During pregnancy, expectant mothers try various activities to keep their body fit as it will help in easy, natural delivery. Most doctors recommend kegel exercise in the third trimester to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and control the urinary bladder in a better way.
Kegel exercises help to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles which support the small intestine, uterus, bladder and rectum. The pelvic floor muscles can become weak due to various factors such as pregnancy, childbirth, overweight and aging. It can be performed by women during pregnancy and after child birth for the following benefits:
Benefits of Kegel Exercise
- To prevent urinary incontinence – sudden urge to urinate or leak of urine, a common discomfort faced by most pregnant women.
- Improves blood circulation to the vaginal and rectal areas, thereby avoiding hemorrhoids and also helps in speedy recovery of any tear happened during childbirth.
- Regular kegel exercise develops the ability to control and relax the muscles for pregnancy and childbirth.
How to Perform Kegels?
- Perform this on an empty bladder.
- To identify the pelvic floor muscles, imagine stopping the urine midstream; this will help you find the right muscles. You will feel like squeezing and lifting the muscles but it is important not to hold your breath, pull your tummy or tighten the buttocks.
- Lie on your back and contract your pelvic floor muscles, hold it for 5 seconds and relax. Follow this for 4-5 times. With regular practice, you can hold the contraction for 10 seconds and then relax for 10 seconds.
- Try to practice at least 3 sets of 10 repetitions everyday during the third trimester.
- Avoid holding your breath and do not flex the muscles in the buttocks, thighs and abdomen while performing kegels.
Consult your gynecologist, if you need better guidance in identifying the pelvic floor muscles and the daily workout schedule based on your health condition.