Around 3/4 of pregnant women suffer with urinary incontinence after or during pregnancy. It can be uncomfortable and, well, pretty embarrassing if you get caught short. But, with the right prevention, it doesn’t have to be a real problem!
You may have heard a lot about kegel exercises during pregnancy and how important they are. But, why are they so important and how exactly are they done? Here’s a rough guide to doing those, not so, mighty kegels.
What are kegel exercises?
They are a very simple and quick exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. While you are pregnant, the baby grows and weighs down heavily on your pelvic floor. This causes a strain and weakens the muscles which support all your muscles in that area including your uterus, rectum, bladder and uretha.
By doing kegel exercises daily while you are pregnant, you will help to couteract the damage, as well as strengthening those muscles in time for birth.
How to do kegal exerices
Kegel exercises are really simple to do and can be done at any time of the day. People won’t even realise you are ‘working-out!’
- Imagine you need to go for a pee. Don’t do this when you actually need to go as this could be damaging.
- Pretend to stop and start the flow, hold it for a few seconds and then let go. Pay attention to the muscles you are using to contract and how you draw them in, before letting go.
- Then, repeat that exercise during the day. Start slowly at first. Contract the muscles 5-10 times a go, and repeat for 30 seconds to a minute. You can do this once or twice a day at first.
- If you find this uncomfortable or difficult, you can contract the muscles and hold for a longer period – say 10 seconds and then let go. Repeating 5-10 times.
- Build up the stength so you are able to do about 1-3 minutes, twice a day.
Benefits of kegel exercises
Read about the benefits of kegel exercises on the next page…