I’ve written a lot about my experience postpartum, and care I believe women should receive in the immediate postpartum period, but what about down the line?
What if you are 1, 2, 10 years out from your most recent birth?
What if I told you, once postpartum, always postpartum?
Growing a birthing a human fundamentally changes our bodies for the rest of our lives.
Do you relate? You would not believe how many women I’ve heard from who describe symptoms of pelvic floor (PF) dysfunction years after their last baby.
What do I mean by PF dysfunction?
Well there are varying degrees, but symptoms can include but are not limited to:
Peeing or leaking urine when you sneeze, jump, run, laugh or cough.
Feeling like you always have to pee, no matter how long it has been since you last went
Dribbling urine after you get up from the toilet.
Feeling like there is still urine in your bladder after you finished peeing.
Feeling like you have to bear down or push on your abdomen to fully empty your bladder.
Feeling like you have to push on your perineum in order to fully empty your bowel.
Pain in your perineum (the area between your vagina and your anus) with activity or prolonged standing.
Unexplained lower back pain.
Painful sex or decreased sexual pleasure.
Feeling as though the vagina is too tight or small for sexual penetration.
Feeling of laxity in the pelvic area.
Inability to consciously contract (or Kegel) or relax the pelvic floor .
Inability to distinguish between a bowel movement and passing wind.
Inability to control passing of wind or bowel contents.
Protrusion of internal organs out of the vaginal opening.
If you can relate to any (one, or more than one) of the symptoms listed above, it is possible you may be experiencing some degree of PFD.
I know what you’re thinking; ‘But I’ve had babies, don’t all women just pee themselves after they have babies? Isn’t this normal?‘
The answer is a resounding NO!
If I could shout it from the rooftops, I would.
But what about all of those Poise, Always, and Depends commercials? They make it seem like it’s just something we have to accept.
Better buy some diapers, because you’re never going to keep your pee in again.
No. No. No. No. No!
While urinary incontinence (one of the most frequent symptoms of PFD) is common it is not normal!
Some of you might now be saying “Well, that’s what I thought, and I told my doctor and he/she said ‘Just do your Kegels, you’ll be fine.‘”
There seems to be a huge disconnect in the medical/obstetrical world when it comes to pelvic floor dysfunction. A lot of physicians and midwives seem to think that as long as your organs aren’t falling out, you’re doing okay.
This is not the case! There is help!
Can I get a Hallelujah?
So what can you do?
Do I really have to say it again?
I will. Because I can’t say it enough.
Pelvic Health, or Women’s Health Physiotherapy!
You’re thinking “But how? If my doctor doesn’t think anything is wrong, how can I get a referral?”
Most Pelvic Health Physios don’t require a referral*!
Now you’re asking “How Do I find a physiotherapist?”
Here is a list of websites that offer search within Canada to find local physiotherapists who specialize in women’s health and pelvic floor:
Pelvic Health Solutions
Physio Can Help**
Once you’ve worked with a physio to determine where you are at, in addition you can work with a personal trainer who specializes in postnatal training to get your strength back! That’s what I am here for! I am now taking on a few clients to start building my personal training career and experience! Feel free to contact me for more information, either through this website, or on my Facebook page or Instagram page.
And please, please, do not think you have to live with wet panties for the rest of your life!