I think I definitely aggravated mine the first time by doing leg presses at the gym, as well as squatting to practice for labor, and also doing the hip aductor/abductor machine at the gym. My chiro told me to stop those things and I did, so it helped. I won't be doing those this time.
A pillow between the legs is good as was mentioned, though I actually needed to roll up a towel to keep the structure all night.
The mention of glutes reminds me of this article
. I have always had a flat butt, so I am sure that has something to do with it for me. However, doing any glute exercises once the pain started KILLED. I couldn't do them. So I'll ask my PT about it next week if starting some now will help later.
An excerpt from the article/interview (PF = pelvic floor; PFD = pelvic floor disorder):
|A kegel attempts to strengthen the PF, but it really only continues to pull the sacrum inward promoting even more weakness, and more PF gripping. The muscles that balance out the anterior pull on the sacrum are the glutes. A lack of glutes (having no butt) is what makes this group so much more susceptible to PFD. Zero lumbar curvature (missing the little curve at the small of the back) is the most telling sign that the PF is beginning to weaken. Deep, regular squats (pictured in hunter-gathering mama) create the posterior pull on the sacrum. Peeing like this in the shower is a great daily practice, as is relaxing the PF muscles to make sure that you're not squeezing the bathroom muscle closers too tight. Just close them enough...An easier way to say this is: Weak glutes + too many Kegels = PFD
This article is really fascinating.
Here is a link to the interviewee's blog with specifics about the squat for strengthening glutes: http://www.katysays.com/2010/06/02/you-dont-know-squat/