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Prenatal Fitness and the Pelvic Floor - How Does it Effect Labour and Delivery?

Emilie Haynes, MPT works with a patient
Emilie Haynes, MPT, Owner of Full Moon Physio

Myth: You shouldn’t exercise too much during pregnancy or your pelvic floor will become too tight to give birth. Truth: While athletes (and other very fit people) do tend to hold more tension in their pelvic floor muscles, there is NO evidence to show that this will stop them from having a healthy birth. So what do we know? Well first of all exercise is just about the best thing you can do for you and your baby during pregnancy so don’t stop that because of pelvic floor concerns! Pelvic floor muscles that are overly tight can increase the length of your labour - specifically they may increase the length of your pushing phase. They have not, however, been shown to increase your risk of tearing, episiotomy, vacuum/forceps or c-section. In fact, having a strong pelvic floor decreases these risks.

A model of the female pelvic floor