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A third of mothers don’t do pelvic floor exercises

15 August, 2018

A third of mothers don’t do pelvic floor exercises

According to recent data, a third of existing and expectant mothers don’t do pelvic floor exercises despite their reported benefits. 

An online survey of 1000 female members of the UK public revealed that 29.2% who have had or are expecting a baby admitted to never practising the exercises. 

The benefits of performing pelvic floor exercises are well documented (see links below), with the exercises recommended daily both during and after pregnancy to help prevent problems including stress urinary incontinence and a prolapsed uterus. 

But despite the health benefits, many women said that they find the exercises an inconvenience, with 22.6% reporting only ‘sometimes’ attempting to complete them, if they ‘remember or have time’. 

However, a total of one in five respondents said they would try an alternative to performing pelvic floor exercises if it worked (13.4%) or saved them time (7.6%). 

Technique was another potential issue highlighted by the survey, with 6.1% of respondents reporting they do the exercises but ‘don’t think they work’. 

Dr Rekha Tailor, founder and medical director of Health & Aesthetics – the clinic that conducted the survey, said: ‘Having children is a life-changing event, so it is unsurprising that many new and expectant mothers are reporting not doing pelvic floor exercises and suggesting they can’t find the time. 

‘In spite of their reported benefits, these exercises require everyday commitment and an accurate technique to be effective.’ 

In a recently updated joint position statement from the RCM and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy the importance of early intervention for pelvic floor muscle training for childbearing women was highlighted. 

In the statement both organisations recommend that maternity services providers should support and adopt specific practices to improve health outcomes for all women post birth, including evidence-based information and advice about pelvic floor muscle exercises – read more here. 

The RCM also has an i-learn module on Peri-partum pelvic floor muscle exercises available here. 

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