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Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

I've heard that Kegel exercises make giving birth easier and less painful. How should I do these? Any other exercises that will help during labor?

Re: I've heard that Kegel exercises make giving birth easier and less painful. How should I do these? Any other exercises that will help during labor?

The Bump Expert

This is actually a common misconception -- Kegel exercises are usually recommended for the postpartum period only. The primary reason for doing them is to improve or maintain pelvic muscle strength, but birth relies on the relaxation of pelvic muscles, not the tightening.

As for exercises that will actually make giving birth easier, it’s a rare woman who says giving birth is easy! It’s hard, demanding work. But staying active during your pregnancy can help. The best exercises are prenatal yoga, walking, and swimming. Make sure you talk with your provider before you start any new exercise program. It is also important to eat nutritious, whole foods and to stay well hydrated. Birth is physically demanding and the healthier you are going into it the better.

Maria Kammerer

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

Kegel exercises are important as well as squats, walking, pelvic rocking, and relaxation exercises. As per my midwife, Bradley instructor, and doula...doing kegels will obviously strenghten your kegel muscle. Everyone, pregnant or not should do them. it helps while pregnant and later in life with bladder control and also ensures that you will always enjoy your sex life.

amandasutton |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

I don't understand why anyone would say it's a common misconception. I've heard from many different sources that it's beneficial before and during labor (including the ever-popular What To Expect). At my Bradley class, I learned the medical reason for strengthening your kegel before labor is that a strong kegel muscle will help push the baby's chin to its chest. This will allow the smaller part of the head to go through--this would definitely make labor a little easier and help to prevent a tear! It also provides better support to a growing uterus throughout pregnancy.

Matt and Corey |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

Kegel exercises, like any exercise, involve both contracting and releasing (relaxing) the pelvic floor muscles. Of course they help during birth. They also help with bladder control before and after the baby comes! It's no misconception - it's a fact.

Writerem |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

Kegal exercises can help delivery go easier. It strengthens the wall of the vagina which is one of the muscles you will be using to push out your baby. It can also shorten your recovery time and reduce tearing or need of episiotomy. Most people recommend squeezing for 5 seconds and then releasing for 5 do about 10 at a time 3 or 4 times a day.

ashkyns |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

Um...I did Kegel's consistently before my delivery, and let me tell you, my delivery was NOT made any easier and I still ended up tearing. Like the expert said, they're good to do, but don't expect it to significantly impact your delivery.

shar0805 |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

Kegels aren't going to help prevent tearing- they are for strengthening your pelvic floor and keeping everything (including urine) where it belongs! As for preventing tearing the perineal massage I did before my first and will be doing again before my second made a WORLD of difference. I had a dear friend who shared this with me and had it not been for her I wouldn't have known to do it. I birthed my daughter in 7 minutes after a 24+ hour labor but still with her coming quickly my preparation- beginning at 36 weeks made the difference. Not to be graphic but here's what you do. Get some olive oil or something natural like jojoba or vitamin E oil is great! Sitting reclined on the bed is best and you rub oil on your outer perineaum and stretch the tissue with both thumbs pressing downward until it stings then hold it there until the discomfort goes away or about 15-30 seconds. Do this daily until birth and by stretching and toning this tissue you can prevent tearing or episiotomy. Try to make it fun to as an exercise with your partner. Sperm has natural pitocin in it which helps ready the cervix for dilation! Forget the drugs- get the real stuff and have fun! Hope this helps.

klschriks |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

some women over do the kegels b4 birth which can make the vagina less pliable, causeing less than desired effect. Some are good but they are better ofr after. Before do lots of squats adn other types of excersises that help open your pelvic bones and help baby come down, reducing the amount of come down that needs to occur during labour

albianstar |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

"The bump expert" advice is a bit misleading. I work at Mayo Clinic, and part of a pregnancy class that I participate in included a presentation on Prenatal Pelvic Floor Muscle Strengthening, which provided some very informative information about pelvic floor dysfunction (which affects 1/3 women), and emphasized the importance and benefits of pelvic floor strengthening, including kegels, before and after delivery. For what it's worth, it may or may not impact the ease of birth, but it likely helps to prevent and/or minimize pelvic floor disorders that can result from weak pelvic floor muscles going into labor, and problems thereafter.

bmchapel |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

I agree that "the bump expert" is misleading. As a Prenatal Pilates Specialist and a lifelong student of human anatomy and physiology, doing pelvic floor exercises can definitely assist during the labor and birthing process. It's true that contracting and shortening the pelvic floor muscles during exercise will help strengthen them for the postpartum body and help avoid pelvic floor dysfunction, but one could also do certain exercises that will help make the pelvic floor more pliable and "open" to help with the birthing process. Seek out a trained instructor (who, for the love of anatomy, doesn't refer to them as "Kegels" - that phrase should really be phased out as the term usually does not refer to or include the entirety of the pelvic floor anatomy) who can teach you to move your diaphragm with your pelvic floor (as they mirror each other), and eccentrically contract them, opening them to allow for birth; in turn, your breath and pelvic floor can help with labor and birth. The pelvic floor muscles help to push the baby out. :D

jenrizzo77 |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

I am an experienced labor and delivery nurse. I can tell you that women who keep active and do some cardio exercise during their pregnancy tend to have a shorter labor. I highly recommend walking daily, and regular yoga. Also eating fruits and veggies allow your skin to stretch more and will help to minimize tearing.

kiwijaye |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

sperm does not contain Pitocin. it contains prostaglandin which is similar to the induction medication Cervidil.

cstaples88 |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

Its awesome that you study yoga, are in a delivery room, or have had physiology and anatomy classes, BUT I think Ill stick with my doctor since they have medical degree and go with they are for after birth.

aduvall79 |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

Kegel is the name of the person who developed the exercise... There is no Kegel muscle.

SunflowerDairyCA |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

Thank you to all the women who say these excersizes are important. Mainly to jenrizzo. She makes complete sense. I have a 6 year old and am 32 weeks pregnant currently. While in the pushing phase of labor, I used those muscles to keep myself "open" so the baby would stay in a good position while I rested and waited until I needed to push again. I was holding her there. A lot of times women push, but the baby goes back up. Two steps forward, two steps back. If you concentrate enough, and use those muscles, you can get the baby down faster. I'm doing my excersizes daily. I will be depending on my natural instincts, which included what the yogis and anatomy specialists speak about. Not the doctors who prefer to give pain meds and episiotomy's.

JoanieBarocio |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

what is a kegel??????? why will no one explain this to me?//??

stryker9000 |

Q&A: Exercises for easy birth?

For my two cents? I think us pregnant gals should be more concerned with physical stamina and working on some mild aerobic activities and learning some meaningful relaxation methods - birth is an aerobic experience and god knows pregnancy and dealing with a new baby is stressful enough, never mind the transition in between! To the ladies asking these questions that have all of us throwing our advice around...don’t trust forums. Pick up some books from reputable sources/authors, get a good doctor, and/or a licensed midwife - read and talk to them - just so you have varied sources to draw from...and a childbirth class would be super helpful as well. Then when you've educated yourself as well as you reasonably can - make your decision about what you want...and then skim forums. Going to a place like this for serious birth choices and decisions is kinda like going up to ladies with children in your community and just randomly picking their brains about it - you have no idea who is just looney tunes crazy or if any of us posters are someone you'd trust to use a toilet seat correctly, much less tell you about how to prep for or handle birth.

chibamama |