18 months postpartum


and I feel just terrible today! What is going on? Every doctor I've ever seen has diagnosed my cystocele as mild, but I have always felt terrible discomfort and pain. I attributed it to vaginal dryness, which has very slowly gone away with night weaning etc, but it took a long long time for me to be more comfortable. I've never had urinary incontinence, luckily.

Granted I had been feeling relatively better, and finally even started having relations again, and we were even hoping to conceive soon (since I'm not getting any younger!) ... but today!

I wanted to bake a pie (husband's birthday tomorrow), and I'm supposed to bring over dinner for another new mum in the neighborhood tonight. I feel useless.

What is going on. I had been hoping to be done with all this by now, my body usually heals quickly, quicker than most.

Is it because I started drinking coffee again? (Oh how I love the smell of coffee in my house!) Bad connective tissue genes? What do I blame?

And I have never been able to push the stroller, which still makes me depressed, since this is the picture I had in my head of "motherhood"... me and the baby in the stroller all over town. Sure I did lots of other carries (the moby stretchy wrap was excellent) but my little kidlet is so heavy now! Even with other carriers, it's hard, besides, he wants to run.

This makes me so sad.

What should I do? I live in the posture. I avoid lifting heavy things... I avoid intra-abdominal pressure if at all possible. I eat well, lots of vegetables and whole grains, I'm very regular.

What should I do.

Hi there, sorry you are feeling low. Where are you in your cycle? That could have a lot of bearing on how you are feeling today. Try to remember that things almost always get better in a day or two. Have a glass of wine, get to bed early with a good book or an escapist DVD. Go for a long walk without your baby -- long strides, uphill, arms flapping. Sell your stroller and get one you can push -- I love my go-go babyz urban advantage, and I hear mountain buggy is good. Breathe deep and know this feeling is most likely temporary. This pop stuff is two steps forward, one step back. You will get there, it's just slow going.

I dont know about the pain, I'm lucky, my POP was never painful.
there's a relatively recent post somewhere about round ligament pain.
you can blame whatever you like (coffee and bad genes seem like good scapegoats to me!), but I agree, get a better stroller!
I've never had problems pushing my mountain buggy. even now with the baby in it and the almost-4 yo riding on the 'buggy board' although that does make it more challenging to stay in posture.

so what else to do? well, take this or leave it, I know its wacky, but try talking to your body and listening. sometimes it will tell you what it needs.


Well, @ 18 months PP I felt quite good, but still had my regular setbacks from overdoing things, being uber-busy for days, cleaning the whole house by dinner, etc. I still had my 1-2 bad days around ovulation, and a few more around my period.

2 steps forward, one step back, this is how things go with POP in my experience.

Please, do not worry! These days happen. Rest a lot and pamper yourself, and you'll see, everything goes back to baseline soon.

Are you doing some "fitness"? I highly recommend yoga. Christine has a well documented piece on WW yoga somewhere in the articles section. Could help a lot.



Hi Oh-mum,

It sounds like you push yourself pretty hard sometimes, and high expectations of yourself. You also have a heavy toddler, and your body is still reverting from the pregnancy.

When you conceive again you will do so with a different body from the first time. Your body will never be as tight on the inside as it was before your first pregnancy. That is just what happens. So your body will also feel different during the pregnancy, and probably behave differently postpartum. It is with the third baby that equilibrium develops, and then it doesn't get worse unless there are other factors coming into play.

I have always said there are two years of noticeable reversion but that subtle changes go on for a few years after that. I think looking after little children (or another lifting-intensive fultime job) is what stops the reversion at 2 years. Until your youngest is 2 years old they need lots of lifting and carrying. After that it tails off gradually until they hardly need any lifting or carrying by 5yo, except for times of trauma, etc. This 2yo to 5yo is the time that I think the subtle reversion happens. If you conceive now you will not get that full two years of reversion before you are once again growing and stretching on the inside.

I have also noticed that if I have a time when I am doing heavy lifting, or dodgy diet for a few days I do notice my POPs more. Only when I get back to normal activities/diet my POPs disappear again in a couple of days. Because you have a toddler you never get that let-up, that few days when you can go real easy on yourself and get back to baseline.

Yes, your menstrual cycle may be having an effect. You may have done something yesterday that upset your POPs. Hey, maybe you are pregnant???? Give it a few days to settle and do some more resting if you can. As long as you are doing all the WW techniques and not really overdoing it I think you will be able to stop worrying about it getting worse.

I really think there is no POP equilibrium for a woman of childbearing age. Your body is always changing hormonally, then in response to tasks you undertake. This is the way it is meant to be for now. Just remember that your body was designed to do this. Have faith in it.

Take care.


Thank you everyone, I really needed that.

Even though I did bake the pie and make a ton of risotto etc, I made sure to rest (stool in kitchen) and the day after I took it extra easy, and I feel much better today.

I was totally over-doing it. I also realized that wrestling with an acrobatic toddler nurser may have contributed to the situation. (Hey Lady: being horizontal does not necessarily mean I'm safe from intra-abdominal pressure.)

Stroller-wise, I think I am s.o.l. since I am very tall and end up stooping to push or something. I remember looking at that go-go-urban stroller but realized the handles were just too low.

Thank you Louise for giving me perspective. I know in my head I should be patient, but I am of the tribe that just wants to DO IT and GO GO GO. I keep hearing the message "Hey Lady: slow down!" and I just need to listen to it.

And in a couple of weeks I should be able to return to some much-needed yoga practice.

Thanks again everyone.

