Taking Care of You: Control Your Leaking
This post is part of our Taking Care Of You series in partnership with HelloFlo and VProud’s Master Classes. Master Classes were born out of the belief that all women should have access to vetted health and parenting information via doctors and experts, rather than search engines. There are affiliate links within this post.
Before I had my first son, going for a run or heading to a group fitness class was simple, and the choices I made were superficial. Headband or bobby pins to hold back my bangs? Running shorts or leggings? Patterned or solid leggings?
Post-baby, the routine took on a whole new life, including questions such as: Which pants will show the least when I can’t stop peeing my pants? Do I have any more extreme super mega absorbency maxi pads? Can I fit in one more trip to the bathroom, riiiiight before my feet hit the pavement?
I always feel optimistic before the workout. I have hopes that this time, I won’t need to change out of my shorts when I get home from a run. That I can make it through a fitness class without several bathroom breaks. When I cannot (and, spoiler alert: I so often cannot), I have one of two reactions. On a good day, I find perspective. This is not the worst! Think of all of the things that could be worse! But on most days, I feel sad and angry to have my love of exercise marred by incontinence. The struggle, as they say, is very, very real.
Sweet baby boy number two is now almost six weeks old. I am just going to go ahead and assume that his time in my belly and entrance into the world did not fix my issues. This time, however, I am also determined to do something that will. Enter “Control Your Leaking” on HELLOFLO from VProudTV. When I saw this class I knew it was my step one.
“Control Your Leaking” is a four video class meant to help women understand the anatomy of the pelvic floor, as well as to explain experiences and conditions that impact and affect it. Most important to me, the class teaches how to strengthen the pelvic floor so that, heaven help me, jumping jacks are no longer stressful.
It is clear from the moment they being to speak that both Missy and Sandy are knowledgeable, non-judgmental, and sincere. They know their stuff and want students to as well. They carefully explain the different muscles and bones of the pelvic floor. Their analogies and demonstrations of exercises ensured I could find and activate the muscles in my own body.
My light bulb moment came when this idea was made abundantly clear: while leaking is a common problem for women, it is not normal. So often we let things go. I had. Maybe because we are busy, or tired, maybe we simply get conditioned. I was at that point, telling myself that because I had a baby, my body had changed. That was that, just get used to a life where an abrupt sneeze can lead to wetting your pants! Say goodbye to your dream of running another marathon, because, holy cats, so much pee. The class was a jump-start, giving me the motivation and education I need to fix something that is not normal, and that doesn’t have to stay that way. I’m almost ready for my first post-baby workout. I’m not sure how it will all go, but the difference, this time, around, is I am not just hoping the routine will change on its own, I am doing something about it.
So, here’s to working out without maxi pads that look like they came from your 5th-grade heath class body unit! Here’s to jumping jacks without fear! Here’s to taking back our bodies, being empowered, and stress-free exercise. Here’s to a new routine.