Trying not to lose faith but getting worse!


Hi girls. I am new - have been reading along for a while though. Discovered pop at 5 weeks PP - I am now 14 weeks PP. I am 36 years old, second baby. First was my difficult birth. Initially I was horrified to see what was happening to my body and, like many of you, was distressed, depressed, angry etc. I got the book and DVD and do most of the exercises most days. I am working on posture as much as I can running after the two children. My body is still learning the posture though - it is by no means natural for me yet.
I have read that 3 months PP is when it can get worse but now it is happening I am very worried! I initially had what I diagnosed as stage 1 or 2 cycstocele. My gyn said barely a stage 1 but we all know to take their opinion with a grain of salt. I then noticed a urethrocele joining in. I was ok with this but in the last few days rectocele is also apparent! And I have suffered constipation on and off my whole life so extra issues in that department is the last thing I need. It is now just a bulgy mess down there. I can feel it most of the time so it becomes very mentally consuming.
I am seeing a PT who seems ok - my pelvis is all a bit messed up at the moment '- asymmetrical' is how she described it. That may not be helping things either. I am just starting to panic and wondering if I did something wrong to make it so much worse. It's taking me back to the anxiety I felt when I first discovered all this :-(

Welcome, Ozmama,

Oh have developed what we call “Nature’s Pessary” - now the real work can begin!

Symmetry of the pelvis follows curvature at the lumbar spine and alignment of the head and shoulder girdle. It is Whole Woman posture that will properly seat your torso over your hip joints. Determining that it is your pelvis that is “messed up” is the wrong focus (unless you really do have a skeletal anomaly). At any rate, it is the rest of your head and spine that will bring it back into alignment.

Bulgy front and back vaginal walls are the mark of a mature vagina. Would this be “normal” if you lived as ancient people did - sitting on the ground with the strength of your own spine, bending forward to plant and harvest, etc etc? We don’t know. What we do know is that moving the uterus forward through this postural work will improve your cystocele-rectocele symptoms.

Believing in the strength of your own design to reverse these symptoms is the toughest challenge for many women. Only you can do this work, pulling your body into alignment every time you are on your feet and as much of the time sitting as is comfortable.

I would suggest strolling with your children each day - taking long strides in this natural posture. Really pull up through the back of your neck and head while keeping your shoulders down and your upper back flat and broad. Stop along the way and do a little firebreathing and nauli (onlookers may think you are about to lose your breakfast, but oh well). When you are feeling a bit stronger in the posture, try running with long strides, really pushing your belly out over your thighs while pulling up through the back of your neck. This reinforces all the anatomic factors of bipedalism that move your organs forward against your abdominal wall.

Don’t worry about prolapse staging, which is very arbitrary. Prolapse is a dynamic condition and your symptoms will wax and wane with time of day and time of month.

Pull up strongly into Whole Woman posture, Ozmama. You have come into your full womanhood now - be creative and have fun figuring out how best to support your body. The best is yet to come.

Wishing you well,


Thank you so much Christine for your advice - and for all the work you do. I am definitely feeling blessed to have found this site and being able to benefit from your years of research and knowledge.
I will definitely try the walking and firebreathing - not yet worked out how to nauli. Although I have read that others find it brilliant so I should try to learn it.
One thing I do a lot is bend over - picking things off the floor, emptying/packing dishwasher etc. Is the key to bend from the hips?
Thanks again!

I sweep all the toys into one pile by the shelf they go on and then sit down and put them away. Before I did that I would crawl around on hands and knees- but that irritated my knees. For the dishes- I gave us all 1 of each dish and we just hand washed- but now we are back to bad habits and using many dishes- so the dishwasher is getting used. The kids help unload and load up though- so I don't usually do it myself.
I like to squat not bend a general rule. Second position is good for squatting.

Thanks alemama!
I do try to crawl to pick up toys but I still find I am picking other things up all day - an item of clothing for example. I have been squatting but wasn't sure if that was ok. Haven't been doing it in second position so can try that.
Also picking up my baby out of his cot seems to be difficult - an awkward angle? Any thoughts?

