Tuesday, June 10, 2008

just for the ladies

This is a word to the wise. Because I suspect people don't talk about this enough.
After I had my daughter, it took a loooong time before it was safe to sneeze again. Granted, she was 8lb 12oz, not the hugest first baby by any means, but not tiny either. but the pushing stage was long, and I wasn't over endowed in the stomach muscle stakes either.

But I did Pilates before, during and after my second pregnancy and had none of the old problem. Result!

Except, I gave it up before Easter, due to financial restraints. And all of as sudden, the old problem is back. It's not the only factor (weight and exercise, weight and exercise!) but it is significant, I think.

So I'd better get down on the floor each evening and get working, or it's no more trampolining for me.

This is actually important for the gents too - I presume strengthening your pf muscles stops you from becoming leaky old men (unless that's purely down to prostate problems) and firms the tum, it also gives you greater control of your (pause for appropriate euphemism) joystick too. A sixpack is pleasing to the eye, God knows, but it doesn't actually do anything for you strength wise (I'm blowing the secret - my Pilates teacher said not to tell you).

My homoeopath also said that she had a woman in her 70z who had been scheduled for a pelvic floor operation, who did her pf muscle excercises constantly, like a thousand times a day, and was assessed before the op, and it was cancelled.

Sounds good to me.

And lest your not convinced, I will scare you with the photo that scared me of the perineal hernia: bugga bugga bugga bugga!!

In case you don't know your kegels, here are a few pelvic floor excercises - Pilates works on more than this, I think, using lots more of your body - but these are good - if you do them. Try every time you're at a traffic light, in a check out queue, or when the ads are on:

1. Squeeze release, fast. Ten groups of ten, aim for a fluttering motion.

2. Floors of the lift - tighten by stages, aim for about six, squeeze and hold each floor up, then back down, really releasing at the bottom - I didn't really get that til after I had the baby, then it was eeeeeasy!

3. Imagine you're chewing a cherry with your vaginal muscles, chew chew chew chew, then swallow. Then do the same with an apricot, as my homoeopath said, til you can feel the juice running :) Men, I have no idea what the appropriate visualisation is for you, but I suspect I've lost you at this stage anyway ;)


Tinman18 said...

Thank God I opened this tonight and not on the crowded train in the morning.

I'd like to ask what was the danger if you sneezed, but I'm afraid you'd tell me.

And anyway, what sort of pf exercises are men supposed to do?

Tinman18 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jothemama said...

Jesus, Tinman, I just posted this!

I was hoping I didn't need to say this, but a littlebit of wee, I'm sad to say, is what happens when you sneeze or cough too hard. or for some, laugh to hard. Not good, not good.

I presume the excercieses for men are the same, the Pilates ones are (eg: stand straight, feet hiplength apart, and rise up onto your toes without leaning forward. Think rise through your arches, head pulled up by a string from the top). It's the muscles you use to control the flow of wee, it's like a muscle girdle on the inside - practice next time you're in the loo and you can locate them.

jothemama said...

hip width apart, that should have read. What was I thinking ??

Tinman18 said...

Sorry, I only just realised that the post continued after the photo.

jothemama said...

In fairness, it's enough to put anyone off!

morgor said...

That hernia picture is just plain confusing. It looks like an alien.

Hernia is a bursting of the instestines through the stomach wall yeah?

It just looks like a saggy arse or something there....

jothemama said...

Not necessarily through the stomach wall - the site this came from said it was v rare - pesumably it's thorugh the perineal wall, so it's pushed through and sort of extended the buttock. Bleh!! Don't you think this looks like more than just a saggy srse? Lots of people have them!

Anonymous said...

OMFG Jo I am so impressed. Such unashamed imagery purely for the greater good!
My PF's as fit as a fiddle even after popping two big chisellers, it's such an entertaining exercise :)

PĂ©itseoga said...

ok, please tell me the perineal hernia has nothing to do with giving birth. please!!

i keep forgetting about the pf exercises! bad girl!

i'm only 21weeks pregnant now but i kind of think there is a difference already, in how the muscles or whatever it is down there feel! is that possible? it all feels lower somehow? am i in trouble?

i'm frantically exercising while reading and typing this by the way... ;-)

jothemama said...

God, no, no, the hernia has nothing to do with birth!!

And you'll feel a change no matter what, don't worry :)

But excercise is well worth it. That and perineal massage.