Let’s talk about pee. More specifically, peeing when you’re not supposed to. When you sneeze, laugh, cough, lift heavy, jump rope, etc.
It might be a strange way to start a conversation or a blog post but it is an issue that many women deal with, especially after they have had a baby. “Even a seemingly uneventful pregnancy and delivery can change urinary control for up to 50 percent of women,” says Roger Goldberg, M.D., director of urogynecology research at the University of Chicago NorthShore University HealthSystem.
Even though a lot of women (and some men) have this problem, it is just that – a problem. It is not normal and in many cases fixable and preventable.
Incontinence is often caused by weak pelvic floor muscles. These muscles are put under a lot of stress and strain during pregnancy and birth, especially vaginal delivery. Postpartum, it takes time and work to get those muscles built back up. During this time, it is especially important to move slowly and progressively through movements when returning to exercise. Coming back into heavy lifting and intense jumping too quickly can make these issues worsen and take longer to correct.
The simplest way to work the pelvic floor muscles is through Kegals. Those are the muscles responsible for holding your bladder in place, and they need to be strong if you want to regain urinary control. Think about trying to add them in every time you are sitting at a stoplight, standing in line at the post office (or wherever), brushing your teeth, or during any number of simple, everyday activities. Another great time to do Kegals is while on the toilet, working on having the ability to stop and start your stream of urine.
Friendship’s Physical Therapist, Dr. Jenny Borda, has also put together these videos to talk about rebuilding the core, in addition to the pelvic floor, to help anyone who is experiencing this problem.
Breathing & Bracing:
Core Progressions from Jenny
If you are consistent with the Kegals and Jenny’s exercises, your incontinence should improve. If you continue to have issues and/or experience extreme incontinence (like a gush instead of a trickle), you should talk to your doctor. There are special cases in which pelvic floor spasms require more intense and targeted medical attention. There are also doctors who specialize in pelvic floor rehabilitation.
While we might giggle or feel uncomfortable talking about it, urinary incontinence is a problem that will persist if not taken care of. Let us know how we can help!
This article was written by Liz Van Winkle with the help of Dr. Jenny Borda. Together these two have created a super-team for local Columbus mothers in training to help come back from pregnancy stronger than ever! If you need help or want more info fill out the link below.