Too many Kegels can be bad for you (interview) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 02:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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A friend sent me this recently - very, very interesting: http://mamasweat.blogspot.com/2010/0...s-are-not.html

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#2 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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That's interesting!

I'd heard before that kegels during pregnancy can be harmful if you don't focus on the relaxing portion, as the tightening isn't what you want during labor, but this is the first I'd heard about this.

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#3 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 03:03 AM
 
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I finally got around to reading this today (it's been circulating on FB for a few days). Very interesting! I know I have a damaged coccyx and lots of trouble with my sacrum. I also know that squatting feels SOOO good, especially while pg. I remember last time, I went to a business (home based business) conference while I was about 32 weeks along. There were times when I couldn't bear to stand OR sit, so I went into the nursing mom's area and squatted! So much better. I need to start doing it now. Perhaps it helped with my super quick 2nd stage last time, too?

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#4 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 03:05 AM
 
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Kegels did nothing for my PFD. I did them religiously in my first 2 pregnancies, sporadically in my 3rd and 4th... and I do them occasionally now (out of habit.) I still have incontinence issues... but really they are minor, what bothers me is the prolapse issues I seem to have.

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#5 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 11:17 AM
 
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The MW at a recent ICAN meeting said not to do more than 2 sets of 10 a day, each being 10 seconds long. Too many can cause tearing.

That was all I needed to hear.
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#6 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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Wow. now I can stop feeling guilty about not doing Kegels (I hate doing them! and consequently never do). I saw a physio who specializes in pelvic floor issues last pregnancy, and she said my muscles were uneven, some were really tight which is what was causing my SPD, and as it turns out during labour I had all sorts of issues with back pain and mal-positioning. In that case I guess I need to get squatting!

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#7 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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I just read this this morning (& the Pelvic Floor Encore listed at the bottom and the Hunter Gatherer Mama blog on squats on preparation for birthing.)

This all goes along with what Christine from the Whole Woman site has been saying for years now. She recommends the "Whole Woman Posture" which focuses on keeping the natural outward curve of your belly as well as allowing your butt to stick out (as it should.)

Crunches are very, very bad - but the plank is okay. Kegels are useless and can even cause prolapse! The key is strong glutes & hamstrings (via proper, deep squats) and plenty of walking. I've also found that not wearing anything that puts pressure on my mid-section comfortable. Anything high-waisted and tight can cause your pelvic organs to drop.

I have an unusually deep lumbar curve and have never been a butt-tucker or tummy-sucker-inner and have very fast & easy births - makes me wonder if the two are connected...

This is the motivation I need to get back into walking & toning!

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#8 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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There have been like 100 threads on this now. I am not seeing the scientific research. But I am seeing the research supporting kegels and the use of biofeedback machines for prolapse (which I have) and incontinence, and even the people touted as "anti-kegel" admit that kegels are great for your sex life. Take every new theory with a grain of salt until the science is there.

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#9 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
There have been like 100 threads on this now. I am not seeing the scientific research. But I am seeing the research supporting kegels and the use of biofeedback machines for prolapse (which I have) and incontinence, and even the people touted as "anti-kegel" admit that kegels are great for your sex life. Take every new theory with a grain of salt until the science is there.

My best kegels are had while having sex... I've never used a biofeedback machine for prolapse... I only just discovered how BAD my prolapse is prior to conceiving. I'm not sure my doctor is even aware. I've seen a huge connection between prolapse and abdominal separation, which I also have. I had a terrible dream last night where I was pretty much falling out... I think I'm really afraid of that.

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#10 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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There is a POP support thread on here I just joined. I just realized I had one, too. It's been there since I had #4 but just never knew *what* it was. It's stage I or II. It's so devastating. I never knew younger women could get this-I had only known great-grandmas (and not even in my family!) who had them. I am so depressed right now. I recently started doing more kegels with Lelo beads and am planning on getting another biofeedback machine. I don't know which to get yet, though. I hear the kegelmaster is good until I can do a stims machine or biofeedback in p/t post-baby. I have seen increased sexual function which is great, and only very very rarely have an accident when I sneeze/cough. Other than that, I do squat a lot much to my knees displeasure, like that article is trying to say will miraculously cure you.

I am just very weary of anything trying to sell you in order to "learn more". That goes for any program. I want to see the science and research first, having a science background myself. The research just does not support not kegeling or using biofeedback machines. Period. Until she can show the research for her theory, I don't believe it.

I don't have an abdominal seperation. I heard the Tupler Technique is great for it, though.

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#11 of 21 Old 06-09-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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This is amazing information! Thank you for sharing!

I hate, hate, hate the feeling of kegels. I do probably 10 total a day, if that, just because when I do one, and can't bear the thought of doing another after it (they feel so yucky to me). So, I am excited about this information, and will pass it on to my midwife as well.

I CAN do squats! I CAN avoid sit ups! I CAN ditch the heels (okay, don't have any, anyway). I CAN let my booty stick out! I am excited to read up more on this approach.

Lucky for me, despite my lack of kegels I don't suffer incontinence. Well, except during this pregnancy when I sneeze by surprise. I wonder if focusing on gluteal strength can further prevent incontinence. Her reasoning makes sense. And it is true that a muscle of just the right tension is strongest. Muscles that become too tense injure easily. Hmm..

