If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know it can be difficult to control your bladder. Often, we talk about kegels as an important tool for bladder support, but today, we want to introduce you to a new exercise you can try for pre-baby and post-baby bladder control: Not Your Mama’s Kegels!
To explain the concept, picture a little kid who has to go potty. What happens when small children have to go to the bathroom? Do they sit down and do kegel exercises? No! Little kids intuitively cross their legs and do the potty dance! That’s because crossing your legs provides support for the pelvic floor and pelvic diaphragm, which can help support bladder control.
While we totally support you coming up with a special potty dance of your own, we also want to introduce you to a few exercises that will strengthen your inner thigh muscles so you can better control your bladder, during and after pregnancy.
The Knee Squeeze
First, lay on your back with your knees bent up and your feet flat on the floor. Try to relax your back on the floor as well. Then, place a pillow (or, as Dr. Liz likes to do, a stuffed animal!) between your knees. Squeeze your knees together for 3-10 deep breaths. The deep breaths will engage the muscles in your abdominal region to work properly. Repeat several times to engage the muscles.
The Knee Squeeze 2
In the same position, lift your pelvis up from the ground. Do the same knee contraction, and hold for 3-10 deep breaths. If you’re pregnant, know that this exercise may be more difficult, and always discuss with your care provider before trying it.
Know any pregnant mamas? Share this post with them so they don’t have to start strengthening their bladder when it’s too late!