During pregnancy, or if recently delivered, you must have heard about the kegel exercise. Kegel, a pelvic floor strengthening exercise developed in the 1940s by Dr. Arnold kegel if done correctly helps the muscle in your pelvic and vaginal area strong to assist during labor and to help minimize postpartum incontinence. Kegels not only support the reproductive organs and control bladder function, it also helps delay pelvic organ prolapse/incontinence as age progresses. Kegels can prevent signs like urge incontinence that may result from children growing up.
Who should do Kegels
Women of any age group should perform Kegels especially pregnant women and postnatal women. In pregnancy, performing Kegels is a sole and effective way tokeep pelvic floor muscle strong
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Why do it
Just like any other muscle in the body, one must be attentive enough to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles or keep it strong throughout the life span. In pregnancy performing Kegels becomes more important because of the weight of the baby on the bladder especially in the last trimester. The pelvic floor is active throughout daily activities from sitting to standing from exercise to a mere standing
The right way of performing Kegels
To perform Kegels it is important to understand how to find pelvic floor muscles, for identification, while urinating, stop the flow midstream, hold for 3 seconds, relax and allow the flow to continue to repeat a few times to understand the right muscle to squeeze /tighten and relax .remember this is just a test or a way for understanding Pelvic floor muscles.
Kegels can be done in any position, standing /sitting /lying down, anytime without anyone knowing about it. One just needs to contract/tighten vaginal muscles and relax as if trying to stop urine, must be done empty /relaxed bladder .breathing must not be affected while doing so. If done correctly, meaning from back to front, a gentle contraction is felt in the lower abdominal muscle. It is also equally important to relax /lengthen /release the pelvic floor muscle.
How many times to repeat
The number of repetitions depends on your condition, and what an obs- GYN physiotherapist prescribes /rehabilitation from prolapse /incontinence /injury /post-surgery /stress incontinence or pelvic pain /painful intercourse /childbirth. if no specific condition, Kegels must be done every 4 hourly 10 contractions, contract 3-sec hold, and repeat in a day.
The best way to answer whether Kegels should be done or not in pregnancy is having the pelvic floor evaluated, and taking an honest look at any symptoms. In pregnancy is an effective way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscle and prevent incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, assist labor and delivery remember, to focus or the muscle contraction as well as the release, so you’ll be optimally prepared to usher the baby into the world.
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