How do I best condition my pelvic floor for birth?

To adequately prepare your pelvic floor for childbirth you will likely need more than a few rounds of Kegels. Fully preparing this “birth door” for baby to come through is a much more nuanced (and interesting) task.

There are 35 different muscles connected to the pelvic basin. These tissues work in concert with your core and respiratory muscles to help usher baby into the world. For a smooth birth experience these tissues need elasticity, to stretch so the baby can come out. Plus you will need a combination of strength and ease, to power baby forward while simultaneously releasing space for it to slide through.

All these actions combined–stretch, strength, ease and power–can be a lot to suddenly take on during labor without proper training.

The following three practices with educate your mind and body on how to move confidently toward the birth experience. Their intent is to help you minimize pain, scarring and boost your sense of embodiment during a vaginal birth. Using these same techniques postpartum can also help prevent urinary and fecal incontinence.

“Preparing the soft tissues of your pelvic floor is critical for you having a comfortable labor and delivery,” says Jill Miller, creator of The Roll Model MamaThese practices will help you do just that…

Prenatal Pelvic Floor Exercise: Mapping Your Anatomy

Get to know the muscles of your pelvic floor in this prenatal mini anatomy lesson with Jill Miller. Knowing your own anatomy will help you prepare for the strength and flexibility pelvic floor exercises to follow. Learn how to target the basement of the pelvic funnel to aid in prenatal pelvic floor issues and discomfort.

Prenatal Pelvic Floor Exercise: Therapeutic Self-massage with Coregeous® ball

Try out this gentle pelvic floor exercise using a Tune Up Fitness® Coregeous® ball to massage and better sense the muscles of your pelvic basin. Through this prenatal therapeutic self-massage, you will be better prepared for a vaginal birth. Practice along with Jill Miller as she demonstrates these Pelvic Floor Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation exercises.

Prenatal Pelvic Floor Exercise: Pelvic floor Contract/Relax Exercises with Yoga Tune Up® therapy ball

Learn how to contract and relax the muscles of the pelvic floor with an original sized Yoga Tune Up® therapy ball. This prenatal pelvic floor exercise will bring greater mind-body connection (ie. proprioception) to your pelvic floor muscles so they are strong, and supple. Help prepare your pelvic floor for a vaginal birth and help rehabilitate these tissues after.

These videos are excerpts from Roll Model Mama–the first myofascial massage program for pregnant and postpartum women. Packed with over three hours of restorative self-massage segments designed to address many of the physical challenges brought on by pregnancy, Jill Miller uses first-hand knowledge to guide you on your myofascial massage self-care journey. Learn more about Roll Model Mama HERE.

 

Related ArticlePreparing to Breath During Birth: The Ultimate Respiratory Practices for Pregnancy and Labor

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Harish

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Laura Woodrow

I’m an osteopath and am thrilled to have a new resource to refer my prepartum and postpartum patients to for their daily somatic tune-up practice at home.

Emily Whitaker

I teach prenatal yoga every once in a while, and am looking forward to incorporating some of these exercises, especially the contract, relax exercise. I wish I came across this post while I was pregnant!

kathrin Ella Maghen

Great advice! I think the exercises demonstrated can be useful for someone who also has a weak pelvic floor

Sara

Hi, I’m new to ball massage, so I could use a little help to figure out what might be best for me to start with ball massage. My husband and I hope to try for our first baby in the next 6 months. I recently slipped on ice and visited the doctor. During the visit she identified a lot of my pain was from extremely tight hip flexors and other pelvic region muscles. She recommended physical therapy and ball massage. Do you think the prenatal exercises could work well for me although I’m not pregnant yet? Also would the role… Read more »

admin

Sorry to hear about your accident, and I love that you’re taking a self-care healthcare approach! The Roll Model Mama video has many comprehensive rollouts and moves that could be very helpful for you at any stage of life and pregnancy. Getting a jump start with these type of soft-tissue mobilizations and massage is definitely a great idea pre-pregnancy, and will carry you through pregnancy and beyond. So in a word, YES, it’s a great choice for you and your husband.

Monica Afesi

I’m so glad to see this information available to the public. I have two friends who dealt with these issues after childbirth. I’m so looking forward to sharing this with them. Thank you!