Kegel exercises strengthen all of the pelvic floor muscles, and are beneficial for many reasons. They help prevent incontinence, improve your intimate pleasure, and... encourage an easier labor and birth? Labor is an endurance sport, and of course having stronger muscles will help.
The benefits of doing regular Kegels start before labor and birth. They decrease a woman's chances of that dreadful leakage when laughing or running, and hemorrhoids one of the most frequent nasty pregnancy signs also have less of a chance when you have strong pelvic floor muscles.
After pregnancy, you will recover sooner if you have done lots of Kegels, and once again, you are doing something to prevent urinary incontinence both now and later on in life. Those are very strong reasons to practice doing those invisible exercises every day. But Kegels just keep on giving when you are pregnant.
Women who have done their Kegels say that they have an easier labor. Why? Knowing how to tense up those pelvic floor muscles also teaches you how to relax them, which is quite an asset during labor. Being relaxed makes you feel better, and also gives you a better chance of going through a vaginal birth without tears.
Most women who give birth go through coached pushing, or being told when to push. There is no doubt that this will be easier to carry out if you have done lots of Kegels, but pushing does happen naturally and doesn't require the mother to actively participate. Talk to your doctor about giving birth without coached pushing, if you would prefer this.
That doesn't mean you have no benefits if you have to have a cesarean section. Stronger muscles still equal a faster recovery, and perhaps even less pain as well. Kegel exercises are great for every person of any age, men and women, and they even do you lots of favors in the bedroom!