Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Minneapolis USA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Boobiemama, it sounds to me like you are feeling your bladder in your vagina.
The Rx is indeed to kegel, kegel, kegel, and to do so effectively--make sure you're really using your vaginal muscles (vs. butt-clenching) and hold tight, and completely relax your muscles in between squeezes.
Other key factors in your pelvic floor recovory include avoiding activities that will put stress on your pelvic floor by increasing your intra-abdominal pressure. These types of activities include going up stairs, vacuuming, & lifting objects heavier than your newborn baby.
During pregnancy, the LIGAMENTS that hold up the bladder, uterus, and bowel are under tremendous stress--the belly is big, gravity is real, and all parts of a pregnant woman are loose, limber, engorged, and pliable. These qualities allow our pelvises to birth babies, but they also make our ligaments vulnerable to damage.
Once a ligament is stretched or otherwise messed up--whether it's your sprained ankle or your bladder-lifting ligaments, the damage is done. HOWEVER, the happy fact is that a woman's pc muscles, the ones strenghtened by kegeling, can keep stuff up high and in place.
I am currently seeing a physcial therapist for my saggy bladder...I got a referral from my CNM. I have had two uncomplicated labors & births, but my body just happens to be made in a way that my ligaments are quite stressed by a big ol' pregnant belly (and tsk tsk, lifting my toddler while 8 months pregnant certainly strained things, too.)
(And a side note--vaginal births do not cause pelvic floor dysfunction, though operative vaginal deliveries, i.e., forceps, can cause problems.)
Shelia Kitzinger has a wonderful chapter about this stuff in her book, The Year After Childbirth. Saggy pelvic floors are VERY common, 1 in 3 women have an issue of some sort.