Women's Health

Here’s why your Kegel exercises may not be working.

Specialising in pregnancy, postnatal recovery, and women’s wellbeing for over 10 years means that I have worked on an extremely intimate level with women when it comes to pelvic floor health.  Pelvic floor strength is a sensitive yet priority issue for women.  Every week I am asked the question “how do you do it with 6 kids?”  I love helping women become more aware of how to protect and strengthen their pelvic floor and how to ensure the best possible recovery after birth (even if it is quite a few years later).  The answers are surprisingly simple. I am going to give you three lifestyle changes that will help improve your pelvic floor and deep core strength.

This subject pops up every week,  thousands of women are suffering silently. Kegel exercises have been sold to us as the gold standard solution. I can tell you that from my experience with clients and myself, it isn’t. The Kegel craze has many women traveling down the wrong path with little to no results.  Kegel exercises do not address the lifestyle changes required for long term results.

A weak or damaged pelvic floor will result in problems such as bladder incontinence (wetting oneself when coughing, laughing, jumping, running etc), bowel incontinence, lack of sexual pleasure, a “heaviness” or “fullness” in the vagina especially when lifting or carrying things (including toddlers) and even prolapses.  These problems are often very isolating socially and really do get in the way of you enjoying your life fully and giving the absolute best of yourself to your children.

There are 3 principles you need to understand.

  1. The pelvic floor sits in the base of the energy chakra. This area is about support and feeling part of a tribe. This chakra holds a deep sense of safety and security, sexual reproduction and survival.  When this chakra is healthy you feel supported with a sense of belonging and that your basic needs for survival are met (money, housing, food, warmth, community, etc). This translates to when your base chakra is strong and healthy, so is your pelvic floor.
  2. Your postural alignment supports your deep core muscles and pelvic floor to engage as they should.  Correcting postural alignment makes a lot of difference to your pelvic floor strength.  If your muscular-skeletal system is out then your daily habits are probably causing damage and wreaking havoc on your pelvic floor recovery.
  3. Being-busy-being-busy also creates a weak pelvic floor.  Women traditionally honoured their bodies with adequate rest and just ‘being’ time.  With the modern-day super-woman agenda your body simply does not get enough downtime and is yearning for a restorative time as a daily, weekly, and monthly practice.

It’s time to reclaim your body, your energy and your time.  Here are some ways to get started.

  1.  Look at what areas of your life that you can reach out to your friends, family, or community for support. Remember to reciprocate where you can.
  2. Sign up to yoga to correct your daily habits, awareness, and postural alignment.
  3. Unschedule your life a little and prioritise daily restorative practice such as putting your feet up after work for 20 minutes, reading a book before bed or weekly long hot baths, 

When you take action and make changes you will find that the exercises will be much more effective. You’ll feel more energetic, confident and connected.

What is the number one thing that you know you need to do after reading this article?  Head to the Empowering Motherhood Facebook page and let us know.

 Tara x

 PS How’s your Pelvic Floor?


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