Kegels, kegels, kegels - Mothering Forums
July 2011 > Kegels, kegels, kegels
MarineWife's Avatar MarineWife 07:38 AM 01-21-2011
How many can/do you do a day?

I can do at least 50 but I'm still peeing on myself. WTH?! I've had a cold with cough the last week. Almost every time I cough or sneeze I pee on myself, even if I've just emptied my bladder. I think I'm going to have to get some Depends.

HawaiianBlesing's Avatar HawaiianBlesing 07:04 PM 01-21-2011

Haven't even tried yet.  I think about them once in a while but always forget.  My yoga DVD says I should be working my way up to 450/day   YIKES....that's a lot of kegels!


ArcticRose's Avatar ArcticRose 09:03 PM 01-21-2011
Ok.. this is based on a vague recollection of something I read once, so take it as you will, lol!

My understanding is that kegels strengthen voluntary muscles, which you can't control when you sneeze. The muscles that keep you from peeing when you sneeze are involuntary (sphincter muscles) and when they are weak there's nothing you can do to keep from peeing when you sneeze/cough.. etc.

Supposedly there are things you can do that strengthen your pelvic floor, including those involuntary muscles. Lunges were one I remember, but I'm not sure how great those would be while prego. Jumping on a mini trampoline for a few minutes a day is supposed to help too.

One way you can tell if you need to strengthen those involuntary muscles is if you can't help but pee a little in the shower. The warm water relaxes the voluntary muscles...

I'll have to see if I can find where I read about this because it made a lot of sense when I read it. =)
no5no5's Avatar no5no5 09:28 PM 01-21-2011

Some people say kegels will make that stuff worse and you should actually be doing squats to strengthen your pelvic floor.  I have no idea if there's any actual evidence on way or the other, though. 


noahs.mom06's Avatar noahs.mom06 09:43 PM 01-21-2011

http://mamasweat.blogspot.com/2010/05/pelvic-floor-party-kegels-are-not.html

This article talks about what no5no5 mentioned. I think it sounds pretty convincing...


MarineWife's Avatar MarineWife 05:21 AM 01-22-2011
Oh, interesting. I had always thought it was the opposite. I've been told over and over that kegels would help with incontinence. I will read that link. Thanks. Though I can't do squats now. From what I understand, that's the one big no no in exercise while pg. Especially since I haven't been exercising regularly, I'm not going to start doing squats now.
no5no5's Avatar no5no5 09:16 AM 01-22-2011

Really?  How funny; I've always heard that squatting is extra important in pregnancy.  I mean, maybe squatting and jumping up twenty times in a row while holding a huge weight might not be a good idea, but just assuming the position a few times a day is fine, I think.  Maybe I'm just biased, though, because I squat as a regular part of my routine, and I don't even think of it as exercise. 


noahs.mom06's Avatar noahs.mom06 11:30 AM 01-22-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

Oh, interesting. I had always thought it was the opposite. I've been told over and over that kegels would help with incontinence. I will read that link. Thanks. Though I can't do squats now. From what I understand, that's the one big no no in exercise while pg. Especially since I haven't been exercising regularly, I'm not going to start doing squats now.


I've never heard that either, I've heard that squatting is really important. There are times where you don't want to be doing deep squats, like if your baby is malpositioned (because you don't want baby to get engaged in a bad position), but otherwise gently incorporating squats into your daily routine is a good idea, and can be especially helpful during the birth. You don't have to do anything in addition to squatting, you don't have to hold weight or anything while doing it, just start squatting instead of bending down to pick something up, squat to tie your shoes, etc. It's not a high-impact exercise, and it's not intense cardio, so I can't imagine why it would be contraindicated, unless you have hip problems or something...


mumofmak's Avatar mumofmak 12:51 PM 01-22-2011

squatting is absolutely good to do during pregnancy (strengthens muscles, loosens ligaments, improves pelvic flexability), as is sitting cross leggged (criss cross applesauce!) (on the floor for example) This helps to align the pelvis and encourage better back posture. BUT do avoid deep squatting near the end of your pregnancy if you don't know that baby is head down - once s/he's head down, go for it!


Narleegates's Avatar Narleegates 01:20 PM 01-22-2011

my excercize program does say squatting is okay as long as you don't go below 90 degrees, due to the relaxin hormone making your joints looser


MarineWife's Avatar MarineWife 05:53 PM 01-22-2011
When I think of squats, I think of power weight lifting squats. A remnant of my bodybuilding days, I guess. I wasn't thinking of just squating. KWIM? Yeah, that's good for pregnancy. I do it as part of my prenatal yoga routine. Sorry about the confusion over that.

I think I will quit worrying about kegels and try more squating.
samhope's Avatar samhope 09:00 PM 01-22-2011

The crunch yoga video has you do kegels while squatting.  I have been squatting for 2 min a day, but am working my way up to at least 5.  I am at 100 kegels a day, but also pee myself when throwing up (no other time though thankfully).  Figure I have time to get where I need to be:)


~Katie~'s Avatar ~Katie~ 09:39 AM 01-23-2011

Yoga squats are more the technique that's recommended I think. If you do a google search for prenatal yoga squats that should give you an idea. I don't think it's recommended if you have issues with SPD since spreading your legs can aggravate it, but otherwise it's really good for pelvic wall toning. 


TexasMum's Avatar TexasMum 11:27 AM 01-23-2011

any squatting position is the most tortuous, excruciatingly, painful position you could possibly be in when you have Pubic Symphasis Diastasis. I guess I am doomed to pee my pants for eternity. Well not really eternally. Just while pregnant. It's crazy how things change during the time between pregnancies. I'm interested to see if it works if any of you ladies try it. Squats might be an option for me, after delivery of course when my pelvis isn't crooked and wobbling.


