Here I am pictured six months after I had my second baby. At this point I thought that I would not get to enjoy my boys growing up as an active mum. At the point this photo was taken I was needing to pee every 10 minutes and people were constantly asking me when my baby was due. I wasn’t a happy person. I had always wanted to have children but I had (like so many other women) walked in to this whole birth thing with no idea of the catastrophic mess that childbirth can and does have on women every single day. I had no idea about prolapse of diastasis and incontinence and lack of sexual appetite. I was blissfully unaware.
This photo was taken at Sally Scots studio just before I tried Hypopressives for the first time. It had not been an easy choice to go see her – drive for 40 minutes there- pay money for a method that I heard about but wasn’t sure would work.
This was the start of my journey with Hypopressives and little did I know my journey back to me and to that life I had dreamt about as an active and outgoing mum of two boys.
So you may be have been told that post baby – or with age – that leaking urine or faeces is normal – it’s what you should expect.
This helps to breed indifference to what can be a problem that is easily (ok you do need to work at it!) rehabilitated. Tena lady and other sanitary towel companies make money from you being told that this situation is normal – that there’s not really too much you can do about it – it’s common – put on a pad and get to an exercise class or just get on with your life.
There are more than one type of incontinence that you can suffer from:
Loss of control of bladder function
When laughing, coughing or sneezing
On movement or impact – this can be high or low
You may leak when with legs apart, you simply bend over or walk upstairs –
These are your fast twitch muscles not firing properly – being weak and also they may also be too tight – essentially your bathroom muscles not opening and closing when you want them to
‘Key in the lock’ scenario – you made it home and now have a pressing urgency to go pee/poo
Being caught short
A need to go immediately
No possibility of holding it in
These are your slow twitch muscle fibres that are weak – and perhaps tight too
When you void or go pee but there’s something left behind
Feeling of not fully emptying the bowel or bladder
Higher risk or urinary tract infection
When you suffer from a combination of the symptoms above.
Hypopressive exercise uses thoracic breathing to decrease the pressure on the pelvic floor – lifting the pelvic floor muscles and working the ‘friend to your pelvic floor muscles’ muscles that surround your pelvic floor to lengthen and strengthen them.
Losing the strength in your pelvic floor be it post pregnancy or through other trauma can have a huge impact on you as a person, your relationships and the daily activities you choose to do.
Let’s look at traditional methods!
The sit up….
Something for you to try first as doing and feeling is better than just reading.
Lie on your back, place your hands on your tummy near the bottom. Now cough. What happens? Does your stomach push out? Does your pelvic floor move down? Something as simple as a light cough can produce a lot of pressure. As you are already on your back, try a traditional abdominal crunch or abdominal exercise of your choice (not too many!). What happens? Can you feel the increase in pressure downwards, outwards, on your back, neck?
Pulling your belly button in toward your spine all day is like squeezing on a tube of toothpaste. As toothpaste will be pressed out of the hole of the tube, so too will the pressure you create attempt to push through any weak point you may have in your core. So if you like hundreds more have been pulling your tummy in and chest breathing to make your self appear slimmer…you have been doing yourself and your diaphragm a disservice! Over time, these weak points can eventually manifest themselves in any number of symptoms of a dysfunctional core.