The pelvic floor is especially stressed during pregnancy from the weight of the baby, the growing uterus and the hormones of pregnancy which have a softening effect on tendons and ligaments throughout the whole body. Below are a few suggestions for safe exercises to add to the well known Kegel; they are all safe and beneficial for women during pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. These exercises will also help prevent or alleviate lower back pain and urinary incontinence. (McLoughlin, 2009) For a good explanation of the Kegel, search ‘Kegel’ on the Mayo clinic’s site found at www.mayoclinic.com.
- Helps eliminate unnecessary pressure in the pelvic area which improves circulations to the legs.
- Allows you to lean forward, taking the weight of the uterus off your back and pelvic floor
- Stretches the inside of your legs to help prepare for the second stage of labor (pushing).
- Allows you to stretch your back while engaging your pelvic floor muscles
- Prevents urinary incontinence and back pain by synergistically strengthening the pelvic floor and core muscles.
- Stretches the calves of your legs so that getting into a good pushing position will be easier.
- Stretches the lower back, relieving lower back aches.
- Teaches good posture and allows you to pick up objects that are low or on the ground without putting unnecessary pressure on your back
- Increases the size of your pelvic opening (this is a good position for pushing and delivery, but needs strength, so practicing during pregnancy will build up the muscles needed).
- Stretches and strengthens the thighs and calves of your legs so that getting into a good pushing position will be easier.
- Stretches upper and lower back, relieving back aches.
- Helps prevent urinary incontinence and back pain by strengthening the pelvic floor and core muscles.
- Relives sore back by stretching the lower back muscles.
- Helps stimulate the digestive system.
- Helps lesson’s constipation.
- Realigns the uterus and pelvis.