Teaching and practicing of pelvic floor muscle exercises in primiparous women during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Fine, P., Burgio, K., Borello-France, D., Richter, H., Whitehead, W., Weber, A. and Brown, M. (2007)

This study aimed to describe the teaching and practicing of pelvic floor muscle exercise (PFME) before and after delivery, conducted by the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.

64% of the 759 primiparous women with term singleton deliveries who were interviewed 6 months following delivery reported being taught PFME's, mostly verbally (76%), and/or written (55%) and a few (10%) during pelvic examination.

Women with anal sphincter tears were found to be less likely to receive instructions or reminders after delivery.  More white women (76%) were taught PFME than Asian women (48%), African American women (36%) or Hispanic women (39%).  More women with college education were taught (74%).

Of those taught, 68% performed PFME's after delivery, and 63% were still performing the exercises 6 months after delivery.  This study identified tremendous potential for the improvement and standardisation of PFME education, and identifies some target at-risk women in the peripartum period.

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2007)

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