Training can help moms run without fear after pregnancy

  • By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
  • Monday, May 5, 2014 1:05pm
  • Life

They just want to be able jog and not pee in their pants.

As more and more young women run as their primary form of exercise, it follows that a growing number of running moms are seeking help with postpartum urinary incontinence.

Having a baby moves hip bones, stretches muscles and puts a lot of stress on a woman’s pelvic floor.

Kegels can work for some, but physical therapist Chelsea Athing Berman of Experience Momentum in Lynnwood believes that by strengthening one’s core and using other large muscles to support the pelvic floor, most women can run again without worry.

“Physical therapy can do a lot,” said Berman, whose specialty is women’s health. “One in three young moms have incontinence problems, but they’re not talking about it with each other. It’s time that we get this out there. Too many people think there is nothing to be done.

“Worrying about peeing your pants when you run should not have to be a woman’s cross to bear for having a baby.”

Tricia Winters, 31, of Bothell, said she sought physical therapy because she wants to continue running marathons.

However, her first trouble with incontinence came when, six months after her daughter was born, she was playing indoor soccer.

“I stretched out my leg to stop the ball, and I couldn’t believe that I urinated,” Winters said. “I yelled out, ‘I just peed myself.’ Everyone laughed, but I knew then I wanted to do something to get control.”

Physical therapy helped her learn how to run again, Winters said.

“My weight distribution is different now. I had to stop waddling like I did when I was pregnant and get my legs to go straight and forward,” Winters said.

“I also had to get my upper body to relax. I had been holding my shoulders tight when I was carrying my baby.”

Core strength, along with lower back and hip support of the pelvic area are keys to eliminating incontinence worries, Berman said. Squats and lunges in various directions, for example, are part of the workout for her running mom patients, she said.

Jenni Ricker, 32, a Lynnwood chiropractor, sought Berman’s help after her youngest child was born about 10 months ago.

Like many women who started running in high school and college, Ricker continues to count on being able to jog for exercise.

“Our bodies are resilient,” Ricker said. “But modern birth procedures, including the use of pitocin (a drug that induces labor), have made it hard on some women.”

It wasn’t long after she started physical therapy that Ricker returned to being able to run, cough, sneeze and lift her kids without the worry of unwanted urination, Berman said.

“It was nice to hear that I wasn’t alone with this problem,” Ricker said. “I would encourage women before they get pregnant to work on strength training.”

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; gfiege@heraldnet.com.

Resource

To contact the office of physical therapist Chelsea Athing Berman, call 425-776-0803.

Talk to us

More in Life

CloZee performs during the second day of Summer Meltdown on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019 in Darrington, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The psychedelic fest Summer Meltdown is back — and in Monroe

The music and camping event is on for July 28-31, with a new venue along the Skykomish River.

Gardening at spring. Planting tree in garden. Senior man watering planted fruit tree at his backyard
Bare root trees and roses have arrived for spring planting

They’re only available from January through March, so shop early for the tree or rose you want.

Veteran Keith F. Reyes, 64, gets his monthly pedicure at Nail Flare on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021 in Stanwood, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No more gnarly feet: This ‘Wounded Warrior’ gets pedicures

Keith Reyes, 64, visits a Stanwood nail salon for “foot treatments” that help soothe blast injuries.

Photo Caption: A coal scuttle wasn't always used for coal; it could hold logs or collect ashes. This one from about 1900 sold for $125 at DuMouchelles in Detroit.
(c) 2022 by Cowles Syndicate Inc.
Coal scuttles of days long gone by now used for fire logs

This circa 1900 coal scuttle is made of oak with brass trim, and sold for $125 at auction.

Enumclaw, the band
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Most of these venues require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or negative… Continue reading

Does this ring a “Belle”? Storied anime writer-director Mamoru Hosoda’s newest resets “Beauty and the Beast” in a musical, virtual environment — among other modern twists. (GKIDS/TNS)
‘Belle’ is striking virtual reality riff on ‘Beauty and the Beast’

In it, ‘Beauty’ is the charismatic online avatar of a moody teenager that attracts the attention of a bruised and brooding Beast

"Redeeming Love"
Movie review: ‘Redeeming Love’ doesn’t yield cinematic riches

The story, about a sex worker “redeemed” by a folksy farmer in Gold Rush-era California, is creepy “tradwife” fan fiction.

Eggs Florentine
Baked Eggs Florentine: A brunch favorite inspired by a queen

The kitchen manager at Quil Ceda Creek Casino shares a dish that pays homage to a spinach-crazy 16th century monarch.

This easy-to-make spinach and mushroom quiche is perfect for a light dinner or fancy brunch. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
Gretchen’s table: A spinach-mushroom quiche with cheesy goodness

The savory egg custard baked in a pie crust is easy to make — especially if you use a refrigerated crust.

Most Read