Hello Everyone! While Fé, Daniel, and I are enjoying some quality family time I thought I would quickly share with you the importance of doing Kegels during pregnancy! I made sure to do my Kegels everyday and it payed off and helped me tremendously! They are probably the single most important exercise you can do to prepare for Labor and Delivery and help with postpartum recovery.
What Are Kegels?
Kegels are an exercise that strengthens the muscles of the pelvic floor. The Pelvic Floor muscles help support the bladder, bowels, and most importantly, your growing uterus! They also strengthen the muscles of your vaginal canal, which is ever so important for labor and delivery.
Whats up with my pelvic floor?
Your pelvic floor is oh so important, especially since you will be holding a baby inside of your uterus for about 9 (or 10) months. Pelvic Floor muscles also support your bladder and bowels. Having weak muscles can cause incontinence, which is when you leak a little pee every now and then. Having a strong pelvic floor can also help minimize hemorrhoids, another common pregnancy problem!
While it is important to have strong pelvic floor muscles your whole life, it is essential during pregnancy. All the added pressure of your uterus, placenta, and baby, need a lot of support down there.
Having a strong pelvic floor also helps with muscle control making for an easier labor and delivery. Who doesn’t want that!
How Do I do Kegels?
To activate your pelvic floor muscles, try sitting on the toilet, peeing, and stopping your pee. The pelvic floor muscles are the ones you use to stop your flow! Don’t try this too much or it can mess with your bladder and lead to a Urinary Track Infection. Which I am sure no pregnant woman wants!
Once you have located your kegel muscles, you can practice squeezing and holding them for about 5-10 seconds, in sets of 10 or 20. You can go up to as many you want per day! To really get the best use of your kegel muscles, I suggest doing at least 100 kegels a day (although not all in one sitting!)
Where Can I do Kegels?
Anywhere! Thats the beauty of Kegels. You can do them in the car, while you are watching TV, Preparing Dinner, when you are sitting in a waiting room. You can do Kegels anytime, anywhere!
What about After Pregnancy?
After pregnancy, kegels are essential. You just pushed a baby out of your vaginal canal, now its time to get that thing back in shape. Kegels will help strengthen your vaginal walls, heal the perineum, and regain bladder control. You should start doing kegels immediately after delivery to ensure proper recovery. Even though you probably wont be able to feel yourself doing them at first, they will still be beneficial!
More Pelvic Floor Exercises?
In addition to Kegels, there are a ton of other exercises that work your pelvic floor. Try Doing some:
- Squats- Try doing 100 squats a day in addition to your kegels!
- Pelvic Bridges- Lay on your back and slowly lift up your pelvis until it aligns with the rest of your torso. Hold for 5 seconds before returning back to the ground. Repeat!
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian. This information has been gathered by doing extensive research. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any fitness or nutrition routine. Especially during pregnancy consult your doctor.