Kegels Pre And Post Delivery: Right Way To Do It, Benefits Explained By Expert
A woman's body begins to change as soon as she conceives and the changes continue even after she has delivered. Many scientific studies confirm that a woman is a different person after giving birth. These changes are both mental and physical. The transformation is challenging for every new mother and as new conditions keep coming in, it is crucial for new moms to take care of themselves and follow all the guidelines recommended by their health experts.
Conception has a major impact on our pelvic floor muscles, it is thus important to strengthen them. During pregnancy, these muscles help hold the weight of the baby and post-delivery, they help you get back to your pre-pregnancy body. To make these muscles stronger, physiotherapists suggest Kegel exercise to mothers-to-be and new moms.
We spoke to Prachi Tikkha Saraswat, Clinical physiotherapist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Kankapura Road, Bangalore and asked her to share an explainer on Kegel during pregnancy and post-delivery.
What Is Kegels Exercise?
The expert shared that Kegel exercise was first developed in the 1940s by Dr. Arnold Kegel. It is believed that if done correctly, this exercise can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. It also supports the vaginal area during labour, reduces postpartum incontinence and also makes intercourse pleasurable. Kegels not only support the reproductive organs and control bladder function but also delay pelvic organ prolapse /incontinence as age progresses. It prevents urge incontinence which can occur from childhood and increase with age.
Who Should Do Kegels?
Speaking about who should be performing Kegels exercises, our expert said, "Women of any age group should perform Kegels, especially pregnant women and postnatal women. In pregnancy, performing Kegels is a sole and effective way to keep pelvic floor muscles strong."
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Benefits Of Doing Kegels
Do you know, your pelvic floor is active throughout daily activities from sitting to standing from exercise to mere standing?Kegels exercise strengthens pelvic floor musclesKeep pelvic floor muscles strong throughout the lifespanHelps hold the weight of the baby on the bladder during pregnancy, especially the last trimesterBetter control of the urinary bladderHelps you avoid rectal incontinenceGives you tighter vagina which further helps with pleasurable intercourse
How To Do Kegels?
To get the most out of the exercise, it is important that you perform Kegel the correct way. Our expert said, "While urinating, stop the flow midstream, hold for three seconds, relax and allow the flow to continue to repeat a few times to understand the right muscle to squeeze /tighten and relax. Remember, this is just a test or a way for understanding pelvic floor muscles. Kegels
can be done in any position, standing, sitting, lying down, anytime. One just needs to contract/tighten vaginal muscles and relax as if trying to stop urine. This must be done with an empty or relaxed bladder. Breathing must not be affected while doing so. If done correctly, meaning from back to front, a gentle contraction is felt in the lower abdominal muscle. It is also equally important to relax, lengthen and release the pelvic floor muscles."
How Many Times To Repeat Kegels?
The expert shared that the number of repetitions depends on the condition of the women and for the same, one can consult their gynaecologist. Once their health expert runs through factors like incontinence, painful intercourse, childbirth, pelvic pain among others, they will be given a detailed guide on kegels as per their health condition. However, if there isn't any specific condition, kegels can be done every four hours, 10 contractions where each contraction is held for 3 seconds.