are my innards falling out? prolapse? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 22 Old 11-03-2003, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi all,

i'm five weeks pp with my third child (second vaginal delivery) and feeling odd down below. i feel the sensation of looseness and perhaps something sagging in my vagina. sorta the feeling of a tampon either falling out or inserted not quite far enough. ugh, sorry for the TMI but i'm really concerned.

i have no pain, no incontinence, altho i do feel some urgency when my bladder is full. I am doing lots of kegels and i feel responsive and strong when i do them. I feel more secure and held together when i hold the area tensed - but that's exhausting to my entire body and my mind too!

please, tell me this is normal and temporary?!

(i also feel a hard spot where my stitches begin, probably unrelated to the weird feeling.)

my delivery was very fast (2 hours start to finish), but with slow crowning. i had a 2nd degree tear along a previous episiotomy scar, and lots of stitches.

thanks!
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#2 of 22 Old 11-04-2003, 01:45 AM
 
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I had this same (unnerving) feeling for quite a while after Maggie was born. It wasn't all the time, but it cames and went for probably almost 8 weeks. For ME, it was normal and went away, and everything "down there" checks out fine.

You probably have a 6 week postpartum appt, right? Just be sure to ask so they can reassure you are look into the problem further.
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#3 of 22 Old 11-04-2003, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the feedback. your word was accurate: it is quite unnerving. my check up is next week, i will def ask about it.

i wonder if i have been too active? i think about how i sat indian-style at 1 day pp. i also quickly returned to tending the house and my two other little ones. makes me wish i had done less. i'm second guessing myself!
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#4 of 22 Old 11-04-2003, 12:50 PM
 
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I had the same thing after my third. I kept thinking my uterous(sp?) was falling out, and was quite worried for a while. I had a horrible cough before, during and for weeks after I delivered, so I think that contributed to how long mine lasted. When I wasn't coughing I was doing kegels. I would say keep doing them every time you remember. I think I had this problem for a few months post partum, but I know the cough made it worse...My ds is about to turn 1, and I have been fine for quite a while. I would still have it checked, and I hope it's better soon.
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#5 of 22 Old 11-04-2003, 04:56 PM
 
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I'm 3.5 weeks post-partum and can totally relate. It's such a yucky feeling, and exactly as you describe. Like Mamamoo, the cough I have isn't making it easier. It's like I want to cross my legs tight every time I cough just to keep things where they belong. I pushed for two (long) hours and tore the way down my vagina, though I had no external tearing or episiotomy.

I sure can't wait for it to get back to normal down there.

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#6 of 22 Old 11-04-2003, 08:45 PM
 
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See it's kind of weird, I barely pushed at all...maybe 15 minutes, at the most. I think it's just after a few kiddos those muscles get very lax. Not sure though...

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#7 of 22 Old 11-04-2003, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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me too, i pushed for 10 min or less! altho i spent several min., at least, at the crowning stage - that'll stretch things out! i'm nursing at keybrd, so forgive the brevity. any advice re: kegels?
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#8 of 22 Old 11-05-2003, 01:29 AM
 
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Well, Maggie is my first child, but...I pushed for over 4 hours.
And I had a third degree tear. But it is all better now!
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#9 of 22 Old 11-05-2003, 12:16 PM
 
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Four hours ! Bless your heart. I thought two hours was going to be the end of me.

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#10 of 22 Old 11-05-2003, 05:52 PM
 
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Hey mamas. Yes indeed, what ya'll are talkin' about is some prolapse of one form or another, quite probably and commonly a woman's bladder is a little saggy post-partum.

Things get saggy and start feeling like they're falling out because a woman's pelvic floor has been compromised in one way or another. The pelvic floor is the hammock of muscles that hold up your pelvic organs: bladder & uterus. When the pelvic floor is week, things sag, and the bladder, which is anterior to the vagina (right in front, and actally making the front wall of the vagina if you will) will sag "into" the vagina providing that unnerving feeling described.

From my research, PREGNANCY is the #1 factor as to why a woman's pelvic floor gets weak. And kegels are the #1 way to make that pelvic floor strong again.

NOTHING is broken, women's bodies are not made to have lame pelvic floors post-partum!

That said, I was horrified at my mild bladder prolapse post-partum this time w/ #2. I was freaking out, and my homebirth midwives counseled me to do a few things to allow my pelvic floor to heal.

- LIMIT YOUR STAIR USE!!! I am 16 weeks pp, and I can notice a slackness to my pelvic regions if I do more stairs than usual!

