This post is NOT about the pelvic floor being weakened by pregnancy, childbirth, pelvic floor dysfunction etc etc and what exercises you need to do to strengthen it. You can find those with a quick search on google!
Yes childbirth will affect your pelvic floor control in the short term…
….and yes strength and control can be affected by certain hormonal changes and other factors including medical complications (both men and women BTW).
But this post is NOT about them!
Instead it’s about how you operate as a human being and how this affects ‘pelvic floor function’, that’s all.
Ok let’s get started.
Have you ever heard of stage fright?
I’m sure most of you have so let’s use it as an example.
Ok so you’ve never been an actor or actress, but you have at some point in your life had to make a speech, go for an interview or present something in a meeting, right?
Basically something that made you feel nervous and/or scared.
Now think back to being in that situation.
Did you feel relaxed?
And what was happening?
Heart rate up, dry mouth, sweaty palms and needing to go to the loo again and again.
Despite having already been several times.
And same applies if you are really excited!
Basically when you are at an elevated level of stress (fear or excitment) several things happen.
Firstly you upper chest breathe.
Short, sharp, fast and shallow breaths that allow you to get more oxygen into your blood stream faster.
And your system starts pumping adrenalin and your heart rate goes right up.
You are now primed for action!
And you have no control over this, its survival instinct.
Fear plays a VERY important role in keeping you alive.
And its not uncommon for people to pee and/or poo themselves when under extreme stress.
This is because all the blood is being pumped to the heart and muscles so they can take whatever action they need to, to survive.
Sphincter and pelvic floor muscle control is NOT important in a life or death situation.
So the expression ‘scared shitless’ makes alot of sense!
And from a brain perspective, survival comes first, always.
So lets think about this in relation to ‘skipping’ as an example.
It’s not uncommon for women, particularly those that have had children to associate skipping with pelvic floor weakness and leaking.
And as I mentioned earlier, yes you may well have expereinced some loss of strength and or control around your pelvic floor at this time and any movements such as skipping are not going to work well for you.
However moving forward and for the most part this is just a story that you tell yourself.
In fact just the thought of skipping can make people need to wee.
So it’s the fear of something happening that stops you, rather than the actual thing itself and and the more you tell yourself the story the stronger the beleif/fear becomes.
And your brain will always over compensate.
So how can you combat this.
Start telling yourself a different story.
And focus on breathing deeply and into your belly.
Deep belly breathing induces relaxation and your as a result your sphincter and pelvic floor muscles will be a top priority.
However as soon as you start getting stressed and upper chest breathing, this induces the fight, flight freeze response and you brain is 100% focused on survival.
And regardless of how many pelvic floor exercises you do and how strong the muscles are, if your stressed their function will drop.
And the more stressed you get the less control you will have over them and the more you will feel the need to wee.
Remember this post is NOT about pelvic floor function…
…its about how you operate as a human being and how this affects ‘pelvic floor function’, thats all.
Managing your fears, the way your breathe and the stories you tell yourself will have a profound effect on your life if you put them into practice.
So try putting this into practice (doesnt have to be about skipping lol) and I guarantee you’ll see big changes
To your success,
P.S. Looking for some help achieving your goals and making changes in your life?
Then set up a 10 minute strategy call and let me help you put a plan in place.