We know that child birth is a miraculous affair, but there’s no denying it, it’s not all smiles!  You may be ‘glowing’, but sometimes that will just be because you’re hot, sweaty, and generally irritable.  It should therefore come as no surprise that during pregnancy, and indeed childbirth, the body will be put under immense strain in order to accommodate that beautiful little life growing inside you.  So how do you prepare your body for what it is about to endure?

If you’ve decided that you’re ready to try for a baby, it’s never too soon to start preparing.  You will find a myriad of information all over the web, offering pregnancy advice and tips for preconception.  The majority of which follows the same principle; eat healthily, exercise, take vitamins, and stop drinking/smoking.  This is excellent counsel which will undoubtedly make conception easier and provide a healthier environment for your baby over the next nine months.  But, what about readying your body for this great physical challenge that it is about to undertake?

Pregnancy puts a great deal of pressure on the pelvic floor muscles, which expand to make room for your growing baby.  The pelvic floor is made up of muscles, ligaments and fibres, which stretch like a tight sling from the pubic bone to the base of the spine.  Not only do they have control over urinary and bowel movements, they stabilise the spine and pelvis, whilst supporting all of the pelvic organs.  Typically the pelvic floor holds approximately 20lbs of weight, and during pregnancy this (somewhat unsurprisingly) increases dramatically.  I’m sure we don’t need to emphasise, therefore, just how important it is that these muscles are strong and healthy.

Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles prior to pregnancy should be looked upon as a preventative measure.  The pelvic muscles are stressed throughout pregnancy due to the additional weight, but they can also be weakened by pregnancy hormones.  Not only will having a stronger pelvic floor train your body to cope with the effects of carrying a baby, it also reduces the likelihood of encountering pelvic dysfunction as a result of labour itself.

Perineal tearing is always a risk during childbirth, however the stronger your muscles are, the less likely, and the less severe, it is expected to be.  In cases where there is a need for episiotomy, women find that it takes the body much longer to recover.  By keeping your pelvic floor strong, this is hopefully something that can be avoided.

In extreme cases, where labour has been very traumatic, it is possible that pelvic organ prolapse can occur.  This is where one or more of the pelvic organs move downwards into the vagina.  Many women are not aware that this condition exists, which is particularly disheartening since steps can be taken to try and prevent it.

Perhaps the most common problem associated with pregnancy and childbirth is stress incontinence (a little leak when coughing, sneezing, laughing etc.).  Research suggests that 1 in 3 new mums will suffer with this.  A strong pelvic floor prior to pregnancy improves the chances of not being in this bracket.

We hope that you’re not feeling at all discouraged or overwhelmed, after all you’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime, parenthood.  All you need to remember is; it’s never too soon to ‘be prepared’!

How can I strengthen my pelvic floor prior to pregnancy?

We’re not just here to scaremonger; we’re also here to help you get that perfect pre-pregnancy body!  If you consider the training required for long distance running/cycling or even mountain climbing, it is clear that a certain amount of body conditioning is essential for any major physical activity.  Why then, do we so often go into pregnancy, the most strenuous physical activity we will ever endure, without any preparation at all?  Well, hopefully this is about to change!

Firstly, it is imperative to locate exactly where the pelvic floor is in the body.  The easiest way to do this is to stop yourself mid-stream next time you go to the toilet.  The muscles used to stop the flow of urine make up part of the pelvic floor.

Now you know exactly where they are, there are many Kegel exercises you can perform to strengthen your pelvic floor prior to pregnancy.  Try the following as part of your pre-pregnancy exercise regime;

  • Squeeze your anal passage as if restricting wind
  • Squeeze the urethra as if stopping the flow of urine
  • Whilst lying down squeeze the pelvic floor muscles, lifting inwards and upwards

These exercises should be performed several times a day for best results.

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.