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Kegel exercises help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles support your baby while you’re pregnant. They also help control the passage of urine and stool.
Doing Kegel exercises during pregnancy and after the birth will help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. This will prevent you from leaking urine when coughing, laughing or doing physical activity.
Kegel exercises can be done anywhere. Here's how:
- Gently tighten and lift the muscles around your vagina and rectum (above the anus), as if you are stopping the flow of urine and avoiding passing wind. Do not do Kegel exercises by actually stopping your flow of urine when on the toilet. This can cause some urine to stay in your bladder and may lead to infection.
- Your upper belly, thigh and buttock muscles should be relaxed.
- Do not hold your breath while tightening your muscles.
- Hold the muscles tight for a count of 5. Do not strain and keep breathing.
- Release those same muscles. Pause for 10 seconds between Kegels to make sure your muscles have totally relaxed.
As the exercises get easier, work up to holding for a count of 10 and aim for 10 Kegels per session. Do this several times a day.
To prevent leaking urine, try tightening your pelvic floor muscles before you cough, sneeze or lift.
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