So glad to have found you! Questions (of course :-))


Hi, my name is Kathy, I am 34 and I have 2 wonderful children. My son will be 4 in March and my daughter is 11 months today. With my son I had a very difficult delivery (common refrain, huh?), my water broke at 36 weeks, he was still high, my nurse said "oh she's young and strong, we can push him down". After almost 3 hours of pushing he was delivered by forceps after a failed vacuum extraction. I did experience some urinary incontinence after his birth but I thought it was yet again one of those things that happen with pg that no one ever tells you. I started doing kegels, etc, and all healed fine. 3 years later I deliver my daughter, went into labor on my own, proceeded rapidly, but still had to have a 2nd degree episiotomy even after I had told this new DR that I didn't want one. After her delivery I had NO UI symptoms so I thought all those kegels had been paying off.

Started back to exercising 3 months post partum, running (no drips!) and then started playing tennis. Hindsight of course says I should have stopped the tennis earlier. I went to my OBGYN's office in Jan with bad back pain and symptoms of a urinary tract infection. I did have one but I also had a slight bladder prolapse. I saw the PA and she referred me to uro-gyno. When I asked if I needed to quit exercising/playing tennis, she said she couldn't tell me not to exercise. So I am in denial and continue to play, but a little less frequency. I notice things get worse as now I can feel something in my vagina, plus see something. I quit the tennis while I wait for the uppt with the uro-gyno.

Get in to see him, and notice his business cards say "Pelvic Floor Reconstruction" so was kinda prepared that he was going to tell me I needed surgery. What I wasn't prepared for that I have now have bladder, rectal and uterine prolapse so "the best course of action for me would be hysterectomy followed by total reconstructive surgery." So go home and discuss with your husband whether you want to have any more children. See you in 3-4 months.

I was shocked, devastated and upset beyond belief. That I "had" to make the decision about more children now. He basically told me life as I know it was over. No high impact exercise, the aerobics, the running, the tennis were over. What about lifting my 11 month old, I ask? She's a really big baby, already 25lbs before 1! "She needs to start walking and you need to understand that you just can't do some things anymore, with the surgery or without."

That was a week ago. Last night I received Christine's book and stayed up to read almost all of it. Of course I will be re-reading too. The book referred me to this website. I thank God you all are here. I hate that there are so many of us here, but at the same time I am glad to see that there are others here. All the research I found was for older women, in their 70's and 80s, and here I am at the ripe old age of 34! At times I feel like a freak, that my body has failed me, at other times I feel like a victim of the medical establishment.

Anyway I can ramble on forever about my feelings...angry, sad, victimized, unsure about my future, etc., but I did want to say THANK YOU. Thank you to Christine, and thank you to all the others on this board. You have already answered a lot of my questions and as I read more of the forum, I am sure you will answer more. So now I will end my tangent (it was therapeutic though!) with a couple questions:

1. is sitting on a ball better than sitting on a chair for pc/desk work? Is it worse?
2. where is this exercise DVD you mention? I saw a referral to the Center website but still couldn't find it.
3. Do I really have to ask my DR about using sea sponges or can I go ahead and order some?
4. Any tips on how I should be lifting my daugther? I feel that my prolapse will get better once she is walking on her own but as any mother knows, I still have a few years of lifting her...

I think that's it... for now ;-). I thank you in advance and I am grateful that we have this support network. I start PT today, will let you all know if I learn anything that can be useful to others. Oh, did you know my uro-gyno said that there has been a recent study that showed 40% of women do kegels incorrectly? They actually push out too much while trying to contract the muscles? I am one them so at least I can learn that correctly, even though I am doubtful much will come of it.

Thanks again,

Oh, another question... Should I even be on the pregnancy/postpartum board? I am almost a year out...


Dear Kathy,

Glad you found us, too…you can post anywhere you like, but the postpartum forum is fairly new and my hope is that it will become a good source of support and info for new moms like you.

Your condition and history leading up to it is a textbook case. Your story, though, made me reflect once again on how very strong the female pelvic system really is. I think you have a great chance of reducing your symptoms considerably. Please tell your urogynecologist that the inaccurate, incomplete scenario presented to you no longer qualifies as informed consent as there are now a large group of women challenging an old, dysfunctional and very damaging framework. Good for you for being so awake.

I think the sit-ball will be very good for you.

The DVD is for sale on the wholewomancenter site (you can get there from here) where it says whole woman store on the right. We are still tweaking the design.

I have to tell you to check everything out with your doctor, even the sea sponges. Anyone can order them.

I think lifting a small child is the very best therapy for a prolapsed mom! If it were me I would stand with my feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out, bend over at the waist (the turned-out, bent knees cause the butt to stick out - our major source of support and leverage), contract my pelvic diaphragm, keep my neck stretched in the same long plane as the rest of my spine, AND JOYFULLY PICK HER UP!! I would do this again and again throughout the day until I could see that this activity, done in the right shape, was STRENGTHENING ALL THE ACCESSORY MUSCLES AND CONNECTIVE SUPPORTS THAT PULL THE BLADDER UP AND FORWARD. Intraabdominal pressure is our friend, not our foe. We just forgot how to use our body correctly.

