Kegel Exercises The Big ‘No-No’ In Pregnancy
Have you been doing Kegel Exercises or Pelvic Floor exercises throughout pregnancy? Boy, have women given other women the wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong message for years and years and years! No kidding. I was told to do Kegel Exercises way back in 1970! The message is still out there and it’s wrong … causing delays in 1st and 2nd Stage and huge damage to a woman’s vagina.
Kegel Exercises are GREAT when you are NOT pregnant! Kegel Exercises are OK in the first 5 months of pregnancy. Kegel Exercises and Pelvic Floor exercises are HORRIBLE to do in the last 16 weeks of pregnancy. In other words, Kegel Exercises/Pelvic Floor is a Life skill not a way to prepare for birth.
What do Pelvic Floor/Kegel Exercises do?
- Tighten your pelvic floor … GOOD … you’re less likely to have a prolapse.
- Tighten your pelvic floor … BAD … You need to create space, soften and open up to let this big object out
- Tighten your pelvic floor … GOOD … you’ll be able to hold your pee when you jump, sneeze, cough or run
- Tighten your pelvic floor … BAD … You don’t need ‘strong’ muscles to push your baby out. You need to open up and soften inside your baby’s birth canal (your vagina).
- Tighten your pelvic floor ... GOOD … Sex is better
- Tighten your pelvic floor … BAD … if you are tight down there during birth and damage your vagina then sex can be painful the rest of your life or need reconstructive surgery to repair deep internal tears
You do not want a broken vagina from giving birth to your baby. From the viewpoint of Birthing Better, this is a devastating article even if written in a quirky and funny manner. No woman should have a broken and damaged vagina from birthing her babies.
The cause is simple … lack of knowing how to prepare the inside of the vagina (The internal Work) for the last 8 weeks of pregnancy. It takes no more than 5-10 minutes/day to guarantee that your tissue will stretch and be pliable rather than forced open and tear or be cut!
Not perineal massage
Since the 1990s there’s been a promotion of what is called ‘perineal massage’. This is stretching only the small amount of tissue directly between the back of the vaginal opening and front of the rectum. Doing this is fine but not enough to prevent damage to your vagina.
How do you know this is not sufficient? Stick your finger into your vagina and feel all that space. For your baby to get to that last bit of tissue, he/she has to come down through all that space.
Your baby’s head is the size of a grapefruit! Feel that space and ask if there is any tension anywhere inside that could hinder the down and out movement of that grapefruit. The answer will be ‘yes’ for most women unless you have given birth before and experienced absolutely NO trauma to any of the tissue down there.
To the side and back of rectum
The tissue that you really need to massage is ALL the muscles and soft tissue behind and to either side of the rectum.
While you have a finger inside, tighten up inside and down there. What happens? Everything gets tighter. Imagine that grapefruit. What happens when you tighten up around it? The grapefruit would have a harder time coming out and because it must come out, you will tear or have to be cut in order for that grapefruit to get past that tension.
The Internal Work in Birthing Better teaches you how to prepare down there yourself as well as instructs your partner to do it as well.
Stop going ‘YUK’ You don’t want a broken vagina
You have a choice, get real about birth or stick your head in the sand and think you are not going to be this woman! Too many women end up with LONG term damage to their vagina. They have bladder problems, vaginal farts, pain on sex, inability to hold their bowel motion and prolapses … all can be lifetime problems and some need surgical corrections. For just 5-10 minutes/day for only 8 weeks you can reduce or prevent these problems!
The Internal Work just one of the great Birthing Better skills
Because all Birthing Better skills were developed by women and men (mothers and fathers) alike, you are learning a skill that helped reduce, prevent and even repair broken vaginas … but you want to prevent the problems in the first place!
The idea that women were built to have babies (yes) and they will normally stretch (yes) is all true but it is as true that stretching will lead to small or massive tears and life long problems from such a big object coming down, through and out your body. We have to stop thinking that the word ‘natural’ means that everything is good, easy and positive outcomes. Tearing is natural. Having a broken vagina is normal. You don’t know if that will happen to you so do the Internal Work and reduce and prevent your broken vagina from breaking in the first place!
Birthing Better skills were developed by moms and dads in the early 1970s in the US and used by many thousands globally in all types of birth. Birthing Better online birthing classes are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.