Are you planning to stay active and fit throughout your pregnancy? Have you heard about pelvic floor exercise but are not sure if it’s safe for you and your unborn baby? Well, if you can relate to the above situations reading this post may be of help!
Many women complain of urinary incontinence post delivery. Do you want to avoid an embarrassing urine leak? Well, then it’s time to start the Kegel workout! Check out this post to know all about pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy!
What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises?
Pelvic floor workout or Kegel exercises involve contracting and relaxing the muscles of your pelvic floor repeatedly. Arnold Kegel was the first to describe these exercises in the year 1948. Pelvic floor exercises are extremely effective during pregnancy as they help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles(1).
How To Do Pelvic Floor Exercises?
Follow the steps mentioned below to identify your pelvic floor muscles and perform Kegel exercises during your pregn
Steps To Identify The Pelvic Floor Muscles:
Do the following steps to identify your pelvic floor muscles before you begin the Kegel workout:
1. Sit down comfortably and keep your knees slightly apart. Imagine that you are about to pass wind. Now imagine yourself trying to stop doing that. To achieve this, you will need to squeeze and lift your muscles as if you are about to pass wind. If you are doing it right, you will be able to feel your muscles move. Make sure that you do not move your buttocks or your legs. The skin around your back passage should tighten. You should also move it up and away from your seat. Try and repeat it until you can feel the muscles squeeze and lift.
2. Imagine you are sitting on the toilet seat while passing urine. Now you have to try and stop yourself from passing urine. Do this strictly while just imagining urinating. Doing so when you have the urge to urinate, may cause health problems.
3. Try and tighten the muscles around your back passage, vagina and your front passage. Now try and lift these upward and inside. Do this in a way as if you are trying to stop yourself from passing wind and urine at the same time.
Congratulations! You have successfully identified your pelvic floor muscles, and now you can graduate to exercising them.
Pelvic Floor Exercises:
1. Sit, stand or lie down with your knees slightly apart. Very slowly, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor and pull them up as hard as you can. Try to lift them up and squeeze them as many times as you can, without feeling uncomfortable. Rest for five to ten seconds and repeat. Keep practicing until you can repeat it ten times at a stretch, without being uncomfortable. Hold the position for ten seconds each time and take a short break before repeating it.
2. You have to try and practice the Kegel workout in such a way that your pelvic floor muscles can respond quickly to sudden stress. Activities like coughing, sneezing, laughing or exercising can put pressure on your urinary bladder. Practice a few quick contractions by drawing in your pelvic floor. Hold it in for about a second and then let it relax immediately. Try and do it ten times at a stretch, without feeling uncomfortable.
It will take time for you to identify your pelvic floor muscles and follow the exercises. Do not try to rush yourself. Give yourself enough time so that your body can adjust to the workout comfortably. It is a good idea to speak to your doctor before starting the exercise.
Did you practice pelvic floor exercises while you were pregnant? Do share your experiences here with other fellow moms.