I don’t know what to say about the kegel thing, except that I have his original papers and the “correct way” was central to his theory five decades ago. He would have women come to his office several times a week in order to teach them how to do the contractions correctly.

I suppose the question could be raised, did the kegels stabilize your urethra or help pull your bladder down so that your incontinence was traded for prolapse? It’s time PT’s begin to better familiarize themselves with REAL anatomy, get outside their box, and start asking these sorts of questions. We will all tell you that kegels do nothing for a significant prolapse.

Wishing you well,



Well, I had my first visit with my PT yesterday and she agreed that 34 was too young to have a hysterectomy. Even better she said there was a hormone relationship between our ovaries and our uterus so it is most definately a needed organ, even after childbearing is over. Male doctors just don't get it. So we are going to work together 2x a week for 6 weeks to try and strengthen my pelvic floor, which she admitted is pretty weak.

We did talk a lot about posture so I showed her Christine's posture for standing and sitting and she said that's great. She also showed me how to get up properly from laying down by rolling over to my side and the pushing up with my arms. I am used to just hauling myself up, kinda like a roll up in Pilates. I can't believe all I have been doing that last few months (really since the birth of my baby) that has been detrimental to my PF health.

We discussed the anatomy of the pelvic floor again, she examined me and then we did a few exercises. We started with some stomach exercise, really low stomach, like your bikini line. Holding that in with various exercises along with the PF. She had to have her arm under my back because I want to immediately flatten my back to the floor with any kind of ab work - - something I have been taught in the gym classes for the last 19 years. I have a lot to unlearn! I am to do that ab routine 2x a day and do kegels 6x a day (a total of 90/day) so not that bad. She said by doing the correct ab routine (the really low muscles together with the PF), I will actually obtain a flat stomach, something I have never had my whole life. She suspects I have been pushing the wrong muscle out this entire time. My kegels were fine to her so I don't know what the uro-gyno was talking about.

In my exam she noticed that my sacro something was off, either caused by the prolapse, or only carrying my daughter on one side. In the internal, she found 2 muscles on either side were really tight, that was the only thing sore, and by just placing pressure on them she released them. I also have mild scoliosis but I have been told that before.

I tried the posture as much as I could remember and when standing or sitting on the ball was pretty successful. I am terrible when trying to sit in a regular chair though. My back muscles are pretty sore today (mid back area, braline area), does this mean I am doing the posture correctly? Anything to relive the low back pain I have been experiencing for weeks? Is the posture similar to the mountain pose in yoga? That's what I think of...

Thanks again for this great board and your work in this area. Just to have the hope outweigh the overwhelming fear is wonderful.


Welcome Kathy,
So glad you have found this healing place! Sorry you are going through all that you are, (and all that we are too), though! Christine is wonderful and there are many other young and not so young women here who will help and support you! Hope to chat again soon!


Thank you so much for sharing your story, it is through expressing our stories that a lot of healing can happen. This place has been an amazing source of information and support for me since having my baby 4 months ago and having the prolapse and fistula issues that I'm currently dealing with.

How many times do we hear the same forceps story (mine included)?

Just wanted to answer the yoga question that you posed, I do believe that the posture is actually 'opposite' of the tadasana pose in yoga. Classically, tadasana is performed with tailbone tucked under (thus decreasing the spinal lordosis), whereas the posture preserves this normal curvature of our spines. The other elements of tadasana...grounded feet and energetically engaged upper torso/neck is similar but we want to maintain the natural curved in our backs instead of flatten them. I am a physical therapist and yoga teacher and I have yet to begin practicing again postpartum (just had surgery last week to fix the vesicovaginal fistula) but I am really looking forward to resuming my practice once again, with complete awareness of my body in this new state and how to support healing. I'm really excited about you going to PT with a specialist in PF, it's not something we focus on at school at all (unfortunately) and I've learned more in the past few months by doing my own research than I ever learned in PT school about PF rehab for sure! I will be asking my urogyn today (follow up appointment this morning) about a referral for PT once I get this catheter out. Please keep us posted on the exercises that she recommends for you.

Again, welcome, it is so important for us to connect and support each other on our journeys.

Gosh…I hope we have some urogyns tuned-in to see the TRUE natural progression of prolapse!! I so love all the spirits here.

Just want to answer Kathy’s question about back pain. Yes, the sort of discomfort you are experiencing is very common. Just take the posture easy – as we like to say here, you have the rest of your life to practice it! I edited my first response to you by better clarifying how to lift your daughter.

