Welcoming a new baby to the family is a life-changing and magical experience, but it can also take a toll on a mother's body—especially the pelvic floor muscles. kegel exercises, which involve strengthening these muscles, can play a crucial role in postpartum recovery. But when should you start kegel exercises after delivery to maximize their benefits? Read on to learn about the importance of Kegels postpartum, when and how to start, and a realistic example to guide you through the process.
When To Start Kegel Exercise After Delivery Table of Contents
Why Are kegel exercises Important After Delivery?
The pelvic floor muscles support your uterus, bladder, and bowels. During pregnancy and childbirth, these muscles can stretch, and without proper care and attention, could lead to issues such as incontinence and prolapse. This is where kegel exercises come in. They help to:
- Improve bladder control and prevent urinary incontinence
- Reduce the risk of pelvic organ prolapse
- Enhance sexual satisfaction
- Support postpartum recovery by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles
When To Start kegel exercises After Delivery
The right time to start kegel exercises after giving birth may vary depending on several factors, such as the type of delivery and your personal health circumstances. In most cases, it is generally safe to start Kegels:
- After a vaginal delivery: You can start kegel exercises within 24 hours of giving birth, or as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. This early start can help support the healing process and relieve feelings of heaviness in the pelvic area.
- After a cesarean delivery: If you've had a C-section, it's best to consult your doctor before beginning any form of exercise, including Kegels. In some cases, it might be safe to begin kegel exercises a few days postpartfrom, while in other cases, your doctor may advise you to wait for a couple of weeks.
It's essential to listen to your body and consult your doctor or a pelvic floor physical therapist before beginning kegel exercises postpartum. They can guide you on the appropriate time, technique, and frequency that suits your individual needs.
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How To Perform kegel exercises
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform kegel exercises:
- Identify the pelvic floor muscles by contracting as if trying to stop the flow of urine or holding in gas.
- Once you've identified these muscles, relax your pelvic floor and empty your bladder before performing any kegel exercises.
- Begin by carefully tightening the pelvic floor muscles for 3-5 seconds, then relax for the same amount of time.
- Gradually increase the contraction duration and repetitions. Aim for up to 10-second contractions, followed by 10 seconds of relaxation, repeated up to 10 times for a single session.
- Perform kegel exercises at least three times a day, ensuring that you are not holding your breath, straining your abdomen, or clenching your buttocks while doing so.
When To Start Kegel Exercise After Delivery Example:
To help you visualize and understand the process of performing kegel exercises postpartum, let's go through a realistic example:
1. A mother has recently given birth via vaginal delivery. Within 24 hours, she feels comfortable and ready to begin kegel exercises.
2. She starts by identifying her pelvic floor muscles and empties her bladder before practicing exercises.
3. The mother begins with gentle contractions of her pelvic floor muscles, holding for 3 seconds and relaxing for 3 seconds.
4. Over time, she increases the contraction length to up to 10 seconds, with 10 seconds of relaxation time in between.
5. She practices her kegel exercises three times a day, paying close attention to her breath and avoiding any unwanted strain.
Taking care of your pelvic floor muscles is an essential aspect of postpartum recovery, and kegel exercises play a significant role in this process. With the right guidance and approach, you can strengthen these muscles and enhance your overall well-being. Remember to consult your doctor or a pelvic floor physical therapist for tailored advice on when and how to begin kegel exercises after delivery. Share this article with fellow new mothers and explore other guides on Pelvic Floor Therapy to learn more about maintaining a healthy pelvic floor throughout your life.