Hi Ozmama

My favourite way of picking up is indeed bending from the hips with lumbar curve intact, butt up in the air, feet in second and knees bent as far as you can, with a good turnout. Try not to look too far ahead in this stance or you have to crane your neck and it sometimes objects. A turnout is also a good way of getting your feet closer to the cot because your knees don't bump into the cot when you bend them into a half squat. Just don't bend from the waist.

As baby gets heavier and older a mattress on the floor might work better for you. You will be stronger by then too.

It probably depends on what type of cot it is. If you have to lean over I would suggest a modification of the above, bringing baby over closer before you lift. Hold baby as close as you can to your centre of gravity before lifting. A drop side cot would allow you to sit in the cot or kneel beside it.

Mini-skirts in the recycling from now on. You really need to be able to bend over in a very un-super-model way.

Hang in there, Ozmama. It really will start to get better soon. One other thing. As your body gets closer to starting your menses again you might get a worsening of symptoms. This is very normal and will be temporary. We all get temporary setbacks occasionally, when we think the sky is falling. The more often it happens, and gets better again, the more we get to trust our body again, and the fear dissipates.

One more 'nother thing. When you became pregnant the first time your body had not experienced a pregnancy. This time you went into the second pregnancy with a mature vagina. This is probably why it feels worse this time. Use Wholewoman techniques and it has no reason to get worse. If your pelvis is a bit lop-sided from this birth it doesn't mean you will always be lop-sided. The posture will even you up by moving your organs forwards, where you are not lop-sided, instead of back and down.

Now you have prolapses it is time to come to grips with your constipation for good. Learn how to prevent it and develop strategies for getting rid of it. Never strain against the seat of the toilet. There is little point in learning all the WW techniques if you don't avoid constipation and its associated straining like the plague. Come back with more questions.


Thank you so much Louise - your comments are so helpful.
I am definitely working on the constipation issue. I am currently taking movicol to ensure soft stools while I 'retrain' my bowel - dr says the bowel is a slow learner so I might have to take it for a few months. My ongoing issue is what is 'normal' pushing versus straining. If I do nothing at all - nothing ever comes out. I try to keep my stomach relaxed and lumber curve in place, but I still find I need to push a little. Are you supposed to keep all stomach muscles relaxed? Because i can't seem to do that.
The stool is definitely soft so that is not an issue at the moment.
I am very confused about whether what I am doing is damaging or not.

Hi Ozmama

Constipation is simply that the bowel gets more coming in than going out. This can be caused by hard stools because there is not enough water in your system to keep them soft, or else the flow is so slow that too much water is removed on the way through, or there is not enough fibre to absorb the water and make a kind of gel, or there is too much fibre, so it uses all the water up and makes hard stools again.

The other factor is bowel motility, ie how 'energetic' your bowel is. Sometimes they just seem to slow down. Too much meat, too much refined cereals will both slow your bowel down.

Stress seems to stop the flow too because the brain tells the person to flee or fight, so digestion takes a second place while blood is moved to the extremities and to the heart, and conserved in case of injury.

Sometimes fibrous foods like oranges (and remember Granolamom's satsuma phase!), prunes, figs, apples etc first thing in the morning, or last thing ata night, help.

Others have suggested a mug of hot water first thing in the morning. Maybe it calms the insides. I am sure that it also tops up the system that has been filtering and making wee all night, so it is a bit dehydrated, and the mug of water reassures it that more water is on the way, and it can stop taking water out of the stool and move it on.

That's part of the story, anyway.

Re straining, it is straining while sitting on the toilet that is the real problem. If you half squat with lumbar curve intact, your pelvic floor will be stretched tight, so there is less chance of it bulging out. This posture also works all the muscles inside the pelvis to stabilise the hip joints, so your prlevic organs are better supported on the inside. Search for LoPo in the Forums. This is about watching the way quadruped animals defaecate and figuring out what effect it is having in their bodies. I never realised there were so many pictures of dogs pooping on the internet until I looked for them!!!! Doing a few of these LoPo half squats when you can't get the stools to move doesn't seem to work sometimes but if you do a few now you will find that it seems to get the rectum straightened out or something, and the next time you feel the urge it will just happen with very little effort. It is worth a try, anyway.