- vacuuming! Another serious no-no....I would love to know the exact science of
why, but I know the tensing of the belly and increase in intra-abdominal pressure (just like when you cough, havilah & mamamoo) pushes stuff (including babies being born) down and out

- bouncing (which is similar to stairs, don't you think?)

Just like any athlete who has had muscles doing unusual things (like supporting a growing baby) a body needs time to heal and recoup.

I was scared I would never be normal again, I kept forgetting to kegel, and at 12 weeks post-partum, I felt almost 100%. At 9 weeks, I definitly 'turned a corner' and things tightened up.

I wonder, though--shouldn't stairs help strengthen muscles after they've had a chance to heal?

Next week I am going to see a gyn occupational therapist for the first time to learn more about what the heck is up w/ the pelvic floor in general, and how I can strenghten mine. And I'll ask her about the stairs and vacuuming!

Shelia Kitzinger has a chapeter of her book, The Year After Childbirth, devoted to the pelvic floor. She says kegel, kegel, kegel.

BTW, I've read some interesting and compelling studies that have concluded that a c-section does not prevent this problem, and that pregnancy itself (carrying all that weight for all those months AND not having the usual support of abdomional muscles and back muscles) causes this.

HTH, and I hope to post some good info after my appt.
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#11 of 22 Old 11-05-2003, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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tiny shoes: thanks thanks thanks! for sharing all your experience and knowledge! very assuring. baby crying... more later...
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#12 of 22 Old 11-05-2003, 10:38 PM
 
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I still remember the first time I jumped on a trampoline at 4 mos pp. WEIRD! I always recall my insides feeling snug, but not then!

It could possibly be granulation tissue as well, if you tore. For 3 mos I always felt like there was something *there* between my legs. Not pain exactly, just something there. Turns out, it was granulation tissue : the body 'overheals' and lays down a basal layer of skin w/o the top layer. So= all the raw nerves and nothing to cover 'em. Yuk. I had to have it burned off w/ silver nitrate. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!! It was better than the doc's offer to cut and restitch me after 13 wks. Uh, thanks, but NO THANKS!!!

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#13 of 22 Old 11-10-2003, 04:04 PM
 
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Hey mamas...so glad my knowledge is helpful!

I am posting to report that I shan't be going to the occupational therapist gyno whatever-the-heck-she's-called tomorrow...I have to reschedule for some time in Dec.

(Why? Well, I had my umbilical hernia repaired last Thurs and it's super-painful to heal, as it turns out! Why a herniated bellybutton? I kept carrying my 25 lb 2 year old while 9 months pregnant...WAY separated my ab mucsles and that let my guts peek thru my belly button.

I mention this because it is also a factor in the ol' prolapse game--my abs were SO BROKEN and separated during the pg, it's no wonder my pelvic floor was affected post-partum--separated abs during pregnancy is a factor that 'causes' pelvic floor weakness. My abs snapped back into shape quickly, so even if you prolapsing mamas have knitted abs now, post-partum, they could've been separated during pg, contributing to an overall weakness in your core muscles, all of which work together to hold your organs in place. [Again, the reason why sneezes or coughs which are 'belly' things affect your crotch things!])
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#14 of 22 Old 11-10-2003, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hey all,

i'm scared- can anyone help? (and thanks for the previous replies - they've been very comforting!)

just had my 6 week pp follow-up, the 'falling out' feeling i have is from a rectocele. dr. says do kegels and call him in 3 or 4 months to report. he can do surgery to fix the wall between the vagina and rectum at that point, if necc. i'm scared now to have sex, to exercise, to move quickly, to even tell my husband (don't want to gross him out!)

anyone dealt with this or know about it?

thanks, heidi
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#15 of 22 Old 11-11-2003, 12:58 AM
 
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I finally found the thread (in Health & Healing)!

Hi Heidi I'm right with you... I also had a big scare related to this subject. I wrote my experience in this thread:
Any ideas on healing pelvic prolapse (rectocele)?

I blame:
1) the way I pushed, flat on my back - worse way to give birth.
2) Pitocin, which I consented to because I thought it was either that or a C-section. I forgot about natural nipple stimulation. I found an article online way back that explained that Pitocin weakens the pelvic floor. No wonder women are having problems after birth.
3) not resting for 30-40 days after birth... within a week, I was up and about, climbing up and down the stairs. We Americans are proud of the fact that we are mobile and strong after birth. It is customary for women in third world countries to be on STRICT bedrest for the first few days/weeks after birth, while they recuperate. They are waited on (fed, etc...) by female family members. We in Western states have lost touch with our families and this tradition. Anyway, I found another article online about a study in India, where they noticed that women who went back to work in the fields soon after birth, started suffering from prolapse issues. Next time, I'm staying in bed.... my sister will fly in.

