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Pelvic Floor and Pregnancy

So you're beginning to think about starting a family or even already patiently awaiting Mr. Stork's life-changing delivery? Well, if only it were that simple! There's no denying that parenthood is a magnificent journey, right from the onset. However, even with rose-tinted glasses on, it could never be described as 'easy'!

So, how can we help? Well, here at Kegel8 we want to make sure that your body is fully prepped and up to the challenge. So we've developed a new unit to help you through every stage of this incredible adventure.

Kegel8 Has The Solution:

  • Programmes devised by physiotherapists
  • Locate and exercise pelvic floor muscles
  • Electronically strengthen your pelvic floor in preparation for pregnancy
  • Reduce the risk of pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Provide pain relief during labour
  • Aid effective pelvic floor recovery after childbirth

Whichever way you look at it, your body is about to undergo some serious changes! How you choose to prepare it for such changes is entirely at your discretion. The pelvic floor will undoubtedly be stretched to its limits throughout pregnancy and childbirth, supporting additional weight and expanding to accommodate and support your little bundle of joy. A weak pelvic floor can increase the risk of episiotomy or perineal tearing during childbirth, as well as stress incontinence, sexual dysfunction and even pelvic organ prolapse after the birth of your baby. But, have no fear; Kegel8 is here to help you get through this physical challenge.

What Concerns You About Pain Relief During Labour?

  • Inability to push
  • Sickness
  • The effects on your baby's health
  • Intervention of instrumental delivery

So What Are Your Choices?

Epidural and Pethadine

Approximately 30% of women now have an epidural during childbirth[1] - A local anaesthetic administered in the spinal column. However, there are many dangers associated with it. It can result in an assisted delivery (with forceps or ventouse), prolonged second stage of labour, or a drop in blood pressure thereby reducing your baby's oxygen supply. Pethadine (or diamorphine) are strong opiod painkillers that are typically administered via an injection into the buttock or thigh. although effective, these drugs can result in dizziness or nausea. They are also potentially harmful to the baby, causing drowsiness and sometimes affecting breathing.

Entonox (Gas & Air)

Gas and air is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas and remains a popular choice for women in childbirth. It is an effective form of pain relief and doesn't cause any harm to your baby. In fact, the increased level of oxygen can actually be beneficial for them. As for you, you may find it makes you feel sick, sleepy or unable to concentrate but if this is the case you can chose to stop using it. The gas is inhaled through a mask or mouthpiece and takes about 15 to 20 seconds to work. Gas and air can be combined with a TENS machine to create a dual barrier of pain relief. And both are completely controlled by you.

What concerns you about a weakened pelvic floor?

  • Stress incontinence
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Pelvic/abdominal pain
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Longer recovery after childbirth

So What Are Your Choices?

Bury your head in the sand!

If you have suffered pelvic floor dysfunction as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, ignoring the problem won't make it go away! It could even lead to further complications such as a prolapse. If, however, you have been lucky enough to avoid pelvic floor dysfunction (most likely because you were doing your exercises prior to pregnancy), it remains vitally important to rebuild the muscles. This will reduce the risk of developing problems in the future.

Manual Kegel exercises

Manual Kegel exercises can be highly beneficial if performed correctly. However, research suggests that 50% of women don't know how to produce an effective pelvic floor muscle contraction[2]. This sometimes leads to the larger muscles being worked in error, and can even put additional pressure on the abdomen. What's more, manual Kegel exercises target just 40% of the muscle group you need to work, whilst using an electronic pelvic floor toner can target 90%.


Start the healing process & regain strength in the pelvic floor post-partum in as little as 12 weeks, with the help of the Kegel8 Ultra 20 & Amanda Savage!

Amanda Savage is one of the UK’s leading specialist pelvic floor and women’s health physiotherapists, who has worked in the field for over 20 years offering supervised pelvic floor muscle training and support for the recovery of pelvic organ prolapses, incontinence and pelvic surgeries. With post-graduate qualifications, including a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge, she has also gained full membership of the Professional Network of Pelvic, Obstetric & Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP). As a Kegel8 ambassador, Amanda Savage has worked alongside us for many years in the development of our best-selling device, the Kegel8 Ultra 20 V2 Electronic Pelvic Toner, to ensure its efficacy. In addition, she has been integral to ensuring all supporting information and instructions are medically accurate so that the device is used correctly/effectively, and treatment is tailored to the specific condition of the user.

Find out more about Amanda Savage, her qualifications, experience, knowledge, and affiliations here.

Amanda Savage

Comes complete with an easy exercise plan, created by Amanda Savage, to get results in 12 weeks!

Welcoming your little bundle of joy into the world is likely to be the happiest moment of your life. But it can also be the most challenging, in many ways! Indeed, you are now responsible for a little life. But, as daunting as that sounds, it’s important to remember that to take care of them, you need to take care of yourself!

Since giving birth, you have probably noticed many differences in your body! That’s because the pelvic floor muscles must stretch to accommodate your baby during delivery, which can result in weakness and damage. However, this damage/weakness is certainly not irreversible and is, by no means, an inevitability of childbirth. By simply performing regular pelvic floor exercise, it is possible to re-build the strength and endurance of the muscles to ensure optimum bladder and bowel control. That means no more annoying ‘leaks’ when you sneeze or laugh! In addition, by building strength and tone in the pelvic floor, your organs will be better supported, which will prevent prolapse and stop your symptoms from worsening over time.

In the first 12 weeks after your baby is born, you’re encouraged to do pelvic floor exercises but, as the body is still very fragile, it’s not advised to use a muscle stimulation machine until after 12 weeks have passed. Until then, use traditional Kegel exercises without the assistance of a device. After 12 weeks, you can use a muscle stimulation machine to help improve circulation to the pelvic floor and perineum and to help exercise the muscles. We recommend using the Kegel8 Ultra 20 V2 Electronic Pelvic Toner once the initial 12 weeks have passed. Removing the guesswork and essentially acting as a Sat-Nav for your pelvic floor muscles, it correctly targets and stimulates a contraction within them using a small electric current. These contractions build strength and tone in a matter of weeks! With 20 clinically proven pelvic floor exercise programmes which vary in frequency, intensity and duration, the Ultra 20 is proven to treat a variety of different conditions, including bladder and bowel weakness post-partum and pelvic organ prolapse. And, in addition to tailored programmes, the specific 12-week exercise plans created by Amanda Savage advise exactly how the device should be used, depending upon the condition, to ensure the very best treatment.

The included 12-week treatment plan for postpartum recovery has been specifically created to re-build the strength and endurance of the muscles to ensure optimum bladder and bowel control following pregnancy and labour. It also calms the nerves responsible that can cause sensitivity in the bladder and builds strength and tone in the pelvic floor, so the organs are better supported to prevent prolapse and stop symptoms from worsening over time. The plan encourages new mothers to take things slowly and has been expertly tailored to utilise the right programmes at the right time to ensure optimum results.

References

  1. CQC. 2010. National NHS patient survey programme: survey of women's experiences of maternity services 2010. London: [online, pdf file] Care Quality Commission, 2010 [Viewed 17/12/13].
    Available from: http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/documents/101006_mat10_historical_comparisons_tables_final.pdf
  2. Houser, E and Riley Hahn, S. The Doctor Is In: Women's pelvic health, fact or fiction? [online] John Hopkins University Press, 2012 [viewed 17/12/13].
    Available from: http://jhupressblog.com/2012/10/09/the-doctor-is-in-womens-pelvic-health-fact-or-fiction/