The simple answer to this question is all women should receive a pelvic floor assessment to assess whether they are. Did you know that when asked to complete a pelvic floor contraction greater than 50% of women will complete in incorrectly on their first attempt?! This percentage increases even more in the postnatal population.
The pelvic floor contraction is subtle and small, as the muscles are small. During a contraction you should not have a large increase in activation of your abdominals, glutes or inner thighs. It should be completed at the same time as breathing and it is different to ‘bearing down’ or pushing on the toilet (which you should never do!). You do not need to complete pelvic floor exercises every single day and you do not need to be completing 50 squeezes at a time. Remember it’s a muscle group and you wouldn’t go to the gym 50 times – so completing 3 sets of 8-10 is a simple way of looking at pelvic floor strengthening. However, it is so important that every pelvic floor is different, and some women do not need to strengthen theirs at all, as just like every other muscle – it can become tight and painful which can cause other issues such as sexual pain and urine leakage.
Our advice to all women is that its important to be proactive about your pelvic health, all women should find a women’s health physiotherapist and be sure to see them at least once during their pregnancy and at six weeks postnatal. These appointments could be a life saver for your long-term pelvic floor health.
If you had a knee operation you would be sent to a physiotherapist for rehabilitation by your surgeon, so why would you not consult a specialist for your pelvic floor following birthing a baby!