Squeeze those pelvic floor muscles!
1 in 3 of us women experience a bit of a leak of urine when we cough, laugh, run (ha, ha, ha.... I don't do that very often!) or jump following pregnancy and birth. I still don't enjoy the sensation of bouncing on a trampoline!
It's not talked about very much and that means women suffer more, as they feel they're the only one, and it also means we delay seeking help. However, many women are seeking to change that. One hilarious comedian and physiotherapist, Elaine Miller aka gussetgrippers.co.uk, is on a mission to transform our pelvic floors! This video is very, very funny but she is really blunt about her difficult experience following birth, so you might want to watch it after you've given birth yourself! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XODY8eqbG4I
We might assume nothing can be done to help, or feel it's too mild to bother anyone. But it always worth seeking help. One Mum who finally did ask her GP for a physio referral for mild urinary incontinence shared with me how her pelvic floor turned out to be fine, but she needed bladder retraining. She had become so fearful of not being near a toilet while her urinary incontinence was more severe, that she was always going to the loo 'just in case'; although her pelvic floor had returned to a good strength following her challenging birth experience, her bladder had forgotten how to hold urine because she never allowed it to fill up! She has normal bladder health now thanks to her fantastic physio and her perseverance to seek health.
A smaller proportion of women experience more severe levels of incontinence following birth and may need to even consider surgery at some point. Their suffering is made greater by the sense of isolation. As mums we need to get this more out in the open so we can support one another.
The NHS has launched a new 'squeezy app' that you can download free to your phone...http://www.squeezyapp.co.uk/info/index.html Great for helping you keep track of this important and simple exercise to look after ourselves and this vitally important area of our bodies!
I will miss seeing those of you who attend BellyTots classes this week as I work at a Festival in Somerset... I love delivering the classes there but wonder if I'll survive festival camping 😳. I'll let you know what happens.... Look forward to seeing you next week. Take care of yourselves and..... keep squeezing!