We have a little secret to share but you might not know it…. all moms should be able to jump on a trampoline.
Yep, that’s right…
Just because you had a baby does NOT mean you can never jump on a trampoline again for fear of peeing your pants.
In fact, moms should be able to jump on a trampoline, do box jumps, run, jump rope and sneeze without any fear.
Whatever your exercise of choice is, you may or may not be ready to jump back in just yet, but don’t worry we have solutions.
Signs you’re not ready for jumping YET:
1. You are still bleeding from delivery or it increases after exercise.
Slow is fast. Bleeding after delivery is a sign that the body is not ready to take on the demands of that exercise. I truly learned this the hard way after the birth of my first.
2. You experience pelvic pain or discomfort.
A feeling of heaviness, pressure or pain anywhere in the pelvic region is a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction.
3. You have abdominal tenting or coning (also called doming or bulging).
This can be a sign of diastasis recti or an inability of the body to maintain pressure. The best way to see if you have abdominal tenting or coning during a movement is to video tape your abdomen so you can watch as you do the movements.
4. You pee yourself.
Even the slightest of dribbles is still a leak and a sign that your pelvic floor is not strong enough YET to manage the change in pressure. Using a tampon or pad during exercise to catch leakage may decrease the sensation of stress incontinence but it does not address the cause.
The biggest problem we see is when women do have issues with leaking, they either a) pretend it’s not happening, b) think it is normal or c) start to Kegel.
So I need to Kegel?
The Kegel exercise is designed to strengthen the muscle that controls the bladder. While Kegels sound like an amazing option at first glance, they can actually cause more harm than good. It’s important to be evaluated by a licensed professional (pelvic floor physiotherapist) who can tell if your pelvic floor is weak and needs strengthening or tight and needs relaxing or a combination of the above.
Immediately jumping to Kegels without being able to properly relax the pelvic floor can actually increase incontinence or leakage.
Often a women’s issue is not a lax pelvic floor but it is actually too tight and therefore she needs to work on relaxing her pelvic floor.
What can I do to improve the leak?
Nobody likes to be told to “slow down” and that includes myself. The thing is, when it comes to the pelvic floor it is best to let the muscles heal.
Taking the time (right now) to properly heal and strengthen your pelvic floor will allow you to be stronger and decrease your risk of incontinence later. One of the best things you can do for long-term health and function is take the time to properly rehab from birth so you are able to continue living life fully in the future.
Pelvic floor rehab starts with creating appropriate intra-abdominal pressure through proper diaphragmatic breathing (Check out more exercises here). By re-connecting the diaphragm and core with the pelvic floor we are able to naturally strengthen and support the pelvic floor in a way that is transferable to everyday living and is so important for the health of your spine. Just as we don’t go through our days telling our glutes to fire, we don’t want to constantly think about firing our pelvic floor as this should come naturally through the breath.
In my personal opinion, all women (especially any who are wanting to have children or have had children) should go to a pelvic floor physiotherapist. Luckily, we have a bunch of fantastic practitioners in the KW region and we would be happy to refer you.
So please, ask for help.
This is a problem that can be helped dramatically and is not something you just have to live with.