Welcome to my little corner of the internet. If you've ever read the Five Love Languages, you know what I mean when I say my language is gifts. If you haven't read it, basically, the book says everyone feels love in slightly different ways: some people like verbal affection, others prefer touch, gifts, time or acts of service. When you have someone in your life who really understands your language, it makes everything feel just a bit better. A few years ago, I had a friend who intuitively knew my love language, and she was always surprising me with little gifts – my favourite was one afternoon when she "kidnapped" me and took me to get a massage. If you know someone who loves gifts, check out the ideas in my blog. I want to guide and help people who need ideas and inspiration. Enjoy reading.
If you've recently had your first child and you're concerned about keeping your pelvic floor in shape, one of the best exercises you can do is Pilates. Pilates is an exercise that focuses on your core muscles (those which form the powerhouse of your body), including the muscles in your pelvic floor. It's a calming, low-intensity form of exercise, making it ideal for mothers to try after childbirth or a caesarean section. Here are 2 ways Pilates can help your pelvic floor.
It Helps You Control Your Muscles
One of the biggest struggles new mums have when it comes to their pelvic floors is an inability to control their muscles. Often, this happens because women who have recently given birth struggle to feel exactly what is happening in their pelvic region and can't connect their minds to their muscles. While this is a problem all women face, many new mums find it even more difficult to visualise their bodily framework because their minds still feel clouded by the intense experience of childbirth. Knowing, understanding and feeling what's going on down below is crucial to being able to control it, which is what makes Pilates such a good exercise. Pilates emphasises a strong mind-body connection and teaches you how to recognise and correct muscular imbalances in your pelvic floor as well as the rest of your body. As an added benefit, this mind-body connection can also reduce your stress and any emotional trauma caused by your childbirth experience.
It Teaches You Effective Muscle Use
Controlling your muscles is important, but that alone won't do much for your pelvic floor after having your first baby. It's important that, alongside being able to control your pelvic floor muscles, you also know exactly how to move and use them to get the maximum strength and flexibility out of them. Pilates helps with this because it focuses on teaching you precise, purposeful movements that you can use not only during focused exercise sessions but also during your everyday life. It's important to maintain your pelvic strength when you're going about your daily activities. Thanks to the importance Pilates puts on economy of motion, the exercise will show you how to do this while using minimal energy to prevent overuse and fatigue.
Remember, new mothers should always exercise under the guidance of a physiotherapist who specialises in women's health physio, as the body can be fragile after pregnancy and easily damaged by exercising incorrectly.