May 8, 2013

JOY: Pelvic Floor Update

So, if you have been sort of kind of reading my blog since I gave birth to our little man, you may have read about the craziness that is my postpartum pelvic floor. In short, I found myself with prolapse, bulging, incontinence - whew! What a list of fun, wouldn't you say? So I have been going to physical therapy and learning all sorts of awesome pelvic floor strengthening exercises, in the hopes of running some day and, well, being comfortable in general. I also was fitted for a pessary by my midwife and it has helped immensely.

As of seven months postpartum, here is how my last physical therapy appointment went: I had been having little to zero incontinence, the bulging was gone with pessary use (since wake up 'till baby's bedtime), and I was ready to lift weights, jog, or at least get the okay to power walk, and eventually have another baby without completely destroying my insides that were at one time falling out (or wanting to).

My Questions: 

Hold contraction 10+ seconds? (I used to only be able to hold them for less than 2 seconds, now I could go for 20+ seconds but wasn't sure it was effective to hold them for a long time)
Kegels without pessary 3-4x/day (so my muscles really have to work and not depend on the aparatus!)
Kegels WITH pessary = effective? (I had understood that when the pessary is in my muscles aren't working as hard)
Weights? Running? with pessary? (women's blogs had given me hope that you can run and exercise with the pessary in and be OK)

Future pregnancy? (Can I be pregnant with this type of prolapse, can I wear the pessary in pregnancy, do I have to?)
The end of pessary wearing?

Hold kegels: 7-9 seconds - no more!
Kegels with and without pessary are effective
Light weights yes
All exercise GOOD except bearing down (crunches) or gravity issue (running)
Walking encouraged with pessary
Next pregnancy with pessary - all nine months, baby.
Pessary weaning once I am done with babies and breastfeeding! Breastfeeding causes my body to produce a lot of relaxin which makes all my insides super... relaxed. So once I am done breastfeeding and we decide that our family of (insert random number here) is complete, I can wean off pessary use by 15 minutes every couple of days.

Woohoo PT over! Praise God for the progress!

The Exercises
  • 8 sets Kegals on an incline pillow, hold for 9 seconds and release completely in between! (Wedge)
  • in-and-out ankles, hold for 9 seconds, with resistant band
That's it! Woot!
And praise the good Lord for being able to walk with this little guy on a daily basis. Oh! And I am sort of cheating and jogging every once in a while. Don't tell my physical therapist ;)

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