It was weird... the OB examined me lying down (you can't tell that way) and said I was fine. I, swear, something was sticking out... Anyway, at the time he told me that I should not lift anything heavy. That's kind of hard to do when you are chasing after a toddler.

But basically, I can't go jogging anymore. No more bouncing up and down. That's fine by me.

A friend of mine (early 40s - 3 kids, oldest about 20, youngest about 2.5) had such a bad prolapse (she blamed her first Episiotomy) that she recently had a hysterectomy. That's the worse case scenario... down the line for many older women. I think this is a hidden epidemic with older women... if you go down any pharmacy aisle, you'll see INCONTINENCE products.

I'm not dwelling on the worse case scenario though. You should not either. Just focus on what you can do to heal now.

Like Tinyshoes, I was scared I would never be normal (carry a baby even!) again. I'm pg now and I feel confident. I will do my Kegel's & plenty of walking.

Kegel, Kegel, Kegel

My DH noticed that I was looser after birth... but after I started doing Kegel's everyday, he noticed I felt tighter!!!! That's reassuring... things do heal.

So do your Kegel's.

Another thread on this topic:
Uterus Falling Out ?!?!!

Check out Elizabeth Noble's book Essential Exercises in the Childbearing Year. She devotes a whole chapter to the pelvic floor. She recommends daily Kegels... on with your legs up, like lying on an ironing board.

10 - boy
5.5 - girl
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#16 of 22 Old 11-11-2003, 02:09 AM
 
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I just want to say, this happened to me, but I don't think mine was due to pushing. I had a waterbirth at home, and was sitting up pushing, with all of the water supporting my body. And like I said above, I only pushed for a short amount of time. I do know that I did not do kegals like I should have during my pregnancy, though I do still have problems with mild incontinence. So I am trying to remember to do them now, and I do hope to have another baby in a couple of years, and worry that this will be a problem again. It was awful, I was afraid to have a bm, and I felt like the midwife dismissed it a bit...it is a scary thing to feel that something is coming out of you. And she told me is was just swollen vaginal tissue, but I could feel it coming out of me, I am positive it was what everyone here is describing.

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#17 of 22 Old 11-11-2003, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hi all,

so, mamamoo, did your's just go away over time? did you kegel it away? walk?

does anyone advise moving carefully, or is that unnecc? my ob says to act normally, run, lift, all that, but i dont' feel confident!

hi tanibani, so kegels and walking, huh? i can do that. how long does it take to feel better? and is there anything, besides bouncing, that i should avoid? and, how do you know you can't jog anymore, does it come right back if you do?

hi tinyshoes, thanks so much for all the feedback. i'll kegel kegel and kegel!

did anyone ever consider surgery?

i would blame this, if i had to guess, on not resting enough afterwards. altho' i don't think i'll ever really know for sure what caused it (i had a episiotomy with baby #1, 2nd degree tear with baby #3, lifetime of long distance running).

thank you, everyone, so much for the advice; i will not focus on worst cases, and i will work on healing.

congrats on your pregnancy, tanibani; enjoy!
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#18 of 22 Old 11-11-2003, 09:34 PM
 
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Hi mama. Whenever I wasn't coughing I was doing kegels, and eventually it went away on its own. I can't remember exactly when it went away, but I know I am back to normal now. I don't exercise a bunch(like I've never been a jogger/runner), so don't know about that. But walking, jumping jacks, and jumping in general are all okay now. I would just try to relax, take it easy, put your feet up, nurse as much as possible(to strengthen uterous muscles), and kegal day and night. I never knew surgery was an option(though I wouldn't choose it unless six month or a year went by and it was still a problem). Hang in there mama!!
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#19 of 22 Old 11-12-2003, 04:45 PM
 
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gratefulheidimomma, calmez-vous, okay?

You are only 6 WEEKS post-partum. Don't freak out too hard--in the words of your OB, I would've diagnosed myself with *both* a cycstocele and a rectocele when I was a mere 6 weeks post-partum.

My CNM who examined me at 6 weeks post-partum told me the SAME THING: if, at 3 or 4 months pp I still felt slouchy, we would explore other options. As I mentioned, the option for me at this point is an appt. w/ the occupational therepy gyn whatever lady. I have not yet seen here.

I kegel and feel stronger, and I am doing a BAD job of remebering to kegel.

and Tanibani, you rock.

