Kegel Exercises

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Kegel Exercises

The Kegel muscles are the group of muscles that support your uterus, bladder and bowels. They are designed to stretch so that you can carry and deliver your baby, and amazingly you can exercise and tone these muscles very easily, which is extremely beneficial for many reasons, including the delivery and for helping them return to strength after they have stretched and taken the strain of both carrying the weight of your baby and giving birth.

Every woman can benefit from Kegal exercises strengthening the pelvic floor however it is particularly important for a new mum. Pregnancy hormones which relax these muscles and the weight of the growing uterus and the strain of delivery all take their toll on the Kegal muscles and it is usual to experience some urinary and sometimes bowl incontinence later in your pregnancy and after giving birth. Whilst Kegal exercises alone cannot necessary prevent these irksome side effects of your pregnancy and baby’s birth, learning to do effective Kegal exercises will certainly help minimise these and speed return to your pre-pregnancy self.

How to do Kegel Exercises

  • First you need to identify your pelvic floor muscles and learn to use them. The easiest way to do this is to try to deliberately stop urination in midstream. Once you can do this you have identified the pelvic floor muscles and how to tighten them and you can do this anywhere.
  • Practice the technique by tightening and holding your pelvic floor muscles for five seconds then relax them for five seconds. Repeat this several times in a row whilst comfortable. Work up to tightening the muscles for ten seconds and relaxing for ten seconds. Your aim is to tighten the pelvic floor muscles only not the muscles in your thighs, back or abdomen. Breathe normally whilst exercising and try to not hold your breath.
  • Practice the technique building up to three to five sets of ten repetitions a day. Build slowly and always remain comfortable.
  • It is important to only use mid-flow urinary cessation to identify the muscles not to use this as a way of regular Kegel exercise as this can risk urinary tract infection.
  • Kegel exercises can be performed at any time and can be done lying on your bed or comfortably on the floor, or on a couch or chair. They can also be done standing up if you prefer or you can vary to suit yourself.

Make Kegel exercises a part of your daily routine for general pelvic floor strength and to help bring the muscles back to pre-pregnancy strength. Kegel exercises are not an overnight solution but with patience and a regular approach you can expect results!

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