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Why normalising incontinence is dangerous

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Octavia Hamilton
Physiotherapist

Normalising bodily dysfunction or pain is a really common practice when talking about the postpartum period. But saying that a prolapse or incontinence is normal is dangerous because it suggests that women should accept them as part of the package. Instead, we should say it’s very possible that you might suffer from prolapse or incontinence after birth. But, crucially, you should absolutely seek medical advice as many symptoms can be resolved with physiotherapy.

The key is: if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right. Take incontinence, for example. There’s no exact time to wait before seeing your doctor. If you feel like you’re peeing, pooing, or passing wind when you shouldn’t be, get checked out.

Some GPs are brilliant, but feel free to ask to be referred to a specialist too. A women’s health physio should be the first port of call. 80% of incontinence can be solved with physiotherapy.

Remember: if your car broke down, you’d go to a mechanic. There’s no reason we shouldn’t provide our bodies with the right specialist help too.