The pelvic floor is part of your core especially affected by pregnancy and delivery. It is a “sling” of muscles between your legs, that has many important jobs like; stabilizing posture, controlling urine and stool function and supporting organs. It also helps support babies growth during pregnancy.
How does pregnancy & delivery change the pelvic floor?
- During pregnancy, hormones are released in the body that soften tissues, to make them more elastic for delivering baby.
- As the baby grows, the uterus increases in weight increasing the pressure on the pelvic floor muscles. Some muscles of the core work harder, while others over-stretch. This can contribute to back & hip pain, bladder leakage and other issues.
- Abdominal muscles are stretched apart by growing baby, sometimes creating what’s called diastasis recti, or separation of the muscles down the middle of your belly. That separation can really weaken your core and change your body’s ability to use good postures and healthy strategies for lifting and moving.
- During vaginal delivery, the pelvic floor muscles and nerves are stretched. And during a C-section the abdominal muscles are cut affecting core fascia. This can affect how the muscles help with healthy core function long after the baby has been delivered.