Pregnant and postnatal women in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are being encouraged to use a new workout programme to help improve their pelvic floor health.
The ‘Squeeze, Lift, Hold’ campaign has been launched by the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS). The campaign includes a website with facts, tips and advice to help women recognise the signs of incontinence, as well as behaviours to follow to help strengthen their pelvic floor muscles.
More than one in three women experience unintentional (involuntary) loss of urine (urinary incontinence) in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, while about one in three leak urine in the first three months after giving birth. But the team at LMNS want women to know it doesn’t have to be this way.
Rhiannon Eling, Maternity Voices Partnership representative said: “Incontinence during or after pregnancy isn’t normal and can have a massive impact on a woman’s quality of life. Talking about it isn’t normal either but it should be, which is why we’ve launched the ‘Squeeze, Lift, Hold’ campaign.
“By providing women with easy-to-follow tips and a workout programme of simple exercises taking less than six minutes each day, we hope they can improve their pelvic floor in just a few months, all from the comfort of their own home.”
The workout programme features simple, quick and effective exercises that can be fitted in around busy routines. With three stages, it is designed to improve bladder and bowel control, reduce the risk of pelvic organ prolapse, improve recovery from childbirth, preserve and/or increase sexual sensation, as well as maintain spine and pelvis support along with deep abdominal (tummy) and back muscles.
Daniela Long and Jen Westley, Specialist Pelvic Health Physiotherapists said: “Pelvic floor muscles work in two ways – slow and gently to keep things in place during your everyday life and quickly and strongly when you do a quick movement such as a cough, sneeze or laugh. That is why our workout exercises the pelvic floor in two ways – slow, gentle squeezes to work on the endurance of the muscles and then some quick, strong squeezes to stimulate both these pelvic floor functions.
“Once you grasp the technique, you can quickly start to progress and use the exercises in day-to-day activities.”
Amanda Argyle, Perinatal Pelvic Health Midwife added: “We hope women will find the workout programme simple, engaging and that they will quickly feel the benefits of adding them into their daily routines. Strengthening their pelvic floor muscles will enable them to enjoy this exciting new chapter in their lives with confidence.”
To find out more visit www.squeezelifthold.co.uk