Pregnancy and childbirth are some of the most fascinating processes that exist in nature.
Not only is growing a baby a miracle, but the way the expectant mother’s body can perfectly adapt to it’s new function (housing a baby) is also miraculous.
Throughout 40 weeks, the expectant mother’s body has to go through tremendous changes. The most visible transformation for mama is her growing belly. The internal pressure against the abdominal wall and pelvic floor increases a lot due to the expanding belly. Unfortunately, this can lead to stretched muscles, ligaments, and tendons in this area.
To avoid future problems like stress incontinence, lower back pain, hip pain, pelvic pain and even sexual dissatisfaction – I recommend doing Kegel exercises every day; both during pregnancy as well as postpartum. They are very helpful in building up or maintaining pelvic floor strength.
Some women may already know the easiest way to do Kegels – the Tick-Tack exercise. Just squeeze your pelvic floor every second like you would stop your urine flow and relax again.
But let’s face it – just doing Kegels is not enough.
Here are 5 tips to get those Kegel exercises just right:
1. Don’t forget the booty.
The pelvic floor muscles run from your pubic bone to your tailbone. Most women tend to only activate the front part of the muscles in a Kegel. Squeeze your buttocks at the same time to train the muscle fibers in the back.
2. Deep breaths.
Always exhale audible when you contract. That way you also train your lower tummy muscles.
3. Don’t overdo it.
Don’t do static Kegel exercises with muscle contraction longer than 10 seconds. That can lead to a decreased ability of the pelvic floor muscles to relax and make delivery more painful. Rather, do more repetitions in sequences of contraction and relaxation.
4. Use metaphors.
When doing your Kegel exercises, use metaphors like, “Imagine your pelvic floor is a sponge. While you inhale, it’s filling with water (muscles relax). While you exhale, you squeeze all the water out (muscles contract).”
5. Practice daily.
Try to do Kegel exercises daily while you are waiting in line at the grocery store or while you are feeding your baby. They are most efficient in combination with a regular core workout to avoid muscular disbalances due to pregnancy and your new life as a mother.