Exercises for Labor and Delivery
Pelvic floor muscle exercises, or Kegel exercises, can help prepare your body for delivery. The pelvic floor muscles support the rectum, vagina, and urethra in the pelvis. Strengthening these muscles by doing Kegel exercises may help you have an easier birth. They will also help you avoid leaking urine during and after pregnancy.
Pelvic muscles are the same ones used to stop the flow of urine. Still, it can be hard to find the right muscles to squeeze. You can be sure you are exercising the right muscles if when you squeeze them you stop urinating. Or you can put a finger into the vagina and squeeze. If you feel pressure around the finger, you've found the pelvic floor muscles.
Kegel exercises are easy to do. Simply tighten your pelvic floor muscles for five to ten seconds, then relax for five seconds. Repeat this exercise three times a day, ten to twenty times each repetition. You can do Kegel exercises standing, sitting, or lying down — and no one has to know about it but you.