#1 Knowledge is Power
The more women know about their pelvic floor, the less symptoms they experience. Knowledge is power. Simply getting in touch with this part of your body can make all the difference. Build awareness and you gain control.
#2 Correct Function is Not Forced
Being able to relax the pelvic floor and let it do its thing is often the biggest issue. Trying to “protect it” or prevent leaks and prolapse by holding it tight will only result in more pelvic floor problems. If doing a couple of sets of shoulder raises a few times per week is good for the shoulder, would holding your arm out all day be better? Heck no! The same concept applies to the pelvic floor. If doing a few kegels (contracting of the pelvic floor) helps the pelvic floor, doing them all day will be better, right? No! The body hates it when we over-do anything. Holding your pelvic floor tight (even if it’s not conscious) can be the biggest factor for not resolving leaks and prolapse. (The biggest catch here is you must know how to relax and contract your pelvic floor, if you can’t do that, check out our pelvic floor programs or go see a GOOD Pelvic Floor PT.)
#3 Surrounding Structures Play a Huge Role
It’s often not the pelvic floor’s fault, but the fault of the structures surrounding the pelvic floor that causes the pelvic floor to respond poorly. Weak hips, lack of diaphragm expansion, glute clenching, collapsed arches, poor posture, tight hip flexors, weak core, too much core pressure….. Shall I go on? The pelvic floor is like that Mom that’s trying to do everything without help. The pelvic floor will work overtime because it’s in the middle and this is a perfect place to try and help everyone out. The pelvic floor will eventually lose. No one can be super Mom!
#4 Pelvic Floor Issues are Not a Life Sentence
Pelvic floor issues are common but should not be considered normal. Back pain is common but not considered a normal part of life. People do everything they can to fix back pain, why not the same thing for the pelvic floor? Your doctor would never brush off back pain, they would send you to a physio, back specialist, imagining, etc, why the heck don't they do this for the pelvic floor?! Our bodies have a tremendous ability to heal, whether it's your back or pelvic floor don't give up. Keep searching till you find help! If your doctor says, "oh, that's just a normal part of life." Find a new doctor, please!!
#5 Healing Prolapse is Possible
Prolapse can be reversible. Is it always possible for everyone? No. There are too many factors involved. But, is it possible for some? Yes! So, please, don’t give up hope! The more you learn, the more you will be able to fix yourself. For those that don’t completely resolve their prolapse, it can certainly improve with work! I’ve seen women go from a grade 4 to a grade 1 or from a grade 2 to nothing. It’s worth the effort and yes, sometimes kegels can help, but at the very most, they are a good STARTING point. They are certainly not the end all be all for pelvic floor rehab. If that’s all your doc or physio has you doing, get a second opinion.
#6 Leaks are Fixable
Most leaks with coughing, running, and jumping can be fixed. Period. If someone tells you that’s just a part of being a mom, please smack them in the face. (There are some exceptions but still, it's worth working on and not assuming it's a normal part of mom life!)
#7 Blanket Recommendations are Bad
Blanket recommendations for the pelvic floor, especially for prolapse, do not make sense. Some women can run without making prolapse worse, but they can’t swim. Others can swim, but can’t stand in the kitchen and cook dinner. Others can overhead press heavy amounts of weight, but can’t sit at a computer. Every woman’s body is different, which means her triggers will be different. We need to look at core pressure and the ability to regulate that pressure and how that looks different from person to person. We also need to go back to #3 and look at what else is affecting the pelvic floor. A multifaceted problem needs a multifaceted solution. Kegels are not multifaceted. People need education on how things work, they need a deeper understanding so they can have control over their bodies and make sound decisions.
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