This is a word to the wise. Because I suspect people don't talk about this enough.
After I had my daughter, it took a loooong time before it was safe to sneeze again. Granted, she was 8lb 12oz, not the hugest first baby by any means, but not tiny either. but the pushing stage was long, and I wasn't over endowed in the stomach muscle stakes either.
But I did Pilates before, during and after my second pregnancy and had none of the old problem. Result!
Except, I gave it up before Easter, due to financial restraints. And all of as sudden, the old problem is back. It's not the only factor (weight and exercise, weight and exercise!) but it is significant, I think.
So I'd better get down on the floor each evening and get working, or it's no more trampolining for me.
This is actually important for the gents too - I presume strengthening your pf muscles stops you from becoming leaky old men (unless that's purely down to prostate problems) and firms the tum, it also gives you greater control of your (pause for appropriate euphemism) joystick too. A sixpack is pleasing to the eye, God knows, but it doesn't actually do anything for you strength wise (I'm blowing the secret - my Pilates teacher said not to tell you).
My homoeopath also said that she had a woman in her 70z who had been scheduled for a pelvic floor operation, who did her pf muscle excercises constantly, like a thousand times a day, and was assessed before the op, and it was cancelled.
Sounds good to me.
And lest your not convinced, I will scare you with the photo that scared me of the perineal hernia: bugga bugga bugga bugga!!
In case you don't know your kegels, here are a few pelvic floor excercises - Pilates works on more than this, I think, using lots more of your body - but these are good - if you do them. Try every time you're at a traffic light, in a check out queue, or when the ads are on:
1. Squeeze release, fast. Ten groups of ten, aim for a fluttering motion.
2. Floors of the lift - tighten by stages, aim for about six, squeeze and hold each floor up, then back down, really releasing at the bottom - I didn't really get that til after I had the baby, then it was eeeeeasy!
3. Imagine you're chewing a cherry with your vaginal muscles, chew chew chew chew, then swallow. Then do the same with an apricot, as my homoeopath said, til you can feel the juice running :) Men, I have no idea what the appropriate visualisation is for you, but I suspect I've lost you at this stage anyway ;)