Mastering the Art of Pushing During Pregnancy: Preventing Abdominal & Pelvic Floor Issues
As a child educator, I know that pregnant women are not taught how to push. Pushing in labor is a learned skill and must be practiced during pregnancy so it is second nature in labor.
Pushing incorrectly can cause many abdominal problems, urinary incontinence, and pelvic floor problems such as prolapse of your uterus, bladder or rectum.
A prolapse, by the way is a downward descent of organs sometimes outside of your body.
Also, research supports regular and rhythmical breathing during pushing. “Exhale pushing” allows a mother to push longer, while maintaining good oxygen flow to the baby, and reduces fatigue. However, most hospitals do not support this research. Many women are told by the medical professionals attending their deliveries to hold their breath and bear down. This is called “purple pushing” and refers to holding the breath so long and with such force that the small capillaries in the cheeks, eyes and face burst. Purple pushing can produce a situation called Valsalva's Maneuver. Valsalva's Maneuver occurs with prolonged breath-holding for longer than six seconds, which causes an increase in the blood pressure and fetal distress.
I will stress this again, pushing incorrectly can cause many abdominal and pelvic floor problems. Learning how to push with your strengthened abdominals while relaxing the pelvic floor muscles that you have strengthened and stretched during pregnancy is a skill that must be learned and practiced so it is second nature during labor. You cannot learn a new skill when you are in pain! The key is to learn how to work the two muscle groups separately.
To learn more about Diastasis Recti & the Tupler Technique® read this article: DIASTASIS RECTI RESEARCH AND EVIDENCED BASED EXERCISE PROGRAM
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Watch the short video below to know what a diastasis is.