Perineal rehabilitation after childbirth: what are the exercises to strengthen it

Today, it is possible to carry out perineal rehabilitation at home following childbirth. However, before embarking on this adventure, it is recommended to consult a specialist.

The latter first checks the condition of your pelvic floor. He can even offer in-office rehabilitation sessions. These sessions allow you to become aware of your perineum to start alone at home afterwards.

The consequences of a weak perineum

During pregnancy, the perineum is the most stressed organ. He is put to the test during the nine months. Women often experience postpartum problems including urinary incontinence. This is why the rehabilitation of the perineum becomes an essential step after childbirth.

First of all, the perineum is defined as a set of tissues that form the pelvic floor. This region is below the abdominal cavity. In both men and women, the perineum is located between the sex and the anus. On the other hand, the female perineum provides support for the genital and urinary systems, but also the digestive tract.

The first role of the perineum consists in ensuring a constant balance despite the pressures coming from the abdomen that it undergoes. When the perineum weakens, it causes incontinence problems in the person. The latter may be prone to urinary leakage .

After pregnancy, this weakening of the perineum is further increased. It can cause organ descent or even prolapse. This is why you need to take care of this muscle after you give birth . This significantly reduces the risk of incontinence and the appearance of other problems.

Why do a rehabilitation of the perineum after childbirth?

The perineum supports your entire belly during pregnancy. He is therefore under more pressure than normal during this period. This is why symptoms like urinary and anal incontinence occur in women. Others even exhibit uncontrolled gas. Some also suffer from problems with sexual intercourse.

These disorders remain a taboo subject among women. They find it difficult to talk about it after giving birth . Some women decide to talk about it, but belatedly when they realize the extent of the problem.

How to avoid these problems in women?

Serious studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of perineal rehabilitation in the prevention of urinary incontinence. Moreover, this rehabilitation is reimbursed by social security in France. It is prescribed directly after your delivery.

Re-educate your perineum?

Yes, but when ?

You ask yourself this question after giving birth. Know that the sessions can start between 6 to 8 weeks after the birth of your baby. It makes no distinction about the mode of delivery. The health professional often prescribes ten sessions. You can do three sessions per week depending on your availability. You can then continue at home.

A perineal rehabilitation session with the physiotherapist lasts half an hour and should not exceed 40 minutes. If you are at home, it is not recommended to strain your perineum with long exercises. It is best to start a small session daily.

Where is the pelvic floor

The pelvic floor is a set of muscles that runs from below the pubis to the coccyx.

What are the primary functions of the pelvic floor?

  • It supports the pelvic organs, i.e. the bladder, uterus and anus.
  • It participates in the stimulation of orgasm
  • It promotes continence of gases, stools and urine
  • It stabilizes the abdominal muscles of the back.

Before beginning an exercise , feel your perineum first by hand. When you control it, tell the difference between the perineum taking off and pushing. Alternatively, you can put a finger in the vagina as well. If you feel that your finger is sucked inwards, it means that the contraction is well done. On the contrary, when you feel your finger expelled, it means that the contraction is not well done.

Kegel exercises

The perineum is considered a taboo muscle for many women. However, this muscle greatly affects sexuality. Statistics reveal that only 30% of women manage to contract it spontaneously.

Women become aware of the existence of this muscle during their first pregnancy. It is only in the face of urinary incontinence that they hear about the rehabilitation of the perineum.

The first serious studies on perineal rehabilitation are attributed to Arnold Kegel , an American gynecologist in 1948. Kegel exercise includes three exercises that are easy to perform at home.

Before you begin, become aware of your pelvic muscles first. To do this, imagine yourself defecating in the bathroom and suddenly holding yourself back. The muscle you contract while doing this action is the perineum. Be careful, you should never do this when you have a full bladder. This can cause a urinary tract infection. This is why it is recommended to empty your bladder before starting perineal rehabilitation exercises.

Kegel exercises can be divided into three categories:

The maximum contraction

For this first exercise, you can adopt several positions: lying on your back with bent knees, cross-legged, or sitting on a chair. When you are in position, contract the pelvic muscles on the exhale. Hold this position for five seconds while breathing, then release.

You must repeat this exercise ten times, alternating with 10-second breaks. Then, you begin three series spaced out with a one-minute break knowing that one series is equivalent to ten contractions.

You can do this exercise 5 days a week increasing the contraction time if you have the capacity.

The fast twitch

The second exercise to do is the fast twitch. You can perform the exercise in the same positions as the previous one. When in position, begin a quick contraction as you exhale.

Do about ten contractions before taking a one-minute break. Do three sets of this exercise at the same frequency as the first.

The perineal lock

This last functional exercise reduces the pressure on the pelvic floor. To do this, squeeze the muscles of your perineum and then cough or sneeze.

And you, do you know this muscle?

I hope this article has enlightened you on the subject. You know what you need to do after giving birth.

Feel free to share your experiences with us in the comments.

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