Two Important Pregnancy Exercises I Wish I Knew Earlier

Two Important Pregnancy Exercises I Wish I Knew Earlier

We all know that staying active and having some form of exercise routine provides many benefits during pregnancy. It helps with backaches and bloating, improves blood circulation and reduces excessive weight gain etc.

What sort of exercises would you do? One would naturally think that this involves the usual such as going to the gym, doing yoga, swimming and walking, right?

Those were my thoughts too and what I was doing throughout my pregnancy until I learned about the below two exercises.

They are extremely simple and basic but oh-so-very important! Better yet, you can do it anywhere and anytime!

Pelvic Floor Muscles Exercise (aka Kegal) For Pregnancy

I have always associated Kegal as a vagina tightening exercise practiced by women to have better sex!

Boy was I wrong. I have since learned that it also helps combat bladder incontinence during old age and is important for both men and women.

  • Why is it important?

The pelvic floor muscles help support the bladder, squeeze around the vagina and the rectum and hold the bladder, the uterus (womb) and bowel in their proper place.

Pelvic floor muscle training will help the body support the growing baby and reduce the probability of having a bladder or bowel problem post delivery.

These muscles also help provide support and stability around your pelvic joints, so keeping them firm and strong reduces pelvic pain during pregnancy.

  • How do you do it?

When you are urinating, try to stop the flow. By doing this you are using the pelvic floor muscles. Note that this is different to your butt and thigh muscles. Once you have identified these muscles, don’t stop your urine for fun as it can damage your bladder.

Tighten your pelvic floor muscles by squeezing around the birth canal, front and back passages all at once, lifting up and inwards. Squeeze and lift.

Try to hold for about 2-3 seconds and then release and relax for about 5 seconds. Repeat this 10 times. As your muscles grow stronger, try to hold the squeeze for longer up to 15-3o seconds.

It is more important to do it correctly rather than doing it too many times but wrongly. Quantity over quality!

Abdominal Bracing Exercise For Pregnancy

I didn’t realise this before, but I have always braced my abdomen (aka suck my tummy in) pre-pregnancy as it helps keep your core strong and tight. I think it does have some truth in it as my tummy has been kinda flat (or maybe it is due to my ‘young’ age).

Then I got pregnant, and I let everything go, thinking to myself, “This is nice! I can eat all I want and not suck my tummy in because people will just think that it’s the baby!” Obviously I was mistaken!

  • Why is it important?

The deep abdominus muscle acts like a corset around your lower spine to assist with good posture, maintain abdominal tone and provide support to your back and pelvis.

  • How do you do it?

Gently draw your lower tummy (below the belly button) in towards your spine. An easier way to say it is, suck in your tummy!

You can do this as often and as long as you like. You might be able to hold it in for 10 seconds at first, then try to increase the length.

The more you do it, the stronger your abdominal muscles get. You know you are a pro when you can keep it in constantly without even realising it.

IN SUMMARY

I hope that this post has helped raised some awareness that these exercises are super important during pregnancy.

Post delivery, I have not had an issue with my bladder and keeping my pee in, and my abdominal muscles recovered nicely so I am a 100% believer in these two simple and basic exercises for pregnant women.

I only found out halfway into my pregnancy but every little bit helps! It’s never too late to start!

Till next time! xoxo

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