This week we spoke to Nicky and Lisa, our two women’s health physios. They chatted to us about all things to do with the pelvic floor, incontinence, prolapse and returning to exercise. Here are a few of their take away points:
* Every woman who’s had a child should see a women’s health physio, whether that be on the NHS or privately. Especially see one if you have any leaking of wee, poo or wind, or if you have any pain in your back, pelvis or during sex.
* Sometimes doing pelvic floor exercises can make things worse if your pelvic floor is overactive (this doesn’t mean strong…more like it’s in a cramp all the time!). If you are constipated, get back/hip/pelvic pain or pain during sex, this may be the case for you. A women’s health physio can diagnose this for you.
* If you struggle with urine incontinence (ie you leak wee) make sure you are well hydrated. Might sound like the opposite of what you want to do, but the more concentrated and acidic your urine, the more irritated your bladder becomes and starts contracting, causing you to wee. Other things that irritate the bladder are caffeine, alcohol (especially white wine as very acidic) and anything with bubbles in (the carbonic acid that makes the bubbles really annoys the bladder). So prosecco is a bit of a no no if you have incontinence…I know, so unfair!
* Return to exercise slowly and preferably after getting the all clear from a women’s health physio. You need to think of exercise as a long game and it can feel frustratingly slow to those of you who used to exercise before kids. But remember you just grew a human being…you shouldn’t “bounce back” from that, you need time to rest and recover. Start with core stability, so pilates with a postnatal instructor (very important) is a great place to start. Leave impact work until you are strong in your core and glutes (bum muscles).
You can get in touch with Nicky and Lisa here.