Serena's Story ~ How to improve bladder control problems and weak tummy muscles

Serena was almost six months pregnant when she mentioned to a friend that she was having trouble with her bladder control. For the past three months, whenever she coughed or sneezed, she leaked urine. Her friend told her about a Physiotherapist who had helped her with pelvic floor exercises after her last baby was born. Although Serena was pregnant with her third child, she was not sure she knew how to do pelvic floor exercises.

Serena also felt "heavy" in her lower abdominal area. It seemed as though her tummy rested on her thighs when she sat down. She was not aware of the” pregnancy abdominal bracing” exercises she could do to help support her growing baby.

Serena's Physiotherapist explained how her poor muscle tone, weakened during her previous pregnancies, was contributing to the physical problems she was now experiencing. An assessment of her pelvic floor muscle function indicated that Serena did not know how to exercise her pelvic floor correctly. The Physiotherapist taught Serena how to perform both pregnancy abdominal bracing and pelvic floor exercises. Serena's Physiotherapist began to record Serena's progress using the charts in the booklet, As Your Shape Changes.
After further assistance from her Physiotherapist and a few weeks of performing her pregnancy abdominal bracing and pelvic floor exercises, Serena began to notice a big improvement. She no longer leaked urine every time she coughed, or sneezed. Her tummy began to feel less heavy and her strengthened lower abdominal muscles were providing more lift and support for her baby. The more she did her exercises, the easier they were to perform. As Serena continued with these exercises, her physical problems also continued to improve.

Convinced of the value of the advice provided by her Physiotherapist, Serena was determined to visit the Physiotherapist again after the birth of her baby. She had learnt that a simple assessment and some practical advice would quickly help her get back in shape and avoid the development of the physical problems that could occur as a result of her pregnancy.

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