Pregnancy is the state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. It lasts for about nine months, measured from the date of the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP). It is conventionally divided into three trimesters, each roughly three months long. Pregnancy is one of the most vital and delicate times in a woman’s life. During this period you have a great reason to love your stomach and take care to it. The biggest rule throghout your pregnancy is to ensure that you maintain a healthy and balanced diet along with regular exercise.
Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but it is especially beneficial when you are pregnant. It improves and maintains physical fitness and overall health of both mother and baby.
According to a research- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends at least 20-30 minutes of exercise on most, or all days can benefit your health during pregnancy.
Benefits from exercise during pregnancy
- Exercise strengthens your body system, so you don’t get tire as easily which boost and increase your energy.
- It manages restlessness and disturbed sleep during pregnancy which helps you to sleep better.
- It lowers the risk of pregnancy related complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. One major study found that when women with gestational diabetes exercised moderately three times a week, their risk of having very large(macrosomic) newborn was reduced by 58%, which led to a 34% lower risk of a cesarean delivery.
- Pregnancy is stressful and lead to mood swings. Exercise improves your mood and reduce stress. A study has found that exercise boosts levels of serotonin, a brain chemical linked to mood, putting you in better spirits.
- It help to manage back pain and cope better with other aches and pains of pregnancy. Yoga and stretching eases back pain and swimming strengthen your abdominal muscles.
- Preparing for childbirth with exercise ease labor pain because it requires stamina and also shorten the time it takes to deliver the baby.
- It reduces constipation, bloating and swelling.
Therefore, regular exercise helps keep you fit during pregnancy and improve your ability to cope with labor. Also, this makes easier for you to get back in shape after your baby is born.
There are exercises for pelvic floor which plays important role during pregnancy, birth and post birth. The pelvic floor is a set of muscles which are attached to the base of your spine at the back and pubic bone in fornt which support your bowel, uterus, vagina and bladder. A strong pelvic floor supports your baby and bladder during pregnancy, help rotate your baby’s head during labour and stress incontinence once your baby is born. Therefore, the contraction and relaxation exercises which are performed to strengthen a woman’s pelvic floor muscles are called as Kegel Exercises.
Kegel Exercise During Pregnancy: 11 Health Benefits
1.During labor, the pain will be less and the process will be a lot easier because of these. There is contraction and relaxation of muscles during birth which becomes easy as it involves the postures which help the pelvic muscles to stretch. Performing kegels regularly, the pelvic floor muscles becomes strong and ease delivery which helps the baby move out of the womb easily.
2.During pregnancy there is frequent urination and it is difficult to handle because uterus expands and puts pressure on the bladder, sometimes if pressure is too much it may even leak. Through these kegels control can be made on urination as the pelvic muscles will strengthen them and improves the function of urethra and bladder. This leaking of urine is called as Urinary Incontinence (UI), especially in the third trimester. Performing Kegels will therefore lessen or prevent unwanted leaks while sneezing, coughing or laughing.
3.As the baby start to develop it pushes the uterus and other organs away and after birth the organs return to there respective positions. Because of this muscles become weak and even looses its strength while giving birth, thus kegels help them to tighten up.
4.It is obvious that after birth the muscles will get tired because they have gone through a lot of exertion and as every lady wants to get back shape of her body, kegels can be performed to get back fitnnes and shape by toning vaginal muscles. So, after pregnancy to give back their strength it is required.
5.Around a third of women, researchers have estimated have some tearing in the pelvic floor muscle tissue during birth. During the process of pregnancy there might be some torned muscles. To avoid wear and tear kegel helps them to stimulate the growth of new muscle tisses which ensure the healing and provide strength.
6.Pushing the baby through pelvis is not easy. Stretching of muscles is required to great extent. So, kegels can be done to strenghten and prepare them during labor.
7.To avoid pelvic organ prolapse which means pelvic muscles swell and descend into the vagina when pelvic floor becomes weak, this increases pressure on pelvis and leads to leakage of urine during pregnancy kegels are required.
8.Performing Kegel exercises while you are pregnant will improve the blood circulation in the genitals which will speed up the recovery of hemorrhoids (swollen or group of veins in the region of the anus) and episiotomies (surgical cut made at the opening of the vagina during childbirth) after childbirth.
9.These exercises tone up your vaginal and pelvic muscles and gives you an ability to control them, thereby boosting your sex drive.
10.It improves the blood circulation around the vaginal and anal area, which is important for smooth and strain-free delivery as it supports the weight of your growing baby and perineal healing after childbirth.
Thus having strong pelvic muscles reduce the amount women have to strain during labor.
11.Strong pelvic muscles are required to have a healthy pregnancy as it relieves abdominal cramps, constipation and help to regulate bowel movements.
A 2015 study published in Global Journal of Health Science found that pelvic muscle exercises were an empowerment mechanism for incontinent women in improving their quality of life and self-esteem.
Conclusion-These exercises require no special equipment except comfortable clothes and a little space to do them. These exercises can yield great results with minimal effort and can easily be done. Pregnant women performing these often find an easier birth. Strengthening these muscles during pregnancy can help you develop the ability to control your muscles during labor and delivery.