Anyway, off to go do some squatting.

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#12 of 21 Old 06-10-2010, 04:59 AM
 
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kittywitty, I agree that there needs to be more research to back up a new(er) idea. I wouldn't abandon kegels altogether, but I have the overall feeling that the recommendation is/should be for moderation. I do think it's a very interesting proposition, and I hope there will be more research to give us a better picture.

I also hate anything that seems to try to sell you something in order to "learn more." I didn't get that from this article, though. It seemed there was enough info just in the article - but I may well have missed something!

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#13 of 21 Old 06-10-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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This isn't really a "new theory." The idea is that our ancestors walked and walked and walked and squatted and squatted and squatted - they never sat all day in front of a computer or on the couch or in the car, kwim? It's the constant sitting (and butt-tucking & tummy-sucking-in) that is what's new.

I think most of it comes down to posture - and a lot of it a lack of exercise - proper exercise - like squatting to garden or pick things up & lots of walking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
There have been like 100 threads on this now. I am not seeing the scientific research. But I am seeing the research supporting kegels and the use of biofeedback machines for prolapse (which I have) and incontinence, and even the people touted as "anti-kegel" admit that kegels are great for your sex life. Take every new theory with a grain of salt until the science is there.
After my last baby, I had a very heavy feeling "down there" that was labeled lack of muscle tone (which seems to be common after birthing a baby.) I found that after doing Kegels, the heaviness felt *worse.*

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Originally Posted by ~Demeter~ View Post
My best kegels are had while having sex...
This is the only time I Kegel. Sex is supposed to be great for pelvic health.

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#14 of 21 Old 06-10-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Metasequoia View Post
This is the only time I Kegel. Sex is supposed to be great for pelvic health.
It definitely helps me remember to kegel!

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#15 of 21 Old 06-10-2010, 03:54 PM
 
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LOL I've been more mindful of squatting since reading this article.

Nic, loving mama to 5 with a SURPRISE 6th on the way.

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#16 of 21 Old 06-10-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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She doesn't say "Kegels are bad!" or you should never kegel. What she says is that we have been focusing on the "tighten" portion of the exercise and most people don't do the "relaxation" or "lengthening" portion. Consequently, many people's pelvic opening is smaller than it should be or would have been before modern times. And squatting/strengthening the glutes helps with that.

I understood it to be like the relationship between more obvious pairs of muscles, like bicep/tricep or quad/hamstring. When they are both strong, the body is in balance. But if you concentrate only on biceps, for example, you are out of balance (and end up with perpetually bent arms, like some weight lifters I've seen )

I think she does a good job of explaining her theory on this YouTube video.

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#17 of 21 Old 06-11-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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I bought the video, I figured $20 was a small price to pay to not wet my pants.

I am a kegel queen. Can easily hold them for 30 seconds or more, yet still, I pee my pants. This was even true before I had my daughter. I have minor bladder prolapse, and the kegels seems to have made it worse. I don't want surgery, so will be trying this. Will be sure to let everyone know how it goes.
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#18 of 21 Old 06-11-2010, 04:21 PM
 
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I'm not saying kegels cure everything, but on her site and several other blogs she's interviewed on she says things like "kegels not invited" and that they make it worse which goes against every.single.study done on kegels and pelvic floor training with biofeedback. So many people are just stopping doing kegels because this lady says you don't need them and they are bad (saying they will make it worse does make it sound like they are bad!) which is not factually correct at all. So until this lady will cough up the research to support it and find a way to disprove all the research to date, I'm not buying it.

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#19 of 21 Old 06-17-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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I think my issue with Kegels is that I can't come up with a natural explanation for them. KWIM? Our biceps/quads/abs/etc are exercised daily through lifting & squatting to pick things up - small children, buckets, gardening, etc. Sure there are situations (like work) that don't allow for as much squatting/lifting/etc as we ideally should do, but that's not my point. My point is, I can't think of any daily activity (other than trying to make it to the toilet or bushes to pee) that requires Kegeling.

Hundreds and thousands of years ago, pelvic organ prolapse happened but not even close to the extent that it happens today. And who Kegeled a thousand years ago?

IMO, it all comes down to lifestyle. Do you sit much of the day at an obtuse angle on the couch? Or in front of the computer? Were you brought up to tuck your butt under & suck in your belly? Have you always worn your waistbands high & tight on your waist? Have you always done a lot of crunches? Pushed during birth when you didn't feel like pushing but because a doctor told you to? These are all things that can contribute to pelvic organ prolapse that weren't likely to be a part of our lifestyles hundreds or thousands of years ago.

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#20 of 21 Old 06-17-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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I think that modern birthing practices have a lot to do with it, too. Like you said-laying on your back, pushing hard many times without an urge, epidural, etc. these are all things that are linked to prolapse. And as for kegeling in history-I remember reading somewhere about devices used in Asia to strengthen your pelvic floor for sexual pleasure which is one of the best proved links to kegels.

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#21 of 21 Old 06-18-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I have never done kegals regularly, I hate them! But I'm pregnant for the third time, and my insides are not what they used to be, so I just bought some ben wa balls. I don't know what to believe! It's so weird to have everyone say "do kegals" for so many years, and now we shouldn't? I guess I just need to hear it from more than one person.
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