It also doesn't really matter if you have one big poo a day or every two days, or ten little poos a day. As long as you are working towards clearing the backlog. Once the backlog is cleared it is much easier to prevent further constipation.

Ah yes! Remember to get plenty of magniesium.


Thanks again Louise!
I am finding lifting off the toilet seat to be in a half squat quite good - seems easier to pass BM. The only concern I have is that I notice my stomach muscles are engaged in this position - is that ok?

Hi Louise, I just read your comments on "Picking UP" and I am confused. I thought a womens organs fell forward when we bend forward or bend forward down. Isn't the Fire Breathing done with a bend-over posture. Also in Christine's book "Saving The Whole Women" their is a picture of her bending over to the floor with her legs straight. So I am a little confused. Please clarify. Thanks !!!!


It is good, Jaylove, that you are thinking critically about this. You are on your way to understanding.

Humans are bipedal. The only difference between us and quadrupeds or even the other primates, when we are standing, is that we have a lumbar curve in our spine. Our pelvis is in the same orientation as the quadrupeds, with the pubic bones meeting at the bottom of a bony 'ring'. Our pelvic organs rest forwards on the pubic bones and the pelvic outlet is at the back of the body. Our spine is only vertical because of the bend in the lumbar spine which curves through about 90 degrees to become upright.

The early anatomists drew our skeleton from cadavers lying on a slab in a mortuary, with no muscle tone (because they were dead), and with gravity acting downwards, pulling all the curves out of the spine so it lay as flat as its bulk would allow. The lumbar curve flattens, rotating the pelvis backwards, and it gave them the impression that the pelvis was like a bowl with the pelvic outlet at the bottom, and thus the anatomical model, and anatomical position (lying flat on the back with palms upwards), was developed and has been used to this day. Surgeons, of course operate on people mostly lying down, so it is appropriate for them to use this model, for visualisation purposes during surgery, but it is irrelevant (and incorrect) for the living, breathing, vertically standing woman.

The human pelvis can tilt forwards and backwards, by flexing and extending the lumbar spine to different degrees. We can bend forwards by either flexing our whole spine into a c-shape, which tilts the pelvis backwards and flops our pelvic organs back over a horizontal pelvic floor, or we can hinge forwards from our hip joints with lumbar curve intact. The latter leaves our pelvis in its original position with pelvic organs still forwards. We can bend deeper again by bending our knees into a half squat with flat feet, but most of us who are not squatters from the cradle can only do a full squat with heels off the ground (unless pregnant).

Try it and you will feel the difference between the two.

Lifting (say a baby) from the bent over position involves increases in intraabdominal forces. If the lumbar curve is intact these intraabdominal forces will be absorbed by the lower abdominal wall and some will be bounced back towards the spine, but if we have no lumbar curve to move our pelvic organs 'around the corner', intraabdominal forces will go straight downwards to the top of the vagina and produce prolapse symptoms of pressure and fullness in the vulva.

In firebreathing the lumbar curve is present on inhalation, but absent on inhalation, when we are lifting the respiratory diaphragm, which sucks the abdominal and pelvic organs further into the body. On exhalation the intraabdominal pressure is negative, so it doesn't push our organs down. It sucks them up.

Does this help to explain it?

Louise, I just now found your reply to my question. I was new when I posted the question and I guess I somehow missed it. Anyway I wanted to thank you for the long explantion you gave me. And yes it does help. Now I understand. Thanks again - sorry I'm late.


Good one for InvertedYogiMama to read! Thanks SH as usual - Surviving

I love all the explanations here! Thanks for bumping it! I think I went through the same thing around three months pp. She's 7 months now, so hopefully the light at the end of this current tunnel is close. I wonder, is it better to walk with my kids and have my littlest in a ring sling carrier or a stroller? I'm guessing sling, because the stroller would cause a fall in my chest and rounding of my shoulders, right? I am trying to sell my ergo, because the strap around the belly is no bueno! I also think that the nursing pillow MyBreastFriend compounded my prolapse. It uses a tight strap around the belly to hold the pillow up higher for nursing. I tossed it in the closet after I found I had pop. I'm SO glad I didn't try belly binding! What a mess that would've been!

