Recently I was asked by my web-friend April Mather to guest post in her private Facebook Group Exhausted Moms Unite about kegels and leaking. She describes the group as "A place for exhausted Moms to come together with the desire to improve energy, tiredness, brain fog and overall wellness." If you are interested in joining, here's the link:
So, I started writing. And writing. And writing. Then I stopped and thought, oh dear. No one is going to read that much. I pulled out the top tips to help you get the biggest bang for your buck without having to read a text book. Here they are!
1. POSTURE MATTERS:
Try this: Sit in your usual posture. This means a bit slouched for most of us. Do your kegel. Where do you feel the muscles tightening? Usually more towards the tailbone and around the rectum (Think, poop hole).
Now try this: Sit on the edge of your chair up nice and tall. Do your kegel. Where do you feel the muscles tightening? Usually, there is a more sensitive sensation and you can probably feel the muscles in the front of the pelvic floor around the vagina and urethra (Think, pee hole!). This is why posture matters when practicing kegels.
SQUEEZE AND LIFT
Many of you squeeze the muscles down there but did you know you also need to lift them up? There are 3 layers of musculature - just squeezing isn’t getting them all working to get stronger. Imagine a blueberry at the opening of your vagina. You need to squeeze your pelvic floor muscles to close around it and then lift it up and into your vagay. But make sure you don’t squeeze so hard that you squish it!
RELAX BETWEEN REPS
Relaxing the pelvic floor muscles is just as important as tightening. This is because these muscles work as a trampoline - they stretch downwards and then rebound back up naturally to close off the urethra to prevent urine from flowing freely. How do you train relaxation? Breathe IN to relax the muscles and breathe OUT to shorten/tighten them when you kegel. The pelvic floor mirrors the diaphragm, therefore coordinating breathing is very important.
The Key to Stop Leaking with Coughing/Laughing/Sneezing is...
Squeeze AND lift when you cough, laugh and sneeze! That big inhale the second or two before you cough or sneeze preps your pelvic floor, but the forceful exhale can sometimes cause you to bear down which causes the leak. Just consciously squeeze and lift on that sneeze, cough or laugh and you’ll notice a big difference!
If you’d like more guidance on doing your best kegel, feel free to join the 5-Day Kegel Challenge . It starts again on Monday, March 16th!
Comment below with questions, comments or concerns! I’d love to hear who told you to kegel and what the biggest take-home from this post was for you.