwizzle Fri 02-Oct-09 10:22:32

bethylou what is an extended period of time? The pregnancy books I've been reading seem to recommend 10 reps holding for 5 seconds, three times a day. Is that not enough (not that I remember to do them three times a day anyway)? Am I wasting my time if I just do them whenever I remember i.e. not very often?

herethereandeverywhere Fri 02-Oct-09 10:32:33

ExChoc: one other thing to remember is that this weakening can be a temporary side effect of pregnancy. The combined effect of relaxin in your system and weight of expanding uterus pushing down can cause this temporary problem (same happened to me when I sneezed and its what the midwife told me!) what it did do was scare me enough to make me do regular pelvic floor exercises to prevent it being a long-term effect so I think you're doing exactly the right thing.

extremelychocolateymilkroll Fri 02-Oct-09 13:00:17

Thanks herethere - as you say, probably a salutary reminder. Am thinking of getting the Epi-No later in pregnancy.

Kingsroadie Fri 02-Oct-09 15:35:20

Yes apparently epi-no is very good and can be used before and after birth (ie for stretching before and then toning afterwards). I have got one but am only 31 weeks so haven't tried it yet!

bethylou Fri 02-Oct-09 22:17:58

I can't actually remember the physio's reply to someone asking about doing them occasionally (she did two lectures to a big group of new mums before I saw her 1:1 - she is officially my hero!) However, I am fairly sure that doind some is better than none. I believe she said 6 months (but note the post above that says it can be a temporary problem - but also that the physio said we should do them forever and even if ladies didn't have children). The other thing important thing is to a mix of longish holds and short sharp holds as there are two types of muscles. I will try and dig out the information sheets she gave us all tommorrow to check exactly but can't get them now as would wake DS up.

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