5 Tips for Safe Postpartum Prolapse Exercises and Ways to Avoid Prolapse Surgery

Part 2 of this series on postpartum prolapse exercises teaches you 5 great tips for exercising safely with a prolapse and 3 ways to improve your prolapse support for exercise to avoid prolapse surgery.

Are you seeking to keep your postpartum prolapse exercises safe?

Are you trying to get back in shape after pregnancy and reduce your risk of prolapse surgery?

Postpartum prolapse exercises

Episode Part 2 – Postpartum Prolapse Exercises

Today’s podcast is all about safe postpartum prolapse exercises, how to reduce bothersome prolapse symptoms and minimise your risk of prolapse surgery.

This episode is Part 2 in this short series to help you return to exercise with prolapse problems after childbirth.

You may recall from Part 1 of this series, Tracy wrote:

Hi Michelle

I have a grade 2 prolapse after 3 bubs. I’m very keen to start back exercising and flatten my mum tum but want to avoid prolapse surgery and making things worse. What can I do to get back safely? I’m seeing a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist at the moment too

Thanks Tracy

 

5 Tips for Safe Postpartum Prolapse Exercises

  • Exercise in the morning or when well rested
  • Spread out your exercise sessions
  • Monitor your prolapse symptoms
  • Progress exercises gradually
  • Match your workout to your pelvic floor support

3 Ways to Improve Your Ability to Exercise With a Prolapse to Avoid Prolapse Surgery

  • See a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist
  • Daily Kegels or pelvic floor exercises
  • Consider getting a support pessary to help you exercise

How to Subscribe To Get Future Episodes

If you’d like to receive future episodes of the Pelvic Exercises Podcast, you can do the following:

  1. Subscribe on iTunes here https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/pelvic-exercises/id1401798687?mt=2
  2. Subscribe on Stitcher (for android, iOS or Web Player) here https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/michelle-kenway/pelvic-exercises-podcast?refid=stpr
  3. Subscribe to Pelvic Exercises monthly newsletter.

Once you’ve listened to today’s episode it would be great if you could give this podcast a quick rating on iTunes or Stitcher to help other women with prolapse problems find the podcast too.

Links to Further Information on Postpartum Prolapse Exercises

PROLAPSE EXERCISES BOOK

prolapse exercises

with Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist Michelle Kenway

Learn how to exercise safely, strengthen your prolapse and reduce your risk of repeat prolapse.

Prolapse Exercises is a complete exercise guide for women after prolapse surgery seeking to exercise safely and protect their pelvic floor.

Also available to download now

READ MORE NOW

 

 

 

Full Transcript Expand to view full transcript Compress to smaller transcript view

Hi and welcome to episode 3 of the Pelvic Exercises Podcast. It’s great to have you along today wherever you are.

My name is Michelle Kenway and I’m the Physiotherapist behind this podcast and the Pelvic Exercises website which are designed to help you exercise safely with pelvic floor problems.

Today’s episode is Part 2 in our short series on safe exercises for getting back into shape after childbirth especially for women with prolapse.

You can find today’s show notes and links to further reading at www.pelvicexercises.com.au/podcast/postpartum-prolapse-exercises/

You may remember that this short series is in response to a question I recently received from Tracy who was seeking information to help her return to exercise with a moderate prolapse and avoid surgery after her 3rd baby.

Today I’m following on from Part 1 on exercising with prolapse. So Tracy today I’m going to give you 5 tips to help you exercise with your prolapse and then I’d like to teach you 3 ways  you can improve your pelvic floor support so that you can do more exercise.

Let’s start ...

Hi and welcome to episode 3 of the Pelvic Exercises Podcast. It’s great to have you along today wherever you are.

My name is Michelle Kenway and I’m the Physiotherapist behind this podcast and the Pelvic Exercises website which are designed to help you exercise safely with pelvic floor problems.

Today’s episode is Part 2 in our short series on safe exercises for getting back into shape after childbirth especially for women with prolapse.

You can find today’s show notes and links to further reading at www.pelvicexercises.com.au/podcast/postpartum-prolapse-exercises/

You may remember that this short series is in response to a question I recently received from Tracy who was seeking information to help her return to exercise with a moderate prolapse and avoid surgery after her 3rd baby.

Today I’m following on from Part 1 on exercising with prolapse. So Tracy today I’m going to give you 5 tips to help you exercise with your prolapse and then I’d like to teach you 3 ways  you can improve your pelvic floor support so that you can do more exercise.

Let’s start today with some of tips for exercising. These 5 tips will help you have less symptoms and reduce your risk of prolapse worsening with your workouts.

Tip 1 – Exercise in the Morning

Tracy my first tip is to exercise in the morning or when you’re really well rested as this is the time that you’re pelvic floor is working well too.

Try to match the amount of exercise you do to how well rested you are for example if you’ve been up half the night feeding, your pelvic floor will be tired too and you’ll have less support in which case you may like to do less or choose a rest day.

