The pelvic floor muscles may be small and hidden from view but boy don’t we take a hit when they aren’t able to do their job properly! I like to think of these muscles as the pole that holds the tent up, serving our needs both business and pleasure. During pregnancy think of the roof of the tent being inundated by rain (as your baby grows), weighing it down and the ground below softening (with the influence of hormones). It’s pole and surrounding support structures, may have difficulty counteracting the pressure from above. Some might have a tent that has been serviced for a few events in the past so that its tarp is worn or torn or a pole or two have been lost over the years making it even harder to do its job. Then you might have the case of being hypervigilant in assembly of your tent so that it’s supports are pulling with all their might and the tarp is firm and incapable of moving (ie an overactive pelvic floor).
Pregnancy is often the time in a woman’s life that she first hears about these mysterious muscles as friends joke about the likelihood of wetting your pants when you sneeze. Often when girls sign up to start classes one of their goals is to strengthen their pelvic floor muscles, which is awesome! Did you know that your pelvic floor is involved in so much more than saving you from bladder mishaps and that women can also have overactive pelvic floor muscles that cause as many dramas as weak ones.
Check out this great short clip produced by the Continence Foundation of Australia showing a 3D model of the pelvic floor. 3D Pelvic Floor Model.