Kegel exercises are necessary to strengthen or maintain pelvic muscles which will be affected after giving birth. They also help you avoid incontinence which some women suffer from after having a baby.
Many women who first try Kegel exercises have difficulty locating the pelvic muscle and instead of squeezing the correct muscle, they squeeze their buttocks instead. One way to check if you are isolating the right muscle is imagine (or perhaps wait until) you need to urinate. The muscle you use to stop urinating mid stream is the same muscle you use for your Kegel exercises. It’s best not to practice your Kegel exercises when urinating though. Instead do them when sitting at your desk or watching tv or driving the car.
The best way to exercise the muscle is to imagine your pelvic floor is an elevator. Contract your pelvic floor muscles a little to the ‘first floor’, then a little more to the ‘second floor’ and continue until you reach the ‘fourth foor’. Each time you reach a floor, hold for a few seconds and release.
Kegel exercises will strengthen the walls of your vagina, and are important to do in the lead up to the birth and afterwards. Not only will it keep the muscles of your vagina strong, and help avoid problems such as incontinence, but it can also make sex more pleasurable. So even if you have not had a baby, they can still be of benefit.
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