Paving the Way for Pregnancy: A Guide to Pelvic Floor Health and Preparation

By Dr. Christine Martirez PT, DPT on 3/5/2024


As you embark on the journey towards motherhood, understanding and preparing your body for pregnancy becomes paramount. Among the myriad considerations, pelvic floor health stands out due to its significant impact on both the pregnancy and childbirth experience. This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on how you can optimize your pelvic floor health through mobility, strengthening, deep core exercises, and effective breathing techniques. Additionally, we'll explore birthing positions and the invaluable role of pelvic floor physical therapists in ensuring a healthy pregnancy.

The Foundation of Pelvic Floor Health

Understanding the Pelvic Floor:

The pelvic floor is a complex network of muscles, ligaments, and tissues that support the uterus, bladder, and rectum. Its strength and flexibility play a crucial role in pregnancy, affecting everything from the ability to carry a baby comfortably to the ease of delivery and recovery postpartum.

Enhancing Pelvic Floor Health Pre-Pregnancy

  • 1. Pelvic Floor Mobility

    Flexibility in the pelvic floor is as crucial as strength, especially towards the tail end of pregnancy. Mobility exercises help in reducing tension and increasing elasticity, which will be beneficial during childbirth. Gentle stretching and relaxation techniques can improve pelvic floor mobility, preparing it for the stretching it will undergo during delivery.

  • 2. Pelvic Floor Strengthening

    Strengthening the pelvic floor can be beneficial in the earlier stages of pregnancy. This involves not just Kegels, but strengthening the surrounding musculature as well. This includes the glutes, abdominals, postural muscles, and more!

  • 3. Deep Core Strengthening

    The core and pelvic floor are intimately connected. Strengthening the deep core muscles, including the transversus abdominis, can enhance pelvic floor function. Exercises like pilates or specific yoga poses can be very effective in building a strong core.

  • 4. Breathing Exercises

    Diaphragmatic breathing, or deep belly breathing, can engage and relax the pelvic floor. Practicing these breathing techniques can help manage the pressure on your pelvic floor during pregnancy and aid in relaxation and pain management during labor.

Options for Birthing Positions

Understanding different birthing positions is essential, as they can significantly impact your comfort and labor progression. Positions such as squatting, kneeling, or being on all fours can reduce the duration of labor and assist in managing pain by optimizing the pelvic opening. Discussing these options with your healthcare provider can help you prepare for a delivery that aligns with your preferences and needs.

The Role of Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists

A pelvic floor physical therapist specializes in the health of the pelvic floor and can be a valuable resource throughout your pregnancy. We can assess your pelvic floor and core strength, tailor exercises to your needs, and provide guidance on managing or preventing issues like incontinence or pelvic pain. Our expertise can also offer strategies for labor, including birthing positions and breathing techniques.


Preparing your body for pregnancy by focusing on pelvic floor health is a proactive step towards a smoother pregnancy and delivery experience. Incorporating pelvic floor mobility and strengthening exercises, along with deep core work and effective breathing techniques, can significantly impact your comfort and recovery. Exploring different birthing positions and consulting with a pelvic floor physical therapist can further personalize your preparation, setting the stage for a healthy and empowering pregnancy journey. Remember, every journey to motherhood is unique, and taking the time to prepare your body is a beautiful way to welcome this new chapter in your life.

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