OP: Kegels during/after pregnancy

Hey. Well let me start off by saying that I am not pregnant, just wondering something.

I know female Kegel excersizes can strengthen the vaginal walls and keep it "tight". Well I was wondering what the effect of Kegels are on a pregnant woman. I would think that Kegels performed close to the delivery date would make labor harder, seeing as it would tighten the vaginal walls. Is this right?

Also, I was wondering when it is safe to do Kegels after birth. I know how much labor stretches the vagina, and I'm under the impression that Kegels can help it get back to, or at least close to, how it was before. Im thinking that a woman should wait a little while, seeing as there are probably many small tears that need to heal after child birth. Or would Kegels help the healing?

I dont know why Im so curious about this, i would just like to know. Thanks!


Posted: 02 Oct 21:08


Exercise improves muscle tone - that includes strength and elasticity. So, having properly exercised, you are in better shape to tolerate delivery than if you had simply allowed the muscle to be lazy.

As for Kegel exercises after pregnancy it depends upon whether or not an episiotomy had been done. In the US, this is done as a matter of course; in Europe, the cut is generally done later in delivery and is smaller if done at all. You posit that small tears will be all over. If there was no episiotomy and are no tears, you can start vaginal exercises as soon as you feel up to it. If there was a cut or tears, your doctor or midwife should advise when you can resume Kegel exercises.

The nineteenth century Germans had a non-exercise technique to tighten things up. They packed the vagina with rabbit dung. Aside from the likelihood of infection, the alum is astringent and may have had some short term effectiveness. I have not recommended this to any of my patients.


Posted: 02 Oct 21:08

Thanks for the info Brandye.

Glad I wasnt a pregnant woman in 19th century Germany...

Makes sense about being better able to tolerate labor.

Thanks again!


Posted: 02 Oct 21:08

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