Practicing posture until resources arrive and it seems to be making it worse??


Hello ladies,

I'm a blessed mommy to 2 young ones, just hit 9 months postpartum with the baby... I have a cystocele and a suspected rectocele (cystocele was self diagnosed until this week when I got it confirmed by examination). both births were natural with very healthy babies, however I think my first birth set me up for my issues I'm now dealing with. The midwife ( "medwife" ) made me feel very pressured and on her timeline to "get the baby out before the 24 hour mark because your membranes broke first", and I strained and pushed for over 2 1/2 hrs without fully having the primal urges to push and burst all the blood vessels in my eyes and was so swollen and sore from forcing it. My baby ended up coming out without assistance, when she was ready. I started to tear up the front and the medwife administered barely 1/8 inch episiotomy to redirect into my perineum, I came out with maybe 1st degree tear.

Fast forward into my pp time and I would have sharp shooting pain deep in my rectum that would make me need to lie down for a few hours after having a bowel movement and that lasted for about almost 2 years. I thought they were hemhorroids tucked deep inside,but am now thinking it may have been some type of rectocele issue? Never got seen after the 6 week mark, thought it was a part of my recovery.

Last birth my baby gave me extreme pressure on my bum For the last half of pregnancy. When I delivered her, she ended up flying through me while I was on hands and knees. I did bear down with those urges but I couldn't help it. It was crazy intense. The strange part is my perineum was completely intact when her head was out, yet I was GUSHING blood down the side of her head and think I started tearing from the inside out. I sustained a 4th degree tear and was repaired for over 45 mins and overall have healed well, but now I have the squishy uncomfortable bulge at the entrance of my vagina and the urge to eliminate after I've already had a bowel movement.

Zero incontinence issues, I can hold both quite well but with everything I'm reading on here and trying to practice the posture and belly breathing I feel like it's gotten worse!! I'm ordering the first aid and book bundle but I am freaking out that it seems to be aggravating instead of alleviating my symptoms. Feeling stuck and like I can't do anything at the moment. Laundry, lifting my babies, changing them, just walking (trying to do it in posture but I think I'm too over arched?), dishes. I only feel like I should be crawling and also feel like I'm getting weaker in the meantime.

Any way someone could analyze my posture to help me troubleshoot? I feel ai stuck right now and am scared this will be my new normal the rest of my days. Will I ever be able to freely pick up my kids, lift anything heavy, swing on swing, jump up and down, line dance...?


Hi and welcome Hoping2Hope,

First order of business is to take a deep breath and relax. If you become established in the WW work you will be doing it for the rest of your life (we all are), so really there is no big rush.

Of course I have no way of knowing, but the rectal pain you describe sounds like classic symptoms of levator ani syndrome. I used to get that years ago and now we know where the term “pain in the butt” comes from! It is extremely sharp and very painful. Basically, the top of the pelvic wall that attaches to the coccyx can spasm and cause extreme pain. While it feels like it is rectal, I believe it is nerve-rich connective tissue that is the source of the pain.

From a WW perspective, those muscles are chronically contracted, which they become when we habitually hold in the belly and tuck under the tailbone. You probably were not aware of it, but spending days and weeks with your newborn tucked into couches and soft furniture puts the pelvis in that same misalignment. I haven’t had that symptom since living in WW posture with tailbone lifted. It sounds like yours has resolved as well.

Yes, certainly sounds like “garden variety” prolapse, which is basically what everyone here is dealing with to a greater or lesser degree. We also call it “Nature’s pessary” because the bulge in front and the bulge in back prevent the cervix from descending very far into the vaginal canal. Your rectocele may be more severe given the possible damage to your back vaginal wall.

The good news is, you can work with this! We consider the pelvic “floor” to be in reality a wall of muscle at the back of the body. We’ve all seen a horse lift its tail and poop out the back. Clearly, four-legged animals have a thick, powerful wall of muscle at the back of the body. It needs to be powerful because it wags a tail.

