A good news story!
I would like to share a good news story with you.
The taboo subject of Prolapse
Many women who are told that they have prolapse feel completely devastated.
Although the statistics say that around 50% of postnatal women will experience prolapse, many upon receiving the news will believe that they are the only ones in the world dealing with this. I have been beating my drum about uncomfortable issues around pelvic floor for a long time… and I admit, in the last 3-5 years, I am seeing and reading more articles talking about incontinence (or is it just because I am subscribing to the right things? Sometimes I wonder), however, prolapse remains a taboo subject.
I would love all the women whom I work with to write about their positive experience and achievements when working with the mishfit pelvic floor movement and recovery program. But I also completely understand why they don’t. You see, where it is getting slightly more acceptable to talk about incontinence… there are not many who want to own up to having their bits that should be on the inside, hanging out on the outside.
I never assume anyone knows exactly what prolapse is. Because it was not until I was seriously at risk, and I was a personal trainer working with women, that I first heard the word (you can read this blog here about that story!). My shock was enormous! And my first thought, was “Why had no one mentioned this to me???!!!”
That is the thing with injuries that happen on the inside. Prolapse can happen with little or lots of body fat. Pelvic floor issues does not distinguish if you have cut abdominal muscles. What happens in your underpants can be easily hidden by a camera smile.
What you see on the outside, is not always reflective of what is happening on the inside.
However, prolapse affects the emotional you… Many women have confessed to me that they can not bear their partner looking at them. Making love is fraught. Nothing feels like it did and the trust you have in your body can easily disappear .
That is why I want to share the story of Magdalena and Heba. Magdalena I really relate to, because she is my younger me. Loving lifting heavy weights. Not believing that having a baby should slow a woman who is fit and healthy. Surely (just like the Instagram fitspiration says), working hard is the way back to having that pre-baby body, post baby.
And Heba. What a joy to know Heba personally. What a joy it is to know that there are women who do not judge, but who see the value in linking up to make a bigger difference to all women.
Here is their story:
Heba: Magdalena came to see me when her child was around 19 months as she was experiencing leaking when performing high intensity exercise. When I questioned her, my first thought was “Oh No!” I suspected that she had prolapsed and with such a long time distance from the birth of her child, her hormones would be back to normal, her recovery would be that much longer because the spontaneous rehabilitation was over.
When I examined her I found that she had multiple prolapse, including a Grade 2 bladder prolapse. When I explained to Magdalena about what prolapse was, I could see that she was angry. It is a lot for women to take in and the thought crossed my mind that I would not see her again.
But she did come back. Armed with many questions! She was a Personal Trainer so I knew she had an anatomy background, which meant I could explain things in so much more details. She stopped lifting such heavy weights and took it slow in the beginning of her rehabilitation journey. And each time she visited me we built up her strength, then speed and then endurance. This meant we broke down fundamental exercises to find the way for her body to do them safely.
After 12 months, I retested Magdalena pelvic floor strength and where initially it was not working at all, it now showed obvious signs of hypertrophy and her resting pressure doubled. All very pleasing signs. In effect, she no longer has a prolapse.
She’s my patient, but I want her to go further.
I encouraged her to attend the Women’s Health and Fitness Summit to further her education.
Her results are amazing, but her helping other women is much more inspirational.
Magdalena: About a year ago, I needed to do something about my incontinence, I choose Heba’s clinic simply because it was closest to my office in Sydney. But right away I felt comfortable with all the personal questions.
It was during this first visit that Heba told me that I had prolapse. This was a big shock.
I had heard about prolapse and I had even done a postnatal qualification, but I still had no idea about what it really meant.
I returned to her office with a long list of questions. I needed to learn more for me and to educate other women.
Heba was so excited and supportive to educate more personal trainers on how to work with women safely. Our appointments at first it were just kegals and quick flicks, but then it turned into functional exercise, but soon were more like coaching sessions where I learned many things, for example: how breathing impacted on exercise.
What I love about Heba is that she never said “Stop lifting heavy weights!” She explained the risks, but never told me not to do it. I realised that I needed to lower my weights until I knew my pelvic floor could handle it.
Not long after, I gave up my corporate job to focus 100% on my Personal training business that focuses on pelvic floor.
I loved attending the Women’s Health and Fitness Summit, because I got to meet many other women with a similiar business to mine. I follow many of them on Facebook and we enjoy Skype sessions to continue to support one another.
Prolapse is common, yet so many women do not know about it and when they discover they have one, they can feel lonely and upset. I love showing them that you can do more than a glute bridge when you have a prolapse!
Magdalena trains women in Sydney’s North Shore with her business Mums Going Strong Fitness
Both are rock stars in my book!
If you work with women or interested in learning more about health and fitness specific to you, then check out The Women’s Health and Fitness Summit – held on 28th & 29th of October at the beautiful Grand Hyatt, Melbourne.
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