Tip 2 – Spread out Your Exercise Sessions

Try to do small bouts of exercise during the day, you might be able to do more as you exercise and reduce your overall prolapse symptoms. This way you can give your pelvic floor a break but still exercise.

Tracy if you can manage 3 short 10 minute sessions of moderate intensity exercise this would be ideal and just as effective for fitness as one longer half hour session. As I mentioned in Episode 1 of this series an exercise bike is an ideal way to do this type of intermittent training at home to help get back into shape, especially with small children.

Tip 3 – Monitor Your Prolapse Symptoms

This means taking care to notice whether your symptoms change during or after your workout. If you notice your symptoms get worse you need adjust your workout accordingly. If you find that particular exercises make your symptoms worse, leave them out. You might be able to return to these when your pelvic floor is better recovered over time.

Tip 4 – Progress Exercises Gradually

Tracy try to progress your exercises gradually over time. This applies to both your fitness and your strength exercises. As your strength and fitness improve you can usually do more with less pressure on your pelvic floor.

Tip 5 – Match Your Workout to Your Current Level of Pelvic Floor Support

Tracy I can’t emphasise this point enough.

It means that you need to exercise within the limits of what your pelvic floor lets you to do. As your pelvic floor gets stronger and more supportive, you’ll be able to manage more exercise.

Let’s say for example, that your prolapse is giving you symptoms at the end of the day, the last thing you’d want to do is try out boot camp for mums at the local park or a new Pump class at the gym as these are the types of group exercises where you may be exposed to risky exercises that could worsen your prolapse symptoms.

Instead keep your exercise manageable and when you know that your pelvic floor strength is progressing well and you’re managing your prolapse symptoms you might try to progress your training for example by increasing how long you spend on the elliptical machine or perhaps try a new pelvic floor safe exercise you haven’t tried before.

Let’s not move onto looking at 3 ways you can do more exercise by improving your pelvic floor support.

First and foremost if you can see a trained and experienced pelvic floor physical therapist.

  1. See a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist

Tracy I’m really glad to read that you’ve taken the first step in seeing a Pelvic Floor Physio to help you. This is a really important step for knowing how to recover your pelvic floor strength and support and how to reduce your general pelvic floor risks..

Your Physical Therapist can help you know how well your pelvic floor is working by and this will give you a much better idea about how much exercise you can do and the types of exercise your pelvic floor can withstand.

The second thing to do to recover your pelvic floor support is to …

  1. Do Your Kegels or Pelvic Floor Exercises Every Day

Remember that after childbirth it’ll take you at least 6 months of pelvic floor training to strengthen and recover your pelvic floor. It can take longer or never recover fully at all in the case of serious pelvic floor damage during childbirth.

If  you’re breast feeding your pelvic floor recovery will take longer so you’ll need to be especially careful with your workouts and diligent with your pelvic floor training during this time.

I won’t go into how much pelvic floor exercise you should be doing in today’s discussion as this is a whole episode in itself however I will post a link to more information on how many Kegels to do in the show notes.

Finally Tracy I think it could be useful for you to

  1. Consider Getting A Support Pessary

I think that support pessaries are really underutilised in helping new mums manage their prolapse and exercise and unfortunately many new mums don’t know about this option.

A support pessary is a support device that fits into the vagina. It sits high up inside the vagina and takes up the slack of the prolapsed tissues helping to hold up the prolapse and reduce prolapse symptoms. Some pessaries can be used simply during exercise while others are fitted and left for 3-6 months at a time. There are pessary designs that allow you to remain sexually active. When they’re correctly fitted you shouldn’t be able to feel a pessary in place, just like wearing a tampon.  You can see your Gynaecologist to discuss getting fitted with a pessary and some Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists fit pessaries too.

I’ve placed a link in the show notes to read more about support pessaries in case you’d  like to know more.

So Let’ briefly review the main points we’ve discussed today:

We discussed 5 tips for exercising so that you have less symptoms and reduce your risk of prolapse worsening with your workouts.

These 5 tips were to exercise in the morning when you’re well rested, to break up your exercise sessions into manageable chunks, to monitor your symptoms and modify your exercises accordingly and to match your exercises to how well your pelvic floor is working.

Then we discussed 3 ways to improve your pelvic floor support where I mentioned the importance of seeing a pelvic floor physio, doing your Kegels daily and finally the value of using a support pessary for improving your ability to exercise safely.

Well Tracy I hope this answers your email and helps you start on your postpartum exercise program. I’d love to hear how you go.

Thank you so much for listening today. If you’d like to receive this weekly podcast you can subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher. If you’ve enjoyed this show today it would be great if you could leave a rating or even a review. Your feedback really helps me get this information out to help other women with prolapse problems.

I always love to hear from you. You can post any questions or comments you might have in the comments section at the end of the show notes.

Once again if you need more information or you’d like to comment you can find today’s show notes at www.pelvicexercises.com.au/podcast/postpartum-prolapse-exercises/ where there’s a full transcript and links to part 1 of this series and all the further reading.

I hope you enjoy a happy and healthy week and I look forward to catching up with you next time. Bye for now.

