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Kegel is named after renowned gynaecologist Arnold Kegel. Kegel exercises are for the strengthening the pelvic floor muscles. You must continue doing Kegel exercises multiple times for several days, to begin to see changes and benefits.
1. It is a highly recommended treatment for urinary incontinence
2. Works well in case of decreased bladder control
3. Strengthens pelvic muscles
4. Relieves abdominal cramps
5. Helps in pelvic toning
6. Prevents organ prolapse
7. Beneficial to those with constipation as kegel exercises help regulate bowel movements
Kegel exercises during pregnancy
During pregnancy, most women suffer from problems related to constipation, which can be kept in check by regular practice of kegel exercises. The strengthening of pelvic muscles is of utmost need during this time, as weakened muscles can lead to a major prolapse if they are unable to bear the weight of a baby. Strong pelvic muscles are required to have a healthy pregnancy. These exercises are useful in preparing the muscles for labour and childbirth. If you notice occasional leakage of urine during the third trimester, it is a warning sign of losing bladder control, which, if left untreated, can worsen during the post partum period. Regularly exercising can help prevent complications occurring due to pregnancy.
How To Do Kegel Exercise During Pregnancy?
Try to stop the flow of urine when you are sitting on the toilet without tightening your abdominal, buttock, or thigh muscles. When you're able to successfully start and stop urinating, or you feel the vaginal muscle contract, you are using your pelvic floor muscle, the muscle you should be contracting during Kegel exercises.
You can do Kegel exercises two ways: either by holding or quickly contracting the pelvic floor muscle. To do slow Kegels, contract the pelvic floor muscle and hold for three to 10 seconds. Then relax and repeat up to 10 times. To do fast Kegels, quickly contract and relax your pelvic floor muscle 25 to 50 times. Relax for 5 seconds and repeat the set up to four times.
Squatting: Squatting is helpful during labor because it opens the pelvic outlet an extra quarter to half inch, allowing more room for the baby to descend. But squatting is tiring, so you should practice it frequently during pregnancy to strengthen the muscles needed.
How to do Squatting? An exercise called a wall slide is especially helpful. Stand with your back straight against a wall, place your feet shoulder width apart and about six inches from the wall, and keep your arms relaxed at your sides. Slowly and gently slide down the wall to a squatting position (keeping your back straight) until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the position for five to 10 seconds, slowly slide back to a standing position. Repeat five or 10 times.
Pelvic Tilt: What is it? Pelvic tilts strengthen abdominal muscles, help relieve backache during pregnancy and labor, and ease delivery. This exercise can also improve the flexibility of your back, and ward off back pain.
How to do Pelvic Tilt? You can do pelvic tilts in various positions, but down on your hands and knees is the easiest way to learn it. Get comfortable on your hands and knees, keeping your head in line with your back. Pull in your stomach and arch your back upward. Hold this position for several seconds. Then relax your stomach and back, keeping your back flat and not allowing your stomach to sag. Repeat this exercise three to five times. Gradually work your way up to 10 repetitions.
These exercises can yield great benefits with minimal effort. The exercises require no special equipment except comfortable clothes, and a little space to do them.
Do not worry if you are not close to the goal when you begin. Pelvic muscles are like any other muscles in your body. They will become stronger only with time, consistency and mindful work.
Beware: If you sense any pain in your back or abdomen after doing a Kegel set, it is a sign of you not doing them properly.