For anyone out there who was thinking: ‘geez, this girl has had it easy’ or ‘I’ve had morning sickness for X months, when’s she going to get something?’ or any combination along that theme… fear not as I am in a world of misery as I appear to have broken my fanny.

I’d been suffering a wee bit of sciatic pain on Monday and Tuesday, so walking was a bit of chore but I thought I’d ‘walk it off’ at the gym last night. Walking didn’t work, in fact it was friggin’ painful so I got myself on the cross-trainer, which was 10 minutes of blissful, ignorant exercise. But I was bored. I went down stairs (to where the big boys hang out and push massive weights) to do some back strengthening work in the hope this would also ease the pain. Instead something serious happened in my ‘area’ and I ended up nearly crying over the dumbell tree. It wasn’t pretty.

Now, while I don’t really know what it is and since my midwife can’t offer any help for another 2 weeks, I know what I think it is: Symphysis Pubis Disfunction (SPD). Great, something that sounds like an STD. It’s not but I shall get to that one tomorrow. In the mean time, if you think you might have it, do NOT do the superman back strengthening exercise or any donkey kicks – both require you to balance on one leg – and certainly don’t assume that the pain in your groin area is just something to battle through. That, my friends, is what did me in, so stop what you’re doing if you feel any twinges in your special place.

I’ve spent all day in bed feeling very sorry for myself but since I haven’t blogged for almost a week, I’ve dragged Business Hannah out of hiding to talk about the real issue at stake here – fannies. Back in the days of having a business, there were times when Business Hannah was needed to give everyone a kick up the bum (I basically wore a pencil skirt to work, but it seemed to do the trick to get me in the right frame of mind). Now it’s just me that needs a kick up the bum, I’ve got myself washed and dressed (less pencil skirt, more Cat from Eastenders in a leopard print tube dress. Better than it sounds. I hope.) ready to bring you…THE PELVIC FLOOR BLOG.

The background to this blog is that a while a go I had a semi-feminist discussion with a pregnant friend of mine about Pelvic Floor exercises. Her argument was why bother, Mike wouldn’t do something like that for you. And, what she meant by this? That the only reason to do Pelvic Floor exercises is so that your fanny won’t be like a Wizard’s sleeve (to quote my sister-in-law’s eloquent work colleague) and sex will therefore be better for him.

Having read up on this since, that reason for doing the exercise is probably at the bottom of the pile. It seems that in actual fact these exercises are close to preventing your whole body collapsing (as I’m finding out). Here’s some of the things you can prevent by doing these slightly uncomfortable and ever so boring exercises:

  • Incontinence – this can be anything from full blown issues to wetting yourself when laughing/sneezing/coughing/bouncing on a trampoline, in short anything that puts pressure on your lower abdomin. Nobody wants this. Nobody.
  • SPD – my new suspected pelvic issue, caused by a loosening of the ligaments that hold the pelvis together in preparation for child birth.
  • Prolapse – This is when the uterus pushes against the wall of your vagina. More of an issue later in life but it shows that you do need to keep up the exercise basically from here on in.

And, how can it help:

  • Supporting the extra baby weight on your pelvis
  • Easing back troubles (due to it’s vital role in supporting the spine)
  • Preventing constipation and piles
  • Rotating the baby’s head to the right position
  • Pushing the baby out
  • Healing that poor little area between your bum and vagina that gets a battering during child birth
  • And, yes, more satisfying sex and being more likely to reach orgasm (which in my book means it’s better for you, not just him)

So, what do you do and how often? In terms of what to do, NHS has the simplest explanation I’ve found (click here and scroll down to pelvic floor exercises ) but for something a bit more in depth for those of you who want to go beyond the basics (something I never thought I’d hear myself say about pelvic floor exercises ), this article from Baby Centre is an excellent resource.

How often is also a good question – I’ve seen also sorts from 3 times a day up to 1 set of fast and 1 set of slow contractions (which take forever!) SIX TIMES A DAY. I guess it’s up to you and your dedication to the cause/any issues you currently have. I’ve certainly increased from doing it when I remember (i.e. a couple of times a week) to doing it 3 times a day in the hope it will help my sore area.

If anyone else has advice, please do let me know what you think! Happy flexing xx

Resources:

Net Doctor – Pelvic Floor Exercises

NCT – Pelvic Floor Exercises During and After Pregnancy

NHS – Exercises for a Fitter Pregnancy

Baby Centre – Pelvic Floor in Pregnancy