Pregnant women often seek advice on how to have an easier labor. Nearly every doctor, nurse, and birthing class told me, "Practice your kegels!" Not really having a clue why they would help, I did some research and found that according to americanpregnancy.org, kegels can offer the following advantages:
- Less chance of perineal tearing.
- Less chance of urinary problems and bladder leaks.
- More ability to control muscles during labor and delivery.
- Less chance of developing hemorrhoids.
And the best part is that they are easy to practice — you can do them anywhere without anyone noticing. Do them while you watch television, type at work, or while you're stuck in traffic. To learn how to do them, read more for directions from americanpregnancy.org.
- If you're unsure of which muscles to work with kegels, practice stopping the flow of urine when urinating to identify them.
- Contract pelvic floor muscles for 10 seconds, then relax, repeating 10-20 times.
- Breathe normally during the exercises.
- Try not to move your leg, buttock, or abdominal muscles during the exercises.