This week’s blog comes from a very special colleague, friend and possibly the most amazing Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor on the planet, if I do say so myself (Zhenya). Lana Johnson from BPS Tensegrity and I have been close colleagues and patients of one another for years. It’s Lana that helped me out of horrible back and shoulder pain and has helped me stay fit and strong over the years. It was our delight that we could then be there for her as she struggled through bowel issues during her third pregnancy, carrying TWINS!! This made babies 3 and 4 for Lana and her husband.
This is Lana’s story of how our bathroom foot stool provided PROPPR help for pregnancy, and how she now advocates for the PROPPR for the patients they see with pelvic floor issues as well as pregnancy.
Lana Johnson, Director of BPS Tensegrity Writes…
Let’s talk all things bowel and poop during your Pre and Post Natal journey, and how the PROPPR was a game changer for me!
As a mum of 4, (ages 4.5, 2.5 and recent identical twin girls) I have had my fair share of experience when it comes to difficult and scary bowel motions. Everything from the discomfort of constipation in the late stage of pregnancy, right up to those horrifying first bowel motions after having given birth. Along the way I have learned a few things that are definitely worth sharing.
I never thought I’d be so passionate about bowel motions. As a Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor, and Managing Director of BPS Tensegrity, my jam has always been about movement.
I have spent my last 30 years as an avid dancer, and my last 15 years treating musculoskeletal injuries, teaching people how to move their bodies to avoid surgery, and treating patients for their day to day aches and pains that come with our ever increasing sedentary lifestyles. So if you had asked me my thoughts before 3 pregnancies about optimal pooping, I would have said, “None!”
Whilst that perhaps sounds ignorant in my knowledge, it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind for myself; nor did patients come to see me for their bowels. If they did, I referred them to Zhenya and her Colon Hydrotherapy clinic, Exhale (Exhale is now closed).
PROPPR Help for Pregnancy
Pregnancy changes that, and I went from not giving “two sh!ts” about my bathroom habits, to suddenly being acutely aware of the unpleasant side effects of constipation during late-stage pregnancy. And the even more horrendous experience of trying to do your first poo after a natural birth to a big baby with full blown haemorrhoids, fresh episiotomy stitches and a midwifery team that said “you just need to poop”.
Second time round, I thought I was a little wiser, second baby, second natural birth, bigger head. I did all the right things; I moved, I drank water, I took stool softeners, but alas the dreaded bathroom visits were a horrible experience for a good 4 weeks after birth.
Third time round, and this time with TWINS… I had the PROPPR in my life! Who knew that a little bit of better positioning could make all the difference (as a Physiotherapist you would think I knew this!)!
From the moment I put my feet up on the PROPPR I could feel the difference. Even in the early stages of pregnancy when constipation and changes in your bowel motions start to take place, the PROPPR was making a huge difference. The position the PROPPR put my pelvis and pelvic floor in truly made for a “more efficient bathroom visit” and it was a truly pleasant discovery.
Even more pleasant, after the birth of my twins, returning home to my PROPPR, I didn’t have the same 4 weeks of hell. I found that bathroom visits were much more manageable and I wasn’t dreading the toilet every time I felt an urge.
My only wish is that the hospital I gave birth in knew this too, so that all post-natal mums could do their first poops with the confidence and sense of calm that the PROPPR brings to the bathroom!