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Pregnancy, Childbirth And Pelvic Floor Health: A Quick Guide

A quick guide Pregnancy is a perfect harmony between your mind, body, and your hormones. Carrying a child requires different parts of your body to function differently, facilitating the growth of the baby and the eventual delivery as well.

During pregnancy, there is a lot of focus and discussion around your uterus that will carry your baby for the next nine months. The water levels, the position of the uterus, etc will be some of the things that your gynecologist will often discuss with you, along with taking regular scans to ensure the baby’s well-being.

Book an online appointment with Dr. Syed Iram Fathima for Pregnancy & Gynecology related issues.

However, one set of muscles that play a key role both through your pregnancy and during delivery are the pelvic floor muscles and these don’t get discussed as often. In this blog, let’s try and understand what the pelvic floor is, what role does it play and how you can keep it in good shape both during pregnancy and after delivery.

Pelvic Floor

The pelvic floor in women mainly consists of the uterus, urethra (the tube through which urine is passed), and the anus. There are a group of muscles that wrap around this region, stretching from the public bone in the front to the sitting bone towards the back. These muscles that are often thick and firm have multiple roles to play.

  1. They support the pelvic organs
  2. They control the passage of urine, feces, and gas. When they are tightened, they prevent leakage, and when they are relaxed, they allow bowel movement and urination.
  3. They also play a role in sexual arousal. When your pelvic floor is weakened, some of the most common problems include stool and urinary incontinence, as well as lack of sexual arousal in women. Hence, it’s critical that your pelvic floor is intact and in good shape.

Pelvic Floor And Pregnancy

Pregnancy brings about a great deal of change to your body and your pelvic floor is one of the most impacted. As your pregnancy progresses, your uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby. This puts a lot of pressure on the pelvic organs, including the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles begin stretching under the weight of the uterus. Apart from that, your usually firm pelvic floor muscles also tend to become more laxed than before to accommodate the shift in the internal organs and the expanding uterus, as well as preparing for the impending delivery.

Pelvic Floor And Delivery

When it’s time for delivery, the pelvic floor muscles have a great deal of work to do. As the baby crowns during vaginal birth, the pelvic floor muscles, fascia, and nerves are stretched to the maximum to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal. This can result in considerable injury to these muscles. Common injuries include tearing of the fascia and injuries to the nerves also. Even though these superficial tears heal over time, the laxed muscles of the pelvic floor might not become as firm as what they were before delivery. The connective tissues in these muscles might lose their strength and the injury to the nerves present in these muscles could lead to pelvic floor dysfunction, often leading to incontinence problems.

Some of the factors that could aggravate the injury include:

  1. The birth weight of the baby is more than four kgs
  2. Prolonged second stage of labor.
  3. Usage of forceps during delivery
  4. Posterior position of the baby
  5. If the baby’s shoulders get stuck during delivery How to help improve pelvic health during and post-pregnancy

Your gynecologist will conduct examinations to understand the strength of your pelvic floor. To prevent laxity and the resulting incontinence etc, your doctor will recommend certain pelvic floor exercises that you will have to do regularly. These exercises, sometimes referred to as Kegel exercises will help you control your pelvic muscles, thereby also helping you control your urge to urinate, pass stool, and gas involuntarily.

These exercises are carefully curated to squeeze your pelvic muscles for a certain duration and relax them and continue that cycle to keep your pelvic floor in good health. Please talk to your doctor in case you already have incontinence issues.

Want to consult the best gynecologists in India? Please find the links below.

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  3. Top Obstetricians & Gynecologists in Mumbai
  4. Top Gynecologists near me in Pune
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  12. Best Gynecologists in Hyderabad

Want to consult the best Maternity Packages in India? Please find the links below.

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  9. Best Maternity Packages in New Delhi
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