Kegels – An Important Exercise During Pregnancy
What can Kegels do for me?
- Prevent perineal tears during labour
- Help prevent & treat urinary incontinence
- Healing pelvic floor muscles following childbirth
- Increase sexual pleasure & strengthen orgasm
How do they work?
Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder, uterus & bowels, and also increase circulation to the area to promote healing.
How do I know I’m doing Kegels correctly?
A good way to start practicing is actually starting and stopping the flow of urine while you’re sitting the toilet. To get the feel of the muscles, stop the flow of urine by contracting the pelvic floor muscles, but keeping the gluts, inner thigh and abdominal muscles relaxed. Contract for a few seconds, then relax and let the urine flow again. Do this a few times while you pee. (*Caution: Repeatedly stopping the flow of urine can lead to urinary retention and urinary tract infections, so only do this a few times until you get a good idea of which muscles you’re using.)
What are Kegel exercises that I can do?
When you get more comfortable with contracting your pelvic floor muscles, you can practice this tightening & releasing action while sitting watching TV, driving, working on the computer, standing, waiting in line at the grocery store, walking, etc… No one will even know you are doing them, so you can do them anywhere!
Squeeze & Release: During a count of 3 seconds, tighten the muscles as tight as possible and hold this contraction for up to 10 seconds, and then release for a count of 3 seconds. Relax for 10 seconds. Repeat this cycle 10-30 times per day.
Super Kegel: Tighten the muscles as tight as possible & hold this for up to 30 seconds, checking in with yourself every 5 seconds or so to make sure that you’re contracting as much as possible. Relax for 1 minute. Repeat up to 10 times per day. (Careful not to contract the gluts, inner thigh or abdominal muscles with this exercise ).
Slow Contract & Relax: Slowly contract the muscles to as tight as possible for a count of 10 seconds. Hold for 10 seconds, and release slowly for 10 seconds. Rest for 1 minute. Repeat up to 10 times per day.