May 24 2018

Climbing Postpartum, Recovery and Prolapse

Hi Beth –
 
Your blog has really helped me through my pregnancy and early days of motherhood. I gave birth to a wonderful baby boy in October last year. But, 6 months later, I feel like my body is falling apart. Apparently I have only a mild bladder prolapse but I can feel the pressure all day every day. Before having my baby, and during pregnancy too, I would climb, hike, cycle, do yoga… Now, even a 20 minute walk leaves me feeling worse. I was wondering if the symptoms of your prolapse cleared up or if it sometimes comes back, and if so, how you deal with it.
 
Thanks for your inspiring blog!
Best wishes
Cat

 
Hi Cat –
 
Thanks so much for your message and reaching out. Congrats on your little boy! I hope that things are going okay minus the slight cystocele!? But ugh, the cystocele 🙁 I totally feel for you as it is so uncomfortable and disconcerting. I think I could go on for a long time about my recovery from it. I feel like it often dominates conversations amongst me and my friends.
 
I still feel mine occasinally when I’m really tired, on my period or I make the mistake of doing the trampoline with Theo. But instead of being this sharp pain that makes me want to sit or lie down, it’s more of a general pressure. Mine gradually improved, but the first 4 – 5 months were rough. I went to see a couple doctors and they told me the same thing, that it wasn’t severe and it would get better in time. But honestly I didn’t think they understood what I wanted to be doing, and that I didn’t want to settle for constant pressure and pain. I’m more of a “do something” about it person, so I went to a pelvic floor PT. I also did the MUTU Mama for a handful of sessions (I mainly did the first ones, not all the squats and more body exercises as I wanted to spend that time on climbing – time is limited with a kiddo as you know!) 🙂 I’m not sure if it was just the timing of it and my recovery, or that I tried swimming at the same time, or a combination of everything, but I really feel like that’s when things started to get better. The swimming helped because I felt weightless and was able to finally move my body. The pelvic floor PT helped engage some muscles that I was scared to engage after birth. And I think time just helped tighten things back up. I didn’t try running until Theo was about a year old, and with that I started very very slow, like I tried to run ten minutes, then maybe twelve, then fifteen.
 
I’ve had friends who’ve had worse cystoceles and they’ve gotten the pesssary, but it hasn’t been the magic cure. Honestly, it’s one of the main things that I worry about if I were to have another child, that it would be worse and take longer to heal or not heal at all. But, rest assured, I don’t really feel it anymore. I found that I had a long physical postpartum recovery. I wanted to be an athlete and get back at it quick for my body and sanity, but that wasn’t my case. And in hindsight, it was a silver lining to get to spend all that time with Theo when he was so young. At the time it was hard to appreciate, but now I really do 🙂
 
If you have the ability to find a pelvic floor PT that might help. In Europe part of their healthcare is that they get sessions with a pelvic floor PT, it’s so valuable I wish we had that type of postpartum care in the US.
 
Let me know if this helps at all or if I can help in any other way. I’m so sorry you are going through this, but I hope that you can slowly work your way back to strength.

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