For all those new mums (and soon to be mums, and mums of grown up kids).
We all know that pregnancy is hard. And childbirth messes with your body (thanks kids), but do we really know the reality of what is 'normal and acceptable' after childbirth.
First off, let's have a look at some of the shocking stats.....
50% of women experience pelvic organ prolapse with symptoms of bladder and bowel dysfunction.
50% of women who have had children have some degree of pelvic organ prolapse (symptomatic or asymptomatic).
In women with vaginal prolapse, 63% will experience urinary stress incontinence.
IF you have urinary incontinence during pregnancy the chance of you having urinary incontinence at 3 months post deliver is almost double (regardless of delivery method).
If you had incontinence issues before pregnancy, then you are 5 times more likely to have issues with incontinence after pregnancy.
52% of women with lower back pain during pregnancy were found to have pelvic floor dysfunction.
Straining on the toilet is associated with anterior vaginal wall and perineal descent in women with pelvic organ prolapse.
52% of women with a pelvic floor dysfunction (stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse) have a Diastasis Recti.
and 66% of women with a Diastasis Recti experience stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.
45% of women have urinary incontinence 7 years postnatally.
36% of women have diastasis recti 8 weeks after delivery.
Pelvic floor dysfunction is not limited to those women who have had vaginal deliveries.
42% of women with vaginal deliveries experienced stress or urge incontinence, compared to 35% of women who undergo a C-section.
with all those shocking numbers, it is important to realise that these symptoms and conditions
ARE NOT NORMAL OR ACCEPTABLE
So what is the answer?
Preparation is supremely important. The general consensus in days of old was it was a time to rest and relax, so as not to cause undue risk of complications, but in fact the opposite is true. You should maintain your regular routine as much as able, (unless of course there is a medical reason) and get your body prepared for the challenge of of carrying and delivering a baby.
HAving said that, if you werent running before pregnancy, this in not the time to take it up!
But you can prepare your pelvic girdle through specific core strengthening exercises.
what happens if you are already pregnant and suffering from pelvic girdle dysfunction? Its not too late! we can help reduce pain and get you on the right track.
These stabilisation programs can provide approximately 50% reduction in disability and pain.
If you have a traumatic birth, it is imperative to retrain your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.
As although we would like then to automatically repair, this just isn't the reality.
If we don't specifically retrain these systems, they don't tend to come back on their own. And as we saw above - this doesn't just apply to those women who have had a vaginal delivery, these issues occur in cesarean deliveries as well.
What about if you had your babies a long time ago and you are still experiencing bladder and bowel problems, or perineal dysfunction?
It is never too late to start to a rehabilitation program. Speak to our team to get you back on track.
Remember, you are not alone, but pelvic dysfunction isn't a condition that should be suffered in silence, or worn as a badge of honour. It is immensely treatable, and reversible, so get back to enjoying life!