Preparing Your Pelvic Floor for Birth
Preparing your pelvic floor for birth is something you may not have heard of as you get ready for delivery. But it’s extremely helpful in allowing for an easier birth with fewer interventions. This preparation focuses on safe and effective strengthening exercises that help you connect your body with your breath.
At Jewell Chiropractic, we help you develop a state of pelvic floor relaxation during the birth process. Just like any other muscle work, exercise and practice are essential. We can guide you through exercises and breathwork to support your pelvic floor during delivery. Book your appointment today to get started.
What Is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a group of connective tissues and muscles inside the pelvis. For birthing people, it has three openings: the anus, the vagina, and the urethra. The pelvic floor supports your bladder, uterus, and bowels, so strengthening it frequently helps with issues such as incontinence, uterine prolapse, and sexual function.
Labor and delivery can cause the pelvic floor to weaken due to the pressure and stretching that must happen for the baby to pass through the birth canal. But preparing your pelvic floor for birth can help avoid some of this damage and allow your pelvic floor to recover more fully and quickly.
Breathing Techniques for Pelvic Floor Safety
Learning and practicing breathing exercises as part of your birthing plan will help train the specific muscles used during labor. These breathing exercises help minimize postpartum damage, reduce pushing time, and prevent stalled labor. Supportive breathing techniques during labor and delivery will significantly impact your birth experience.
While it’s a common response to hold your breath through physical strain, it’s not particularly good for your body. This fact is especially true during the labor and birthing process.
Holding your breath during labor decreases blood oxygen levels, can reduce blood flow back to the heart, and can cause fetal distress. So rather than following the impulse to hold your breath, you can learn to breathe through all the labor sensations. Learning this breathwork is crucial as you prepare your pelvic floor for birth and recovery.
When the birth process begins, forget the breathing techniques you see in movies. In fact, you likely can ignore the techniques most hospitals teach! Aligning your breathing and pushing allows the pelvic floor to work with the birthing process, not against it. At Jewell, we can help you learn and practice these techniques as you prepare for delivery.
Best Birthing Positions for Pelvic Health
While breathwork is crucial to maintaining a healthy pelvic floor, safe birthing positions are also essential. And combining these two practices can make for an empowering, peaceful experience.
Contrary to movies and modern practices, laying on your back to push is not an ideal pushing position! Most people find any of the following positions to be optimal for delivery:
- On hands and knees
- Squatting over a birthing chair
- In a birthing tub
More than likely, your body will tell you what position it wants to be in when the time comes. Listen to your body’s cues as you respond and shift during labor and delivery.
Bringing It All Together: Preparing Your Pelvic Floor for Birth
As part of your wellness team, your Jewell prenatal chiropractor can assess your overall skeletal structure. We will examine your back, hips, and pelvis to provide adjustments as needed.
We also work with you on exercises that strengthen and balance your pelvic floor muscles as you prepare to give birth. And we can guide you through breathing techniques that keep freshly oxygenated blood circulating in your system during labor.
Your pelvic floor muscles have a lot to do during pregnancy. They must support the added weight in the uterus and assist in labor and delivery. Ideally, they’ll also regain strength and integrity after the birthing process.
Book an appointment with Jewell Chiropractic today to get the support you deserve before and after your delivery.