Does having a pelvic floor dysfunction make you feel ashamed, guilty, damaged? Does it prevent you from enjoying the activities that brought you so much pleasure in the past?
If so, you are not alone. 1-3 women will have a pelvic floor disorder. Incontinence affects 1 in 4 to 1 in 2 women who exercise.
Pushing ineffectively for many hours may contribute to long term muscle weakness and damage associated with incontinence or pelvic floor prolapse.
The fascia and the pelvic floor provide support for the urethra. The excess force of uncoordinated pushing can result in weaker pelvic floor muscles several months after birth. Weakness in pelvic floor muscles is associated with incontinence.
During birth, the pelvic floor muscles have the ability to lengthen up to 250% if they have the opportunity and are supported and nourished.
The fascia attaches to the bone & helps support the urethra, vagina & rectum by wrapping around these passages. Once the fascia is stretched or torn, it doesn’t heal like it was before.
Just because you don’t have a problem now, doesn’t mean that you won’t later.
As a birth doula and childbirth educator, I am passionate about educating and providing evidence based information to my students and clients. I created my signature classes Pushing Power – 2nd Stage Labor & The Pelvic Floor for pregnant people to learn ahead of time how to push safely and effectively and protect their pelvic floor for birth. And Protect the Perineum for Birth! for Professionals so that they can help their patients prepare for an optimal birth experience and full recovery postpartum.
Watch out for symptoms (pain in the perineal area beyond stitches healing, pain with inserting anything or intercourse or feeling heaviness down there or leaking during movement or sneezing). Don’t push through!
I always refer to a pelvic floor physical therapist if my client has pain or symptoms or if something just doesnt feel right.
I help my clients retrain their pelvic floor muscles to adapt to dynamic real life situations. Movement is the medicine. Develop variety and resilience through exercise.
These 6 simple things make a big difference to your healing;
- Remember to stop and Breath. Inhale for the count of 2. Exhale for the count of 4. Repeat. Allow your exhale to be longer than your inhale.
- Nutrition. Choose nourishing whole foods. Collagen & mineral rich foods, good quality protein, Zinc, Vitamin C are critical for tissue integrity and supporting new connective tissue repair.
- Hydrate. Easy & often. Don’t wait until the end of the day to hydrate. Find a cute water bottle and fill it and carry it with you. Manage your fluids throughout the day.
- Movement Start with a good walk & build up from there. Spend time sitting on the floor with your baby and practice getting up from there.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. Regular sleep and deep restorative rest is so important towards healing and recovery and supporting your mental energy.
- Your Birth story is important and vaild. Make room for your feelings about it. Find someone who can support you and listen to you. Someone who will hear you and what your concerns are.
I want to remind the mom’s reading this; that you are strong and adaptable.
You can work with this. There are people who can help and you are not alone.