Kegel exercises are beneficial to women in any stage of life, but pregnant women can reap even more rewards from these simple exercises. The best part is, Kegels can be done almost anywhere (like in the car or at the office) and in just a few minutes each day.
During pregnancy, your growing baby will begin to put pressure on your bladder. As this pressure increases, so do your odds of leaking urine. To make matters worse, women who have previously given birth are even more likely to experience incontinence during subsequent pregnancies. Performing Kegel exercises on a regular basis, however, will strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles. These are the muscles that help support the bladder and control the urethra, thereby minimizing or eliminating incontinence.
For pregnant women, the hope of an easier delivery is possibly the best incentive to do Kegel exercises. Kegels strengthen the same muscles that push the baby from the birth canal during a vaginal delivery. Becoming practiced in these exercises also gives you control over the muscles when it is time to push. You will be able to contract and relax the muscles as necessary to make each push more effective. You can also purposefully relax the muscles to avoid vaginal tearing as the baby crowns.
Post Natal Healing
As with any other muscle that goes through a rigorous workout, your pelvic floor muscles will heal faster if they were in good shape to begin with. During pregnancy and childbirth, those muscles get stretched to their limit, but performing Kegel exercises before birth can speed up the healing process after delivery. Your doctor can give you the green light to resume your Kegel regimen after you give birth–usually two weeks postpartum. This will give increased strength to your muscles.
Regular Kegel exercises can actually spice up your love life–before, during and after pregnancy. The exercises tighten your vaginal muscles, increasing the pleasure for both you and your guy. If that’s not enough, Kegels lead to heightened sensitivity in and around the vagina. Particularly after giving birth, you may find that your vaginal muscles are not as tight as they once were. Performing daily Kegel exercises can help restore them to their former strength.
How To Do Them
Find your pelvic floor muscles by trying to stop an imaginary flow of urine (or go to the bathroom and actually stop a real flow of urine). Be careful not to use your thigh or abdominal muscles. Once you have located the muscles, tighten them for several seconds and then relax. As your pelvic floor muscles grow stronger, increase the length of time you hold each muscle contraction. Contract and relax the muscles 10 times at first and gradually work your way up to more. Complete four sets of these repetitions daily.
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