YogiMama, one of the ways that you can tell if you're in correct posture, is that if you are, then carrying a baby close to your body like this actually helps your prolapse. The extra weight-loading from above closes off the vagina into more of a flat airless space that the organs can't squish into so easily. I did not particularly find this to be true in the early days, but once I had more or less mastered posture, I could feel it for myself. The beauty of this work is that it becomes self-evident to us, the more we work to understand and master it. - Surviving

Thanks SH this is an interesting thread. I have not squatted or hinged at the hips in second position.

First aid for prolapse actually came yesterday, and I need to watch it. That makes sense though! I've learned to hinge at the hips from my fav yoga teacher, who showed me how to protect my lower back. It makes a big difference in my prolapse level! Today, as I was cleaning up things off the floor (because toddlers are messy), I was hinging and using my breath to prevent holding it as I lifted back up, and I'd scoop my chest open and up with the upward motion. One time I forgot, and bent at the waist and it was like an instant internal reminder. I really look forward to getting back to my proper posture.

Five years into this work, I still have to remind myself about bending at waist versus hips. When I correct my body position, it is an instant difference! - Surviving

SH, I normally hinge at hips in the firebreathing position to bend over. I need my knees bent as I am still tight in my hamstrings - although getting better. I don't squat but get down on my hands and knees. It is a bit hard on the knees though. I have been doing some 2nd position squats though. Might use both positions.

I have always remembered to do the hinge and I get my bum in the air and really drop and relax the tummy. When I am out I squat a bit I guess as I don't want to go completely primal and exposed with my bum up.

My main issue is tuning off my abs when going from sitting to standing as I catch myself holding my tummy muscles unconsciously. I have to remind myself that my tummy will not fall down, there is no need to clench. Why my body thinks this I do not know.

SH, yes, you are right, on the toes is the way to go with squatting. It also is good exercise to improve balance in your ankles.

There is good anthropological evidence that in societies where people squat regularly from birth, eg those without sitting toilets, and those where kneeling to pray is not part of their religious life, the facets of the bones in the legs, ankles and feet develop differently, with more ankle flexion, so that a flat foot squat is possible and comfortable. People who come from a kneeling culture, eg religious communities where they kneel more than squatting, do not have the bone structure that makes full flat squatting possible.

A&L, if you find kneeling on all fours uncomfortable you might find a buckwheat husk cushion helpful for spreading the load on your knees and ankles. As we get older all our connective tissue thins, so there is less padding in our joints. I am just reading new posts, and I haven't been on the Forums for a long while, so I don't know your situation in any detail. I might be completely wrong about why you find kneeling so difficult.

S60, hi again! :-) Yes, bending at the waist is a killer. I am finding less and less situations where it is absolutely necessary to do it. I tend these days to regard waist bending with the same distaste as I have for climbing over barbed wire fences. Hip hinge always.

IYM, I really like your phrasing, "scooping my chest open" . Elephant stamp for that one.

Re strollers. I treat them like lawnmowers when the going gets rough. Holding my arms way out in front, bottom out, belly low, chest out front, big lumbar curve.

Re carrying babies and toddlers, I have found that it doesn't really matter whether you carry them low like a pregnant belly or high so you can smell and kiss their head, on your hip, or on your back; leading with your raised chest and relaxed belly will always give you the best results.

I have just spent a couple of weeks in Grandbaby land, and am reacquainting myself with mothercraft. I think it is worth having a few different carriers. Most can be used in several different configurations, whether it is a simple meh tai, a simple ring sling or the most sophisticated expensive carrier with zips and accessories. What works this month might not work next month. You might find yourself going back to a previously discarded carrier as baby grows, and wear it differently.

Oh I like that scooping comment too. I just re-read that post as I missed that earlier. I think it will help me as I tend to lose my posture when first standing up.

This forum is so great.

Nice to be reading some of your posts Louiseds too - I am a fan.