14th March 2016

Is your pelvic floor a bit of a jokey subject? You know how it goes, you and your friends have a laugh over that little bit of pee that comes out when you sneeze, cough or run.

That’s understandable because many mums will experience some leakage so it becomes a common subject among mothers and something that feels okay to giggle about. Maybe it’s a case of ‘if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry!’.

It’s brilliant to be able to smile about these things and even more brilliant to be able to talk about them but we’re here to say make sure you DO talk about it to a professional and get checked out.

The fact is that it’s not normal to wet yourself and you can seek a referral to a specialist. It’s not something you should just have to put up with.

Regardless of what type of delivery you had, your pelvic floor will have been placed under a bit of extra pressure during pregnancy. Add to that a tough, long, labour, a tear or episiotomy or something such as a forceps delivery and good chance your pelvic floor needs some strengthening.

So why is the pelvic floor so crucial? Well, it’s a muscle that wraps like a figure eight from the pubic bone to the coccyx and supports the bladder, uterus and bowel. There’s a really good explanation here but given the organs it’s holding up it’s easy to see why it’s a good idea to keep that muscle in working order.

Pelvic floor problems aren’t just about leaking urine. You might feel other types of discomfort in that area, a slight bulge, or pressure. If something doesn’t feel right, even if you’re not leaking, the key is to get checked out by a specialist. Your GP can refer you or, if possible, see someone privately.

Jelly Belly trainer Kellie Moore says:

“If you pee whilst exercising, the exercise chosen isn’t right for you and you need to decrease the intensity and or impact.

Our classes are all pelvic floor safe and we can ensure you’re doing the right exercises for you, plus we work with some great physios and can refer you if need be.

The pelvic floor is like any other muscle in the body so if it is weak it needs strengthening before adding load from high impact or high intensity exercise.

Start with low impact, low intensity exercises and build up as your pelvic floor strengthens. Everyone recovers at a different rate depending on your pregnancy, birth and body so go at your own pace and don’t feel the need to rush in to exercise that isn’t suitable.

Find alternatives that work for you and still give you that feel good factor that exercise brings.”

Pregnancy02 (1)Pregnancy03 (1)

Above shows the difference between a normal pelvic floor and one that has been weakened. A Women’s Health Physiotherapist will be able to help assess the function of your pelvic floor and give advice on how to strengthen it.

There are things you can do immediately after having your baby to begin to help restore function too.

When we breathe the pelvic floor naturally pushes down on an inhale and lifts on an exhale.

If you were to focus on your breathing and emphasise your out breath, you would feel a greater awareness of the pelvic floor lifting and contracting.

Do this focused breathing a few times a day as soon as you’ve had your baby. Allow your pelvic floor to relax as well as contract to ensure the muscles take full advantage of contracting and de-contracting.

Regardless of what stage of recovery you are at, even if it’s been a while since you gave birth, if you feel your pelvic floor doesn’t work properly, don’t put up with it.

 

Words: Penny Stretton

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you shouldn't put up with peeing yourself post baby - Jelly Belly PT