They say that you lose all your embarrassment once you’ve had a baby (what between the pregnancy flatulence and actually giving birth) but that doesn’t entirely save those blushes when dealing with a weak bladder post-partum. A common complaint between women who’ve recently had a baby is a noticeable weakness in their pelvic muscles which can affect bladder control and also reduced sensation when having sex.
Like any other aspect of your post-pregnancy body, there are exercises you can do to target your pelvic floor muscles to regain their strength and return itself to its former glory. Kegel exercises help keep your pelvic muscles strong and you can work these muscles in several different ways.
Pause on the loo
Try and stop the flow of urine while you’re on the toilet for just a few seconds. Though be careful not to do this too often as you can disrupt the flow of your bladder and potentially pick up an infection.
Squeeze up and inwards in the muscles around your bum and vagina (you will feel these when you’re going to the toilet). First you can do these exercises quickly, tightening and relaxing in quick succession and then you can hold the muscles for up to 10 seconds at a time. You can do these in sets of 10 and you can do them throughout the day as they’re easy enough to do at your desk, on the sofa, wherever.
You’ll be delighted to learn that these exercises are also effective done whilst lying down. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Inhale focusing on your pelvic floor and lift your hips. Hold yourself raised for 10 seconds and repeat.
Do your squats
Stand against a wall, feet hip-width apart. Inhale, engage your pelvic floor, and lower yourself into a squat as though sitting in a chair. Hold for 10 seconds. Rise back up to standing and release your pelvic floor and repeat.
Jump for it
Do a regular jumping-jack action and engage your pelvic floor while you’re jumping. Do this for one minute and rest then try and repeat for three sets.