exercise during pregnancyResearchers from the University of Aberdeen recently published a study in the journal Neurourology and Urodynamics revealing a connection between pelvic floor exercises or training and prevention of incontinence after birth.

The study reviewed 22 trials involving more than 8,400 women. Continent women in the study who performed pelvic floor exercises were less likely to have issues with urinary incontinence for at least six months after giving birth. Women who reported incontinence after birth and at that point started pelvic floor exercises were less likely to have problems for at least 12 months postpartum.

Women who perform pelvic floor exercises are less likely to deal with urinary incontinence, but the long-term effect of pelvic floor exercises on urinary or fecal incontinence beyond 12 months was not determined. Pelvic floor exercises pose no risk to pregnant women. Education should be made available to all pregnant women, especially women with a history of incontinence.

Source: Boyle R, Hay-Smith EJ, Cody JD, Mørkved S. Pelvic Floor Muscle Training for Prevention and Treatment of Urinary and Fecal Incontinence in Antenatal and Postnatal Women: A Short Version Cochrane Review. Neurourol Urodyn. 2013 Apr 24. doi: 10.1002/nau.22402.