Pregnancy and childbirth will undoubtedly bring drastic changes to your body. While you have almost no control over how your body will manifest these changes, there are ways you can mitigate the effects.
A common problem that arises before and after childbirth, whether vaginally or by a cesarean section, is a weakened pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that supports your bladder, your bowel, as well as a uterus, which will carry a six to nine-pound fetus for more nine months.
Due to the strain of pregnancy and birth, you may lose some function in these muscles. Pelvic floor disorders can result in stress incontinence or leaky bladders, reduced sensation in your vagina, and vaginal prolapse. Like any other muscle group in your body, however, your pelvic floor can be strengthened.
The best strategy to combat pelvic floor dysfunction is to start your exercises as soon as you find out you are expecting. While it is possible to rebuild strength after birth, you may experience symptoms of weak pelvic muscles as early as your second trimester, such as muscle strain and incontinence.
There are many advantages to strengthening pelvic region muscles in expecting women. If you want to avoid disorders after birth, you can start to do Kegel exercises. Toning your vaginal walls with Kegels can also help make normal delivery easier. It can teach you to direct your energy to the right muscles to push your baby through the birth canal. Obstetricians typically recommend starting Kegels as early as possible so you can build up your capacity.
If you are pregnant and want to avoid a weakened pelvic floor, here are some tips for performing effective Kegel exercise:
If you have never done vaginal exercises before, you need to know how to isolate your pelvic floor muscles first. Start by sitting on the toilet and peeing as usual. Try to stop the stream of urine by clenching your muscles. Repeat this until you are confident you have targeted the right muscles.
If you aren’t sure if you have identified the right muscle group, close your eyes and try to imagine that your pelvic floor is sling between your legs connecting the front of your pelvic bone to your tailbone at the back. When you clench your pelvic floor muscles, it should have a tightening sensation between your lower stomach and your pubic area. Remember to breathe deeply as you contract, and exhale as you relax.
Support yourself against the wall or with a sturdy piece of furniture and lower yourself into a squatting position. If you can do this with your pregnant belly, then it can help you prepare your body for the optimum position to give birth. Keep your back as straight as possible, maintaining your knees behind your toes. While you don’t need to do vaginal contractions at this point, squats can help you elongate and work your pelvic floor muscles.
If you are still struggling or unable to locate your pelvic floor, you can try using a Kegel exercise device. This tool can be inserted into the vagina to apply pressure on the inner walls. You can respond to this pressure by clenching or tightening around the device. You can increase the resistance of the exerciser as your sensation improves, and your muscles strengthen.
As soon as you find out you are expecting, you will probably do many things to prepare for your baby’s arrival. Most pregnancy and childbirth is centered around the wellbeing of your baby, but it is also essential to consider your own health and wellbeing, as well. Take control of your delivery and prevent undesirable complications from birth by strengthening your muscles with Kegels.
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