Struggling with painful sex after birth? Your pelvic floor plays a huge role in rebuilding your sex life after pregnancy. Here are the best kegel exercises after birth to do for improved pelvic floor health, and how to use Kegel balls after birth!
During pregnancy, your pelvic floor played a huge role in supporting the entire weight of your fetus, as well as helping you to deliver your baby. During an average pregnancy, you might add between 25 and 35 pounds of extra weight to your body – and they sit squarely on top of your pelvic floor muscles, which will stretch and strain to hold the weight.
After giving birth, doing Kegel exercises after birth will help you recover strength and sensation in your pelvic floor, as it heals the weakened, strained or damaged pelvic muscles and allow you to have more comfortable sex.
What are Kegel exercises?
Kegel exercises are also called pelvic muscle exercises, and are recommended to do during and after birth to help strengthen vaginal muscles for improved orgasms, as well as other things like preventing incontinence and accidentally passing gas or stool.
You can do Kegel exercises after vaginal delivery or C-section birth, and postpartum recovery can take up to 6 months of Kegel exercises after birth.
Kegel exercise benefits after delivery
When it comes to your sexual health and pleasure, doing Kegel exercises after birth will help to make sex more pleasurable after childbirth. In order to feel comfortable during penetration, your pelvic floor muscles must have a certain level of flexibility. If you feel pain or discomfort, it might be due to having a rigid pelvic floor.
Orgasms are also affected by your pelvic floor muscle, as it involves the pleasurable contraction of the vaginal muscles. A strong pelvic floor gives you stronger contractions and therefore more intense orgasms.
Kegel exercises after birth help you work on having stronger pelvic floor muscles, which can help tone the vagina and increase the sensations for more intense orgasms.
When to start Kegel exercises after birth?
If you had an uncomplicated birth, you can start to perform Kegel exercises after birth immediately or as soon as you are able to after birth. You can even start doing Kegel exercises within 24 hours of delivery in the hospital bed — just make sure you feel ready. Wait until the doctor gives you the all clear if you had a complicated childbirth or if you had a C-section.
How to do Kegel exercises after birth?
You can do Kegel exercises after birth by gently tightening and lifting the muscles around your vagina and rectum (above the anus), just like how you would if you were stopping the flow of peeing or avoiding passing wind. Your glutes should not be contracting, and your pelvis should not be rocking or tilting but instead remain perfectly still.
There are no set rules on how many sets or how often you should do Kegel exercises after birth, however we recommend doing 20 holds each set, 5 times a day for the next few months. You can do Kegel exercises while sitting or standing—even when you are nursing!
Remember to pause for 10 seconds between each set of Kegel exercises to make sure your muscles have totally relaxed before moving on to the next set. Performing Kegel exercises after birth can take some practice after childbirth because decreased pelvic floor sensation is a common problem after pregnancy and childbirth.
Things not to do during Kegel exercises after birth:
- Do not try to stop your flow of urine when on the toilet. Doing so can cause some urine to stay in your bladder and may lead to UTI infection
- Do not hold your breath while tightening your muscles, remember to breathe normally while holding the muscles tight for a count of 5
- Don’t clench your body. Relax your upper belly, thigh and buttock muscles
What are Kegel balls?
As part of the pelvic floor muscles recovery, you can use Kegel balls which are also known as Ben Wa balls. Kegel balls are great for postpartum pelvic floor recovery as they help you to activate the correct muscles while doing the standard “squeeze and hold” Kegel exercises after birth.
Kegel balls come in a variety of sizes, materials, and weights, which are inserted into the vagina. By practicing tightening your pelvic muscles, you prevent the Kegel balls from slipping out! In fact, your pelvic muscles naturally tighten to keep the Kegel balls in place as you walk around.
How to use Kegel balls after birth?
Once the postpartum Kegel exercises become easier and your pelvic floor muscles have healed, you may progress your basic Kegel exercises by adding Kegel balls. Generally most doctors will recommend waiting six weeks after birth before using Kegel balls, but ensure you double check with your doctor first as this could be different for you.
Before using your Kegel balls, first you will need to get your Kegel balls ready for use. Start by washing your hands and your Kegel balls thoroughly with antibacterial soap and warm water, then drying them off with a clean towel. Make sure to rub a generous amount of water-based lube on the Kegel balls before inserting them into your vagina.
