Why You Should Start Kegel Exercises ASAPby Your Baby Club
You’ve probably heard people refer to kegel exercises during pregnancy, but what are they actually for? When do you need to start them? And how do you do them? Kegels are designed to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which link up to your rectum, uterus, bladder, and small intestine. They can help control incontinence during pregnancy and after birth, as well as get you ready for labour.
As your baby grows, your pelvic floor muscles are really tested. Many pregnant women experience a weak pelvic floor and sometimes may wee a little when laughing, coughing, and sneezing, due to their baby putting pressure on their bladder.
When giving birth and your baby is travelling down the birth canal, your pelvic floor muscles are the ones helping the baby be delivered through your pushing. It’s therefore important to strengthen these muscles as early on in your pregnancy as possible and continue your exercises until the end.
How do I Exercise Them?
To contract these muscles, imagine you are holding in some wind and close the back passage. Draw that same feeling forwards and imagine that you are stopping yourself from having a wee. Once you’ve located these muscles you can start to exercise them.
To do this, tense, and release all at once, individually control them and try to isolate them. Try this in a range of different positions until you have these exercises down to a tee. Try and repeat these exercises of 10-15 repetitions, at least 3 times per day.
The great thing about these exercises, is no one will know you’re doing them, meaning you can do them just about anywhere, any time.
Learn to relax them too
Learning how to relax these pelvic floor muscles is just as important as strengthening them. An overactive pelvic floor can cause pelvic pain, and activities such as having a wee or penetrative sex may become painful.
Practising abdominal breathing can also help you to learn how to relax the pelvic floor. Put one hand on your tummy. As you take a steady breath in through your nose, feel your tummy gently push into your hand and relax the pelvic floor muscles.
How Will I Know They’re Working?
In short - you won't wee yourself! You can start feeling results within a few weeks and once labour comes around - you’ll be pushing like a pro!