Exploring the Pelvic Floor in Pregnancy

A Pregnant Woman Meditating

The pelvic floor consists of layers of muscles that stretch from the pubic bone (in front) to the end of the backbone (spine). During pregnancy there is more weight from the baby, placenta, increased blood volume and an enlarged uterus putting more pressure on the pelvic floor. As a result, your pelvic floor muscles are weakened and you may find that you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, and laugh. This can sometimes be embarrassing however there is no reason to be! Although not everyone talks about it; trust me it is very common! This occurrence is known as stress incontinence and it can continue after pregnancy as well. You can strengthen these muscles by doing pelvic floor exercises. Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor which come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth. This helps to reduce or avoid stress incontinence during and after pregnancy. All pregnant women should do pelvic floor exercises as a preventive measure.


• Find a comfortable setting where you can lay or sit down with your knees bent.  
• Make a squeezing or clenching sensation and tighten your muscles as if you were trying to stop yourself from peeing or passing gas.
• Take a nice breath in as you squeeze and tighten, and then breathe out while relaxing the muscles.
• Try and hold the squeezes for as long as you can before you relax (sometimes counting to 10 helps).
• 3 sets of 8 squeezes every day is a good goal (when you first wake up, lunch time and before bed). If you sneeze or cough, practice these exercises as well.

Sunscreen Tips During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it’s important to take extra care of your skin, especially when it comes to sun protection. Here are 10 tips for using sunscreen during pregnancy:

  1. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen: Look for a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. This will provide the best protection for your skin.
  2. Opt for SPF 30 or higher: Select a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Higher SPF numbers indicate better protection against the sun’s harmful rays.
  3. Apply sunscreen generously: Be sure to apply sunscreen generously to all exposed areas of your body, including your face, neck, arms, and legs. Don’t forget commonly overlooked areas like your ears, hands, and feet.
  4. Reapply regularly: Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you are sweating or swimming. Pregnancy hormones can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, so it’s important to maintain consistent protection.
  5. Seek shade during peak hours: Try to limit your sun exposure during peak hours, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. During this time, the sun’s rays are strongest and can cause more damage to your skin.
  6. Wear protective clothing: In addition to sunscreen, wear protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants. This will provide extra protection for your skin and help minimize sun exposure.
  7. Use sunscreen on cloudy days: Even on cloudy days, harmful UV rays can still reach your skin. Therefore, it’s important to use sunscreen regardless of the weather.
  8. Check for pregnancy-safe ingredients: Some sunscreen ingredients are considered safe during pregnancy, while others may be best avoided. Look for sunscreens that use physical blockers like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they are generally considered safe for pregnant women.
  9. Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds: Pregnancy hormones can make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, increasing the risk of sunburn and skin damage. Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds altogether during pregnancy.
  10. Consult your healthcare provider: If you have any concerns or questions about using sunscreen during pregnancy, it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.

Remember, protecting your skin from the sun is crucial during pregnancy to minimize the risk of sunburn, skin damage, and potential complications.