 

We Welcome Your Comments

Comments

  1. Hi, Michelle!
    I’m a 26 year old woman suffering from urinary problems for more than ten years.
    It started in high school, when I started experiencing urinary leakage, periods of constipation and diarrhea.
    I felt like peeing 2 minutes after I would leave the bathroom, it was really awful.

    I went to a doctor and got this diagnosis in the beggining:
    Dg: Cystitis in obs
    pollakiuria,  strangury, dyspepsia
    I also had a little urine retention. He made tests, there was no bacteria or parasites.
    Later he performed a test to see if there was any obstacle in urine canals, and said everything was ok. After this he always wrote this diagnosis:
    Dg: V. Neurogenes (i’m thinking this stands for neurogenic bladder??) , Trigonitis.
    I took medication but they didn’t help, so I quit them. Over the years things improved a little, on their own, but I’m not fully healed.
    I don’t suffer from constipation and diarrhea anymore(very very rarerly), but I still get to urinate a bit too frequently, and experience leakage mostly after my period.
    So, I’m thinking what caused this is that 1-2 years before I started high school, I started going to a english course, and would keep my urine until I got home, so maybe my pelvic muscles got tired. Also these years years of constipation and diarrhea caused much straining to my pelvic floor.
    I also have PCOS and scoliosis, don’t know if they contribute to my urinary problems.

    I noticed that my vagina is clenched all the time, and never relaxes, so I’m thinking I have a tight pelvic floor, and that’s the reason for frequent urination and leakage. I noticed that if I try to relax my pelvic floor I don’t feel like peeing anymore, but my muscles get tense again after some seconds because that’s how they’re used to.
    Probably also a hormonal aspect, since things are worse after my period (I’m thinking estrogen deficiency). My bad posture probably afects my condition but it’s hard to keep proper posture when you have scoliosis (mine is mild or moderate,not very noticible). Would wearing a corset to keep my posture straight be e bad idea?

    Could you please advise me how to relax my pelvic floor and get rid of these problems?
    There are no pelvic floor practicioners in my country.
    What am I too expect in the future if I don’t learn to relax these muscles?

    • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

      Hi Xhen

      Thank you for your question, a couple of things immediately come to mind for you to consider before I talk about relaxing your pelvic floor:
      1. Make sure to keep an eye on your diabetes risk as you know that Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is associated with Type 2 diabetes that can cause urinary urgency and frequency
      2. Manage your body weight well and try to lose weight if you’re overweight
      3. Manage cardiovascular risk factors (exercise daily with water based exercise would be most appropriate with pelvic pain/pelvic floor muscle tension & walking if you can manage aiming for around 30 minutes daily where possible)

      As far as relieving pelvic floor muscle tension goes refer to this article I have posted online that takes you through the key steps and if far more comprehensive than I can outline in a comments response. You may also benefit from watching this video which guides you through pelvic floor relaxation exercises step by step too. Both these resources will give you a good idea on how to approach this issue. This includes really good bowel management too, there are links in the article the search menu onsite for the term ‘bowel movement’ and ‘constipation’

      I can’t emphasize enough the importance of practicing pelvic floor relaxation daily, this needs to be done to learn this skill and then it needs to be transferred to everyday life for example it can be learned lying down in a warm room with dim lights but then once the skill is learned it needs to be practiced in everyday contexts; on the bus, waiting in a queue, whenever it can be actively practiced so that it becomes routine behaviour and the muscles learn to stay relaxed.

      Finally managing stress is vital to managing pelvic floor tension as the 2 can go hand in hand. Mindfulness, daily meditation practice, regular exercise are all avenues to explore to assist.

      I think you can see that pelvic floor relaxation requires lifestyle management and specific pelvic floor relaxation training too.

      Let me know how you go, I hope this gives you some ideas for where to start. Make a plan for yourself, write it down and then move forward taking your time; it’s taken quite some time to get to this stage and will take time to learn to relax. All the best to you

      • Hi, Michelle.
        Thanks for your reply!
        I checked the links you provided, and I will try to do those exercises in the second link. In the first link there were things that I can’t do like using dilators, the relaxion CD and being massaged by a proffessional. Would it be enough to restore pelvic health doing only those 3 exercises in the video?
        I am a bit underweight, so I don’t think I risk diabetes. There are apparently 2 types of PCOS, the most common being overweight and insulin resistant. And theres lean PCOS without insulin resistance. I never actually got tested for insulin resistance, I guess my doctor didn’t suspect I might have it.
        I would love to do water exercises, but I dont know how to swim, and it’s embarrising because of my exessive hairiness. So, unfortunately it’s not an option.

        • Michelle Kenway Physiotherapist says:

          Hi Xhen
          I think the exercises in the videos are a great start. You should at least discuss being checked for diabetes with your doctor regardless of whether body size if your risk is already increased. Could you wear a long sleeve swim shirt in the water? – just a thought. Water walking in shallow water is a great exercise too so swimming is not necessarily a prerequisite.