Four Benefits of Kegel Exercises for Pregnant Women

Regardless of how early your pregnancy process is, Kegel exercises can provide you with different benefits. We advise you to practice them and discover their benefits for yourself.
Four Benefits of Kegel Exercises for Pregnant Women

Last update: 29 December, 2020

Kegel exercises for pregnant women are an excellent tool during the pregnancy process and after delivery. Dr. Arnold Kegel came up with these exercises in order to work and strengthen the muscular area related to the pelvis.

Have you ever heard of them? Do you know what they consist of? These types of exercises are usually very useful to improve some aspects related to pregnancy. Therefore, we’re going to show you some of their most important benefits – you’ll surely want to implement them after learning more.

Benefits of Kegel exercises for pregnant women

The pelvic floor muscles support organs such as the bladder, urethra, uterus, vagina and rectum. This area is greatly affected during pregnancy due to the increase in weight caused by the fetus, which develops within the mother’s womb.

On the other hand, the muscles belonging to this area are the last ones in the lower abdomen; they make up what many call a “suspension bridge” or “hammock”. This shape and location make it a very complex place to work, but Kegel exercises help to improve this.

Performing Kegel exercises before, during, and after pregnancy helps you strengthen these muscle groups. This, in turn, helps reduce the problems that occur in this stage. Learn about their most important benefits.

They help reduce urinary incontinence

Due to the weakening of the pelvic floor and the increased pressure on the bladder by the fetus, pregnant women begin to experience urinary incontinence. Believe it or not, it can get to the point where even the simplest or minimal effort movements can end up producing small leakage of urine. 

In many cases, even coughing is enough to have an episode of incontinence. Kegel exercises for pregnant women come in handy since they can help to strengthen these muscles and reduce the impact of this problem.

Strong pelvic floor muscles are able to avoid the excessive pressure of the uterus on the bladder. Therefore, it’s a very useful alternative.

A woman suffering from urinary incontinence.

Avoid episiotomy

One of the benefits of Kegel exercises is the strengthening of the region between the vagina and the anus, called the perineum. Therefore, by exerting force during a vaginal delivery, there’s a decrease in the likelihood of tearing in this area. It’s even possible to “skip” the episiotomy process in some cases.

Now, episiotomy consists of an incision in the perineal area that doctors would frequently make in previous decades. However, current doctors don’t recommend it, except for a few exceptions that indicate a rapid delivery. For example, if the baby’s shoulder is stuck or if it has an abnormal heart rate.

Rectal function control, a great benefit of Kegel exercises

Fecal incontinence is a little mentioned topic, both for pregnant women and for the general population. However, it’s important to keep it in mind as it’s pretty common, especially during pregnancy.

This inconvenience occurs due to consequences similar to those of urinary incontinence. For one, the weight of the fetus exerts influence on the intestinal walls, exerting pressure on the stool that’s stored there. Furthermore, the anal sphincter doesn’t have enough muscle strength to be controlled.

Likewise, Kegel exercises can be of great help when it comes to rectal function control. Try to do them regularly and you’ll reap its benefits.

Preventing prolapse becomes easier

In women, uterine prolapse comes as a result of the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and ligaments. This can lead to various ailments, as well as detachment of the uterus into the vagina.

Professionals recommend performing Kegel exercises to reduce the risk of these types of conditions. In addition, you must bear in mind that there are other triggers apart from pregnancy that may produce prolapse. For example, being overweight, chronic coughing, and constipation.

A pregnant woman smiling while doing Kegel exercises.

Take advantage of these benefits

The benefits that Kegel exercises bring to pregnant women revolve around strengthening the pelvic floor and its relative organs. Therefore, being such an important area for pregnancy development, it’s necessary to seek professional advice.

That being said, talk to your obstetrician and ask them to explain to explain to you how to perform these exercises the right way. You can even ask them to do an office session to correct you if you find it necessary.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Gómez Lanza, E., Granda Contijoch, M., & Batista Miranda, J. E. (2009). Ejercicios Del Suelo Pélvico. Archivos Espanoles de Urologia.
  • Manuel Álvarez-Tovar, L., Gutiérrez-González, A., García-Sánchez, D., Pérez-Ortega, R., & Heriberto Guillen-Lozoya, A. (2019). Kegel exercise efficiency evaluated through urodynamic study in patients with urinary incontinence Eficiencia de los ejercicios de Kegel, evaluada con estudio urodinámico en pacientes con incontinencia urinaria. Artículo Original Revista Mexicana de URología ISSN.
  • Meldaña Sánchez, A., Hermida Guitierrez, J., & Sánchez Chapado, M. (2006). Fisioterapia en la incontinencia y prolapsos urogenitales. ATLAS de Incontinencia Urinaria y Suelo Pélvico.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.