Lie down comfortably and slowly and steadily insert the first ball. If your Kegel balls are connected to each other by a small piece of string or plastic, you would want to slip that inside your vagina as well. Gently start to insert the second ball into your vagina once the string is tucked in.
Then begin to push the Kegel balls into your vagina as far as you’re comfortable with. Ensure that the removal string or loop is hanging outside of your vagina, so that it is not accidentally tucked in with the rest of the balls. You will need to use it later on to tug the Kegel balls out.
You can now tighten your pelvic floor muscles to hold your Kegel balls inside of you. The balls should always feel secure inside your vaginal canal. Push them deeper if you feel that they are about to fall out, or if you can see the first ball visible outside of your vaginal opening.
Kegel balls reviews: 5 best Kegel balls for postpartum Pelvic floor health
New to Kegel balls or Kegel exercises after birth? Start with a lightweight plastic or silicone set, and make sure the Kegel balls are attached and have a removal string that you can tug when you are ready to remove. Always start with two balls and become more familiar with the practice before increasing or decreasing the number.
As you progress and get more comfortable, you can swap smaller balls for larger balls, or go from lightweight to something heavier, like metal or glass.
Strength “N” Love Kegel Ball Set by Honey Play Box
The Strength “N” Love Kegel Ball Set comes with 2 separate Kegel balls, allowing you to start with 1 Kegel ball if you are new to this! This kegel ball set is made of medical-grade silicone and waterproof, and you can bring them in the shower for a relaxing workout, or even while you take care of your baby.
Sakulove Kegel Exerciser
We love that the Sakulove Kegel Exerciser was designed by a professional medical industry designer, occupational physician, and physiotherapist based on a combination of body planitics and physiotherapy, with a scientific design and made with a more comfortable medical silicone.
Besides providing a better vaginal tightening effect, it also helps you to provide a more even weight to the vaginal muscle tissue when wearing. This Kegel exerciser comes with six different weights from beginner to advanced, from light to heavy, no matter you are a beginner or advanced.
Silicone Kegel Exerciser Balls (Set of 3 sizes) by TooTimid
This set of Kegel exercisers by TooTimid includes 3 different sizes to strengthen your orgasm muscles. If you are new to using Kegel balls, the tapered balls in graduated sizes makes them great for beginners. These Kegel balls are made from smooth, hypoallergenic silicone material that is non-porous and easy to clean, and they come with looped cords for easy retrieval!
Luv Inc Weighted Silicone Kegel Ball
Looking for a level up your intimate muscles? Made of 100% silicone, containing a rolling ball and soft ribbed texture, these Kegel balls from Luv Inc will give you an endless variety of new sensations while exercising your pelvic floor to reach new levels of pleasure. We like that the movement of the ball activates your pelvic muscles so you don’t have to consciously clench around them.
Ami Kegel Balls
The Ami Kegel balls include three progressive vaginal weights with an ergonomic shape, making them easy to insert and pull out. They come with a soft and comfortable fit, helping you contract and release different muscles with ease while strengthening the vaginal and pelvic floor muscles.
Kegel ball exercises for beginners
Once the Kegel balls are inserted in your vagina, tighten your pelvic floor muscles to lift and squeeze the balls. You should hold the contraction for 5 seconds, then relax for another 5 seconds. Do this 5 times per set, and perform up to 3 sets each day.
Can Kegel balls cause infection?
While Kegel balls are generally safe, it is important to keep your Kegel balls clean and practice best practices for Kegel balls.
Don’t leave the Kegel balls in for more than six hours each time, and start with just a couple of minutes if you are new to Kegel balls. Just like overworking any muscle, squeezing your vaginal muscle for too long or without a break could overexert and and cause a temporary strain. This is why it is recommended you do not use your Kegel balls for longer than 4 to 6 hours, as you may begin to overexert your pelvic floor muscles if kept in any longer.
Keeping your Kegels balls clean is also crucial to making sure you don’t introduce bacteria into your vagina that could lead to infection. Always thoroughly clean your Kegel balls with antibacterial hand soap and warm water after each use, and ensure that they are completely dry before you store them away.