Pelvic floor exercises are great during pregnancy and beyond. Really, most exercises during pregnancy have loads of benefits. But unfortunately, some women are never told about them or don’t know what they are. Let’s being with some basics.
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By the way. If you want to make fitness super easy during pregnancy, you have to check out my friend Katie’s Belly only pregnancy program. It is amazing! She makes it easy to figure out what to eat that will nourish you and your baby, and help you get fit during pregnancy and protect your body from damage caused by gaining too much weight during pregnancy.
What Are Pelvic Floor Exercises?
Pelvic floor exercises are exercises that keep your muscles toned within your pelvic region. They are usually done while lying on your back on the floor but can be done sitting as well. Sometimes you will hear people call them kegels.
Why Are Pelvic Floor Exercises Important?
Pelvic floor exercises are important during pregnancy because there is added pressure in the abdomen that can cause strain on your pelvic floor muscles.
Without proper care, these muscles can become weak. Weak pelvic floor muscles can cause urinary leaking and other problems after childbirth.
The pelvic floor muscles are important for the following:
- Supporting your spine and posture
- Having good bladder control
- Help you enjoy sexual intercourse
- Support your internal organs like your bladder, uterus and intestines.
Where Are My Pelvic Floor Muscles Located?
Your pelvic floor is located at the base of your pelvis and is the body of muscles that attach to your coccyx or tailbone in the back and to your pelvic region in the front. These muscles then attach to the sides of your pelvis where you sit.
How to Find My Pelvic Floor Muscles?
Finding your pelvic floor muscles can be done in a variety of ways. You use your pelvic floor muscles when you stop your urinary flow mid-stream. Be cautious though, doing this too often can lead to bladder problems.
Try the Squeeze.
To work your pelvic floor muscles, simply lie down or sit with knees slightly apart. Hold your anal region as if you are stopping yourself from breaking wind, then squeeze your vaginal region for one to two seconds. Then, release. This allows you to work your muscles even while watching television.
You will want to do this several times until your muscles become weak. If holding for one to two seconds is too easy, try holding for 6-10 seconds and work your muscles daily.
If you want to try other exercises you can do a few specific yoga poses that strengthen pelvic muscles as well.
Remember, the pelvic floor muscle workout routine is not about quantity. It is much better to focus on quality and doing a few rather than rushing through them. Take your time, feel your body and make sure you are getting the results you desire.
While pregnant, it is a good idea to do pelvic floor exercises three times a day. There are many tools out there to help you keep track. In fact, there is even an app for that. Elvie is a great app that helps you train your pelvic floor daily and helps you record your progress. Make sure you keep track of them and this will aid in a healthy delivery and post-partum experience.
Update* I’m so excited that my friend Katie is finally offering a program for pregnant mama’s! Her program, The Belly only Pregnancy Program is AWESOME! I was already a huge fan of her postpartum recovery program. But I’m super excited she has one available for pregnant mom’s too!
I personally gained quite a bit of weight during my first pregnancy and had no idea the toll it would take on my body after. Her program is designed to help you stay at a healthy weight and strengthen your pelvic muscles (hello easier birth!) and prevent things like diastasis recti. (<– which happens to a lot of new moms, including me!)
Anyway, it’s great, she’s great. You cannot go wrong with a program like this. It’s great for you and your baby! Go check it out mama!
Other Pregnancy Articles You’ll Like
- 5 Key Reasons You Should Be Exercising During Pregnancy
- Best Pregnancy Workouts for a Healthy, Fit Pregnancy
- 8 Benefits of Prenatal Yoga
- Pregnancy Pilates | Can it help you have a better labor?
- Walking During Pregnancy for an Easier Labor
- Why You Should Be Doing Pelvic Floor Exercises During Pregnancy
- Running During Pregnancy | Is it safe?