This is part 1 to an ongoing pelvic floor series in which I will go over a variety of topics and information regarding your pelvic floor. Your pelvic floor is so important for so many reasons, but few people ever give it a second thought. I know that I didn’t until I was having issues after having my son and started learning more. As I dug deeper I found myself wondering why this information is not more widely known and thinking, “I wish I had known this before.” Your pelvic floor is quite literally responsible for keeping your organs inside your body (among other things) and I’d say that is something to pay attention to. Read below to learn more about where you can find it, what it consists of, and what it does.
Where Is Your Pelvic Floor and What Does It Consist Of?
The pelvic floor can be found at the base of the pelvis and is made up of layers of muscle and connective tissues. These muscles and connective tissues span (kind of like a hammock) from the tailbone in the back to the pubic bone in the front.
What Does the Pelvic Floor Do?
A woman’s pelvic floor has so many jobs to do including:
- Support the pelvic organs: bladder, uterus, and bowel.
- Help maintain continence, or control of, your bladder and bowel.
- Help maintain intra-abdominal pressure. (lots more to come on this subject!)
- Help sexual function (orgasm).
- Stabilize connecting joints.
How Do I Find My Pelvic Floor Muscles?
Connecting with your pelvic floor is highly beneficial. The number one answer is to find a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist in your area to assist you. More on that below…
- Sit or lie down with the muscles of your thighs, buttocks and stomach relaxed. Generally speaking, I have found it’s easier at first lying down.
- Squeeze the ring of muscle around the anus as if you are trying to stop passing wind. Now relax this muscle. Squeeze and let go a couple of times until you are sure you have found the right muscles. Try not to squeeze your glutes at the same time.
- Now imagine that there is a pea in your vagina, or a ball, or something fun – and try to lift that object up using only your vagina. Now relax this muscle and imagine the object moving back down. Squeeze and lift then let go and relax a couple of times. Can you feel it?
Fun Pelvic Floor Facts 😉
- It is not just one muscle but is comprised of many muscles in different layers and that go in many different directions.
- If you cup your hands with interlaced fingers, that sort of represents what the pelvic floor looks like.
- The pelvic floor is not static, but dynamic in nature. It is meant to change and react based on pressure and also to maintain urine and fecal continence.
- The pelvic floor is actually one of the main players that make up your core. It is the “floor to the core” as Brianna Battles says.
- There are physical therapists that are educated and specialize in pelvic health! You can search for a provider in your area here.
For more pelvic floor information I would recommend following Tracy Sher on Instagram, she is a pelvic floor PT that has been in the field for 19 years and knows her stuff! Next week I will be digging more into the pelvic floor with information regarding diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, incontinence, and more! These seem to be a hot topic lately and a lot of information surrounding these conditions tends to be fear mongering or just plain scary. None of that here, just the information to help spread awareness. Be sure to subscribe for updates and check back next Thursday!
[I am a fitness professional that specializes in pregnancy, postpartum, and the pelvic floor. But, I am not a medical professional and am not providing medical advice. I am providing basic information and can help direct you to a pelvic floor medical professional in your area if you need one.]
I am available to work with you remotely online or in person in Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts. For more information about me and how I can help you through this chapter, please schedule a FREE 15-minute chat here, contact me directly at kerri@gracefitnessandnutrition or visit Grace Fitness and Nutrition.
Stay strong, stay beautiful!