You strengthen your pelvic floor muscles using kegel exercise for pregnancy. Your pelvic floor muscles are a band of interwoven muscles that run from the front of your pelvis to the base of your spine. Often referred to as a hammock, this layer of muscle is very important for urinary and bowel control – it supports your vagina, bladder, bowel and uterus. Its strength and elasticity contribute to the healthy functioning of these organs and good posture. If you’re not sure how these muscles work, try stopping the flow of urine when you go to the bathroom (please don’t practice this as a rule as it can lead to urinary tract infections in pregnancy).
Why is Kegel Exercise for Pregnancy Important?
During pregnancy your growing baby increases the pressure on your pelvic floor. In addition, an increase in progesterone softens and releases this area. This can lead to slight leakages of pee when you laugh, cough or sneeze. It can also lead to organ prolapse, which is why it’s vital to look after the pelvic floor when you’re pregnant. In pregnancy yoga we emphasise the importance of this area and use techniques to increase pelvic floor awareness and strength.
Why is Prenatal Yoga so Good for the Pelvic Floor?
The perineum is known as Mula Bandha in yoga. We work with this area frequently because of its many benefits, including enhancing your sex life! So prenatal yoga postures are naturally geared towards recognising and toning the pelvic floor.
On your hands and knees, gently cross your right knee over your left, making sure that your weight is in your hands and the left knee. Breathe in, taking a few deep breaths, drawing your pelvic floor in as you breathe in and increasing the contraction as you breathe out. Release your leg and rest and then repeat to the other side.
Kegel Yoga Video
I filmed this sequence specifically for post birth, but it is also appropriate for pregnancy. The first posture has the added benefit of opening up the spine and the chest. The second is great for hip and lower back pain.