It is not uncommon to see memes or hear other moms talk about it. We joke that we pee our pants when we run. We can no longer do jumping jacks. We need to cross our legs when we sneeze. Many of us just assume it’s a product of having babies — our pelvic floors were ripped to shreds, a baby (or several) sat on our bladders for months, and now this is just life. But, something has been going around in the last few years that has never been discussed before when it came to postnatal care for mothers, and that is pelvic floor health. Most new moms don’t know that their pelvic floor can be helped with a few pelvic floor exercises that take just minutes per day.
It comes as no surprise that postnatal care for mothers is often overlooked. After your six-week checkup, there is little to no followup with how mothers are doing physically. There is no discussion of pelvic floor health or how to heal your diastasis recti (a.k.a. the mommy tummy). No doctor ever says to you, “Hey, peeing your pants isn’t normal, so if that happens, this is what you should be doing to help with it.”
Luckily, there are a few different options that military spouses and service members have when it comes to healing their pelvic floor. Tricare does cover pelvic floor physical therapy, which many women have found to be helpful. However, PT often means finding childcare for that baby you just had (and your other children if you have them), as well as an appointment with your PCM to get a referral beforehand, and then extending those referrals every three months if you need to continue to be seen. You also have to make sure that both your referring PCM and the physical therapy office code it correctly so that you don’t get an unexpected bill from your doctor’s office.
If physical therapy doesn’t work for you, there are a few other things you can do to help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles (and keep your pants dry).
5 Things that Help Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
1. Find a Program
One of the most popular programs is MUTU. MUTU is an in-home program of pelvic floor exercises that not only strengthens your pelvic floor, but heals diastasis recti, and helps you to stop peeing every time you jump/run/sneeze/laugh/cough. The program is 12 weeks long and offers short exercises that fit in with your daily schedule.
MUTU has been used by thousands of women across the world to help strengthen their pelvic floors, heal their diastases recti, and get rid of their mommy tummies. The exercises are simple and only a few pieces of simple equipment are needed (like a small exercise ball or soccer ball and a strap). Within a few weeks, women have noticed a huge difference in the way their bodies are working — they have less leakage, less pain during sex, and their body confidence has increased.
Follow along with our editor, Lauren, as she does the MUTU System for herself! Sign up with our newsletter to get updates and follow her on Instagram for more.
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2. Walk Everyday
Walking is a great, low-impact exercise that has a significant effect on your pelvic floor muscles. It is important to keep your body straight and well-aligned while walking. Over time you will find that this simple exercise — done for at least 20 minutes each day — can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and get you back to dry pants and comfortable (and dare we say, enjoyable) sex in no time. The MUTU system prescribes walking as part of the program every single day — just another way that it helps keep you accountable while you take care of yourself.
3. Check Your Alignment
One thing that people don’t even realize when they start their pelvic floor exercises is how important your spinal and pelvic floor alignment is to your practice. If you aren’t aligned properly, your exercises and your walking will not be as effective. On the second week of the program, the MUTU system shows you how to find your proper alignment. Finding your proper alignment will help you as you continue through the program and throughout your everyday activities, like walking, sitting, and even breathing.
4. Eat Right
Even if you don’t have diastasis recti or your pants actually do stay dry when you run or sneeze (who are these magical people), many moms still experience the mommy tummy after having a baby or several. The ever-illusive mommy tummy is that little pouch that sticks around after having a baby no matter how many crunches you do. With a proper diet and a daily program, like MUTU, you can start to shrink that mommy tummy in no time. Try to avoid things like processed foods and dairy. They also suggest avoiding coffee and alcohol, but as fellow military spouses, we feel like we might be the exception (wink wink).
5. Find Support
One of the best things you can do for yourself through this journey of pelvic floor exercises (and just life in general) is find a group of women who are just like you. Luckily, the MUTU system has a group of military spouses on their journey to whole health and wellness called Military Outreach MUTU System or MOMS. MOMS is not only a group of women going through the MUTU system — giving support, tips, and encouragement — but it’s a group of military spouses who have the unique understanding of what you are experiencing in the military lifestyle.
Your pelvic floor is one of those things that doctors never talk about after having a baby, but it’s also something that moms need to know after having a baby. So many of us go through our lives after kids laughing at memes talking about peeing our pants, saying, “Same, girl, same,” until we realize that it’s actually not normal to experience these kinds of issues. These four tips aimed at elevating your pelvic floor exercises through the MUTU program will get you started on your journey toward a healthy pelvic floor, cleaner pants, and better sex.
To learn more about the MUTU System, check them out at their socials below.
Afraid that looming PCS is going to derail your progress? Check out PCS Workouts to Keep You on Track.
Photo Credits: Unsplash