Congratulations on the new addition to your family! If you've recently given birth, you may have noticed some changes in your body, particularly in your pelvic floor muscles. To help regain strength and tone in this area, it's essential to start pelvic floor exercises, like Kegels, after giving birth. In this article, we'll provide you with everything you need to know about kegel exercises postpartum and their important role in pelvic floor recovery.
Kegel Exercises After Birth Table of Contents
What are kegel exercises?
kegel exercises, named after Dr. Arnold Kegel, who first developed them in the 1940s, are simple exercises designed to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. These muscles act as a "hammock" that supports the uterus, bladder, and bowel, playing a vital role in maintaining healthy urinary and bowel movements, as well as sexual health.
Why are kegel exercises Important Postpartum?
During pregnancy and childbirth, the pelvic floor muscles undergo significant strain and can become weak and overstretched. This can result in several postpartum issues, such as urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and decreased sexual satisfaction. kegel exercises can help to restore the strength and function of these muscles, providing support for your pelvic organs, improving bladder and bowel control, and enhancing sexual satisfaction. They are particularly important after childbirth, regardless of whether you had a vaginal or cesarean delivery.
How to Perform kegel exercises
Before you begin practicing kegel exercises after birth, it's essential to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure they are suitable, especially if you've had stitches or a cesarean delivery. Here are the steps to correctly perform kegel exercises:
Transform Your Pelvic Floor in Just 4 Weeks: The Pelvic Floor Bible
- Locate the right muscles by stopping and starting your urine flow during a trip to the restroom. This can help you identify the pelvic floor muscles.
- Once you've identified the muscles, lie down, sit, or stand comfortably.
- Tighten your pelvic floor muscles and hold for a count of five, then release and relax for a count of five. It's important to focus on the pelvic floor muscles and avoid clenching your abdomen, buttocks, or thighs.
- Perform 10-15 repetitions, three times daily. As your endurance increases, the length of contraction and relaxation can be increased gradually up to 10 seconds.
Remember that kegel exercises should be painless and should not cause discomfort in the abdomen or back. If you experience any discomfort while performing Kegels, consult with your healthcare provider.
Tips for Success and Progression
- Consistency is key. Make kegel exercises a part of your daily routine, such as during showering, nursing, or watching TV.
- Keep a Kegel exercise log to track your progress and stay motivated.
- If you're having difficulty isolating your pelvic floor muscles or progressing with kegel exercises, consider seeking help from a pelvic floor physical therapist.
- Incorporate Pelvic floor friendly exercises, such as bridges and squats, into your workout routine as you become stronger. This will help improve the overall strength and stability of your pelvic floor and core muscles.
kegel exercises After Birth Example:
Imagine a new mom, Sarah, who experiences urinary incontinence when she sneezes or coughs after giving birth to her baby. By performing kegel exercises regularly and consistently, Sarah notices a significant reduction in her incontinence symptoms within a few weeks. As she continues her Kegel exercise routine, she regains strength and control over her pelvic floor muscles and no longer experiences these issues.
Now you have a better understanding of kegel exercises after birth and their importance in pelvic floor recovery. By incorporating these exercises into your daily routine, you’re taking an essential step to reclaim your pelvic floor health and improve your overall well-being. We encourage you to share this article with other new moms and explore our other guides on pelvic floor therapy for more helpful tips and information.