Videos Women's Health May 6, 2019

Pelvic Floor Health and Pregnancy

May is the month when we celebrate Mothers and Women’s Health. One topic many women don’t talk about much is their pelvic floor health. Most women do not know or only think of their pelvic floor after having a baby. Some say they have pain and other issues months after giving birth. Pelvic health expert Uchenna Ossai, DPT, from Women’s Health, a clinical partnership between Ascension Seton and UT Health Austin, discusses why women should recognize the importance of maintaining good pelvic floor health, before, during, and after pregnancy.

What is the importance of the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor are the muscles at the bottom of the pelvis and they are part of the core muscles that we all work so hard to get strong. It’s primary job is to keep the spine stabilized and our organs inside us. But it also helps us with bowel health, bladder health, sexual health, and childbirth. Often, people forget this muscle exists, so when you go through childbirth you don’t realize there is a problem until later.

What are some of the conditions that may occur after childbirth? And when should you seek care?

Some women will have low back pain, pelvic girdle pain, but they may also experience urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, and even pelvic organ prolapse or pain with intercourse. Uchenna always tells her patients, especially during planning for children, that if they have issues, they should address them before they get pregnant.

What steps do you advise women to take before pregnancy?

First, acknowledge that your pelvic floor exists. It’s not something that is taught in school. Once you know you have a pelvic floor, incorporating and training it with all your other muscles, because it is just as important. It’s as important as training your abs and glutes. And, if you have pain issues, you want to seek the care of a professional as well.

Helpful Tips:

  • Maintain a healthy, normal weight
  • Choose high fiber and drink plenty of fluids
  • Exercise your body and pelvic muscles
  • If you have any concerns or pain, see a pelvic health specialist.

About the Partnership Between UT Health Austin and Ascension Seton

The collaboration between UT Health Austin and Ascension brings together medical professionals, medical school learners, and researchers who are all part of the integrated mission of transforming healthcare delivery and redesigning the academic health environment to better serve society. This collaboration allows highly specialized providers who are at the forefront of the latest research, diagnostic, and technological developments to build an integrated system of care that is a collaborative resource for clinicians and their patients.

About UT Health Austin

UT Health Austin is the clinical practice of the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin. We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to provide patients with an unparalleled quality of care. Our experienced healthcare professionals deliver personalized, whole-person care of uncompromising quality and treat each patient as an individual with unique circumstances, priorities, and beliefs. Working directly with you, your care team creates an individualized care plan to help you reach the goals that matter most to you — in the care room and beyond. For more information, call us at 1-833-UT-CARES or request an appointment here.