"Given the significant impact on my quality of life why had no one discussed the risks with me before the procedure?"
Exercise with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
During the postpartum period, and prior to commencing exercise, it is important to seek professional advice. Seeing a health professional such as a women’s health (pelvic floor) physiotherapist before commencing any physical activity could prevent further injury to the pelvic floor.
For many of us, exercise is a way of maintaining some of our identity after having a baby, and crucially it can be a way to manage our mental health. As a result, we feel it is vital to emphasise that you need to know how to exercise effectively after childbirth, to allow your body time for optimal healing as well.
Like many women you may have a personal trainer that you’ve worked with during pregnancy. Regardless of your experience with that trainer prior to having your baby, it is crucial that your personal trainer asks the right questions before you commence exercise again.
Unfortunately the fitness industry as a whole doesn’t recognise the risk that postpartum women face. As Robin Kerr, women’s health physiotherapist says, ‘If you’ve had a baby and feel like you’ve played a game with the All Blacks then consider managing your pelvic floor like you would a sporting injury’.
If you have been diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction or POP, then learning to exercise effectively will become a part of your motherhood journey. It isn’t about what you can’t do, it’s about how you can safely continue to do the exercise you enjoy doing. It is important that you seek out a personal trainer who works collaboratively with a women’s health/pelvic floor physiotherapist and has a proven track record for safe pelvic floor training, rather than relying on websites or just fitness trainers in the gym to help.
For more information try www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au