A case of the tinkles…
“Can I make a confession? I peed a little bit during class…” This is an all too common phrase I hear from moms, especially occurring during exercise. But, leaks can also happen from sneezing, laughing or coughing even. Incontinence in women after pregnancy affects almost 50% of women who have vaginal deliveries. Even Kate Winslet confessed she suffers from this embarrassing postpartum symptom. Don’t fret! I’ve rounded up some helpful solutions to keep your pants from getting wet.
Absorb the leaks discretely. I already mentioned Thinx underwear in my gifts that give post, but did you know they have a sister brand specifically for incontinence? Icon undies are the answer for masking odor and absorbing liquid without an industrious liner. Just check out their reviews, this product is life changing for many women!
Essential oils can also be a great alternative treatment option. Try rubbing Cypress or ylang ylang onto the abdomen and/or corresponding reflexology points at bedtime.
Weak pelvic floor muscles can cause your unwelcome tinkle. Resolve the problem from the inside out with, Elvie, a genius device for exercising the pelvic floor muscles. “Your most personal trainer” measures your Kegel exercises and tracks the data to you smart phone. Not only will stronger pelvic floor muscles translate to better bladder control but also a stronger core and better sex!
Pilates works wonders for the pelvic floor muscles. Strengthening the whole body as a unit is a nice side effect as well as the corset effect that occurs when you tighten up your transverse abdominals. Try this quick little sequence at home when you have a few moments, i.e. Commercial breaks, nap time or before your morning shower.
Bridge–Start on your back with your feet flat on the mat. Press in to your feet and lift you hips up. Engage your pelvic floor muscles and squeeze your glutes at the top of the bridge. Hold for five seconds then lower down. Repeat 10-15 times. Add a magic circle between your legs or a squishy ball to feel the inner thighs squeezing and pelvic floor muscles engaging.
Clam–Lie on your side with your knees bent stacked on top of each other. Keep the feet together and open and close the top leg. Repeat 20 times and then switch sides.
Corkscrew–Lie on your back lift your legs straight up in the air. Keep your heels together and your toes turned out. Engage your abdominals and circle the legs around in one direction away from your torso. Stop at center and repeat circling the other way. Do a set of 8 repetitions. For a a more advanced version, perform with your hands behind your head and elbows wide. Lift your head and shoulders off the mat.
Forearm Plank–Lie facedown and place your forearms on the ground underneath you. Tuck under your toes, engage your abdominals and lift your body off the floor about 10 inches. Form one straight line from your head to your heels. Hold for up to one minute.
In all of these exercises concentrate on engaging the pelvic floor muscles. Try this sequence three to four times a week and you should start to see some improvement in your pelvic region.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!