How are you going with your post-baby body?
So, we are not talking about what your body looks like – the narrow waist, the stretch marks, and the other imperfections which certain media, social media and societal stereotypes would have us believing we are worth less than we are. We are talking about the physical symptoms including urinary incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, painful sex and diastasis recti.
These are all technical words for: wetting yourself when you jump, laugh or sneeze, feeling like your insides might fall out when you go to the loo, sex that hurts, or a tummy that bulges and feels unstable. Real problems, for real women. After all – it is no good looking like a supermodel in your skinny jeans or summer bikini if you wet yourself every time you giggle.
So no, when we say let’s get talking about our post baby bodies, we are not referring to the size of our waistline. Though shifting unwanted, stubborn weight is a collateral benefit, the real problems facing women and their mental health are the daily hurdles we face as a result of feeling completely disconnected with our own bodies. This is not an issue which only impacts women years after they give birth, it happens to new mums as well – meaning we are all in the same boat!
During a customer survey we undertook at Davlin Health, we found that 91% of all customers said that dealing with pelvic health issues had affected their mental health at some stage and had an impact on their quality of life. Women living with bladder leakage or urinary incontinence have been shown to have a significantly lower quality of life compared with those who are continent, and it’s far more common than you might have thought and self-confidence is often the first thing that can be affected .
Incontinence affects almost half of all women, while 50% of postnatal women experience pelvic organ prolapse with symptoms of bladder and bowel dysfunction. Perhaps this could go some way to answer why approximately 68% of women with mental health problems are mothers.
So, whilst we’ve established that mothers are not alone with their problems and that pelvic health issues are not uncommon, it doesn’t take away from the fact that every woman deserves the dignity and comfort of a body that works and feels good. These issues are common, but we, as women should simply not accept as a price to pay for having a child.
Our pelvic health is our mental health.
Our pelvic health is our mental health. In an era when women’s voices need to be heard more than ever, far too many talented and brilliant females are being held back from becoming their best selves by avoidable physical symptoms and low body confidence.
Women are putting up with issues and feelings they shouldn’t have to, whilst striving for unrealistic ideals. This impacts every element of a woman’s life, including their career. In a recent British study of 150 women, 41% said they have taken time off work for health issues that they did not feel comfortable discussing with their boss, 30% said pelvic health affected their performance or focus at work and 36% felt anxious and embarrassed in the workplace due to pelvic health issues.
Conclusion: it’s very hard to be a badass woman when you’re worried you’re going to wet yourself.
Many women struggle to see their beauty, strength, and power. Whether it was recent or many years ago, and however it plays out, our births stay with us, part of us, part of our bodies as well as our identity. We may feel battered and broken, disconnected. We love our babies fiercely, but we know that the impact on our bodies can cause a serious loss of confidence.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Our pelvic health needn’t define our lives as women. The truth is it is not an irreversible issue and we do have the power to make a change and we do have options such as:
• Pelvic floor physio sessions
However, if you want to fast track your results without the use of surgery, medication and many physio sessions, you can consider other treatment.
When our patients come to us, the majority are not able to engage their pelvic floor muscles. In some cases, after only one treatment they were able to engage their pfm and actually feel like they had some control.
So, if you want to start your journey to remedy bladder leakage / urinary incontinence the non-invasive, fast, effective way in a discreet environment, take action now.
The article was originally published – Does pelvic health affect your mentalhealth?