Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises

Kegel exercises strengthen the muscles of your pelvic floor, getting them ready for the delivery. It is a good idea to continue with your Kegel exercises for at least six weeks after the delivery. They will help the stretched muscles in the perineal area to regain their tone, and will prevent or control the symptoms of urinary incontinence.

How to do Kegel exercises

It is a good idea to do your Kegel exercises at least 3 times a day. Here are the instructions:

  • Relax and sit or stand comfortably.
  • Find your pelvic muscles. Imagine that you are trying to hold back urine, or a bowel movement. Isolate and squeeze those muscles.
  • Tighten the muscles and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Do not hold your breath – breathe normally. Do not tighten your stomach or buttocks - keep them relaxed.
  • Now relax these muscles for about 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the cycle of squeeze-hold-relax 12 to 20 times.

Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles is important in maintaining bladder control and the integrity of the pelvic floor. After your pregnancy, if you experience symptoms of urinary incontinence, you can do your exercises using vaginal cones. They will help you to tighten the pelvic floor muscles that control the closing mechanism of the bladder.