Apparently, I have a tiny bladder.
My family teases me that I have to go all the time.
My first grade teacher told my mother I was retarded because I needed to use the restroom frequently – and got my p’s and b’s mixed up. I remember too many embarrassing days when I had accidents sitting at my desk because my teacher refused to allow me to use the in-class toilet except during her prescribed breaks.
Of course, pregnancy and childbirth causes stress to the bladder and urinary tract. It seems I haven’t fully recovered and my youngest is now four years old.
Time to research and heal so I can run, jump, laugh, and sneeze without having an embarrassing accident.
Going to the gym is always an adventure. Many of my acquaintances can’t relate because they’re stronger or they don’t have kids – or maybe they only have a couple kids who were born with average weight and they just don’t have any bladder issues.
I have four kids and I can’t do jumping jacks.
My kids were BIG babies. And they kickboxed my bladder. They came out like toddlers, holding their heads up and their hands out for the car keys and demanding steak dinners.
My first was almost 8 pounds and I bounced back completely after having her because I was young at only 24. My second was almost ten pounds. A mere fourteen months later, my third came along at almost eleven pounds. She was my C-Section baby. My last baby was VBAC and he was 9 pounds, 1 ounce.
I want to be able to run, jump, do exercises, sneeze, and laugh without worry.
I’ve been taking half dropperfuls of a urinary health tincture twice a day, morning and evening. I use a great oil blend that includes spearmint, sage, geranium, myrtle, nutmeg, and German chamomile (over kidneys) and cypress essential oil (over bladder) topically every evening to try to help balance out everything and support urinary health.
It does help! I forgot to do this routine a couple nights and I had more problems on those days than when I remembered to do this regimen.
I drink lots of water. While that does mean I go more frequently (which is really, really frequently compared to most people), it does help toxins get flushed out of my system.
I try to limit caffeine and alcohol consumption because those irritate the bladder. Also citrus irritates the bladder, so I limit those fruits and juices.
I try to eat well, with lots of veggies and fiber. We had lots of catering trays of sandwiches the week the moving company was packing and moving our household goods. While it was a healthier option than greasy fast food, that was not the best week for my urinary and digestive health.
One day, I drank a Throwback (real sugar) Mountain Dew and that was a big mistake. A healthy digestion essential oil blend and rest and eating better the next day helped. Sugar and carbonation doesn’t do well with me. Soda is a bladder irritant.
I should stick to water and occasionally tea.
Strengthening the Muscles
Some of us bounce back fine from having babies. I did ok until 11 pound #3 came along.
Then, there was no more bouncing for me.
It took quite a while for me to lose weight and feel better after having my third baby by C-Section. My body was pretty drained. I was advised to take mineral supplements and adjust my diet. It was recommended we follow a Paleo-type diet – long before that was a fad! This was the beginning of our healthy journey!
I slowly got healthier and got my energy and body and life back.
Then I got pregnant again with my son.
I was healthier during that pregnancy since I was put on a no-sugar diet for gestational diabetes.
I still have about ten pounds I would like to lose. I usually feel great and have enough energy to get done what needs to get done. Supplements, regular exercise, and great diet help.
But diet alone isn’t enough to heal all the mama parts that are stretched out and loose and weak by pregnancies.
But most of the exercises at gyms and in home videos and online aren’t helpful. They could actually harm the body more.
Online exercises programs are great, like Fit2Be.
It’s a great membership with online workout videos, a Facebook group, forum, and a lovely teacher. Beth is direct, professional, and knowledgeable. The exercises are short and sweet for busy moms, but they really work with regular use. Many of the exercises can be done sitting or while you’re doing other things. There are programs for the whole family. The kids love to do yoga moves with me! There are workouts for pregnancy, strengthening that core and pelvic floor, challenges, and running. I’ve never found another workout program so comprehensive, challenging, yet gentle.
Also, the Metabolic Renewal program is useful to work out hormone issues with diet and exercises, specifically during perimenopause or menopause. It’s a one-time paid membership with diet tips and online workouts with a supportive Facebook group.
Pelvic floor physical therapy is a great option I’m looking into and my doctor is referring me!
I’m still on the strengthening part. But I’m getting stronger.
Sometimes, we can’t fix ourselves all alone.
As I’ve gotten older, my muscles just aren’t maintaining tone with yoga, walking, Kegels, and online exercises.
I developed a cystocele and rectocele and I have to strengthen my pelvic floor to heal them. I must make sure I avoid bladder irritants. I stay hydrated and eat lots of fiber so I don’t get constipated.
I recently developed a 6 cm fibroid and we’re shrinking that with Mirena and keeping an eye on it.
It’s important to get regular checkups with women’s health professionals to rule out problems and to know options for hormone replacement, exercises, physical therapy, pessaries, or even surgery.
I think incontinence is more common than we think.
My mother even had surgery to repair her bladder, then a hysterectomy.
Many women occasionally confide that they have to wear pads in case of accidents. They complain they can’t play with their kids on the trampoline or run for fear of accidents.
It shouldn’t be.
We’re all in this mama journey together. Let’s help each other instead of hiding.