If you are getting back into your weightlifting postpartum and you are experiencing symptoms of stress urinary incontinence (leaking urine while you are lifting) first of all, know that you are not alone. Second, there are a lot of different modifications you can make to help with your symptoms.
The first thing I would start with is taking the weight away and working on your breathing technique. We want to stay away from breath holding or weightlifting belts at the very beginning, and then work your way back into that because breath holding is a lot of pressure down on your pelvic floor which can exacerbate leaking. An easy breathing technique to start with is as follows: inhale as you drop down into a squat, and then exhale as you stand back up.
Once the breathing technique is feeling good and you’re not having any symptoms without weight, you can start to incorporate weight back in, whether you want to do it goblet style or put weight on your back. If you put weight on your back, I would start with just the bar, inhale as you go down, exhale as you stand.
As that becomes symptom free, you can start to progress by adding more and more weight. When you’re feeling good with max weight then you can start to work your way back into Valsalva (breath hold). Once you’re not having symptoms with Valsalva you can add in a weightlifting belt and complete your squat.
Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.