Mama Health

I’ve been absent.  And I’ve missed this place.  We moved last week and I am finally getting a handle on our routine again.

I promise I will get back to feeding and development.  A “mama pelvic floor health” topic has been on my mind and it’s an important topic.  It isn’t discussed openly and it should be!  This topic is specifically at the forefront of my mind because I am now in the 16th week of my third pregnancy.

My mom should really write this.  I finally understand why she disliked jumping on the trampoline when we were kids!  She told me that I was going too hard too soon after having my first baby.   I didn’t listen, at all.   She was right, and my pelvic floor paid for it.  My head struggled with the pregnancy weight gain and I was hell bent on getting it off.  I did my first race when E was 5 weeks old, a boot camp when she was 3 months old, and ran my personal best half marathon when she was 8 months old.  I was then pregnant again when she was 10 months old.  All the pounding took it’s toll on my pelvic floor and I had trouble continently sneezing 8 weeks into my second pregnancy.   I had to stop running shortly after the first trimester because I felt like I was wearing a tampon afterwards.   Not good.  Lesson learned… I do not want to have to change my undies every time I sneeze for the rest of my life.

I bought into the push towards getting the weight off as soon as possible. There are boot camps specifically geared toward post-baby bellies.  They talk about modifying activities specifically for post-partum bodies but the instructors do not have a good understanding of the anatomy or function of the pelvic floor.  I’ve heard a few pelvic floor physios mention that those classes only exacerbate the problem with all of the pelvic floor loading exercises.

I had a really tough time holding myself back in my second post-partum period. I was frumpy, chubby and feeling down about wearing my big clothes for much longer than I wanted tp.  BUT I think I took better care of myself, and my pelvic floor.  I invested in the future of my body.  I attended pelvic floor lectures during my second pregnancy, and saw a pelvic floor physiotherapist during and after pregnancy.

Now in the throes of the weight gain and definition loss part of this new pregnancy, I am struggling again.   I am trying my best to exercise with caution, do my pelvic floor exercises and take care with my core work.  My abs are still very far apart (likely because my pregnancies are all very close together) and they are the cause for modified push-ups and core work.  I feel like a wuss modifying things but I know it will pay off in the long run.

Our bodies are amazing and we underestimate the toll having babies takes.  I did.

Some resources for Calgary folk:

Inspire Physiotherapy

Alberta Health Services Pelvic Floor Classes through Bloom Women’s Health Resources 

Your Body After Baby Physiotherapy – Birth and Babies.    Cost is $25.

Alberta wide resources:

There are many private physiotherapists that specialize in pelvic floor. Pelvic Floor Wellness has a list of Alberta wide therapists.

You can also search The Physiotherapy Alberta College and Association for specific locations.

Anyone have anything to add?

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6 thoughts on “Mama Health

  1. Amanda says:

    I love your “realness” in this blog and can totally relate. I struggle with this the most my third pregnancy and it will be interesting to see how my body reacts after the baby is born (any day now!) Something else I really struggled with my first pregnancy and post pregnancy was symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). I blame this mostly on the fact I slipped on wet floor at work at 35 weeks. It was almost unbearable during the rest of my pregnancy and for months post delivery. The simple action of putting on a pair of pants had me in tears. I also visited a physio to try to strengthen the muscles in my pelvis/groin and over time it definitely did improve but I cannot say it has actually ever gotten back to “normal”- whatever “normal” is these days. Love your writing and happy to hear you are settling in. Post pictures of your bump soon!

  2. Sara says:

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!!
    My mom had a hysterectomy recently, part of the reason being she had 4 children. Her surgeon emphasized kegels and said you can never do too many.

  3. Chelsey says:

    I saw a Physio who specialized in Pelvic Floor years before I was pregnant. She was great, I didn’t realize at the time how vital these muscles are. So many people do not talk about this issue and it is often embarrassing. She also specialized in working with Men who had prostate cancer and the issues they have after undergoing surgery, so this affects many people.

  4. melissabw says:

    I’m so glad to see conversation about this! My husband thinks it’s hilarious that I’m posting on vagina issues but what the heck. It’s part of having kids, just a more sensitive topic!

    I had forgotten that a good friend also recommended the Allan Centre for Women in Calgary.

  5. melissabw says:

    A friend mentioned that “BODY FIT THERAPY” also has pelvic floor specific services out in Okotoks!

  6. Claire says:

    Beacon hill physiotherapy with pelvic floor trained therapist, Pam Fokkens. She is amazing and you feel comfortable despite someone working in a rather private area. She is very skilled. I started with her post baby #1 but for this 2nd pregnancy started up with her regularly throughout to ensure strength of muscles and proper activities. As the due date approaches I will need to go weekly to start stretching out the muscles in preparation for the finale (so a different focus than the regular appointments).

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