Being pregnant and giving birth to your little bub is one of the most amazing experiences anyone can go through… but it does take a toll on your body!
Our recommended Women’s Health Physio and Pelvic Floor Specialist Jenni Davies can set us off on the right track and can help protect our pelvic floor.
Did you know that during vaginal birth, your pelvic floor muscles stretch up to five times their original length?
‘In about 50% of women these changes reverse naturally’, while the rest will have short term or long term problems with their pelvic floor.
What are some of the issues you can have with your pelvic floor?
- Weak / lengthened, or week / tight pelvic floor muscles
- Prolapse of the bladder, uterus or bowel
- Urinary leakage
- Increased urgency to go to the toilet
- Pelvic, hip or lower back pain
- Difficulty passing bowel motions or using a tampon
Who is at higher risk of pelvic floor dysfunction?
- Forceps / Vacuum assisted deliveries
- Episiotomy or tears of the perineum
- Pushing > 1hr
- Maternal age > 35 years old
- Large baby birth weight >4kg
- Small maternal stature <160cm when combined with baby > 4kg
- Women with low body mass index (BMI)
- Urinary, faecal, flatus incontinence pre-pregnancy
- Pelvic girdle pain before, during or after pregnancy
- Family history of pelvic floor dysfunction in mother or sister.
Pelvic floor issues are not yet commonly talked about, and they should be. A lot of women are also unaware of the potential issues until they start developing a more obvious prolapse, urinary leakage or other symptoms.
At Buggy Bootcamp, we’re trying to spread the message and educate new Mums on the risks that pregnancy and giving birth bring to your pelvic floor – but still in this country a lot of women still don’t have their pelvic floor properly assessed at their 6 week GP check up. We highly recommend asking your Doctor at your 6 week check up for a full pelvic floor assessment or even better, book an appointment with a Women’s Health and Post-natal Physio for a full post-natal check. If only the Australian check ups were a little more French!
You may ‘feel fine’ at your 6 week check up and feel like you might not need to ask the question. However, while you might not currently have any symptoms, if you push your fitness too quickly post-natally or lift heavy weights on a weak pelvic floor, you might be doing more damage that could cause problems years down the track without you even realising it. Jenni says “This partly explains why the long-term statistics are so high for incontinence and prolapse (50% of 40-49 year-old-women have incontinence, 70% of 40-60 year old women have prolapse).”
A little bit scary isn’t it?
The good news is that you CAN do something about it and have specific treatment with a Pelvic Floor Women’s Health Physio. Like any muscle, the pelvic floor can be strengthened to keep everything where it should be and behaving how we want it to!
So if you have any of the symptoms listed above… or don’t have any symptoms but just want to know where you are in your post-natal recovery and have the peace of mind that you can exercise how you like without worry, contact a women’s health physio to get a full pelvic health assessment. This can be done at any time post birth as soon as you are comfortable having an internal examination.
Working together with a pelvic floor physio you can develop a rehabilitation plan to enable you to reduce your symptoms and reach your goals. After your assessment and clearance for low impact exercise, Buggy Bootcamp trainers can help guide you on the exercises you should, or shouldn’t be doing and show you how to do modified versions of higher impact movements so that you are not putting any more pressure on your pelvic floor.
Buggy Bootcamp members and those interested in starting Buggy Bootcamp will receive 40% off Jenni Davies’ initial consultation, just contact Carly for more information.
If you have any questions regarding your pelvic floor or post-natal training, please feel free to contact us:
Phone: 0435 150 136
Phone: 0408 700 765