I’m so happy to share a great Q&A about Pelvic Floor Health. As a part of the MOMs program at Tom Landry, I hope that creating a healthy mind and body is apparent in each and every class offered.
The Importance of Strengthening the Pelvic Floor During Pregnancy
Becoming pregnant is such an exciting time and so much planning goes into preparing for the
arrival of your new little one. However, something many women do not plan for is how their
bodies will change during and after pregnancy.
In this blog post, Marie Chandler, Physical Therapist, PMA® Certified Pilates Trainer and
Pilates Program Coordinator at Baylor Tom Landry Health and Wellness Center, discusses the
importance of staying active and maintaining strength throughout and following pregnancy.
What is the Function of the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor muscles work with the muscles of the Diaphragm, Transversus Abdominis and
Multifidi. Think of the Diaphragm as the roof, the pelvic muscles as the floor and the Multifidi
and Transversus Abdominis as the supporting wall connecting the rib cage and pelvis. This
inner unit interacts and activates, supporting and stabilizing before we even begin to move.
What is the importance of strengthening the pelvic floor?
Strong pelvic floor muscles are an integral part of your body’s systems which support the
internal organs that are vital for reproductive and sexual functioning. The pelvic floor muscles
also bolster your organs during activities that stress them physically, such as sneezing, coughing
laughing, running, squatting and weight lifting. Participating in a core-conditioning training
program, such as Pilates or Yoga, trains and strengthens the muscles of the pelvic floor
simultaneously with the deep abdominals.
Why does pregnancy weaken the pelvic floor?
During pregnancy, your body produces special hormones that stimulate physical changes in
virtually every part of your body. Understanding the changes in your body’s metabolism,
cardiovascular exercise system and musculoskeletal system is your best ally in experiencing a
healthy pre-/post- pregnancy. A subtle yet profound change in the pelvic floor occurs
throughout your pregnancy; as your baby grows and uterus expands, your pelvis tips to
counterbalance the load. This misalignment of the pelvis has a ripple effect system wide within
your core muscular system.
What type of exercises can an expecting mother do to strengthen and build the muscles in the pelvic floor?
A strong fitness program includes Pilates and Yoga. The principles of Pilates and Yoga
integrate breath control and muscle contraction which allows for optimal function when weight
lifting, squatting, running, walking and more.
Does Baylor Tom Landry offer a program for women who are expecting that will help with their pelvic floor?
Yes, we offer a pre-/post- natal program called Moms on the Move (MOM.) More than just an
exercise program, MOM is a medical fitness program that includes Yoga and aquatic exercise
classes, in addition to components that assist expectant mothers with managing their weight,
improving and maintaining functional mobility, relieving back pain, minimizing water
retention, and improving overall emotional health. We also offer private Pilates sessions that
will concentrate on strengthening the pelvic floor.
For more information on pelvic floor health and the Moms on the Move program offered at the
Baylor Tom Landry Health and Wellness Center, contact Vennie Jones at
Vennie.Jones@BSWHealth.org. You can also visit