Labour tips

It’s only natural to be concerned about the effect of birth on your pelvic floor muscles. Pelvic floor outcomes are determined by many different factors, which should be discussed with birth carers during pregnancy.

What affects the pelvic floor during birth

Positioning to help the pelvic floor & core

Changing positions is one part of effective pain management in labour.

  • Adopt comfortable upright positions during labour so gravity and uterine contractions move baby down through the pelvis.
  • Try to stay active in comfortable positions and rest between contractions.

Practice different positions with your partner

Pelvic floor & interventions

Sometimes birthing interventions are used for the safety and wellbeing of both mother and baby, but interventions should not be used routinely.

Schedule time to discuss policies about interventions with your caregivers or birthing facility as some have their own policies and birth procedures. During pregnancy, discuss with caregivers how you would like to birth to determine their level of support and sort out fears and misinterpretations.

Research shows the pelvic floor can be adversely affected by routine interventions.

Warm compresses reduce trauma

Findings from a recent review in the December issue of the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews shows that applying warm compresses to the perineum during the second stage of labour is effective in reducing perineal trauma. The authors state that preventing tears ‘is complicated and involves many other factors in addition to the perineal techniques that are evaluated here, e.g.

Mothers stories

I’m Jenny - 30 years old and have had three pregnancies. My first baby was stillborn at 32 weeks, which was really devastating for my husband and I. One blessing was that I did have a ‘normal vaginal delivery’ and I physically came out of the experience really very well.... not stretch marks, no tearing, no bladder problems – just heartbroken and breasts full of milk. Because my body was so ripe, I was blessed to conceive again within 12 weeks of delivering our first baby. I was a bit of a nut case during this time as I was so terrified that it may result with no baby to hold and keep.