Like a lot of Mamas, I use to pee myself. A little dribble here (ah-choo!), a little dribble there (cough cough), and way too much while playing hop scotch with my little girl, or breaking into a light jog. I decided enough was enough; I didn't want to live in wet undies or support the pantiliner industry any longer. I made an appointment with a Physiotherapist and never looked back.
Here are a few things I have Iearned about the pelvic floor after two pregnancies, seeing a physiotherapist who specializes in the pelvic floor, and reading some fabulous resources:
-Millions of women in North America suffer from urinary incontinence. We all joke about it but it can be inconvenient, embarrassing and socially crippling.
-Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) allows the pelvic organs to rest heavily on the pelvic floor, limiting proper contraction of the pelvic floormuscles and can cause or increase urinary incontinence.
-Most of us are not doing Kegels properly or effectively. If in doubt, seek out a health care professional trained in pelvic floor muscle assessment to evaluate your exercises. Don't be shy!
-There are food and drinks that are bladder irritants. They can be different for individual folks and you'd be surprised what the common ones are.
-The hormone estrogen plays a major role in the abilities and strength of the bladder base and urethra. Guess who has a lack of estrogen? Breastfeeding women!
-You not only need to know how to effectively contract the pelvic floormuscles, but also how to FULLY relax them.
-If you are experiencing symptoms of a weak pelvic floor (incontinence, decrease in sexual satisfaction - to name a few) it can be fixed!! With a little effort, education and guidance you'll be good as new. Heck, probably even better than before.
We need to keep the doors of communication open about this. It's not something that you just live with because it's a 'natural consequence of pregnancy'. Seriously, it can be fixed, I'm living proof!
Here are a couple of books I found super helpful:
Jenny Rolls is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 300+), a Military Wife and Mama of two, living in New Brunswick, Canada. She has studied, trained and become certified in Kripalu Yoga, Yin Yoga and Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga. Jenny believes that any amount of Yoga, no matter how little or lengthy, is 100 times more powerful when done with intention. Pick a simple intent, get into a pose, and become a more content, happy Mama. Or, just have another glass of wine - whichever today calls for.