Our pelvic floor muscles hold all the abdominal contents in place and keep us continent, that is, they stop urine and faeces escaping when we cough, laugh, sneeze or lift.
Exercising your pelvic floor muscles now will tone them up so they give support to your growing baby and uterus and help you feel more comfortable during the pregnancy.
After pregnancy, pelvic floor exercises will encourage healing and recovery in that area.
Imagine you are desperate to empty your bladder, but when you get to the lavatory it's occupied. Instinctively, you will do a pelvic floor contraction and squeeze to stop wetting yourself.
Try doing it now - pulling up around the front passage as if to stop yourself leaking, hold for a count of four and then release. You should feel the difference when you let go.
Repeat the exercise in batches of six to eight as often as you can during the day. As well as holding for a count of four, try doing some where you squeeze, release, squeeze, release, quite quickly. Remember to keep breathing normally throughout.
Once a week, while sitting on the loo, you can try to stop in midstream while peeing to check that you are doing the exercise correctly. However, this should not be done regularly as an exercise as it can lead to the bladder not emptying properly.