Monday Motivation with Derval O'Rourke: Improving pelvic floor health can be life-changing

And my recipe for creamy chicken pasta 
Monday Motivation with Derval O'Rourke: Improving pelvic floor health can be life-changing

Pregnancy, childbirth, and menopause are leading causes of incontinence for women.

This week's topic is all about women's health and the pelvic floor. As women, talking about the inner workings of our bodies can be difficult. All too often, we feel embarrassed to ask for help. Thankfully, this is changing and women are opening up about their health. After having children, weakened muscles can affect everything. From going to the bathroom to searching for the nearest ladies' room every time you go out; it can begin to consume your every thought. Some women have even turned down opportunities in their careers.

Aoife Ní Eochaidh is here to help! Aoife has spent 25 years treating women with incontinence using tried and tested methods of training, in the right order, and at the right pace of training to achieve optimal results.

Aoife has kindly shared with me some great insights and tips.

The feeling of needing the bathroom suddenly to empty the bladder while having coffee with friends or while out shopping can be a very stressful experience. Imagine the awful feeling of an overwhelming urge to empty your bladder or needing to cough or sneeze and not making it to the bathroom in time and leaking urine. Worse still is the fear of not being able to control stool or gas. New mothers (and some not-so-new mothers!) up and down the country are dealing with these awful problems. Help is available to give yourself back your freedom without fear of bladder leaks.

Progressive pelvic floor muscle training is recommended as a first-line treatment for incontinence. Two-thirds of women with any type of incontinence who have pelvic floor muscle training see improvements or cure with 75% of women reporting resolution of symptoms such as episodes of incontinence. That is 2 out of 3 women will be cured of incontinence with pelvic floor muscle training!

Many hide the problem and are too embarrassed to deal with the issues. Women wear incontinence pads, reduce their sexual activity, their exercise levels, and their social life too. As a woman trains her pelvic floor muscles, she will find that her core (or tummy) muscles also improve!

It is important to know where the pelvic floor muscles are in the body. Firstly, think of the area of your body between your waist and the top of your legs. This is where your pelvis is located — think of it as a basin-shaped region. Your tummy area is where your core muscles are located. The pelvic floor muscles form the base of the pelvic basin and are really the underneath part of your core.

If you would like to learn more about your core and how to train your muscles back to the normal range of function, you can visit or follow Aoife online at @pelvicexpert.

Also, it’s always a great idea to share any concerns with your doctor and get a referral to an expert. Women’s health physiotherapists are an amazing source of help through their vast experience and expertise. Your body is fantastic and you deserve to feel comfortable and confident in it.

Movement of the Week: Lying on the floor, bring your knees up half way with your feet on the ground. Push your spine to the floor. With your palms placed on either side, raise your hips up towards the ceiling, hold for a count of five then lower again. Repeat this 10 times.

Wellness Tip: Nature can be a great way to incorporate some wellness into your day. Go outside for 10 minutes three times this week. Notice everything around you, the wind, the trees, any wildlife, the smell of fresh air.

Creamy chicken pasta

recipe by:Derval O'Rourke

Quick and easy this is comforting and delicious

Creamy chicken pasta

Preparation Time

5 mins

Cooking Time

15 mins

Total Time

20 mins




  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 2 chicken fillets, cubed

  • 4 tbsp crushed pistachios

  • ½ red chilli, finely chopped

  • 180ml cream

  • 100g pasta

  • 2 tbsp Parmesan

  • a handful of mint leaves, chopped

  • 2 tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds

  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat.

  2. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.

  3. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.

  4. Add the pistachios and chilli, and cook for 5 minutes.

  5. Stir in the cream, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack.

  7. Drain the pasta and tip it into the pan with the cream sauce.

  8. Add the parmesan, mint, and seeds and stir well to coat the pasta.

  9. Season to taste and divide the pasta between warmed serving bowls.

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