That you are experiencing soreness at your shoulder blades is very telling, since it’s the shoulder girdle that has become extremely atrophied in almost all of us. AND I believe it is the lifting of the upper body that is most responsible for positively affecting our symptoms. So…practice the exercises the PT gave you, but also understand that the lower belly has adapted over millions of years to maintain an important role in the female pelvic organ support system. A flat belly may look good on paper, but it really shouldn’t even be expressed as any sort of desirable goal. Start looking around and you will see that even the skinniest women have little rounded lower bellies.

Gently pull yourself into the posture. It is a stretching sensation with the lower back and belly completely relaxed. The slight tension comes from the rib cage pulling up on the transverse and oblique abdominals, which work synergistically with the pelvic diaphragm. If we pull the crown of the head up while keeping the shoulders down, the rest pretty much takes care of itself.



Thanks Christine on the clarification on how to lift my daughter. I was confused but now I think I have it. So I am NOT to do what I have been taught for years to help "protect" my back... the bent knees and push your butt out like you are sitting in a chair, a squat basically. You want me to bend from the waist and keep my knees soft but not bent, right? So I am to use that same lifting stance for everthing I pick up, the laundry, the toys, etc? Will that cause my lower back pain to worsen? So much to relearn...

Here's what you wrote in my original post (for others to see): "I think lifting a small child is the very best therapy for a prolapsed mom! If it were me I would stand with my feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out, bend over at the waist (the turned-out, bent knees cause the butt to stick out - our major source of support and leverage), contract my pelvic diaphragm, keep my neck stretched in the same long plane as the rest of my spine, AND JOYFULLY PICK HER UP!! I would do this again and again throughout the day until I could see that this activity, done in the right shape, was STRENGTHENING ALL THE ACCESSORY MUSCLES AND CONNECTIVE SUPPORTS THAT PULL THE BLADDER UP AND FORWARD. Intraabdominal pressure is our friend, not our foe. We just forgot how to use our body correctly."

Thanks for the welcome Michelle and Mermaid... I have read a lot of your other posts and am trying to keep everyone (and their stories) straight.


Hi, Kathy...

Yes, it's probably a bit confusing about keeping us all straight right now, as my name is Michele, too (just with 1 L instead of 2!). :)!

I am also trying to figure out optimal body mechanics for such things as lifting baby, bending over to do diaper changes etc. I am still on lifting 'restrictions' after the surgery for another 4 weeks (nothing over 15 pounds...which is a joke because my 4 month old already weighs 18 pounds). The docs did say that it was ok for me to lift her since I had been doing so and that my body was used to that anyway. I wasn't going to go 6 weeks without picking up my precious little one!

I like to think of us here on WW as pioneers and revolutionaries, hopefully our daughters won't have to contend with the outdated and sometimes violent and outright cruel OB practices that we have.

Michele (mermaidsd)

Sorry I missed this post earlier, Kathy! Try this:

• Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.

• Keep your feet pointing straight ahead.

• Bend over at the waist while also bending your knees so you are squatting down with your butt sticking out.

• Your torso should be angled like a football player ready to throw a hike, in other words not vertical. Keep your neck in that same long plane.

• Reach out with your arms and pick your baby up, using the leverage of your gluteals to slowly rise up.

I always found it easier to put baby sideways across my lap to change her - using couch wo help when she got too long lol

Less lifting - less bending - I started this cos I had a hernia surgery - wondering if that would alter prolapse Christine?)

I agree I do not want my daughter to go through this :)

(Now i justhafta remember to come back to here and get Christines reply re-hernia) Is there a way it can email us when a thread we are interested in gets a reply?

Disrupting the integrity of the lower abdominal wall is never a good thing for our pelvic organ support system. If or how much it contributed to your prolapse is impossible to know. However, I imagine that the surgery, combined with stooped, protective postures during healing was probably pretty stressful to the internal supports. I'll check on the email question :-)

I am the other Michelle, Kathy, with 2 L's! The whole lifting the baby thing has been an issue for me also. I have a 2/1/2 year old who weighs roughly 34 lbs, and my 5 week old who is almost 12 lbs (!!!!). I absolutely refuse the let this thing affect the way I interact with my children but I have to admit I am lifting my toddler, a great deal less. I have not restricted lifting my little baby though, if I can't life my baby something is terribly wrong!!! I have also been questioning the old ways in which I used to lift like yourself. I love gardening and used to run marathons before I had my first child. I absolutely cannot imagine never running again. I would be willing to trade marathon running for a daily run though. I cannot imagine my life being affected to the point where I cannot lift or exercise the way I used to. It seems many of the resources available on prolapse advise against any of these things so I am very encouraged by Christine's philosophy on these issues. So, a day at a time. I personally will wait to exercise I think until about three months post partum as I have read in several places that prolapse can worsen for up to three months pp and then steadily improve to varying degrees. I seem to be improving anyway but I don't want to push it!