The human pelvic wall is a thin, sinewy, bi-planar wall of muscle that is anatomically divided into two triangles. The top triangle, called the anal triangle, is clearly vertical. We know if we reach around to the back our anal sphincter is behind us, that is no question.

However, the bottom triangle, called the urogenital triangle where the vagina is, is slightly more oblique. It is certainly not horizontal, but it is not completely vertical either. So, depending on how we sit, stand and move it can be more like a floor or more like a wall. We like to keep it more like a wall.

Importantly, don’t strain against the rim of the toilet seat ever again. All you have to do is plant your feet firmly on the floor and lean forward, lifting your weight slightly off the seat *every time you need to push*. You don’t have to “hover”, just lean forward and slightly lift your bottom. This way your bladder, uterus and sigmoid colon are dropped safely into the hollow of your lower belly (away from the forces of intraabdominal pressure), and your front vaginal/back rectal walls are pulled taut - straightening out the rectocele pouch.

Of course you are freaked out, but you have many women here who will tell you that with the WW work these symptoms improve over time. There is no mystery to this work, it is simply a re-describing of female anatomy. The pelvic organs are supported by your lower abdominal wall and the true bony pelvic floor, which are the pubic bones that run front to back underneath your torso. Only apes have a short wall of pubic bone out in front when they stand up, ours are underneath. Our work is to keep the organs forward and away from the pelvic outlet at the back.

If you can remember three things regarding the posture it would be (1) walk with your feet pointing straight ahead, (2) strongly lift your chest, and (3) tuck your chin in and down. Breathe into your midriff - above navel and below breasts. That is the area that leads the forward expansion of the abdominal wall with each in-breath. You can see this on your young children. Please don’t “breathe into your lower belly”, an instruction I used to give years ago, but that confuses what is most important - to expand the breath into the midriff first. Never chronically hold the midriff in! The human abdominal wall is naturally held out, not in. "Core strengthening" and the "neutral pelvis" are cultural contrivances.

We have women who have chosen to live with large, unrepaired perineal tears. Most women in my age group who gave birth in hospitals have very little perineum left after 2 or more big episiotomies. Those circular muscles retract and can never truly be repaired, so that area becomes very thin and non-existent especially after menopause.

The good news is…the WW work still works! Simply because with every breath we are pushing the pelvic organs into or toward their natural positions in the lower belly. Remember that the outlet is at the back in WW posture. When the intestinal contents are pulled up and forward, the rectocele pocket is going to straightened. But it takes time. I would venture a guess that if you are committed to this work you will hardly notice your symptoms a year from now. We all do whatever we want to do, lifting, running etc. etc. We just do it in WW posture. No fear!

Wishing you well,


Thank you for your response, I really appreciate it.

As far as posture goes, I'm concerned I may be too far arched, making too large of a lumbar curve. Could this be why I'm having discomfort in my spine and symptoms seem to be worsened?

What is your opinion of squats, and what to do before lifting my children up? Should I be tightening my pelvic muscles first?

Hi Hoping2Hope,
Yes, you are most likely trying to force a lumbar curvature that isn't there yet. Relaxed belly, lifted chest and all the other elements of posture and breathing over time is what brings back the natural curve. You will find after you have gotten your materials that this will become much more clearer to you, as Christine explains it so well in her work.
You will also find you can do anything you did before once you have mastered the posture, and that includes lifting your children. In fact, lifting your kids in whole woman posture is one of the best things you can do for your body.

In the meantime, here is a lifting thread that is very good:

Part way down, Christine has examples of lifting you can click on.

The biggest hurdle for me was just to remember to keep the belly soft. Tightening the abs and becoming a chest breather is so ingrained in many of us, and hard to undo. But you can; it does become automatic over time. Relaxing the belly in turn helped me remember to lift my chest (to create that sleek line, instead of looking/feeling like you just have a pot belly). - Surviving