How to Properly do Kegel Exercises During Pregnancy
By Kristi Patrice Carter
Kegel exercises are the best way to avoid post partum complications. Doing them daily will ensure that your pelvic floor muscles are strong and in good shape. This is necessary for good post partum health. Let's take a look at what they are and why you should do them.
Kegel exercise is the practice of strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. There are different exercises, but they all are achieved the same way. Tightening up your pubococcygeus muscles and then releasing them. These are the same muscles you use when you stop your urine flow. Pretty easy, right? Well, the benefits are astounding. Imagine not being able to laugh without urinating on yourself. This actually happens to some women after childbirth, and that's one of the less problematic conditions you can develop. This is because after we have a child, our pelvic floor muscles can be considerably weaker than before. Kegel exercises will prevent this.
After you have a child, the muscles that support your uterus can become so weak that the uterus can actually sag down into the vaginal opening. This is called Uterine Prolapse.
Those same muscles being too weak to support your bladder can lead to Cystocele, which is a condition in which your bladder can dip down into the vaginal opening.
Not being able to retain your urine while you cough or laugh is called Incontinence, and this arises from those same muscles being too weak.
Doing Kegel exercises is easy, and has other benefits as well, like increasing sexual pleasure. Here are a few of the exercises and the proper way to do them.
The Elevator - Do this in a position that's comfortable for you. Pretend that you are on an elevator, and tighten your pelvic floor muscles while you are going up. Pull all the way up with your muscles. Then slowly release them as you imagine you are going back down. Practice this exercise ten times a day.
Flickering - Again, find a position that is comfortable. Tighten and release your pelvic floor muscles as quickly as you can, for about twenty seconds. You may find that you are not able to do this for twenty seconds, but that's okay. You will get stronger as you do them. Practice this one 25 to 30 times a day.
The Push and Pull - In your comfortable position, right? Okay, push with your pelvic floor muscles as though you are urinating, except harder. Do it all the way out, and then stop. Immediately tighten the muscles up as though you are stopping the flow of urine. Pull it all the way in, and then stop. Do this ten times a day.
Although you may be laughing at the names of the exercises right along with me, the benefits are outrageous. These exercises can save you money, embarrassment, and pain. Practice these during pregnancy to ensure that none of these terrible conditions develop.