pregnancy

'Jumping up and down on the trampoline, I realised my pregnancy incontinence was worse than I thought.'

There is a new yoga move in my repertoire, itʼs called, “Bound legged sneeze”. Iʼve discovered this is of utmost importance as I get older. You might be familiar with it yourself, itʼs a leftover attribute of having a bowling ball sit inside your uterus, on top of your bladder, and then pushed out through a very small opening.

I actually did love being pregnant, and while there are many issues I needed to deal with whilst growing a baby the weakened bladder is one that lingered longer than I realised. Itʼs all fun and games while I was carrying a small human in my uterus. It all made perfect sense, people accepted the rush to the bathroom, the urinary jocularity. “Donʼt make me laugh or Iʼll pee myself”

ali daddo
"I actually did love being pregnant." Image: Supplied.

Itʼs a simple symptom of being pregnant. #adorable. Now itʼs not so funny. Now I canʼt bounce with my kids on the trampoline without feeling like I AM going to pee myself. I observed a situation a few years back with a friend of mine, who in her mid fifties and mother of two warned me of the care needed to be taken with the dreaded pee escape. We were having a birthday party for one of my children and weʼd rented one of those bouncy blow up castle things. Super fun. So when the kids all went home the adults who had been eyeing it all day moved in, as you do.

Hilarity ensued. Laughter can be a bladder's worst enemy, then you add the bouncing. You know where Iʼm heading with this right? Well before she could get out and go to the bathroom, it happened. The inevitable. We were getting paper towels and doing a little mop up. It was only women around at the time, we understood.

ali daddo
"Now I canʼt bounce with my kids on the trampoline without feeling like I AM going to pee myself." Image: Supplied.
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Now I relate way more as I cross my legs to sneeze, and ditto for laughing. Jump rope seems to be a thing of the past too. Iʼll admit I have not been true to doing my Kegels, as suggested by a few. Itʼs just not on my radar to remember to do 10 minutes of flexing my pelvic floor. Iʼd rather have a cup of tea. It was not until baby number three was born that I realised I needed some help.

I did Google “pelvic floor assistance” out of interest. Thereʼs all sorts of apparatus to improve yourself. Ready? (Must be said in a deep gravelly voice). “The “Kegelmaster”. Amazing. Itʼs a whole machine, with springs and things and comes with a log for your bladder habits. You know, like if sheʼs been out late drinking with the girls, more grouchy lately.

ali daddo
"I did Google “pelvic floor assistance” out of interest." Image: Supplied.
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Or staying in her room more often. There are Barbells to strengthen your vagina. Varbells? Barginas? Anyway Iʼll let you use your imagination for that one. And invented by Dr Kegel himself, the “Perineometer”, which tells you how fast your vagina can run. It also gives audio as well as visual biofeedback, so you can have a little chat with your vagina and encourage her to, “grip a little harder please”.

Kegels. What a legacy to hand down, to have your name synonymous with inventing something to help us not pee our pants. “Ah Miss Kegel! You wouldnʼt happen to be any relation to Dr Arnold Kegel of the steel trap vagina Kegels would you?”.

I have no doubt women of ancient times were doing their own form of Kegels before it was named by a MAN.

ali daddo
"I have no doubt women of ancient times were doing their own form of Kegels before it was named by a MAN." Image: Supplied.

All this did have me thinking that a good exercise routine might just do away with the cross legged dance, and could get me back on the trampoline again. I enrolled in a physio pilates class and my teacher is awesome. She knows the ins and out of the pelvic floor like nobody's business. Standing there in a room full of women as we grip and release I have hope for myself that I could one day laugh AND bounce once more. If all it really takes is a little focus, commitment, and a thank you to a man named Kegel.

I do hope Iʼve not offended anyone who suffers from incontinence on a permanent basis. I know itʼs a medical condition women and men suffer from. For me, ironically, it helps to laugh. As long as I cross my legs.

How did/do you manage pregnancy incontinence? Tell us in the comments!

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