From all I know, and from all the info shared on this thread in particular, I am getting the feeling that this is a widespread epidemic.

It would certainly seem that remaining calm right after birth for a DECENT stint of time really is the cure.

It makes so much sense to me, mamas, that really--we are supposed to let that pelvic floor rest post-partum, after it's been all stretched out and stressed during the pregnancy/birth.

Yes, Tanibani, crap-tacular pushing experiences can cause pelvic floor nonsense. When I was crying to my mws, the first thing they said was there was nothing in my pushing history to suggest that PUSHING could've caused probs w/ me.

When a woman is standing, or sitting upright, the weight of all those organs in the body are pressing down on the pelvic floor. Sitting with feet on the floor is less relaxing to the pelvic floor than putting your feet up.

My pelvic floor always feels tighter in the morning, and by the end of the day, things are looser. Even around 6 weeks post-partum, I could feel my bladder at the opening of my vagina by the end of the day, which was a day spent ON MY BEHIND, not doing anything besides getting food for me & dd, changing dipes, and going to the bathroom myself.

Surgery is an EXTREME solution. My mother chose to have surgery to correct her cystocele/rectocele after her 3rd child, and the doc would only perform a repair that involves removal of the uterus, because that's the only way that 'really works', according to that guy.

I think my mom made a foolish choice and had a lot of unrelated mental illness-type reasons as to why she chose this solution, but I mention it just FWIW.

I think the "surgically repair a prolapse" crew is also the "why not have a scheduled c/sec" crew in the medical world. There are lots of ob/gyns that feel a c-sec is a valid and appropriate way to circumvent perineal trauma during birth (what about the fact that OB interventions CAUSE the perineal trauma in the first place : )

and oh my, follow Tanibani's helpful links! I'm going to start walking now!

There is so much wisdom from our birthing ancestors--birthing upright & calming the heck down post-partum!!!
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#20 of 22 Old 11-12-2003, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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tiny shoes - thank you for the straighforward talk! very helpful and very welcome.

i totally agree: we need to rest rest rest postpartum! so important.

my first time around everything snapped right back into place; i wasn't even conscious of any change down there. i remember feeling amazed at how like myself i felt, right away - but then again, that was my first birth (i've had 3 now), and 4 years ago! my 2nd was a c-sec for complete placenta previa, so i was distracted by my abdominal incision post partum.

i've tried to rest a lot this time, but with a 2 and 4 year old it's all relative; what feels like rest is still quite a bit of activity, probably. what's done is done; i'll focus on gently strengthening my body and taking walks...

regarding a surgical repair; it isn't as compelling to me now that i've chilled a bit. i'll wait and see what transpires...

crying baby... gotta go
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#21 of 22 Old 11-13-2003, 10:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by tinyshoes
From all I know, and from all the info shared on this thread in particular, I am getting the feeling that this is a widespread epidemic.
That is exactly how I feel. We should all be doing our Kegel's now.... otherwise we'll all end up like my MIL (in her mid-late 60s) who has to take pills to control her Incontinence I was really shocked to learn that. It's really crazy. Now I pay more attention to the Incontinence aisle and notice what older women are buying when they check-out. I don't think they knew to do their Kegels, we do!

Quote:
Originally posted by tinyshoes
It would certainly seem that remaining calm right after birth for a DECENT stint of time really is the cure.
As soon as I realized this affects a whole lotta women PP and NOBODY talks or writes about it - except in whispers "Oh my god, you have that problem too?" - it's been a little dream of mine to research it and submit an article for Mothering. It would emphasize the importance of Resting Post Partum. Typical example... a neighbor of mine, 3rd child, had a C-sec (not sure if it was her 3rd C-sec or 1st). She was at the playground with her newborn about 5 days after birth. She was at the supermarket 3 days after birth. She was very proud of herself, being so strong and healthy upright so soon (I would be too). But it's really a big mistake. Whether giving birth by C-sec or Vaginal - women still need to rest and recuperate.

Quote:
Originally posted by tinyshoes
I think the "surgically repair a prolapse" crew is also the "why not have a scheduled c/sec" crew in the medical world. There are lots of ob/gyns that feel a c-sec is a valid and appropriate way to circumvent perineal trauma during birth (what about the fact that OB interventions CAUSE the perineal trauma in the first place : )
I'm in complete agreement. I think surgery should be a last resort (hopefully never needed) option.

10 - boy
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#22 of 22 Old 12-03-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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I am almost three weeks PP and I actually have something sort of coming out I was wondering if I should call my oncall nurse. This is my 5th child and nothing like this has ever happend before.
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