MamaCore Prenatal Movement Recommendations...Jan 15, 2020
Q: Do you have a class for pregnant moms to build pelvic strength to help with labor? Any advice in any format is helpful. My last birth was hard, I feel like I pushed forever. What, if anything, can I do to strengthen my pelvic floor so I can experience a better birth?
A: Not yet! But if I were to create a class specifically for you, here is what it would include...
To begin, in relationship to pregnancy, birth, and postpartum - it may be helpful to change the languaging from pelvic floor “strength”, to pelvic floor “balance” .
With that change in terminology also comes a shift in mindset.
When we think of strength, we naturally tend to feel muscle contraction, or we think of increasing tone or tension. And this is not always what is necessary for our pelvic floor, or for accomplishing your goal of a smoother labor and delivery.
There are many factors at play, and the only way to know for sure what you need is to be assessed by a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (they are truly a godsend for all mamas). Find a Women's Health PT near you.
Here are a few of Kalamazoo-area’s best Women’s Health Physical Therapists:
Emily Wilson DPT - New Seasons Physical Therapy & Wellness
Cassie McDonald Ross DPT - Armor PT
Keesha Shankle DPT - Physical Therapy One
Pelvic floor “balance” is a more integrated term that brings both strength, tone, and flexibility into play. And it is more appropriate considering the anatomy and function of the pelvic floor.
Your pelvic floor needs to be able to lengthen and expand on inhalation, and return inwards and upwards on exhalation. The best movement practice for your goals will incorporate breath + movement in a way that honors the natural rhythm of the pelvic floor.
Here are my favorites:
Prenatal Pilates (Reformer)
Specific stretches that you can do anytime are:
Spinning Babies is the gold-standard on pregnancy body balancing movements (IMHO). Here is what they recommend: Spinning Babies Daily Activities for Body Balance
I hope that you are able to find the balance & strength you seek, Mama.
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