Kegel balls can help strengthen your pelvic floor before, during and after pregnancy
If you’re pregnant, recently given birth, or thinking about it in the near future, there’s a lot of things to think about, and it’s likely you won’t be paying as much attention to your own body’s needs as you should be. Kegel exercises are crucial as they help to strengthen the muscles that support the bladder, as well as those that support the uterus and bowels. If you successfully strengthen these muscles before or during your pregnancy, it can help you relax during birth, prevent tears and increase bladder control.
It’s likely you’ve already heard about the importance of strengthening your pelvic floor, but you might not have come across Ben Wa balls yet. Also known as Kegel balls or love balls, they help take the work out of the exercise, allowing you to go about your daily routine without even having to think about it! Ben Wa balls are particularly useful as often women struggle to activate the correct muscles during standard “squeeze and hold” Kegel exercises.
Ben Wa are small weighted balls, coming in a variety of sizes, materials, and weights, that are inserted into the vagina to help strengthen the muscles. You might be thinking “won’t they just fall out?”, but that’s where the exercise comes in! As you walk around, your muscles naturally tighten to keep the Ben Wa balls in place, and you can even wear them out and about – no one will know.
Get a head-start
If you’re ahead of the game and haven’t even thought about falling pregnant anytime soon, then there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t start using Ben Wa balls now. In fact, the earlier you start, the earlier you will feel and experience the benefits! Ben Wa balls are known as “love balls” due to their amazing sexual benefits, including increasing the strength of orgasms, so why not?
A beginner’s set of Ben Wa balls such as the Silicone Kegel Exerciser is a great place to start – ensure you use plenty of personal lubrication to help with insertion!
During pregnancy, the uterus grows as the baby gets bigger, putting a lot of stress on the pelvic floor muscles. This causes them to weaken significantly, and can cause urinary incontinence and make labour and delivery more difficult. Incorporating Kegel exercises, or Ben Wa balls, into your pregnancy routine can make all the difference when it comes to meeting your little one!
Ben Wa balls, and regular Kegel exercises in general, will strengthen the pelvic area in preparation for labour and delivery. They can also help you recover faster after you’ve given birth, reportedly helping you “snap” back into shape faster.
Always remember to check anything with your doctor during pregnancy, as it may not be advised that you use Kegel balls (or your doc might want you to use a specific brand/weight/material). However, if you’ve been given the all-clear, a set of balls such as the best-selling OVO L1 Loveballs are a good option! These balls are made with skin-safe silicone with two different weights to progress.
Nine months can go by in the blink of an eye, and if you’ve completely forgotten about preparing for your inevitable post-partum recovery journey, it’s not all doom and gloom! Kegel balls can be incorporated into your routine to help strengthen your pelvic floor after giving birth.
Your body will likely change a lot after giving birth, which can make it hard to know whether you’re exercising the right muscles. For those looking for pelvic floor exercises with bio-feedback, which provides users with direct feedback by measuring the pressure, control, endurance and grip of your pelvic floor muscles, then you could try a more advanced app-based Kegel trainer such as the Lovelife Krush Kegel exerciser or Gballs2. These products feature apps that help you track your progress, and sensors ensure that you’re actually using the right muscles, so this is perfect for regaining bladder control and pelvic strength.
Again, ensure you double check with your doctor about when it is safe to start introducing Ben Wa balls! Most doctors will recommend waiting six weeks, however, this could be different for you.
Even though you can’t see them, your Kegel muscles are vital in more than one aspect, and strengthening them can provide a range of benefits. This may just be your new favourite workout!