Do You Clench When You Sneeze?

Sep 18, 2019

I knew that having children would change my body but I really had no idea what that meant. My main issue with my body, when I was first pregnant, was whether I’d be able to lose the baby weight once I’d had my baby. My actual concern should have been my pelvic floor.

I must admit when the midwives were talking about pelvic floor exercises I wasn’t really paying much attention. I was a bit naïve. I know that the body is amazing. So I thought, I’ll be fine post pregnancy. Everything will sort of go back to how it was, with a little help. I now know better.

The funny thing is, the pelvic floor was definitely a hot topic during our antenatal classes. But I wasn’t really that interested. More fool me. The other ladies seemed to take pelvic floor exercises more seriously. It was so serious, that there was also talk of massaging said area. To help loosen it. To help with the stretch during birth. At the time, this really didn’t appeal to me.

Before pregnancy, laughing, coughing and sneezing happened without any thought to my physical reaction to them. Now. Well, now it’s different. Now I subconsciously clench, and sometimes consciously clench, before laughing, coughing and sneezing. Which in itself is hilarious.

And then there are trampolines. Hands up if you like jumping on trampolines? I did. I remember the first time I jumped on a trampoline after having my daughter. It was the weirdest sensation ever. I literally thought my insides were going to fall out. It was scary. That’s why jumping, overall, is not exactly a danger free zone. For me, it relies on being certain that I’m empty and also involves clenching. A guaranteed double workout.

The thing is, I think it has got worse as I’ve got older. Not that I’m that old. Although apparently, your pelvic floor does weaken with age and an added bonus is that the menopause doesn’t help with incontinence either. Something to look forward to. Maybe I should ask for a pack of Tena lady for Christmas!

If I could rewind the clock 7 years, I would definitely make sure I’d paid more attention. I would also be more strict about doing pelvic floor exercises. It’s not like it takes a lot of equipment. And the bonus is, you can do it anywhere. You never know, I might actually be doing pelvic floor exercises whilst writing this post!

To get to the point, I’ve really noticed my weak pelvic floor since starting martial arts. There’s lots of jumping, hopping and for me clenching. This can be really distracting. Also, I’ve starting to drink lots more water to keep my body hydrated, as I use to be really bad at drinking water. So I am going more regularly. Double whammy. 

So what now? Apparently, all hope is not lost. After all, your pelvic floor is a muscle so I just need to exercise it. Well sort of. I need to stop going to the toilet ‘just in case’ as this is telling my body that I need to go more often. But drinking more water is a good thing. I feel like this is just putting me between a rock and a hard place! 

That’s ‘Do you clench when you sneeze?’ according to Mummy on a Break 

How’s your pelvic floor?


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