If you’re just joining us for the pelvic floor challenge, I recommend you start with Day 1 and Day 2. Day 1 focuses on building some awareness of your pelvic floor muscles and making sure you know how to relax. In Day 2, we focus on how to do a kegel and making a point to incorporate them into your daily routine – every day.
For Day 3, I think it’s important to step back and take an honest look at your habits (also, keep doing those kegels every time you check Facebook!),
One of the things I’ve noticed about myself is that I had some habits and behaviors that made it hard for my pelvic floor to do it’s job. After I had babies, I just couldn’t maintain those habits and avoid incontinence.
Question 1: Do you go to the bathroom when you need to?
I have a toddler, and approximately 1,000 times a day, I say something like, “when you have that feeling, you need to go to the restroom right away.” This is important to me because I want my daughter to develop an intuition and appreciation for her body. I want her to trust the sensations her body is giving her and do something about them.
But for some reason, I don’t always apply this same logic to myself. We’ll be rushing out the door, and I’ll kind of need to go to the bathroom, but we’re running late and I’ve already got one kid in the car, so I wait. Then, we get in the car and start driving and the feeling goes away. An hour goes by, and I get to the store, park or wherever I’m going and I don’t want to use the bathroom there, so I wait some more. Then all of a sudden, I have to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW.
Of course, someone’s already in the stall or bathroom I want to go to. So I wait, do my potty dance, pray to every higher being on the planet and hope I don’t leak before you make it to the stall.
So, now, I take the advice I give my toddler. When I have that feeling, I just excuse myself and go. It’s just not that hard.
Question 2: What are you putting in your body?
Do you drink 87 cups of coffee or diet soda a day? Do you eat a lot of salty foods? Do you avoid drinking water so you won’t have to pee as much?
Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases the production of urine in the body. Citrus is another natural diuretic, so chances are if you start your day with a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice, you’re going to experience an urgent need to go once your body starts absorbing the caffeine and vitamin C.
Does that mean you should swear off caffeine? That depends.
I just acknowledge that I love coffee, but I limit how much I drink because it makes me pee and keeps me up at night. And after I’ve had my morning cup, I know that the caffeine has helped be get up and moving for the day and that includes my urinary system.
But if you’re drinking a lot of soda, tea, coffee, whatever – maybe you can trade some of those for water and add a little lemon to improve the flavor (I know I just said citrus is a diuretic too, but it’s not as powerful as caffeine)?
Thanks for joining me for the Pelvic Floor Challenge. What do you think? Do you wait to long to go? Do you drink so much coffee that your constantly rushing to the bathroom? Is this something you’re willing to change?
For me, the frustration of not being able to do exercise that I enjoyed for fear of losing it, not being able to play the games with my daughters they wanted to play, dreading sneezing (especially during allergy season) and constantly needing to wear a pad was pretty motivating. To me, it was worth it to change some daily habits that were affecting my ability to wait. I encourage you to do the same, and tomorrow, we’ll learn another exercise!
Note: I’m not a doctor, I’m just a mom who’s passionate about sneezing without peeing myself! As with any exercise regimen, you should probably consult your doctor before you start! These exercises will help most people strengthen and tone their pelvic floor muscles, but you should always be mindful of your health and consult your doctor about your unique situation.