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Fitness & Health: Kegel Exercises


You may have heard that doing Kegel exercises are important during pregnancy and post partum, but why? Well, first we start with the question, “What are Kegel exercises?” Kegels are pelvic floor strengthening exercises, done to better support your urethra, bladder, uterus, and your rectum.

Why do Kegel exercises?

In Pregnancy

Doing regular Kegels during pregnancy will strengthen the pelvic floor in preparation for delivery. Practicing Kegels will also decrease your likeliness to tear, thereby decreasing your chances of needing an episiotomy. Another benefit of Kegel exercises is that it prevents some urine leakage, which can sometimes happen in late pregnancy.

Postpartum

Labor and delivery can sometimes spur some usually temporary problems, like urinary incontinence, associated with a prolapsed or sagging bladder. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles assists in ending this often embarrassing problem. Another benefit post partum is that Kegel exercises can aid in a swift healing of an episiotomy. Talk to your doctor about when to start your Kegel exercises after your delivery.

How to Do Kegel Exercises

To discover your Kegel muscles, wait until your bladder is full. While sitting on the toilet, release some urine; then stop the flow just as quickly. Release and stop the flow of urine several times. The muscles that allow you to do this are your Kegel muscles. When you get the hang of that, do your Kegel exercises on an empty bladder. Tighten just those muscles around the vagina, then release. Tighten for 4-8 seconds, then release for 4-8 seconds. Do this until you can build up to ten reps. You should work up to 100 Kegels per day in sets of 10.

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