The pelvic muscles are situated between your hips and support your bladder, uterus and other organs and control the flow of urine and the contraction of the vagina and anus.
As your baby grows inside you during pregnancy, your pelvic floor muscles support more and more weight. If they’re not fully up to the job you may notice occasional urine leaking in your third trimester. The good news is its never too late to start doing these exercises.
Your pelvic floor muscles also help you push your baby into the world and some studies have shown that women who perform exercises to strengthen these muscles regularly during pregnancy will have shorter births.
A Kegel exercise is a contraction of these pelvic floor muscles for short periods of time. The exercise is fast and free, and once you know how to do them, you can do them just about anywhere you can stand or sit. Experts agree that doing kegel exercises help strengthen these muscles and can even prevent issues post partum.
First you need to identify the muscles – try stopping urine midstream to practice finding them. The trick will be to find them and use them without activating your glutes / butt muscles. If you are in a gym or have a swiss ball, I find it easier to not activate the glutes using this tool.
Do these exercises sitting or lying:
Squeeze the pelvic floor quickly and as hard as you can for two seconds, rest for two second. Do two to three sets of 10 each day.
Squeeze the pelvic muscles as hard as you can and hold for six seconds or until you get tired. Start with two sets of six, two to three times per day. Progress slowly to 10 reps of 10-second holds, two to three times per day.
All pregnant clients of Be Active Be Strong will be instructed on Pelvic Floor exercises.
TIP: Leave a post it note up in your car, by the tv or on the bathroom mirror to remember to do these daily.