by Scarlett Sykes
Just the thought of a trampoline park sends shivers down my spine. Around 5 months after having my first daughter in 2016, a good friend of mine convinced me to go to a Bounce Fit class. Looking to try and get back into fitness I jumped (see what I did there) at the chance to give this a try. Turns out, it may have been a little early to get bounce happy so soon after giving birth. Around 10 minutes into the session I realised this was a huge mistake and I needed to find a swift way out, never to be seen there again.
So, are my bouncing days over for good?
No, but it takes time to get back there. Here is why..
The pelvic floor is the base of the group of muscles referred to as your ‘core’. The pelvic floor muscles work alongside your tummy, back muscles and diaphragm to stabilise and support your spine. So, it’s safe to say that it’s an important part of the body that needs to be taken care of.
The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and bowel in men, and the bladder, bowel and uterus in women. The best way to strengthen these muscles is to maintain your pelvic floor exercises, also known as ‘Kegels’ but sometimes there might be a larger issue that needs managing, and this is where a pelvic floor physio plays their part in helping you.
After having a baby your pelvic floor can take quite the battering, depending on how you deliver. The pressure of carrying a growing bump alone is a lot on the body, and that’s without the pressure of pushing for long lengths of time during labour. Other factors such as tearing, stitched and/or an episiotomy also increase tension and addition stress to this area.
What signs should you look out for when it comes to your pelvic floor?
· Leakage when coughing, sneezing or laughing (or bouncing for the matter)
· A feeling of pressure down below
· Pain during or after sex
· Painful bowel movement
· Different feeling – does it feel as if there may be a prolapse?
· Chronic pain
If I need to see a pelvic floor therapist – what should I expect?
Given the area we are talking about you can imagine that this won’t be the most relaxing experience of your doctor visit life, but I can assure you that not only is it extremely important, it’s also okay in the end. When I first saw my lovely Pelvic Floor lady (Nessa from Up and Running) she put me at ease straight away. We talked about all my history, how I was feeling and what my main concerns were. With a few tears and emotional offload included.
There will be physical exams but if you have given birth, you are probably used to people prodding down there and even if you haven’t, the end result is worth it. Your therapist will put together a specific treatment plan which will likely involve you coming back a few times and doing some exercises at home.
How can I prepare my pelvic floor for pregnancy and labour?
· Pelvic Tilts
· Childs Pose
· Perineal massage
I can’t say I am a regular at Bounce Fit, in fact I am yet to try a class there again since the ‘incident’ but with three small children I have been known to give a trampoline the odd (cautious) bounce with less distressing results. It’s possible to bounce again…just in a more mum reserved way, which frankly I’m fine with.
See you at the bounce park (I'll be the one sipping coffee on the sidelines)