Dealing with incontinence after pregnancy? Maybe peeing while you jump rope? Do you feel like “well, this is just the way it is now?”
Incontinence is a very common experience for women, particularly moms. It is however not normal, no matter how many of your friends in the gym act like it’s no big deal.
There is so much hope and so much you can do to improve your symptoms.
Recently on Instagram, I shared more about improving incontinence while jumping rope. It’s not a quick fix, but something that if you work on you can definitely improve.
6 Tips to Stop Peeing When You Jump Rope end exercise incontinence after pregnancy
1. See a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (PFPT)
If you don’t know, there are physical therapists who specialize in treating the pelvic floor. I remember when I first heard about this and I was like
Wait, they do WHAT!?
Now, I refer hundreds of women a year to a PFPT.
This might feel kind of awkward to think about discussing your vagina, pelvic floor, bladder, and Incontinence after pregnancy issues with someone, but lets remember that pfpt providers are professionals who have decided to devote their career to the pelvic floor. They LIVE to help people with this kind of thing. There is nothing they haven’t seen and they certainly do not judge or think your issue is awkward.
Trust me, whatever issues you’ve got, they’ve seen worse.
If you’re local to the Des Moines area I highly recommend Breathe Physical Therapy. For anyone else you can find a women’s pelvic floor physical therapist HERE or HERE.
There are a wide range of issues that can be causing you to leak during exercise. Sometimes its a weak pelvic floor (this is why everyone is telling you to do your kegels), but sometimes it’s that your pelvic floor is hypertonic, or overactive.
Those are just 2 of many potential causes of leaking which is why you need a consultation with someone who can help you determine what is going on with you specifically.
2. Check your alignment
When you’re jumping rope, how is your body positioned?
Take a quick video of yourself and then pay special attention to the position of your ribs and your butt. In the video, above you’ll notice the difference from my stacked position vs when I have my ribs thrusted up or glutes tucked under.
Here is another visual that might help.
If you’re experiencing any exercise incontinence after pregnancy experiment with the alignment you see on the far right. See if it helps.
Don’t stress yourself out about having perfect alignment, there is no perfect. Simply try to bring more awareness to how you’re stacking your body and see if a more neutral alignment improves your symptoms.
3. What’s your threshold? Write it down
Now that you are paying attention to your alignment, note when you pee.
Is it after 10 reps? 20? 50?
Whatever the number is, note it. This is your threshold.
4. Train underneath your threshold.
If you pee after 50 double unders, I want you to start doing sets of 35-40.
In the middle of the workout: do 35 reps, stop, rest and then continue (limit to 35 reps/round if that’s easier).
As accessory work: Do 3-5 sets of 35 reps (resting a few minutes between sets) 3-5 times a week.
It might feel hard to limit yourself. It might be awkward to build more rest into your workout, will people wonder what you’re doing?
This is your body and you’ve got to live in for the next 50+ years. You do not want to wind up being the person who pees when they laugh or sneeze and that means working to improve your symptoms now.
You’ll want to give yourself 3-4 weeks training just under your threshold before you check in.
5. Retest yourself
After 3-4 weeks it’s time for a little check in.
Lets give those 50 double unders (or whatever your number was) a try again.
How do you do?
Was there pee? Was it better? How did it feel?
If you found yourself still experiencing leaking due to incontinence after pregnancy, it’s ok. Stick to your magic number of reps and continue to train there for a few more weeks. You’ll also want to check in with your PFPT with an update around this time.
Did you stay dry?
If so congratulations. You might be happy being able to to do that magic amount of reps, in which case keep it up.
Pushing for more?
6. What’s enough for you?
We are all going to range in our fitness goals. For some of you, being able to jump rope for 1 minute without peeing is all you ever care to accomplish. Cool.
For others, you might need to be able to do 200-300 double unders because you’re a competitive CrossFit athlete. Also cool.
If you’re looking to hit those higher reps, you’re going to have to keep pushing your threshold higher and higher and training just below it (always making sure you’re training at a number of reps you don’t pee at). Getting from 50 reps to 250 might take you 6 months, but with the right plan and care team it can totally be possible.
Preparing for postpartum?
Check out the E-book I’ve put together. It’s an A-Z guide for the first 16 weeks postpartum.