If thousands of women have experienced safe and easy delivery by adopting Kegel exercises, then the person to thank is Dr. Arthur Kegel, who planned this fitness regime and prescribed it to his pregnant patients. He did it back in the 1940s, but Kegel exercises are still considered to be an epitome of healthy exercises for a pregnant woman. The best part about these exercises is that they do not require a lot of effort, are easy to perform and convenient.
However, these exercises are not just confined to pregnant women.
They are basically aimed at strengthening the pelvic muscles, the organs of the urinary tract such as urethra and urinary bladder and those involved in female reproductive system such as uterus. These exercises also provide benefits to the rectum. Both men and women can benefit from these exercises. Nevertheless, their benefits for pregnant women are more pronounced.
The focus are the organs and muscles that are used for the birth process. The pelvic floor muscles are strengthened by means these exercises, which help in easing the muscular contractions essential for delivery. Pushing becomes easier, thus making the entire process easy and less painful for the mother. They are not only useful prior to pregnancy, but are very beneficial in healing the internal organs after childbirth. These also help in tightening vaginal muscles, which are loosened during delivery. By increasing the elasticity of pelvic muscles, these exercises aid easy delivery as well as speed the postpartum recovery process.
Essentially, they involve contracting the muscles of the vagina while urinating. There are a lot of variations of these exercises. They can either be performed during urination by holding back urine flow using the pelvic and vaginal muscles. As a variation, you can also do the exercises by lying down on your back. The movements are similar. Imagine that you are urinating and contract the pelvic muscles. Results can be enhanced by holding the muscles in the contracted position for a minute before releasing and then repeating the entire process.
Some of the other variations that are useful are performing similar pelvic movements in various positions such as squatting, all fours, tailor sitting and sitting up. An important aspect to keep in mind is not to put pressure on the stomach or use thigh muscles for stopping urine flow. Also, breathing has to be normal and should not be labored. In order to gain enhanced benefits, you need to perform these exercises at least a hundred times a day.
In addition to providing myriad benefits during pregnancy and childbirth, Kegel exercises provide enhanced pleasure during intercourse in both men and women. It provides better orgasms. These exercises also take care of minor side effects of delivery such as unconscious urine leak. Fitness during pregnancy is not important only for the mother, it is also very essential for the baby. They make the process of emerging from the birth canal easier for the baby as well.