Missy describes the role a mother can take to help her daughter advocate for pelvic wellness.
A mother is the start of all pelvic health and awareness really. I mean she starts at the age of 2 or 3 to talk to her sons and daughters about how to use their bodies in the bathroom and she can make a huge difference. For example, when we go on long trips or when we are going to go into a movie or get in the car with our young girls, we say, “Do you go to bathroom? Now, just get in there and try. I know you don’t really think you need to but just try, right?”
With are boys we do not care, right? We just pull over. They use that grass or whatever. With our girls we start doing something that can potentially be damaging to them later on, and what that is is we get them going to the bathroom when their body is not ready. So, what that does is that basically disrupts the whole potty training cycle. The bladder just goes, “Wow, I have just gotten to go to bathroom and I didn’t really need to so I think I’ll do that again,” and you start giving the bladder control over the brain, where in potty training the brain has to be in control of the bladder.
So, those kinds of behaviors, as a mother it is really important to try and bite your tongue. A more effective thing to deal with your small children is to understand their bladders are pretty small and then as they age they are going to grow, and as they get older they are going to shrink. So, where a woman, a grown woman, typically can hold her urine three to four hours is considered normal or typical, a younger child may have an hour and a half to two hour capacity.
So, time them and know that if they have not gone to the bathroom and it has only been 30 minutes, they can probably get in the care and take a ride for a little while.
The second thing that moms do is we tell our daughters, “Do not use the public toilet. Do not sit down’ some bad germ.” Well the reality is we have all seen enough TV and know that the germs are on the floor, right? So, don’t put your purse down on the floor, but certainly sit on the toilet seat, even if you want to line it with, you know, eight layers of toilet paper and the reason is to have a full, wonderful experience going to the bathroom you need relax your pelvic floor so that your bladder can contract so that all the urine can come out so that life is good.
When you are squatting and hovering over that toilet seat, the pelvic floor is holding on for dear life, along with all the muscles around the pelvis and you can’t fully empty your bladder. What happens then is there is some residual urine left and you go out and in 30 more minutes you have to go the bathroom again. Well, that’s because you could not fully empty or fully void. So when you do go to the bathroom, when you have waited your three to four hours, you want to make sure you, as we say, sit and take two. Sit, draw up your pants, pull your skirt up, whatever, relax, take a couple of minutes, just let it all go and then get up and go on.
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