‘I laughed and a little wee just came out’
So you’ve had a baby and you notice that laughing out loud isn’t just about ‘loling’ anymore, it’s also about dealing with that little bit of wee that just came out!! This is really very common, in fact 1 in 4 of us lovely ladies suffer from urinary incontinence. Although it is really common, it is not normal and should not be part of your daily life. You shouldn’t spend your life being too scared to cough or have a good bounce on the trampoline. It just means you have weak pelvic floor muscles and the great news is that weakness’s can be strengthened.
Pelvic Floor Therapist
Other conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse is also common in as many as 1 in 2 of us and 33% of us experience some kind of pelvic pain. The pelvic floor acts like a hammock that supports your bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum. So when the pelvic floor is weak, all of these areas can’t function as well as they should. Getting in touch with a good Pelvic Floor Therapist is the best start to making you feel like your old self again.
Not all about kegels
I expect you were told about Kegels and how you should do them a thousand times a day for the rest of your life!! Well just hold on a cotton picking minute! Too much contracting can actually have a detrimental effect, causing your pelvic floor to become too tight and still lead to incontinence. If your pelvic floor muscles do not have an equal balance, they could either be hypotonic (weak/lengthened) or hypertonic (tight) and a good Pelvic Floor Therapist will be able to tell which camp you fall in. If you have hypertonic pelvic floor muscles then kegels may not be the right solution as you do not want to increase the tightness of an already tight pelvic floor. Exercises like core breathing, alignment and deep squatting will be more suited. If you are hypotonic, then kegels will be more beneficial, along with core breathing and alignment.
You can do this laying down or sitting up tall with your feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on side of your rib cage and the other just below your navel. Breath in and think about filling your lungs with air and watch your diaphragm and rib cage expand, while relaxing your pelvic floor muscles. The when you exhale, feel your ribs, diaphragm and stomach slowly deflate, adding a small kegel at the end.
This really helps ignite these muscles to work together, restoring the correct pressure between your core and pelvic floor system.
Good posture is so important and contributing factor to a weak pelvic floor. How many times have you been told to stand up straight, shoulders back. Good alignment is more than just standing up straight, you have to ensure your bum is not tucked in and your ribs are stacked over your hips.
Deep squatting with the correct form can help create the proper tone of your pelvic floor. Start off squatting as far as you can and then hold for a couple of seconds at the bottom, only go low when you your body is ready for it. Increase the holds for up to 10 seconds when you are ready to progress.
By adding all of the above together and with advice of a pelvic floor therapist, you’ll bouncing off trampolines without so much as a leak before you know it.
If you are interesting in attending specialist postnatal exercises or would prefer a more one to one session in Plymouth, please get in touch here.