When it comes time to pushing during labor often you have to “wing” it, meaning you may not understand at first how to work with your contractions, using their energy to push your baby out into your arms because there are so many physical sensations you are experiencing at the same time.
1. you use the energy of the contraction to “bear down” and push
2. you use your abdominal muscles to push with
But if you practice “Kegel” exercises you’ll not only be better prepared for this phase of birth, but you’ll also be able to control the muscles you need to relax for your baby’s birth.
Kegel exercises may also reduce the risk of an episiotomy.
Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor, guide baby down the vaginal canal for birth, help in healing after birth, and a strong pelvic floor keeps your “plumbing” (the bladder and uterus) up and in the pelvic cavity.
How to do them?
- slowing tighten the muscles to a count of ten.
- hold for a count of ten.
- slowly release to a count of ten
- These are the muscles you tighten to hold back the flow of urine when you feel like you have to “pee”
- increase the count to hold longer
- practice several times throughout the day
When you push, use your abdominal muscles to “bear down” during a contraction while relaxing (releasing) the “Kegels” at the same time. Your bottom will also feel relaxed and not tight.
DO NOT PRACTICE “BEARING DOWN” WITH YOUR ABS WHILE PREGNANT.
For now, Just practice doing the kegels to train your brain and body how to do them, how to relax them when needed, and when to tighten when needed. This gives you more control over your body because you know how to do the Kegels.
Watch the video.