Kegel exercises are known to strengthen the pelvic floor, and they are often recommended to pregnant and newly postpartum mothers. What are the immediate, practical benefits a woman who has just had a baby? Does doing Kegel exercises help speed up postpartum recovery?
All voluntary muscles get stronger with exercise, and the pelvic floor muscles are no exception. Pelvic floor muscles control your urethra, bladder, and vagina. They support the uterus as well, although that's not a voluntary muscle. What does that mean for women who are about to give birth to a baby, or have just done so? Well, apart from directly strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, doing regular Kegel exercises also improves blood circulation to the vaginal and rectal area.
There's a whole host of advantages to doing Kegels. Women of all ages, pregnant and postpartum or not, benefit from doing Kegel exercises. Men too, actually! My husband once googled "Kegels for men", and apparently the Almighty Search Engine told him that male Kegels make sex better for men.
Back to postpartum moms, though Kegels will help you with:
- Controlling your bladder, in other words preventing urinary stress incontinence.
- Rectal control and hemorrhoid prevention.
- A tighter vagina after giving birth.
- According to some, faster healing time for vaginal tears or an episiotomy due to better blood circulation.
Those are plenty of reasons to work Kegels into your daily routine. It is best to start while you are still expecting a baby, or even before you conceive, but you will benefit even if you have already given birth. Start with doing a few repetition and gradually work up to more. The great thing is that you can do Kegel exercises almost anywhere, at any time. And nobody even knows you're exercising, unless of course you decide to test the effect of Kegels during The Deed out :).