Kegel exercises are ideal during pregnancy as it helps strengthen the pelvic floor and improves labor. Discover its qualities and how to do the exercises easily at home.
One of the most important parts that a woman must take care of and strengthen during pregnancy for later recovery is the pelvic floor. As we have mentioned on other occasions, the pelvic floor is formed by the vaginal area that goes from the anus to the clitoris.
All the ligaments and muscles that comprise the pelvic floor, specifically the lower abdomen, together with the intrapelvic organs such as the bladder, uterus and rectum must be specially treated and strengthened for the imminent and subsequent postpartum delivery.
As is well known, the pelvic floor also performs the closure function mainly to preserve urine, feces and gases within the bladder, anus and rectum without any leakage.
Dr. responsible and creator of the exercises that today carry his surname to strengthen the pelvic floor. These exercises, also known as vaginal muscle contraction exercises, are ideal for strengthening the entire pelvic floor and preventing the risk of urinary incontinence that the mother may manifest after childbirth.
With Kegel exercises the mother will be able to strengthen and increase the resistance of the pubococcygeus or PC muscle, responsible for keeping the pelvic floor in perfect condition. The advantages of these exercises is that they also help not only to prevent urine leakage after childbirth, but also to strengthen the pelvic floor for the time of delivery.
It would be ideal for the expectant mother to practice these exercises as a preventive way during pregnancy and to continue with them after delivery.
Benefits of Kegel exercises for pregnant women
We have mentioned before why it would be appropriate to perform Kegel exercises but below we will mention the benefits that it entails:
- Avoid the urinary incontinence after childbirth, loss of urine is common after giving birth.
- Prevent the performance of an episiotomy during childbirth, since the exercises strengthen the pelvic floor, making it more elastic and avoiding tears as much as possible.
- Avoid the appearance of prolapses, which are modifications of internal organs such as the bladder or uterus outside their area.
- Reduces the appearance of hemorrhoids, since the exercises increase circulation in the rectum area.
- Increases sexual pleasure, improving the muscle tone of the vaginal walls helping to establish a normal sexual life after childbirth.
As we have already indicated before, when the pelvic floor is not exercised and weakens, serious problems such as urinary incontinence, loss of intra-abdominal organs, hemorrhoids or sexual dysfunctions can manifest.
Pregnancy, childbirth, heredity, age, sports among other factors are the main responsible for weakening the pelvic floor.
How to recognize the pelvic floor muscles?
The first thing to know and recognize is the perineal muscle which can be done in two ways; one of them is to sit with your legs open and contract and relax the muscle as if you were holding back urine.
Another way that can help you identify the muscle is to insert a finger into the vagina and try to squeeze it, if you feel the force of the muscle on the finger you have managed to locate the pelvic muscle. You will need to do this exercise several times a day to tone and increase muscle endurance.
How to perform Kegel exercises during pregnancy?
The Kegel exercises are quite simple and best of all is that you can do it without anyone noticing and anytime. It is essential that you have an empty bladder to start doing the exercises and thus avoid possible infections.
You can choose 4 very simple exercises that we propose below:
- “Slow ” exercise : contract your muscles as if you were trying to hold urine, hold them that way for 5 seconds and relax, repeat the exercise 10 times in the same session, several times a day.
- Exercise “fast “: tighten and relax the muscle as quickly as possible, repeat it as many times as you want until you get tired.
- Exercise “the elevator“: this exercise is more complicated but you can do it without problems, you must imagine that your muscles are going up an elevator and you must stand on each floor, you must try to increase the strength as you go up. Hold on each floor a maximum of 5 seconds and when going down it does the same for 1 second. Breathing is the key to this exercise.
- Exercise “the wave“: the pelvic floor muscles form an eight, but with 3 rings, each ring has a certain position, one is in the bladder, another in the urethra and another in the anus, you must contract each muscle from front to back and from behind to front.
At first you may notice that the muscles do not stay contracted or you get tired but perseverance will help you exercise them and you will notice the improvement as the days go by.