Q: What was your awareness of your pelvic floor before having children?
“You know, I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of what’s in the pelvic floor and how my body worked. Going into it . . . I thought I knew what I was doing.”
Q: What was the biggest change after giving birth?
“It was really quite humbling to be wanting to do your normal activities and not being able to because you’re afraid you’re going to wet yourself.”
Q: Any stories you’re willing to share?
“Well, I think the worst one was . . . I was actually teaching preschool at the time . . . and so, you know, you’re up and down a lot, you’re juggling 3 year old’s and you have a growing belly . . . anyway, I was on the floor at one point for circle time, having the kids do their song and dance. I kinda liked to be active so I was doing it myself . . . and all of a sudden I peed myself!”
“That’s when I was like . . . this really is something I need to take care of because you can’t live your life that way.”
Q: What did you learn during your Postpartum Strong sessions?
“I really came in here thinking that I was the bomb . . . I knew exactly what I was doing. I said ‘Oh yeah, I can do those Kegels . . . cool, no problem’, and really I wasn’t doing them the way that I wanted to be doing them. I was doing them the way that I shouldn’t have been doing them.”
Q: What advice do you have for new mothers?
“When I had my son, I had postpartum depression, which is a whole other ball of wax, but I feel that the two are very similar because people know about postpartum depression. People know that it is something that you should be asking. They look out for one another. It’s a malady but it’s almost a more accepted malady these days. Whereas for incontinence or other postpartum recovery thing you might have that is a physical issue . . . I don’t think people know about it as much.”
“For myself, having been through it both mentally and physically . . . I am always asking moms ‘How are you?’. I think it really matters and I think it makes a difference because unless someone asks you if you’re okay and how you are doing . . . you’re in the throws of new parenthood and it doesn’t matter if it’s baby #1 . . . baby #2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 . . . you’re in the throws of it. You’re not taking that time out to assess your body. It’s important that your friends and family are asking you that to give you the OKAY to take a pause about baby and your new life. The whole element and the whole balance of life shifts . . . so, how are you managing that.”