Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles after pregnancy with Neen Aquaflex

Mother and baby

You’ve had your baby and you followed all the guidelines to ensure that you had a healthy pregnancy (well, you tried to), including your pelvic floor muscles and pregnancy yoga (I know, you tried to). But, now you have a beautiful baby in your hands, and you’ve been greeted with sleep deprivation and not a clue about what’s going to happen in the next 24 hours.

It’s such a magical time, isn’t it!

You’ve semi prepared for this moment, but the various sources may not have told you about your droopy stomach and how your downstairs feels like a runaway freight train that’s collided into a wall and now it’s all over the place.

What do you do now?

Welcome to your post pregnancy body

Having a baby changes your body – sometimes permanently – but not always. What does this mean? Well, you can tighten your tummy through exercise (mainly planks and lots of strength exercises) and any weight you gain will gradually drop off if you incorporate a healthy diet and consistent heart pumping exercise (breastfeeding can also help you to naturally lose weight, but only if you don’t overeat). These changes don’t happen overnight, and the adage is generally true – it took nine months to make a baby, and so it will take at least that long to get back into shape again.

But, what about your downstairs? Whether you had a caesarean or a natural birth, you now feel like you are no longer in control of the basic skills that involve peeing, for example. And, if you didn’t follow the very important rule during pregnancy about exercising your pelvic floor muscles that help to strengthen that area that keeps your pee in, then you may find that you will have a leaky bladder (urinary incontinence), which may come as a surprise to you when you sneeze, laugh or jump.

You know that saying? “Don’t make me laugh or I’ll pee myself!”

You’re not alone. This leaky bladder after pregnancy is so common that over 200 million people suffer from incontinence (is this worldwide? Please specify). And, the problem is that you tend to suffer alone because women are too ashamed to talk about it – even though 50% of women in the UK experience light bladder weakness – that’s 1 in 2 of us!

So, what are your pelvic floor muscles and why are you leaking down there?

There are actually several types of urinary incontinence, but we will be concentrating on stress incontinence as this is what happens when your pregnancy put too much pressure on your bladder and the result is a weakened or damaged pelvic floor.

Below are your pelvic floor muscles

(Photo credit: https://www.webmd.com/women/pelvic-floor-muscles)
(Photo credit: https://www.webmd.com/women/pelvic-floor-muscles)

Your pelvic floor is made up of muscles and tissue that can stretch and spring up again. They look a little like a hammock that runs from your pubic bone up into the bottom of your spine. These groups of muscles sat directly under the weight of your growing baby during pregnancy and became overstretched and exhausted, so they weakened over time. This consequence is also why those sources (both online and offline) warned you to do your pelvic floor exercises since before you got pregnant.

A weakened bladder is fixable, and you can work to strengthen those muscles, so that they become strong and durable again. It’s like working out but for your downstairs.

The first step to fixing this weakened bladder is to recognise that you do have a weakened bladder

Seems self-explanatory, but you may not spot all the signs at first. Below are some symptoms that you may find when you have a weakened bladder:

  • Accidental leakages
  • Not emptying the bladder properly when you pee
  • Not reaching the toilet in time to pee
  • Pelvic pain
  • Loss of sensation during sex
  • Leaking during sex
  • Accidentally passing wind
  • Poor posture/backache

If you have one or all of the above symptoms, then you may have a weak bladder. So, there is no time like the present to start working to strengthen the bladder, vagina and anus area by knowing how to exercise your pelvic floor muscles.

I do my pelvic floor exercises, but I still have a weak bladder

Did you know that 50% of women in the UK are unable to activate their pelvic floor muscles correctly, which means that any exercises they do already are ineffective?

To use your pelvic floor muscles correctly, you need to think about doing the following:

  1. Imagine stopping the wind from your back passage
  2. Then stop the wee from the front
  3. Pull these two points in and up together

The above 3 steps are the correct way to exercise your pelvic floor muscles. But you still may find that you are not exercising the muscles correctly, especially when you’re in a rush or you forget altogether. So, there is another way to ensure you’re exercising your pelvic floor muscles correctly every time.

The Neen Aquaflex, created by Neen who wants to empower women to take back control

Neen, the UK leader in women’s pelvic health, has supported thousands of women over the years, to master their Kegel exercises and strengthen their pelvic floor through their range of innovative and award-winning products that are designed to treat the symptoms of incontinence. The Neen Aquaflex helps you identify the right muscles to tighten and relax, and the Neen Educator acts as a visual aid to make sure you’re contracting the correct muscles.

Let’s find out more!

Neen Aquaflex

The Neen Aquaflex, which was designed by physicians and physiotherapists, provides two vaginal cones and a set of weights to aid with Kegel exercises. You place weights in the cone, then you insert the cone into your vagina. Your pelvic floor muscles will naturally contract around it and these reflexes will strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles. You need just 20 minutes a day to see results in 12 weeks if you are consistent with it.

You can find the Neen Aquaflex on Amazon

Neen Educator

The Neen Educator is a Pelvic Floor Exercise Indicator, which acts as a visual aid to make sure you’re contracting the correct muscles in the right way. The Educator was developed from the award-winning Periform® Probe and helps you to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and reduce stress incontinence symptoms. You simply attach the indicator wand to the body of the Educator and insert it into your vagina (a bit like inserting a tampon). Then you do your Kegel exercises, by contracting your muscles so that the Indicator can follow the internal walls of your vagina.

The Indicator will tell you if you’re doing your pelvic floor muscles correctly and monitor your progress. It’s easy to clean and strengthens your pelvic floor muscles over time.

You can buy the Neen Educator from on Amazon

N.B. – Don’t use both products when you are pregnant, during your period or if you have a prolapse or vaginal infection.

If you feel like you have a weak bladder then it’s important to not feel ashamed anymore. Chances are that every two women you speak to will have some form of incontinence and with Neen striving to empower women through their award winning products, I hope that this underground mentality will change, and the topic of incontinence will become an everyday talked about subject for us women.

*This post is sponsored by Neen Aquaflex*

We don’t have to suffer alone!

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Leyla Preston (610 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/