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Pelvic Exercises Ease First-Time Labor

Written by Pathways Magazine   
Wednesday, 01 September 2004 00:00

BMJ Study Shows Kegel Exercises Can Stave Off Prolonged Labor

A recent RCT in BMJ found that women who workout their pelvic muscles by doing Kegel exercises during the last few months of pregnancy have an easier time giving birth.

The researchers investigated whether pelvic exercises could affect the duration of labor and shorten the time to deliver. When it was time to give birth, the study authors recorded the lengths of the different stages of labor.

Women who took part in the training had greater pelvic muscle control and flexibility, which resulted in easier labor. The report also showed that pelvic exercises could prevent a prolonged second stage of labor, when women use pelvic muscles to help uterine contractions. The second stage of labor is the active pushing phase until the time of delivery.

The study contradicts a common belief that strong pelvic floor muscles make childbirth more difficult. To date, scientific evidence regarding the effects of pelvic muscle training on labor and delivery has been scarce.


Pathways Issue 3 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #03.

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