Now that you’re pregnant, your pelvic floor exercises are more important than ever before – but you already knew that, right?
To reduce the risk of suffering from stress incontinence after the birth, and increase the chances of your sofas staying urine-free (just kidding, they’ll be covered in baby urine), you should be doing these exercises regularly throughout pregnancy and beyond.
Sadly, lots of women are failing to do these important exercises on a daily basis, simply because they forget. Unlike a scheduled yoga class, or a group swim with your friends, pelvic floor exercises don’t make it into your diary and are therefore easy to forget.
You should spend three minutes doing your pelvic floor exercises per session, and should be aiming for three sessions each (and every) day.
To help you remember these vital workouts, here’s a list of times they could slot conveniently in with your everyday life:
#1: During That Annoying Advert
One trick often used by advertising executives is to create a concept/song/character so annoying, it’s unforgettable. If there’s a television or radio advert that is currently driving you crazy, make it the soundtrack to your pelvic floor workout. Every time you hear or see the advert, start your pelvic floor exercises. As you probably know, annoying adverts are unavoidable which will mean you’ll be able to crack walnuts on your pelvic floor in no time (warning: do not try this at home, and definitely not in public either).
#2: During Your Tea Break
There’s nothing better than those 10 minutes of tea-filled bliss at work, where you have an excuse to do nothing but stare through the steam being emitted by the hot cup of tea in front of you. Now’s your chance to put that time to good use, and start doing a pelvic workout whilst you wait for your tea to cool down a little.
#3: In That Meeting
If your work day is filled with endless (and seemingly pointless) meetings where you find yourself wondering why exactly you need to be there, fear not. Now you know, to do your exercises. So while your colleagues grumble about the biscuit selection, and moan about Carol from IT, busy yourself by building up strength in your pelvic floor. You may want to practice in a mirror first though, just to make sure you don’t pull any strange facial expressions whilst holding and releasing those important muscles.
#4: Each Time You Receive Unwanted Pregnancy Advice
You’ve probably noticed that since you announced your pregnancy, you have been getting a lot more advice than usual. Whether this is from well-meaning friends are family, or total strangers on the bus, it is undoubtedly annoying. Instead of letting yourself see red each time someone comes over to tell you what you shouldn’t be eating, wearing or calling your baby, direct your excess energy towards a pelvic floor workout. Remember, however, you only need to do three mini workouts each day, so you may need to limit this reaction to just the first three doses of totally unsolicited advice of each day.
#5: Before Each Meal
Three pelvic floor workouts a day, and three square meals a day – it’s a match made in heaven. As you sit down at the table before breakfast, lunch and dinner, spend a couple of minutes performing that all important pelvic ritual before tucking into your nutritious meal.
#6: Whilst Travelling
A bus or train journey can be the perfect reminder that you need to do your pelvic floor exercises. After all, you have a seat (or at least you should), nothing to do, and the mere fact that you are on public transport excuses any potential grimaces you may pull during the workout. So get comfy, and get started on your daily commute exercise session.
If you’re driving, start pelvic floor exercises when you get a red light – and when the light turns green, you can simply drive away from anyone who caught you wincing.
#7: Everytime Someone Asks, “So, When Are You Due?”, “Wow You Look Huge” or “Had That Baby Yet?”
This one serves two purposes.
Firstly, because you get asked a hundred times a day, you’ll meet your quota in no time.
Secondly, because I don’t know of any pregnant women who have managed to scream (or throw tomatoes at others) while doing their pelvic floors. You’ll seem to be a totally zen-like, altogether mamma.