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“Too much, too soon” The hidden dangers of exercise post-pregnancy [news]

Jennifer was a 33 year woman who came to see me for physiotherapy treatment eight months after the birth of her second child. She had been experiencing urinary leakage since 30 weeks pregnant, but was distressed that it hadn’t resolved, despite doing regular pelvic floor exercises. She had also recently noticed a feeling of “something coming down” in her pelvic region, which was always worse at the end of the day or after a run. During our initial consultation, Jennifer told me that she had started running at about 4 months post-birth, in an attempt to lose her extra baby weight and help with her wobbly tummy. She was concerned that she was still 6 kilograms heavier than pre-pregnancy, so she had been running at least 3-4 times a week and was now running around 8km each session..

As a previous gym goer, Jennifer had been keen to get fit again and enlisted the extra help of a personal trainer.  They had been doing twice weekly boot camp style circuits, including boxing and weights and she was also attending body pump once per week.    While Jennifer was happy that her exercise programme had helped her to shift 3 kilos, she felt her “slight-bladder leakage” was worsening and was worried about the new feeling of “heaviness” down below.  She eventually confided in her sister-in-law (a midwife), who suggested that she come and see a women’s health physiotherapist.

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