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5 Things To Get Checked During Pregnancy

5 Things to Get Checked During Pregnancy

  • Pelvic floor muscles

Your pelvic floor muscles take on extra load during pregnancy, due to hormones and the weight of a growing baby and uterus! These muscles have an important role in pelvic support and bladder and bowel function. Extra strain can alter the way these muscles work, sometimes leading to bladder leakage, feelings of heaviness, or pelvic pain, either during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. Checking how well these muscles are functioning and doing daily exercises for them can provide significant benefit, not only during pregnancy and delivery, but also postpartum. 

  • Abdominal separation

It is completely normal for your abdominal muscles to separate during pregnancy! The degree of separation often relates to a variety of things, including muscle tone, occupational requirements, and genetics. However, it is beneficial to minimise excessive strain through your abdomen, via activity adjustment, support garments or specific exercises, to ensure the tissues are not stretching more than they need to. 

  • Constipation

Constipation is common in pregnancy, often due to the gut being a bit stretchier and multivitamin supplements high in iron. However, constipation and straining on the toilet puts more stress on the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to significant weakening over time. It is helpful to determine what might be contributing to your constipation and how to improve it, lessening the risk of pelvic floor problems during or after pregnancy.

  • Exercise

Exercise in pregnancy is always encouraged (minus a few specific conditions) and has significant health benefits for both mother and baby. However, it can be difficult to know what is appropriate for individual circumstances, and this often depends on stage of pregnancy, previous activity level, type of exercise and current pelvic floor and abdominal muscle function. Exercise often needs to be modified as a pregnancy progresses too, ensuring it continues to be a safe activity for mum and bub.  

  • Am I pushing properly?

If you’re planning on having a vaginal delivery, it is important to push correctly! The pelvic floor muscles need to relax during delivery to allow baby to progress through the birth canal. It is estimated the 1 in 3 first-time mums have pelvic floor muscles that tighten up during a push, which can lead to obstructed labour and a longer pushing time. It is ideal for this to be checked around 35/36 weeks, preferably via internal examination although it can be checked externally via ultrasound. 


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