Pregnancy is a time of joy and happiness. Unfortunately for some, however, it can also trigger incontinence – yikes! Incontinence can be brought on by so many different factors, including extra pressure to your bladder from the fetus, stress or something as simple as sneezing. To curb this, doctors are suggesting that women who exercise and strengthen their pelvic muscles are less likely to have problems with urinary leakage during their pregnancy.
Specifically, Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, including the muscles that help control urine. Not only will Kegel exercises help during pregnancy but it should also curb any incontinence problems that may occur after childbirth.
These exercises can be done pretty much anywhere, sitting at your desk at work, driving to the store or while watching your favorite TV show on the couch. It may take some patience to identify your pelvic muscles and learn how to contract and relax them, but the results are worth it.
How to find and build your pelvic floor muscles
When you are doing these pelvic exercises, you will feel the muscles drawing inward and upward. A good way to learn the exercise is to think how you handle being gassy in public. You hold it in, right? Do the same thing now – that’s a Kegel exercise. Bring that same tightening motion forward to the muscles around your vagina and then move the contraction up your vagina toward the small of your back.
Each contraction should involve a concentrated effort to obtain maximum tightening and try to only contract the pelvic muscles. It will be difficult at first to separate your abdomen, thigh and butt muscles. Make sure you breath deeply – don’t hold your breath – with a goal of holding each contraction for 10 seconds and relaxing for 10 seconds each time. Aim for doing this three times a day. Note: don’t do this on a full bladder, as that can increase the risk of a urinary tract infection!
Performing kegel exercises everyday can help curb incontinence, but should not be the only step to managing your bladder control. Until you’ve fully beaten the incontinence issue, utilize modern products, ranging from incontinence bed pads to stylish, comfortable reusable incontinence underwear and more.