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Pelvic floor and bootcamp

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#1 snowflakedoll

Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:14 PM

I've got two children, youngest is 18mo and still breastfed 2-3 times a day.

I thought I'd get back into exercise and I joined a bootcamp two weeks ago. During bootcamp my pelvic floor is STRUGGLING. I am really uncomfortable doing star jumps, jump rope, 'gallop' to the side and can only 'just' run on the spot without peeing.

Am I damaging my pelvic floor by pushing myself to do these exercises? I really want to get back in shape and keep pushing myself but I'm not sure if bootcamp is for me.

I've done a few pilates classes and they don't seem to make a difference and I definitely don't feel like I've done a real workout after it.

Please help! Will it ever get better?

#2 Bethlehem Babe

Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:26 PM

Isn’t that an awful feeling?

I’d be checking in with a women’s physio and the info here


#3 QuirkyMum

Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:32 PM

I would stop.
First thing, I would go to a women's physio to assess your pelvic floor situation and get some advice.
Then I would try to NOT lift your little ones up and NOT carry them for a week. Imagine you hurt your shoulder and just don't carry them. Sit on the floor and cuddle. Sit on the ground and let them sit on your lap.
Avoid lifting for a week and do your pelvic floor exercises that week and then after a week try doing same star jumps and galloping and see if it makes a difference.
If things change after a week, then bootcamp is a possibility in future ( maybe not so distant).

#4 snowflakedoll

Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:40 PM

Thanks for the link, I've had a read.

I just realised after reading the link that I have the sagging feeling like everything is going to fall out (which is new) post workout.

I mentioned it to my bootcamp instructor this morning and she said I should come along to the mum and bubs class where they focus more on pelvic floor but I don't like the idea of exercising with my two small kids hanging around plus I work during the day so it's not really viable from a timing perspective.

I really thought everything would be fine 18 months on, is this usual? I never imagined this would be an issue.

I really hope I don't have to live with this for the rest of my life.

I'm booking in with a women's physio, thanks for your replies.

#5 too tired to care

Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:51 PM

You can certainly weaken your pelvic floor and end up with  prolapses if you continue doing bootcamp without strengthening your pelvic floor muscles first. Unfortunately many bootcamp instructors know very little about womens health after baby and don't realise extreme exercises and lifting heavy weights can lead to prolapses.

As pps have said, please see a womens physio that specialises in pelvic floor. They will assess you and let you know what exercises you can do to build the muscles up and when you are right to do bootcamp style training.

#6 Pocket...

Posted 07 February 2019 - 03:57 PM

I'm glad you're booking into a women's physio. It's great that you want to get back to fitness but you are right to make sure your core is stable first.

I'd recommend also getting your abdominal muscles checked for separation while you are there, as that can also be made worse by doing the wrong exercises if there is an issue there.

I don't get along with pilates. It doesn't do much for me, however I find yoga great. I'm either sweating by the end of the class or I'm feeling the effect the next day. It is worth trying out a few different types of classes to see what works best for you. But only after getting the all clear from the physio ;)

#7 Babetty

Posted 07 February 2019 - 04:08 PM

View Postsnowflakedoll, on 07 February 2019 - 03:40 PM, said:

I really thought everything would be fine 18 months on, is this usual? I never imagined this would be an issue.

It's pretty common to have pelvic floor issues post-pregnacy and for a lot of women, they don't just recover by themselves.

I realised I really needed to work on mine when I tried to jump on the trampoline with the kids!

Good news is that once you get the hang of doing specific, targeted exercise (good physio is invaluable!) it can make a big difference very quickly

#8 littlepickle

Posted 07 February 2019 - 04:23 PM

A women's health physio will be able to identify which pelvic floor muscles are weak and how to target strengthening them. I am surprised at the number of exercises in bootcamp sessions that must be terrible for any woman's pelvic floor -

Star jumps
Squat jumps
Lunge jumps
? Sit ups using heavy medicine balls/ weights

basically anything with your legs open that involves jumping with your full body weight.

I just flatly refuse to do these types of exercises and ask for a modification ( I also refuse to use a skipping rope and run long distances but that's more about my hips than pelvic floor)

I would hold off these types of classes until you find out what's going on..

