As a physiotherapist, I always had a nonchalant attitude towards my pelvic floor strength and function. Having had one lecture on the topic during my undergraduate training, I had decided that a) I will never have this problem because I'm a physio and I now know better and b) this only happens to old ladies. I learnt very quickly, before the age of 30, that neither of these sentiments were true. After the birth of my second child, I realised that I wasn’t strong anymore but I was in denial because I am a physiotherapist and this thing shouldn’t be happening to me. I struggled with stress incontinence which was most embarrassing . I kept telling myself I know better and really tried to do 'Kegel' exercises. I honestly believed that I was activating perfectly and with time this problem will eventually get better. I was concerned that being leaky was going to be something that I should just accept.
Fast forward one year later: there were no improvements and I met a pelvic floor physiotherapist at a course. For the first time she made me realise that I not only wasn’t activating my pelvic floor or core properly but I also couldn’t feel my pelvic floor! PANIC!!
I immediately got help from a pelvic floor physiotherapist. I was devastated when she showed me how weak I was and how I couldn’t activate my pelvic floor even though I thought I was fantastic with my kegels. She taught me how to get in touch with my core and pelvic floor and how to do things correctly. A lightbulb moment!! In just a few sessions I was on my way to powering my pelvic floor.
Fast forward to today: I still 'exercise' my pelvic floor. I am much stronger now than I was pre-mummyhood. I no longer struggle with stress incontinence unless I jump for too long on the trampoline- I can live with this. For me, the biggest lesson was to really learn to be in tune with my body and I am thankful for my physio who gave me the right tools to be in control.