Pelvic Floor issues can slap you in your face. Make you feel like you’re less of a woman. Make you question every decision you ever made to have a family. It can feel so limiting and embarrassing that you stop going to the gym to ensure you prevent a humiliating experience. Pelvic Floor dysfunction can stop you from exercising, moving or dancing and lead you to put on and carry extra weight that leaves you feeling even more dispare. Pelvic floor issues can wreak havoc on marriages, stop blossoming relationships in the footsteps and so much more.
That number might even be skewed because many women believe that the symptoms of Pelvic floor dysfunction are just normal with aging so they don’t seek out treatment.
We hear the stories every day. This is why it is absolutely essential to know how to spot Pelvic FLoor Dysfunction and how exactly you can take steps to prevent it or stop it dead in its tracks. This information will leave you empowered to take control of your life and your health. So much so that even when your around your mom friends you can’t help but to share your secret that they are dying to know.
1 in 3 women will experience Pelvic Floor Dysfunction in her lifetime.
- Leaking when you cough, sneeze, laugh or jump
- Discomfort with sex
- Aching hips or back
- Feeling heaviness, pressure or pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis
- For pelvic floor dysfunction to be such a common issue there isn’t enough information out there about PREVENTION.
So let’s jump in!
Pelvic floor wellness is important for anyone with a vagina. Doesn’t matter if you intend to have children or not, pelvic health is crucial for good quality of life.
So one of the biggest tips I can share for anyone at any stage of life is HOW TO POOP!
Yes you read that correctly for those of us with a vagina straining to get poop out is also applying pressure to ALL of the pelvic organs not just the colon.
That pressure puts strain on those pelvic organs and can shift them out of their place and into the vaginal canal, this is called a Pelvic Organ Prolapse. Yes you can actually push your pelvic organs OUT OF YOUR BODY. In extreme cases, a 4th degree pelvic organ prolapse, the organs are outside of the body and that does require surgery. This is mostly common after a traumatic birth or even a car accident.
But the less severe cases of a pelvic organ prolapse come with symptoms as well;
- Dribbling pee on the toilet seat when you stand
- Queefing often
- Feeling like your partner is hitting something during vaginal sex
- A sharp pain in your vaginal that can either be dull and then get intense or kind of hits you and then fades away.
Pelvic pressure or just feeling like there is something in your vaginal, maybe you notice it when you’re inserting a finger or tampon or even while walking.
These symptoms are often overlooked
“I got up to fast so I leaked a little on the seat”
“Queefing is normal it’s nothing”
“My body is changing with age sex doesn’t feel great forever”
“Maybe that was a cramp or I ate something weird”
“I gained weight the pressure is just from that”
So back to how to PREVENT a pelvic organ prolapse by pooping correctly
You should be breathing your poop out and by that I mean
- You want to elevate your legs a squatty potty or stool is great this will straighten your anal rectal angle and allow the stool to come out easier
- You want to take 3 deep diaphragmatic breaths also called belly breaths
- On the 3rd breath you want to bare down gently, like you’re farting but don’t want anyone to know
Voila! Your poop should come right out! If not we need to talk about diet, drink lots of water and eat some fiber. Vegetables and fruits are perfect.
Diaphragmatic breathing is also an essential technique in birth! So let’s review how this tip will help you decrease your push time and prepare your pelvic floor for birth.
The core is essentially a soda can,
When you do a diaphragmatic breath or belly breath the diaphragm descends and your pelvic floor bulges or relaxes this motion during birth pushes baby down with your diaphragm and with a more relaxed pelvic floor baby can come through the vaginal canal with less strain on both of you and your vagina. This helps prevent perineal tears and unnecessary strain on the hips and pelvic floor organs.
Our core is a pressure system similar to a can and once the top is popped the pressure is compromised and the can is easier to crush so in relation to the body. Postpartum the pressure of the core has been compromised so to regain that good pressure that will support your joints and restore your core strength I encourage you to continue doing the diaphragmatic breathing but you will add “Blow As You Go” into your routine. This means when we exert force like lifting a car seat we want to exhale as we come up that will decrease the downward pressure on the pelvic organs.
Postpartum our organs are heavier and our joints are more flexible especially if you breastfeed so we want to make sure that we engage our lower abdominal muscles to keep our hips aligned and support our back while our core strength returns. The Transverse abdominal muscles are the deepest abdominal muscles and are located in the the lower stomach muscles below your belly button and the fibers of these muscles horizontal across your body so activating these will bring your Linea Alba muscles back together these are the 6 pack ab muscles in the center of the stomach that separate during pregnancy, a significant separation is called a diastasis recti and is noticeable while sitting up you might see some tenting of the muscle so a little protrusion coming through when you do a crunching motion.