#9 EmmDasher

Posted 07 February 2019 - 04:31 PM

PP’s have great advice. I just wanted to add that swimming is a really great option for increasing fitness while you’re working on your pelvic floor.

#10 mandala

Posted 07 February 2019 - 04:59 PM

I found that the pregnancy joint laxity/tissue softness didn't improve until a good 6-12 months after finishing breastfeeding, even when down to only one feed per day. Definitely check in with the women's health physio, but be prepared to have to modify activity until all the hormones from BFing are completely gone.

Also, sad to say, but once menopause comes the hormonal changes there can lead to reduced pelvic floor function. Pelvic floor health is a life-long thing for women :(

#11 cabbage88

Posted 07 February 2019 - 05:50 PM

Please stop you can absolutely do damage
Get to a women's health physio- they will assess your strength and tell you what you're ready for. Pushing through can contribute to worse incontinence and prolapse

Edited by cabbage88, 07 February 2019 - 08:44 PM.

#12 snowflakedoll

Posted 07 February 2019 - 06:23 PM

Currently in tears because I can’t lift my 18mo without peeing, can’t even bend to unstack the dishwasher or hang out the load of laundry without peeing. How did it happen so fast! I was going to see physio on Thursday next week but I’m going to bring it forward, I don’t know how I’m going to stand up on the train going to work tomorrow.

#13 Nicco85

Posted 07 February 2019 - 07:09 PM

Oh you poor thing!! Women’s health physios are AMAZING. There is so much they can offer - take it as easy as you can until you can get in for some specific advice. It’s so common, just not really acknowledged/ talked about a lot. I’ve been doing reformer Pilates- it definitely gives me a workout and 90% is safe for me. I have an abdominal separation and have seen a physio for advice on exercising safely.

#14 Babetty

Posted 07 February 2019 - 07:25 PM

View PostEmmDasher, on 07 February 2019 - 04:31 PM, said:

PP’s have great advice. I just wanted to add that swimming is a really great option for increasing fitness while you’re working on your pelvic floor.

Unfortunately, I have just discovered that swimming is bad when you have weak muscles around your sacroiliac joints, which is also reasonably common in women who have had kids! Thankfully physio gave me some good excercises so I should be good to get back in the pool soon
(PS my youngest child is 6)

I guess the lesson is that our bodies do not just recover from pregnancy and birth, and any sort of "new" exercise can reveal something

I really hope you get a great physio and you can be back to better function soon.

Edited by Babetty, 07 February 2019 - 07:26 PM.

#15 EmmDasher

Posted 07 February 2019 - 07:30 PM

I don’t think I had that issue but the physio suggested a freestyle kick and avoiding breastroke style kick. I would imagine that that would keep your pelvis much more stable.

#16 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 07 February 2019 - 08:14 PM

View Postsnowflakedoll, on 07 February 2019 - 06:23 PM, said:

Currently in tears because I can’t lift my 18mo without peeing, can’t even bend to unstack the dishwasher or hang out the load of laundry without peeing. How did it happen so fast! I was going to see physio on Thursday next week but I’m going to bring it forward, I don’t know how I’m going to stand up on the train going to work tomorrow.

Don’t worry, I’m sure it will improve with some help.

Also make an appointment with your GP, they can refer you to a gyno who may want to fit a pessary device, this helps support your insides so you can go about your day a bit easier. A good physio could fit one also, but probably best to see a specialist.

#17 Fizgig

Posted 07 February 2019 - 09:39 PM

I was going to chime in with a "stop until you see the physio" but I see that you are already at that point. I went to see a women's physio when my youngest was 2 because I wanted to go back to running but couldn't run more than 15 steps without leaking. I would also leak with every cough, sneeze or when I shouted.

My physio was absolutely lovely but she said absolutely no running until my pelvic floor was better. After about four months of visits (I don't really remember) and me doing the exercises every day I can now go for runs and rarely leak even for heavy duty sneezes.

It can be fixed so don't despair! You just need to see the physio so they can give you the right exercises for the problem that you have.

#18 Pocket...

