The Big Squeze

My Mum has bought one of those huge trampolines with the net around it for her garden so my girls can go crazy and potentially break their skinny little wrists as they fling themselves around. Watching my husband teach my eldest how to perfect her seat drop, made me feel like a teenager again during P.E self consciously yanking at my hideous gym skirt and squeaky Dunlop plimsoles dreading my turn to be called by the teacher.

I won’t go on a trampoline, I did it once not long after daughter number 1 was born and the results were hideous. There needs to be an added warning sign underneath the bit that says ‘children must be supervised at all times’ for people like me ‘do not attempt to even hoist your leg up on to this trampoline if you have had a baby’ (in capital letters of course) .

I always thought I had a good pelvic floor before children, did the odd bit of exercise when I remembered but generally I’m fit, young and healthy so ‘why bother’ I thought.  Unfortunately my job doesn’t help (you’d think it would) but midwives are notoriously bad for working long hours not drinking enough water then wondering why my wee looks like orange juice at the end of the day! We also subconsciously push with women during the 2nd stage of labour hoping our encouragement will help theirs, it doesn’t. Throw in 2 babies and well to be honest I had to do something about a potential big problem. Seeing those adverts for older woman skipping through fields of daisies with their grandchildren, so happy because their wearing Tena Lady made me realise I would not get to that stage. I knew going to the GP wouldn’t be helpful, she would only tell me what I’ve  been telling women for ages how to do your pelvic floor exercises.  I’m just lazy or in denial, to be honest I hate any sort of exercise.  But the good news is that pelvic floor exercises are not like your usual work-out routine. They’re a simple, convenient way to get those vital muscles back into shape – no sweat! (None at all, promise.) 

First you need to find the right muscles. The best way to do this is to try to stop the flow of urine when you got to the toilet. If you can manage to do this then the muscles you used are the right ones for pelvic floor exercises.  When contracting these muscles it should feel as though you’re squeezing and lifting them slightly up into the body. There shouldn’t be any tensing of the buttocks or thighs, although tightening your anus can help (as if holding in wind).

  • At first, just hold and squeeze your muscles for a second or two. Then gradually build it up to 10 seconds. Repeat as often as you can, building up to 10 repetitions.
  • Rest between squeezes for the same amount of time as you have contracted your muscles, i.e. rest for 10 seconds after holding for 10 seconds.
  • As well as doing these exercises several times a day, you should also squeeze your pelvic floor muscles when you need them, e.g. laughing, coughing, bending, or anything that makes you leak urine.
  • Carry on doing your pelvic floor exercises for several months. You should notice a difference within 2 to 4 months of regular exercise

So come on girls give it a go, you don’t know how much you’ll miss it til it’s gone, but with a bit of work you can always get it back, good luck!