How to Overcome Your Pelvic Flaws
A guide to preventing pelvic floor problems throughout life by Author and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist, Mary O’Dwyer.

Pregnancy and childbirth usually rank in the top 3 amazing lifetime experiences for women. Not so great if your wet yourself every time you cough, sneeze or run!

Don’t worry – you are not alone.

Following childbirth, 50% of women have pelvic organ prolopse, with symptoms of bladder and bowel dysfunction.*

Post-Baby is the most important time in your life to pay attention to your pelvic floor.

So why don’t more women do Pelvic floor exercises?

  • You don’t see results, so discontinue
  • You were poorly instructed
  • You are using the wrong muscles and find the problem worsens
  • You don’t understand the strong link between floor control and
  • normal continence, sexual function and prolapse prevention
After giving birth you are told “Don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises”. However, if these muscles are cut, swollen and painful, then you might as well have been asked to do brain surgery – you simply don’t know how! So you forget about your pelvic floor and get busy with life, even though you know your pelvic floor does not quite feel the same as it did prior to giving birth.

Most women generally accept pelvic floor problems as part of being female.

We are aware that our mothers and grandmothers may have become incontinent as they aged, experienced prolapse or had hysterectomies. Secretly we fear it could become our destiny as well. So I ask the question, what could make the difference for us, and for our daughters and granddaughters?

Women need practical knowledge about what causes pelvic floor damage and how to prevent it.

Because it is common to hear instructions like “Pull your navel back to your spine” or “Suck your stomach in”, you may learn to draw back and hold tension at the waist. What is wrong with this? Researchers show that narrowing the abdomen at the waist, increases pressure inside the abdomen which in turn puts pressure down on the pelvic floor and this can lead to incontinence.”

Tips to find those elusive muscles:

  • Stop trying so hard- your Pelvic Floor muscles tension and hold, so they feel gentle compared to the powerful muscles you use to move joints
  • Relax your stomach (you have permission to let go of your tight waist)
  • Breathe in by opening your stomach out
  • Slowly draw your urethra (where urine exits) away from an imaginary sharp needle, as you breathe out
  • Learn to hold the light pelvic floor tension as you breathe (your deep abdominal will also tension at your bikini line)
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists teach correct pelvic floor exercises- a worthwhile investment that will benefit you throughout all your life stages of pregnancy, post baby, menopause and senior years.

Read more about your correct pelvic floor habits throughout your life in My Pelvic Flaw by Mary O’Dwyer, Redsok Publishing rrp: $24.95. Available at good book stores or online at www.mypelvicfloor.info

* Hagen et al. 2004 Conservative management of pelvic organ prolapse in women.
 
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