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Extracted from Survival Guide to Midwifery, 2nd Edition (2012) Diane M. Fraser and Margaret A. Cooper, Oxford; Churchill Livingstone: 2012. Courtesy Elsevier
The pelvic floor is formed by the soft tissues that fill the outlet of the pelvis. The most important of these is the diaphragm of muscle slung like a hammock from the walls of the pelvis, through which pass the urethra, vagina and anal canal. Exercising pelvic floor muscles antenatally can help them to retain their function (supporting the bladder, uterus and bowel) and to help the muscles relax during parturition. Women should be encouraged to resume pelvic floor exercises as soon as they can after the birth in order to regain bladder control, prevent incontinence and prolapse, and to ensure normal sexual satisfaction for both partners in the future.
The Practising Midwife featured article
Peri-partum and pelvic floor dysfunction TPM 2014; 17(7): 10 - 12. Author: Doreen McClurg