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Lil Tip: Kegels

Pregnant women often seek advice on how to have an easier labor. Nearly every doctor, nurse, and birthing class told me, "Practice your kegels!" Not really having a clue why they would help, I did some research and found that according to americanpregnancy.org, kegels can offer the following advantages:

  • Less chance of perineal tearing.
  • Less chance of urinary problems and bladder leaks.
  • More ability to control muscles during labor and delivery.
  • Less chance of developing hemorrhoids.

And the best part is that they are easy to practice — you can do them anywhere without anyone noticing. Do them while you watch television, type at work, or while you're stuck in traffic. To learn how to do them,

for directions from americanpregnancy.org.

  1. If you're unsure of which muscles to work with kegels, practice stopping the flow of urine when urinating to identify them.
  2. Contract pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds, then relax, repeating 10-20 times.
  3. Breathe normally during the exercises.
  4. Try not to move your leg, buttock, or abdominal muscles during the exercises.
  5. Source

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TashaM TashaM 7 years
This is a great description! Remember to also do the second action of the pelvic floor muscles - to elevate the pelvic floor, as if there is a string attached from the belly button to the pelvic floor and you are drawing it up into your pelvic outlet. If women are performing this second action correctly, they will feel their belly button draw in as they elevate the pelvic floor muscles. I call these Quick Flicks! Also, any core work you do in yoga and/or pilates will also help -- because working the rest of the abdominal basket will strengthen all of the necessary muscles! Most important -- this problem won't get better as you get older -- if it didn't hit you post-partum....you get another shot during menopause! Ain't it great being a woman! Don't let pharma and/or docs sell you on taking the "easy" way out -- exercise can and does work. I had so many friends and clients asking me for help -- I finally wrote it down, filmed myself and put out a dvd call Hab It: Pelvic Floor.
cbgmick cbgmick 8 years
Apparently, they do help w/ hemorrhoids as well, gossipqueen7. I try to remember to do them at certain points (like stoplights!) but haven't tried them yet in a meeting at work :)
gossipqueen7 gossipqueen7 8 years
ughhh i hated doing these things! it's so uncomfortable and just doesnt feel natural. so i rarely if never did them and i didnt have a perineal tear nor did i have control problems. i did have a tough time pushing but that was because of the epidural - i couldnt feel a thing! oh and i did get painful hemorrhoids so maybe i should have done them ha...
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
I found that the only way to remember to do these consistently is to have "triggers" like every time I stop at a stoplight.
juliegal juliegal 8 years
agreed, hilarious...
LikeThoseShoes LikeThoseShoes 8 years
caterpillar girl: hahaha thats hilarious.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
We had a lady here at work, who would get this "look" of concentration on her face sometimes during meetings, and oneday someone asked her "a penny for your thoughts" and she said "i am doing kegals"......
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