Gismobabe's Avatar Gismobabe 12:58 PM 01-23-2011

I peed myself every time I threw up during my last pregnancy, same with sneezing. My mw told me to not do kegel exercises before the birth as you need a relaxed pelvic floor. After the birth nothing really helped and after going to physical therapy with this terrible pelvic floor exercise machine and no improvement an osteopath saved me. He told me my bladder was slightly out of place dislocated by the growing uterus. He did some manipulations and suddenly it was all no problem. This pregnancy I have peed myself one time with a very full bladder throwing up.

I am just saying it might not be what you think it is!


MarineWife's Avatar MarineWife 02:49 PM 01-23-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by samhope View Post


The crunch yoga video has you do kegels while squatting. 




 



That's the one I have. I can't do kegels while squatting. I can do lots other times.

I've had this ever since giving birth to my 2nd child. It just gets way more pronounced when I'm pregnant. Nothing I've done in between pregnancies helps, either. I wish I could afford to go back to a chiropractor but I don't have any money for that right now and my insurance won't cover it. Hopefully, the squatting will help.
lovelylisa's Avatar lovelylisa 05:09 PM 01-23-2011

This thread was fascinating. Squats! Who knew! Thanks ladies! Here I was kegel-ling like maniac trying to not pee  my pants when I cough.


tourist.'s Avatar tourist. 07:20 AM 01-25-2011

Very interesting!  Thanks for sharing.  Now, to increase my squat time....smile.gif


fertilemyrtle's Avatar fertilemyrtle 08:05 AM 01-25-2011

I'm a full-time prenatal yoga teacher, studying this stuff for years!  When someone has stress incontinence from pregnancy, Kegels don't do it.   In my opinion, they're helpful, as are yoga squats for most people.  

 

But what is *really* *really* helpful is seeing an expert!   Find a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor issues, or women's health.  Here in New england, we're fortunate to have a list of specialists, and I tell all the postpartum moms I work with about this.   People are embarrassed to mention this in person, so I just automatically offer the info on my website, etc.  for my students.   ANd I let people know this tidbit -- in parts of Europe, it is the norm to automatically give 6 weeks of PT to a new mom to help her with her pelvic floor, pelvis and hips, back, etc.  

 

Most of us need help after carrying and birthing a baby.   It's probably not going to be fixed by a few lifts every few days. 

 

Good luck everyone!


MarineWife's Avatar MarineWife 08:37 AM 01-25-2011
I'm not embarassed to mention this in person. I've just never mentioned to a doctor because I figured they'd want to prescribe a drug and/or recommend surgery, neither of which I am willing to do at this point. I'd need a referral from a doctor for PT. I can definitely ask specifically for that but I wouldn't have thought of that on my own. Thanks for the info.
SuburbanHippie's Avatar SuburbanHippie 08:43 AM 01-25-2011
 


I've had SPD with 2 of my pregnancies and squatting was not happening!  It was horrific.  At one point I had to sleep in a recliner and shuffle sideways to walk to the bathroom.  Just the thought of squatting made me wince while reading this thread. LOL.


fertilemyrtle's Avatar fertilemyrtle 11:41 AM 01-25-2011

Hey Suburban Hippy,

 

Squatting is definitely not good for some cases, including pubic bone separation.   Thankfully, most people don't have that, and when you do, there are specific exercises that help.  In my prenatal classes, most things get modified for SPD sufferers. 

 

MarineWife, glad u r not embarrassed.   Some people are though, or if not incontinence, then varts (air leaving vagina uncontrolled, sounds like a fart).   A specialist in the pelvic floor can help all those things, and worse.    I'd do research and get names first, and then ask your dr.  for referral.   Just a regular PT probably won't have the knowledge. 


Asheya's Avatar Asheya 11:19 PM 02-03-2011

A relaxed pelvic floor is important for birth! Pregnancy makes your pelvic floor lose muscle tone, and this is the way its supposed to be. Gentle yoga squats are useful to strengthen your legs for birth and open your pelvis, but they can also induce the birth process, so be careful of using them in the third trimester before you are 37 weeks. The most important things you can do to protect your pelvic floor for long term health are:

1. Don't lift heavy things, when you are pregnant (you have a big gap between your abdominal muscles for one thing) and especially in the first 6-8 weeks after your baby is born. DON'T LIFT ANYTHING HEAVIER THAN YOUR BABY.

2. Do not overdo your activity during your childbed period (the first 6-8 weeks after the birth of your baby). Stay at home with your baby for the first 10 days, and get other people to look after your other children and clean your house, cook your meals etc. Concentrate on bonding with your baby during these first few months. If you start bleeding more than usual, you know you have overdone it (and that's hard on your pelvic floor).

3. Start doing pelvic floor toning exercises (gentle squats, postpartum yoga) 6-8 weeks after the birth of your baby. This is the most important time to regain pelvic floor tone.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gismobabe View Post

I peed myself every time I threw up during my last pregnancy, same with sneezing. My mw told me to not do kegel exercises before the birth as you need a relaxed pelvic floor. After the birth nothing really helped and after going to physical therapy with this terrible pelvic floor exercise machine and no improvement an osteopath saved me. He told me my bladder was slightly out of place dislocated by the growing uterus. He did some manipulations and suddenly it was all no problem. This pregnancy I have peed myself one time with a very full bladder throwing up.

I am just saying it might not be what you think it is!




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