I need to remind myself daily about POP maintenance daily. As I brush my teeth, I remember halfway through to contract my PC. When I put my makeup on, a little voice nags at me to “pull it in, pull it up”. As I blow-dry my hair and analyze my form in the mirror (oh come on now, you know we all do it), I think to myself am I pulling in my abdominal muscles but forgetting to contract my pelvic floor? As a grassroots women’s pelvic floor health advocate, shouldn’t I be doing all the right pelvic floor self-help stuff all the time?
I recognize that I am simply your typical, average, normal woman; a woman with too many tasks to handle in a single day, a woman with more chores than can be addressed than sufficient time to address them, a woman too tired to think about doing one....more...thing. But I also recognize that I can’t ask other women to consider changing their pelvic floor health habits if I can’t address my own.
I often catch myself engaged in an activity where I need to remind myself (sometimes not until after I feel the vaginal pressure) to contract my pelvic floor to support the organs and tissues inside. I sometimes recognize when rushing to put items in a different room after I am halfway to where I am taking them that I have not been ‘”holding things in and up”. When I'm walking from room to room at a medical conference, I often forget altogether that I even have a pelvic floor (geez, that's the focal point of most conferences I attend). At times I notice while doing simple every day things that I'm not "contracted” in any way, shape, or form, much less standing up straight to optimize organ position. To say my pelvic health awareness is a continual work in progress is putting it mildly.
It is important women recognize that none of us are perfect. We all do the best we can as often as we can. We each have unique physical baggage to figure out. My personal baggage is MS; I have days when the muscle fatigue is pronounced and I recognize a distinct drop in muscle strength. But I still try to remember to do the right stuff. I still try to be aware of my pelvic floor and do what I can to contract it as well as I can as often as I can when engaging in normal, routine, everyday activities. For each of us it is an individual work in progress. And it will always be a work in progress. And that’s ok.
On the days I need to preach to myself about “doing the right stuff” I try to remember that I am human and that I will sometimes slip up; the most important thing is that I quickly get back on track. One day at a time.