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Pelvic Health Cheat Sheet

dremilyduncan

4 min read

Jan 17

25

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This is not medical advice, and is meant to be an educational tool.


Bowel and Bladder Habits:

  • Ideally, you should be going pee once every 2-4 hours and having a steady stream lasting at least 8-10 seconds. NO power peeing (aka pushing)!! You should be able to relax to pee. If you don’t feel empty at the end of your pee, try rocking forward and back or side to side to get the last drops out instead of pushing them out. If you get the urge to pee before that 2-4 hour mark, try to ignore it—go walk to the mailbox, clean the counters, play with the dog, etc. The more you listen to those false urges, the more you will get them. No “just in case” peeing. 

  • Pooping at least once a day…it should be easy to get out without pushing/straining and look like smooth banana (try using a squatty potty or put feel up on a stool if not already). If you are having problems with constipation (clumpy poops or liquid poops) try taking magnesium citrate daily, massage your colon clockwise, get at least 7k steps a day, drink enough water, and do some diaphragmatic breaths. 

  • Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water a day (add in trace minerals or electrolytes to maintain hydration)

  • Getting up 0-2x at night to pee while pregnant is normal. 0-1x is normal outside of pregnancy. 

  • Hemorrhoid care–First things first, we want to avoid pushing/straining to have a bowel movement. Utilize a squatty potty, try to breathe and relax your pelvic floor, and avoid straining (when you strain, your pelvic floor pinches off your rectum and makes it hard for the poop to come out). For relief, you can apply witch hazel with a cotton ball and diluted cypress oil to the area, epsom salt sitz baths, apply manuka honey, or brew white oak bark and apply with cotton ball/q tip. 

Prepping for labor:

  • Contrary to popular belief, kegels are not the answer. Pelvic floor strengthening has its place, but labor prep isn’t usually that place. Your pelvic floor DOES NOT push your baby out, your uterus does and the pelvic floor has to get out of the way (aka lengthen and stretch to 1.5-3x its normal length). We need to learn to connect our breath with our pelvic floor in order to push effectively. 

  • Practice diaphragmatic breathing and reverse kegels every day if you can. On your inhales, think about your ribs expanding, belly expanding, filling a balloon in your vagina, and your pelvic floor lengthening towards your feet. On your exhales, let it all go and move back to neutral. 

  • Work on hip mobility!! Your pelvis, sacrum, and hips shift and move during labor and delivery to help your baby travel through the birth canal. Linked below are some great mobility exercises to start as soon as you can. 

  • Learn how to connect to your deep core….this isn’t your 6 pack muscle—it’s a corset muscle that wraps around from your spine to your front and connects to your pubic bone. When you contract your deep core correctly, your pelvic floor should contract too. To practice this contraction, blow up a balloon and see what happens…your belly should pull up and in (NOT push out). You can also think about hugging your baby to your spine, pulling your two front hip bones together, sucking in through a straw, or putting on a tight pair of pants. You should be able to maintain your deep core contraction and breathe normally at the same time. 

Vaginal health: 

  • NO SOAP ON VULVA!! Yes, I really mean it. No, you won’t smell. If you do smell, that tells us that something is off with your vaginal flora 

  • Lube for sex—with hormonal changes, it’s very common to experience vaginal dryness. Use a quality lube like Coconu (code: dremilyduncan) to help

  • Take an oral urinary tract probiotic to promote a diverse vaginal flora (this is even shown to prevent testing positive on GBS test later in pregnancy—start now!) 

  • Take cranberry+d mannose pills prophylactically to avoid infections (yeast, BV, UTI). Prophylactically, 2 pills a day is recommended. If you suspect an infection, take 6-9 pills a day. 

  • If you suspect a UTI, yeast infection, or BV: double your urinary tract probiotic for a few days, up your cranberry+d mannose, do a diluted apple cider vinegar sitz bath (about a tbsp of ACV) 2x a day, and insert plain greek yogurt into vaginal canal. 

Pregnancy stuff:

  • Puking—When puking into the toilet, try to be in a tall kneel position leaning forward with a flat back, squeezing something between your knees, and use your forearms as support on the toilet seat. Linked is a ig reel from an awesome pelvic PT demo’ing this. 

  • Pubic bone pain— Log roll to get out of bed. Keep your knees together when you are getting in the car, out of a chair, etc. Avoid movements where you spread your legs apart like lunges, going up stairs, etc. You can also perform a pelvic alignment (description below) reset daily to help with sacral or pubic pain. 

  • KT tape/belly support band—as your belly gets bigger, using something like KT tape or a belly support band can help take the pressure off of your pelvic floor/low back/hips to alleviate some of the discomfort. Below is linked a blog with how to put on KT tape. 

Links:

Trace minerals— https://amzn.to/3S8Fizw

Electrolytes— https://amzn.to/48WrQ7T

Urinary Tract Probiotic— https://amzn.to/45DrL6i

Cranberry+D mannose— https://amzn.to/3FmSNEp

Reverse Kegels— Reverse Kegels

Mobility Exercises— Cat/cowHip Internal Rotation RockAdductor RockChild's Pose, Pelvic clocks and tilts on a big exercise ball 

KT Tape— https://amzn.to/46Cmo8L How to Put On: https://adatewithbaby.com/how-to-kinesio-tape-pregnant-belly/ 

Belly Band— https://babybellyband.com/product/maternity-support-belt/

Exercise ball— https://amzn.to/3RXeu5t

Pelvic alignment reset— sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Do each of these 3 times for 10 seconds: push knees into hands (towards each other), push knees into hands (away from each other), push one heel into ground and one knee into your hand (do both sides)

Puking reel— https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cwa8bXvoKzo/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==


dremilyduncan

4 min read

Jan 17

25

0

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