Are you watching commercials ? I do.
It seems to me like there is a new approach to certain aspects of female hygiene. No I don’t meant the dorky boyfriend who gets busted by his girl and her parents while playing with her not-so-invisible pads as they walk in on him wearing them as rabbit ears. Although that’s kind of funny.
Menstruation related ads are since long part of our life, and although I am not really looking forward to explain to my son some of the dreamy/funny spots for tampons and pads in a near future – like the one with the beaver (!) which he totally loves… I think it’s OK. Times have changed. My son will be a sensitive boyfriend one day. Or one with rabbit ears.
But actually, I mean the one with the Giggling Girls with “Light Bladder Leakage” (for non Australians, link below). Incontinence goes “Sex and the City”?
If you watch that ad, you are indeed tempted to think it’s almost a cool thing to wet yourself! Something as hip as getting a massage and going shopping with your friends. Because hey, if you wear the right pads, “At least we can laugh about it“. Hilarious. Yeah, I am not sure, Carrie and her friends would laugh it off quite that easily – well, not all of them have had babies anyway.
But now there is me, sitting there with my family, my husband’s teenagers are over, we are having our tv dinner on a Friday night, and that ad comes on and we all watch those chicks having a good time while they supposedly wet themselves. We all learn together that, for women of a certain age, peeing your pants is basically a normal – even fun!- thing to do, provided you have the brands awesome pads, of course.
And the only one sitting in the lounge, ‘spot-on’ in the target group – is me. Yep.
Now my husband and my step kids are kind and polite. No one looks at me or makes an immature remark during or after the ad (while normally we do comment commercials big time). But I’ll sit in this brief silence and I think they might wonder (oh, at least the kids) wether i am concerned by this old, awkward phenomenon that bears now a somewhat nicer name : “Light Bladder Leakage”…?
Mind you – I am not, ok. I am not peeing myself! Well, not yet.
I am not wetting myself when I have a good laugh, which is what the ad obviously suggests with all those giggles – “Stress urinary incontinence”. You can call it what you like, but that’s what it comes down to. Incontinence.
And it’s definitively not fun. I don’t want it.
Then the other day, I came across an article on kidspot.com.au and I gave it all a long hard think… I vaguely remembered my pregnancy classes in France with instructions for exercising the pelvic floor muscles… Back then, I actually did some of these exercises (it tickles a bit in the tummy, doesn’t it ?) and still ended up gloriously peeing myself during the last month of pregnancy with a huge baby for my poor 5’3. No reason to worry, said the gyneco at the time and also the midwife laughed it off. Just keep those muscles fit after birth, they said. I recall a postpartum examination that was a tad awkward back then but still satisfying as I was told my pelvic fitness had not been compromised by giving birth. Goody.
Only now I am almost 5 years older! And those exercises.. I did not really bother keeping it up, does anyone really? So now I read a few things that really got me worried, because although I thought I knew roughly what brings on an elevated risk of pelvic muscle prolapse (that’s when it’s basically too late for exercises and time for adult nappies.. or even – eek!- surgery). Risk factors I knew were age, multiple births, episiotomy, obesity, but I completely ignored I was actively contributing to slack my pelvic floor…
Yes, even these things are increasing my chances of becoming a wee-girl :
I ‘hover’ over public toilet seats in instead of sitting down.
They’re full of germs, right ? Yuck.
I often go to the toilet ‘just in case’ – because I do send my son, so there is less drama when we are out and about. Toilet training has been long and painful.
I have hay fever, not bad, but bad enough for sneezing often. (I also have a roaring cough at the moment. Damn!)
I pride myself (ridiculously) in lifting heavy things myself. I guess having a big brother and being little can do that. Am also impatient and my husband not always around.
I am, like so many, indulging in almost daily caffeine intake.
All these things weaken your pelvic floor and can make it collapse and fail.
So I made a decision. I have started the exercises again. As much as I am slack about going to the gym, the exercises are easy and discreet. You can do them anywhere, anytime. And they are definitively more fun than those women in the ad are having, thank you very much.
Oh, did I mention sex is good for your pelvic floor too ?
Exactly. Stop giggling. Get exercising, girls !
09/09/10 : And a big Yay! to new readers.. or actual readers, since my blog is still a bit new out here !
thanks for reading and don’t miss out on the other excellent posts of the Aussie Mommy Bloggers Blog Carnival ! clicky !!