|"Transform your Hoo-Hoo, enrich your life."|
Well, after a little discussion about my urinary stress incontinence history, pregnancies, childbirths to big babies as well as a closer look at a female pelvic floor anatomy diagram/model, I was asked to undress from the waist down. My physical therapist (female, thank God) had me lay on my back, bend my knees and part my legs, similar to being at the gynecologist. I subconsciously tightened it all up, but had to try to tell myself to relax. She put on her gloves and inserted her fingers to feel for scar tissue and 'knotted muscles' (like in a stiff neck (!)), which she found and subsequently massaged out. We chatted pleasantly throughout, which pushed me beyond my comfort zone, but it's for a good cause - dry underwear!
After my 'internal massage', with her fingers still inside, she taught me how to do a proper kegel exercise doing the 'zip up' or elevator method of squeezing the vaginal muscles deeper and higher up for a count of five. It was NOT easy for me to do. But I could see how it could help increasing my bladder control and strength.
She also examined my abdominals for any separation in the muscle caused by my pregnancies (diastasis recti). She confirmed that I did have it and told me that they offered exercises and pilates sessions there that could close up the separation. I was surprised because I read that it was impossible to close the gap without surgery. She said mine was mainly in my belly button area and she proceeded to tape the sides of my abs together with some super-strength tape. I found that very interesting and it made me hopeful that maybe they could help with the little pooch left in my mommy muffin top.
Next steps now are to wait and see if my insurance approves their recommended treatment (total number of physical therapy and pilates sessions) and for me to do my kegels at home daily. I'm not the best at remembering to do them, but I'm going to try. She insists that you don't do them in the car at the stop light, that you wait until you can really concentrate and focus on doing them correctly. The old exercise adage of, 'it's better to do five correctly than 100 incorrectly'.
I'm also going to stick with doing my yoga, pilates, core fusion classes and my chin ups at home. I hear that if you do crunches or regular sit ups, that it makes your diastasis recti worse and makes it bulge, so I'll be cutting that out. I am wondering if I should use an Ace bandage or a girdle to tighten up my mid-section too? I tried it out last night and it was uncomfortably tight. My kids have no idea what they've done to my body, but when they give me angst, I will be sure to remind them!