We’ve got a huge trampoline in our backyard and every time Elliott goes on it, he reaches out to me saying ‘Mum, Mum, Mum’ which is his way of telling me that he wants me to jump with him and most of the time I really don’t want to.
It’s not because I don’t like playing with him or that I couldn’t be bothered, it’s because I can’t jump, it’s because everytime I try to jump I feel like I’m going to wet my pants and I blame my dreaded pelvic floor that has been stuffed since giving birth to Elliott.
If you were to ask me for my number one advice to women pregnant for the first time, I would say ‘exercise your pelvic floor muscles regularly, from day one of your pregnancy!’
I knew it was important to do the exercises when I was pregnant but I didn’t really know or understand the extent of what can happen if you neglect them. When I was pregnant with Elliott, I did my exercises whenever I remembered and this was rarely.
After Elliott was born, I remember freaking out because I couldn’t seem to hold things in like I used to. I could feel how weak my pelvic floor was, I couldn’t jump and I couldn’t jog or run, lifting things made it difficult and sneezing was horrid. I went to a Physiotherapist to get some help and she gave me some exercises to work on. As time went on it improved, but it never went back to normal and I still find it hard to run a little more than a jog, I wish I had taken my pelvic floor exercises more seriously.
Now when I see the Poise or Depends ads, I don’t watch them thinking that incontinence is for old people like I did pre-pregnancy, I think to myself ‘oh god, that’s me now’ (although not quite as bad). And while I’m talking about incontinence ads, this incontinence ad is just plain funny.
But back to being serious, in hindsight I really should have focused on these three things:
- Setting a reminder for three times a day to do 3 sets of 10 quick squeezing and holding contractions.
- Walking and doing more low impact exercise during the early stages of my pregnancy.
- Doing my pelvic floor exercises in secret! I remember my Yoga Instructor saying you can do them anywhere, even in the line at Coles, nobody will know you’re doing it.
Were you like me and neglected your pelvic floor? How did you end up?
Image by kconnors on morguefile.com