Wow, how tall are you? I'm 5'8", and the handle of the go-go is right at the middle of my rib cage. Maybe get creative (don't let anything get in the way of your stroller mommy dream!) and take your stroller to a welder to cut and extend the handles. In the US, a "tricked out custom ride" is very popular -- get your stroller tricked out! :-)

my dh is 6ft4 and doesnt complain about pushing our mountain buggy.

also, I've seen in some of those 'baby items' mags handlebar attachments that extend the height.

and I hear you about the acrobatic nursing toddler, I've got one too. her fav position (aside from nursing while daddy is holding her) is upside down. I cant for the life of me figure out how she manages to avoid choking that way, but it seems to work. for her at least, very uncomfortable for me.

Oh, I remember it well. Lying on my back with a toddler attached to one nipple and walking in circles over my tummy, up one side, around my head and back down the other side (or that's what it seemed like!). I can only put it down to wanting his cake and eating it too. A two year old's legs seem to always have to be on the go! Luckily he usually had bare feet.


Hi Ladies
You are all inspirational how you manage all this with young kids even when it does not feel like you are managing it.

Louiseds that is interesting about POP symptoms when caring for kids aged 2-5 years. My youngest is 2.5 years and my oldest nearly 5. I try not to lift her much now (she had a lot for her first 18 months) but still it's taxing. I find them wanting to crawl on me and jump on me and the surprise that can give is hard. I am strict about them being careful of my tummy and they do try to respect that but things happen of course.

I finished breast feeding a few months ago and it did nothing for my POP but it is more comfortable now I am not trying to manage her heavy body hanging off me. Not a reason to stop of course I just wanted to add that I found it trying at times too.

We live in a flat area SH and I miss the hills so much for walking (and the view). When I do walk up hill I feel like it pulls my POP forward. I think I am ok going down too. I'll be heading back to where I grew up soon and back to my hills so will see how that feels. I have been lazy with my walking as it's winter and boring on the flat.

I find my POP lower or more symptomatic at ovulation and just before and after my period too.

I hope you get some relief with your gas soon SH.

I had a major worsening of cystocele after pushing my baby AND toddler uphill in a buggy. I'd trust your gut. If you think it's making things bad for you, even in posture, I'd not do it. I now avoid very steep hills with the stroller or, if I can't , i do them super slowly and mindfully trying to bear weight with my thighs.
I agree the post 2 year reversion is to do with less lifting. I feel even now that I have better days when I've got more help toting toots around with me.

I am always with my baby too but sometimes avoid certain routes. I reckon the extreme weight of two was damaging for me where one child alone would not have been, but it was a scary "omg what is that dropping?!?!" Moment that took a good month to improve. I think you'll know how much is too much.
Walking is still better than not for me so hopefully it will help you too.
I always took Louise's comments on reversion to mean that the 2 year postpartum window is the optimal healing window but that even after this window has passed, improvements continue to happen as we are no longer required to do as much lifting, not that the lifting during this two years is good therapy.
Someone correct me here if I'm wrong?
And I *get* that lifting in posture can be good for pop with the closed vaginal space etc but I think with little human beings who have melt downs and minds of their own (there's that blasted free-will coming into play as they get older!) the possibility of mindful lifting is pretty challenging.... I can see myself trying to protect my lumbar curve as I wrestle a screaming, kicking toddler out of the supermarket....sacks of potatoes they 'ain't!

I have not walked on a hill with my pram but I see what you mean SH. I did a huge amount of pram hill walking prior to getting symptomatic POP so that is sure to have contributed. I moved to the flat when my prolapse was very mild (pre WW).

I didn't read Louiseds post too deeply but assumed she meant it is all moving around back and forth in those childbearing years so we just keep doing WW and go with it. I don't mean go with your gas and discomfort SH as you know something is not sorted yet and I can imagine that is very frustrating. I feel that way with diet and while I have made major strides in understanding what causes bloating and constipation and a few extra pounds for me, I do fight the answers as do not always want them to be true.

Do half the western world just walk around ignoring food and pelvic issues as we all seem to have some of these and I just can't see how women can ignore them or not notice. I cannot see how some women can be stick thin and have two or more kids. Even if they still have their ligaments tight they must have everything being pushed back and be uncomfortable as their belly's are flat. I can't help wanting x-ray vision sometimes to see how I am not alone in this at kindy. supermarket etc.

I just have to remind myself that the pictures we see in mags of celebrities and their kids have nannies, chefs, cleaners etc in the background so they are not like me in anyway. Oh and they also love cosmetic surgery so probably pelvic too. Maybe the damage from the knife and restrictions this must cause is why some move out of the lime light and live quietly in the country once they get older.

Miss D - I hear you with toddlers wills in the supermarket/mall and always when I have other things to carry. I must look a bit funny hinging over and really getting my bum up and curve in place to lift my toddler. I normally try to wait a bit and let it play out but that is not popular with the crabby old ladies who work in the supermarket - maybe they have POP so are just grumpy trying to manage that without WW.

"Do half the western world just walk around ignoring food and pelvic issues as we all seem to have some of these and I just can't see how women can ignore them or not notice."
A & L this was me not all that long ago! I truly don't think its a case of ignoring issues for many women, I just think that the issues simply don't exist until they become major problems and suddenly it's too late....I was trucking along just beautifully until my forceps birth... And if advertising campaigns are anything to go by, incontinence and constipation are major issues for women in the uk these days - daytime tv ad breaks paint quite a picture.

True, true Miss D but then how do they continue doing the modern women thing once they have these issues! How can they suck and tuck and not get air and act like nothing is wrong. I have never been good at acting :o)

As I write this I remember doing all these things when my prolapse was mild - ignorance was costly for me but I am here now - onwards, acceptance such is life aye.