I had a scare last week, where I thought I had suffered a prolapse.
At 10-months post natal, I thought I was strong enough to join a gym (yes, a different one from my own!) and participate in Run Club. However, what I hadn’t bargained for was the fact I was 4-months behind, having been struck down with mastitis for the first 4-months of Maia’s life. It wasn’t until my first session with an exercise physiologist (who prescribed a 60kg deadlift in my very first session, for 2 sets of 10. Education is obviously not enough to ensure intelligence!) that I realised that I wasn’t entirely back together again. Needless to say, I cancelled my membership immediately. It took two weeks for my vulnerable back to recover. I continued Run Club, once I thought I was recovered, blissfully unaware of the damage that was jiggling around inside me. Last Monday I was walking the dogs when I felt what I thought was a prolapse. Luckily, I had the contacts and tools to make immediate amendments to my training, and I was booked in to the first available session with a Women’s Health physio.
What came about from the session was there was no prolapse (thank goodness!), and my pelvic floor was very strong, bordering on hypertensive. However, during pregnancy, childbirth, the deadlift, or the increase in ground forces due to jogging (or perhaps all of the above together), I had a stretched section of facia right behind my bladder. If it had gone undiagnosed, it could have easily been the prolapse I feared. The physio and I have developed a plan to prevent it from getting any worse, and 6 days after my scare I was happily tip-toeing the pavement again, in my barefoot, low impact, running style!
If it can happen to me, with my all my experience and all the deep core work I did pre- and post-natal, it can happen to anybody. The worst thing is, you won’t know until a piece of your insides is on the outside.
If I have learned anything from this experience, is that every single women should go and see a women’s health physio before they resume exercise after babies – regardless of whether they’re symptomatic or not. At IntoYou, back pain is a symptom, one that I should not have ignored. The consultation is invasive, but no worse than childbirth, and it will set you on a healthy exercise path from the start.
The only place I feel safe to strength train now is with my own trainers at IntoYou, and I have a session booked everyday with a different one! Each session is different, focussing on strength, posture, movement, and cardio respectively.
At IntoYou, we are serious about your sessions being as specific as possible, in order to change your life for the better! For our mums, this means being cautious about their most vulnerable area (the pelvic floor), which is often injured during pregnancy and childbirth (c-sections included!). It is almost a cliche in our gym, that “you can only go as hard as your weakest part“, and we have designed our program to start at the beginning. Last week I regrouped at level 1, and will be progressing to level 2 this week.
Step by step, at your own pace, you too can start at Level 1 and work your way through to Level 6; which is jumping, skipping, tough mudder, and going berserk with your kids!
Our Level 1 workout video will soon be available in our shop: IntoYou Shop , but in the meantime you can take this to your trainer:
- Lying down breathe out and squeeze up (with the pelvic floor) 3 x 10
- Sitting up breathe out and squeeze up (with the pelvic floor) 3 x 10
- Standing up breathe out and squeeze up (with the pelvic floor) 3 x 10
- SET breath practise 1 x 10
- Chest stretch with the elastic band 3 x 10
- Hip flexor stretch with movement 2 x 10 each side each movement
- Yoga neck stretch 1 x 30 seconds each side
- Braced leg extensions 3 x 10
- Braced leg extensions with leg out 3 x 10
- Butt stretch 1 x 30 seconds each side
- Accupressure massage for your back, with a spiky ball
The elastic and balls will be available for purchase soon, too, at our shop.
If, at any point in this program, you can’t coordinate the pelvic floor lift with your breath out, then stop what you’re doing and start over. Alternatively, you can contact the gym for advice or a referral: firstname.lastname@example.org
The consequences of ignoring this issue are life-changing, and not in a good way! There is a growing number of physios, chiros, pilates instructors, PT’s, and other exercise professionals that will take your body seriously, and IntoYou will happily refer you to someone in our network close to you. Good luck in your journey!