Posted 07 February 2019 - 09:47 PM

View Postsnowflakedoll, on 07 February 2019 - 06:23 PM, said:

Currently in tears because I can’t lift my 18mo without peeing, can’t even bend to unstack the dishwasher or hang out the load of laundry without peeing. How did it happen so fast! I was going to see physio on Thursday next week but I’m going to bring it forward, I don’t know how I’m going to stand up on the train going to work tomorrow.

Do bring it forward, take the first appointment you can. Even if you can take sick leave for it. It is a health issue after all.

It amazes me how little information is given to women after birth. I can't contemplate why women aren't automatically given a referral to a women's physio for say 12 weeks and 6 months after birth. Sure we're asked how our recovery is going but how the heck are we supposed to know if we're not told in detail what to look out for?!

I didn't start physio until 18 months after birth. My pelvic floor didn't know what it was doing at all. Using ultrasound we realised that if I able to engage it I was actually pushing down not pulling up. So it stopped me peeing but I would likely have been totally incontinent by my mid forties ish. It took 18 months to be cleared for yoga but another year on I would be fine to do pretty much anything. I wasn't helped by the fact that I still needed to lift a tall, heavy, kicking 4.5 year old occasionally, at the time, due to ASD. That did not help. Recovery would have been quicker if not for that :)

#19 Mrs Who?

Posted 08 February 2019 - 10:55 AM

Please check out Dana Landgren (sp?) on Insta, she has an amazing pelvic floor and core exercise program. (I'm not affiliated with her in any way)

#20 Babetty

Posted 20 February 2019 - 09:27 PM

Hi SnowflakeDoll, just checking in and seeing how you're going. Have you found a good physio?

#21 Pocket...

Posted 25 February 2019 - 02:24 PM

Just checking in on you again OP. I hope you made it to your appointment and they were helpful.

#22 luke's mummu

Posted 25 February 2019 - 04:30 PM

Another thing to consider is your caffeine intake- coffee, chocolate, soft drink. I’m not sure if the reason why, but a high caffeine intake can cause pelvic floor problems

#23 reachforthestars

Posted 25 February 2019 - 05:08 PM

It can? I didn't know that either.

#24 snowflakedoll

Posted 25 February 2019 - 05:19 PM

Hi guys thanks for checking in. Wow I did not know that about coffee, I drink 2-3 cups every day so I’ll look into it.

As for how I am going... it has taken me two weeks to stop feeling the heaviness. It’s been a struggle at work to sit in my desk chair. Fine in the morning but by the afternoon I really suffered, wishing I could lie down as it’s the only way to take the pressure off.

I went to see the physio and much to my horror she did an internal assessment which I guess she needed to do but it was completely unexpected and i had my AF so it wasn’t ideal. Got through that, she said I have a minor prolapse but I haven’t done any permanent damage. She thinks it will take 3 months to repair. I practiced doing the pelvic floor exercises while she was doing the internal.

The main issue I have is that i’m not relaxing enough for the exercise to be as effective. To be honest, I’ve been really lazy and haven’t done the exercises as much as I should be but I am going to set an alarm on my phone and stick at it. It’s hard to remember now I’ve lost the heaviness feeling.

For two weeks I couldn’t pick up my backpack without leaking and now I’m feeling back to normal. But I know if I start bootcamp again it will happen again. So it’s not normal!

I’m really frustrated that I didn’t know this could happen to me. No one talks about it. My physio says everyone says the same thing. She’s going to start her own bootcamp style workout that is going to be safe for pelvic floor and it starts end of March so I plan to join.

#25 LittleMissPink

Posted 25 February 2019 - 05:33 PM

So this is going to sound weird and out there, but I found this amazing lady Juels Pellow at Metamorph health and fitness. She does, among other things, AMN. Applied movement neurology. Its brilliant, can be done online (via FB messenger or skype etc), and it WORKS!

I've been working on things such as pelvic floor, flexibility, gut healing, emotional trauma my brain was holding onto, and the changes in my body are amazing.

I dont get a kickback from this, but I wanted to share it because Juels really does know her stuff and her AMN really works.


ETA: Its not a miracle cure, these things take time to right themselves, as with anything. Its like exercise- you cant run a marathon before you can walk. So it will likely take a few sessions before you notice your body is changing.

Edited by LittleMissPink, 25 February 2019 - 05:34 PM.

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