During labour and birth, your pelvic floor stretches to allow your baby’s head to come out. This may have left you with some soreness and maybe some stitches down below.
Your pelvic floor may have been over-stretched during labour if you:
- had to push your baby out for a long time
- had a big old baby
- had a severe tear
- had a forceps birth
If your pelvic floor feels heavy, or if you feel as if you have something bulging between your legs at any time, it’s a sign to slow down.
If you are in pain try to get some rest and don’t stay on your feet for too long. If you can, spend time lying down rather than sitting. This will help to take some of the pressure off your perineum.
Start doing pelvic floor exercises as soon as you can – this could be the day after you have your baby. Although pelvic floor exercises will probably be at the bottom of your to-do list, starting straight away will have lots of benefits.
Not only will these exercises help your bladder control, they may also increase the pleasure of having sex – so get started! If you have stitches during childbirth these exercises will also help blood flow to the area to aid the healing process.
You may not be able to feel your pelvic floor for a while, but this will get better over time.
If, after your 6 week check, you can’t tighten your muscles well, you still have pain, or are still leaking wee, see your doctor, who may refer you to a Physio. A Physiotherapist will be able to assess your pelvic floor and treat any problems.
See the pregnancy page to refresh yourself on how to do your pelvic floor exercises.
There are loads more pelvic floor exercises in the 3-plan.