During pregnancy, your pelvic floor muscles serve as a support for the fetus. These muscles experience quite a lot of stress during this time and stretch as a result. One of the proven best ways to get your pelvic floor muscles back to their pre-pregnancy state is doing Kegel exercises, also known as Kegels.
To do these correctly, you will first have to find the muscles you need to work first. An easy way to do so is to stop urinating in the middle of the process. Knowing what muscles to focus on, you can do the Kegels in any position. However, lying on your back may be a good way to get started. Once you’ve learned how to do Kegel exercises, it’s best that you have an empty bladder when doing them.
There are different ways to do Kegel exercises, so here are a few examples for you:
- Powerfully contract the muscles for about 3 seconds and then relax for 5-10 seconds. Repeat this exercise up to 10 times and have at least a minute of rest between the next repetition. You can do this while standing, lying on your back, or crouching on all fours.
- Contract the pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds and then relax for 10 seconds (do this for 4 minutes). Then for one minute, quickly contract and relax muscles. Repeat a few times.
- Do an exercise called “elevator:” contract the pelvic floor muscles (first “floor”), hold for 3-5 seconds, then contract with more intensity (second “floor”) and hold again. Continue in this way until you pass 4-5 “floors.” Then you make the same movement going “downstairs,” holding contractions of decreasing intensity on each “floor.”
There are things you shouldn’t do while doing Kegels: holding your breath and tightening your buttocks will not help. Also, you shouldn’t feel any downward movement while performing Kegel exercises.
You can perform these exercises at home, while on public transport, in the car, or at work. By doing them 2-3 times a day, you will most likely achieve noticeable results in about a month.
Please remember, that you can always ask your healthcare provider for help when you’re not sure if you’re doing the exercises correctly. You can ask at your scheduled appointment.