Pelvic Floor Myth #1 – Wee Free Delivery

Is there incorrect information still out there about our pelvic floor muscles? ABSOLUTELY.

Myth #1

It is normal to have ongoing leaking problems after having children 

INCORRECT – It is very common but not normal

Why do so many of us still believe it is normal?

  • Media

The increasing number of commercials for bladder pads constantly reinforce the message that it is normal to leak. Making things even worse is the fact that the women in these commercials are young and fit showing how ‘normal’ it is to leak at a much younger age.

  • Friends and Family

Sometimes when you have had 1 or more babies and you continue to have a challenging bladder, you might seek out the counsel of your girlfriends or close family members. All too often, the friends reinforce the normalcy of leaking because they say, they too leak from time to time. You hear your friends are also having this problem and believe that it is the completely normal result of having had babies. If someones Mom had, and still has, these issues, that also reinforces the fact that maybe its happening to me cause it happened to my Mom.

  • Embarrassment

Lets face it, this is not a sexy topic. Some people are just too embarrassed or ashamed to even bring it up. Then, they see bladder pad commercials and assume it to be normal.

  • Lack of Information

There aren’t any commercials, YET, letting people know that if they are having an issue with their bladder, there is a conservative approach that helps and they don’t need to wear pads for the rest of their lives. Pelvic floor physiotherapists, including myself, write articles in local magazines, offer talks at women’s gyms, print up educational material and drop it off to family Doctors, trying to get the message out there as much as possible.

  • No Pain

Pain is a powerful motivator. It is generally what makes us finally head into our physiotherapists office for some help. But, leaking is not painful…it is just very inconvenient. I like to remind women that even if they leak just a little and only when their bladder is really full and only when they have a really big laugh with their bestie…this is still a problem. Small problems rarely go away without making a change and more often, they develop into bigger problems. I encourage women to seek out help even when their problem is small.

What is normal?

It is normal to have leaking for up to 6 weeks or so after having baby. Sometimes 2-3 months for more problematic deliveries. Anything longer than this indicates that your pelvic floor muscles are not firing properly and they need a little help. Statistics from Diane Lee’s newest book “Diastasis Rectus Abdominis”, reports that 92% of women who are still incontinent 12 weeks postpartum will remain so 5 years later (Viktrup et al 2000).

The most important message is this…

If you are continuing to have problems maintaining control of your bladder when you sneeze, laugh, cough, work out at the gym, go for a run or pick up baby, PLEASE SEEK OUT HELP! You don’t have to live with this. Find the pelvic floor physiotherapist in your area. If you are in British Columbia Canada, go to Everywhere else will have a College you can find, google pelvic floor physiotherapy in your city, or phone the nearest physiotherapy clinic and they can help you.

Together, we can continue to spread new and correct information so all women will have it! Check out my youtube channel at Cathy Watson Physiotherapy for more help with pelvic floor exercises.

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