Kegel exercise for pregnant women can help you keep your pelvic floor strong & firm during pregnancy. Physio Michelle from https://www.pelvicexercises.com.au shows you the best positions for Kegels that support the weight of your growing baby & minimize your risk of pelvic floor problems. Kegel exercises can strengthen the pelvic floor(1) and reduce the risk of pelvic floor problems. Some women develop pelvic floor problems during pregnancy including bladder leakage with cough or sneeze, bladder frequency and heaviness and bulging in the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor training has been shown to reduce bladder leakage in pregnancy.(2) Best Positions for Kegels During First & Second Trimester During early pregnancy aim to do Kegels in upright sitting and standing where possible. positions In these upright positions the pelvic floor muscles lift up and squeeze against the downward force of gravity. Upright positions to strengthen your pelvic floor in preparation for the increasing weight and size of your baby. Technique • Sit forward away from the back of the chair (3) • Keep neutral inward curve in your lower back throughout your exercises (3) • Use the correct technique for Kegel exercise during pregnancy that involves squeezing and lifting inwards around your three pelvic openings • Rest briefly before your next Kegel exercise • Do your Kegel exercises 8-12 times, 3 times/day on at least 5 days of the week 4 The best positions for Kegel exercise may change during pregnancy as your baby grows. Research shows that pelvic floor exercises in a variety of positions during pregnancy decrease bladder leakage incontinence and increase pelvic floor strength (for up to 3 months after childbirth).(4) Kegel Exercises in the Second & Third Trimesters As pregnancy progresses it often becomes difficult to do Kegel exercises in upright positions. Changing your Kegel exercise positions can often help you continue to exercise your pelvic floor as your baby becomes heavier. These 3 positions eliminate the downwards force of gravity reducing the load off the pelvic floor and make it easier to contract the pelvic floor muscles. Best Kegels positions for mid to late pregnancy include: • Kneeling on all fours • Resting though your forearms and knees • Lying on your side with a pillow supporting your abdomen and baby If it's possible try to continue your upright Kegel exercises during the second and third trimesters. References 1. Oliveira C, Lopes M, Pereira L, & Zugaib M (2007) Effects of pelvic floor muscle training during pregnancy. Clinics, 62(4), pps 439-446. 2. Harvey M (2003) Pelvic Floor Exercises During and After Pregnancy: A Systematic Review of Their Role in Preventing Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada .25 (6), pps 487-498. 3. Sapsford R, Hodges P, Richardson C, Cooper D, Markwell S, Jull G (2000) Co‐activation of the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles during voluntary exercises. Neurourology and Urodynamics 20, (1), pps 31-42. 4. Mørkved S, Bø K, Schei B, Salvesen, K (2003) Pelvic Floor Muscle Training During Pregnancy to Prevent Urinary Incontinence: A Single-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 101, pps 313-319.