Today, I am going to talk a taboo subject. Taboo for a reason I ignore. I wish I had known about it when I had my first baby.
When I was pregnant with Baby3, one lady of the Elvie team contacted me to try their personal trainer and talk about it. I was first a bit reluctant and had to think.
Why? I asked myself why did I feel ashamed to talk about something women related and that it is so important? Why? Maybe because of my own experience.
Let’s go back together in 2011 when I delivered my first daughter after a very fast labour. Unfortunately, when she passed, my urethra has been damaged and I will never forget what the consultant told me few minutes after having my baby. I have been told that I will be incontinent all my life and would have to wear a catheter for few months. All of this was so overwhelming between the joy of having my first baby and our first meeting and the cold consultant announcement. I gave birth naturally unaided and did end up after the delivery in the theatre room with an epidural to try to repair my urethra. After the surgery, the consultant did not come back to explain what she finally did and I have been left with a disheartening news. I have been transferred to the post natal ward with a catheter and I remember trying to accept my fate. Then, 24 hours later, the midwife told me that she will take off the catheter as it was time for me to leave the ward and go back home.
I was lost and tried to understand. I thought that maybe I did not understand properly. Back home, I asked my partner if I was not dreaming and he confirmed what the consultant told before to bring me to the theatre.
I asked my GP to have a look at my maternity discharge if anywhere this incontinence and urethra damage were mentioned -NO SIGN OF IT ANYWHERE-
Here, my very personal and most intimate nightmare started. I was unable to hold anything. I felt so ashamed and left with no support, no re-education, no physiotherapist recovery…nothing just my shame. I could not talk about this to my partner as I felt so bad about it, so afraid. I was a young woman in an old body, this is how I felt. I was 29 years old and I was incontinent….
I could not accept it and after being totally left unsupported by my GP, I started to work by myself. I had to strengthen my pelvic floor to get back control on my sphincters and my life. I worked very hard to get back to normal, making a lot of exercices almost all the time and eventually, after few months, it stopped. I took back control of my body again for my relief. It has been a hard journey, a silent pain in my heart that I was unable to share with anyone. When I got pregnant with my second and third daughter I was well informed and trained so I had no issue.
Today I am sharing this story of mine that I kept so secret as I was ashamed of it. But, I feel that I should have never been ashamed as I was not responsible. This is a common condition that unfortunately is not “shared”.
In France, where I am originally from, all women have physiotherapists appointments after giving birth as routine to help them with their pelvic floor. Here in UK, if you are lucky, a physiotherapist will come to see you before your discharge and hand over you a leafleft, if not, it will be given by your midwife…
That is why when ELVIE contacted me, I eventually accepted as I thought it is a good thing to talk about and about anything that might help.
I am clearly not a “gadget” girl but I can see Elvie being quite helpful if you are always forgetting to do your Kegels or if you need to evaluate where you are. It is a bit like having a personal physiotherapist.
Elvie, the small, yet powerful exercise tracker for your pelvic floor.
Elvie is a device that helps you strengthen your pelvic floor and keeps track of it thanks to an application.
What’s in the BOX?
- Quick start guide
- Carry case keeps Elvie safe and doubles up as a charger
- Elvie tracks your pelvic floor exercises
- Optional cover provides custom sizing for a better fit
- Micro USB charging cable connects the carry case to a USB power supply for charging
The pelvic floor muscles are located between your legs, and run from your pubic bone at the front to the base of your spine at the back. They are shaped like a sling and hold your pelvic organs (uterus, vagina, bowel and bladder) in place.
The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and bowel, and give you control when you urinate. They relax at the same time as the bladder contracts (tightens) to let urine out.
Why to use Elvie? To help Keeping pelvic floor muscles strong
As you get older, your pelvic floor muscles get weaker. Women who have had children may also have weaker pelvic floor muscles.
Weakened pelvic muscles can cause problems, such as urinary incontinence and reduced sensitivity during sex. There is also a risk of pelvic organ prolapse, where one or more of the pelvic organs bulges into the vagina.
Stress incontinence is a type of urinary incontinence where small amounts of urine leak out during an activity. Doing pelvic floor exercises (‘Kegel exercises’) can help to improve stress incontinence by keeping your pelvic muscles strong. Both men and women can do pelvic floor exercises.
How to do pelvic floor exercises
You can feel your pelvic floor muscles if you try to stop the flow of urine when you go to the toilet. However, it is not recommended that you regularly stop your flow of urine midstream, because it can be harmful to the bladder.
To strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, sit comfortably and squeeze the muscles 10 to 15 times in a row. Do not hold your breath or tighten your stomach, buttock or thigh muscles at the same time.
This is where ELVIE is really helpful it helps you know if you do your exercises properly. Elvie gives you an instant biofeedback : you see your pelvic floor exercises in real time with the Elvie app. As you squeeze, the gem lifts, guiding you through the workout.
It is a bit like a game: Challenge your fast-twitch muscles with Speed or build endurance with Hold. Six unique exercises have been designed to give your pelvic floor a full workout.
Elvie becomes your most personal trainer
You can set tailored targets based on your strength and go from novice to guru in no time. It only takes 10 workouts to move up a level and unlock new games.
When you get used to doing pelvic floor exercises, you can try holding each squeeze for a few seconds. Every week, you can add more squeezes, but be careful not to overdo it and always have a rest between sets of squeezes.
After a few months, you should start to notice the results. Your incontinence should improve, as well as the sensitivity you experience during sex. You should carry on doing the exercises, even when you notice them starting to work.
Pelvic Floor exercises during Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, you can start doing pelvic floor exercises straight away. The exercises will lower your risk of experiencing incontinence after having your baby.
You can use Elvie during Pregnancy but DO NOT use if you have any risk of infections.
Elvie detects if you are exercising incorrectly using motion sensors, while the force sensors measure the strength of your squeeze. Bluetooth connects to the app, allowing you to visualise each exercise. Made with the highest quality medical grade silicone, Elvie is designed to last. It is 100% waterproof and has passed rigorous testing. With a carry case that doubles as a wireless charger and a battery life of up to a month, Elvie fits seamlessly into your routine.
EASY TO SET UP
Very practical and ready within few minutes. You just need to download the application and charge your Elvie. Once everything is ready, just create an account and let’s start your work outs.
MY POINT OF VIEW:
You obviously DO NOT need it to do your pelvic floor exercises but it is really helpful and handy. It makes things easier.
When I was so distressed after my first baby, I would have been really relieved to have it. You feel more confident and you are guided through the process. You can keep a track of what you do and your progress and it is PRICELESS.
It is discreet and easy to put in your washing bag.
I regret the PRICE: £149. I would have loved to see it more affordable and accessible to more people.
Now, as far as I am concerned I am absolutely not a “connected” person. I do not like “gadgets” and simplest things are the best. I am a bit lazy too so even if I found that Elvie guenuinely fantastic, it is unfortunately not something I will spontaneously use. I am more old school.
Elvie is available to buy from www.elvie.com.
BUT I LOVE IT AND CLEARLY IT IS BENEFICIAL that is why I am very happy to be able to offer in collaboration with Chiaro one fabulous ELVIE to one of my lovely reader.
For your chance to win an Elvie, personal trainer, you have to:
- COMMENT below
- SUBSCRIBE to the blog
- SHARE this post
Giveaway ends on the 17th of November AT MIDNIGHT UK time
Winner to be announced on the 18th, select by random
Prize to be sent by Elvie.com