How Kegels can help during pregnancy
If you’re already familiar with Kegels, it might be because you’ve heard people talking about them as a way to treat incontinence. Having a strong pelvic floor is essential to preventing urinary incontinence after all. But they also have some pretty awesome side effects for pregnant people. So, find out how pelvic floor exercises can help expecting mamas.
Kegel cheat sheet
If you’re reading this and thinking, eh? What is a Kegel? Let us explain. Kegel exercises (also known as Kegels, Kegel training, pelvic floor exercises, or pelvic floor muscle training) are targeted exercises that train and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
Pelvic floor training programs can help to improve core strength and stability, as well as posture. They also help to support bladder control during pregnancy, speed up postnatal recovery and reduce the risk of prolapse.
Kegels during pregnancy
Your body goes through so many changes when you’re pregnant, it can be hard to keep up with all of them. But staying on top of your Kegel exercises throughout your pregnancy will be so worth it. Here’s how they help while your bump is growing.
- While your baby gets bigger, it also gets heavier. This can be a lot for your pelvic floor muscles to deal with, so it’s essential that you work them out to keep them strong.
- When you finally go into labor, your pelvic floor muscles will stretch a lot (understatement alert) to make room for the baby to pass through. It’s estimated that about a third of women have some tearing in the pelvic floor muscle tissue during birth, but doing Kegel exercises while pregnant can help to avoid this.
- Pelvic organ prolapse (yes, we’re afraid that is a thing), can be caused by vaginal childbirth but Kegels are one way to try and prevent this from happening.
Kegels after pregnancy
Yay, your baby’s here and you’re hopefully settling into life as a new mom. And while most of your time will be taken up with feeding, burping, soothing, cuddling (and not much sleeping), it’s important to try and prioritize your Kegel exercises after you’ve given birth. Here’s why.
- If you experienced tearing during birth (and even if you didn’t), pelvic floor exercises will help to rebuild your strength.
- Postpartum urinary incontinence is relatively common with roughly 16% of new moms in the US suffering from it but Kegels can help minimize or prevent this.
- Similar to postpartum urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence can also occur. This can have severe effects on your mental health and once again, Kegels can help to prepare and prevent this.
- A stronger pelvic floor can lead to better, more intense orgasms. Now, if that’s not enough to make you do them, we don’t know what is.
Do your Kegels
We’re aware that sounds a bit bossy, but it’s for your own good. The more we talk about pelvic floor health, the more women will realize how important Kegel exercises are. Especially during pregnancy and post-birth.