By Celine Bell, Bell from Bow
What pregnancy does to your body isn’t a secret. It’s hard to conceal a swelling stomach, and I can’t be the only mum whose breasts leaked in Tescos. My belly expanded, but so did my fingers, and I pulled off my wedding ring a few weeks before birth only to find I couldn’t get it back again. My hair however was fantastic, like a Pantene advert only better. And my bulk, crossing London at rush hour, got me sympathetic smiles and seats on the tube.
So far, no secrets. I understood that I’d grow and slow down and that my boobs would change. And after the birth of my son, as my body healed and my fingers went back to their normal diameter, I thought I was pretty much back to normal.
Not quite! My first run after pregnancy, some four months after birth (I know, what was I thinking), led to me gently wetting myself as I trotted around the park. And although I did my kegels whenever I remembered (bet this has made you clench yours), I had gone from a multi-marathon runner to a girl who could only ever wear black running leggings. And then as my baby became a toddler, I found myself at playgroups and parties, and more and more often beside the dreaded trampoline. “Please Mummy, please!” I am childish at heart but leaping around on a trampoline after two children was a no-go for me. And don’t get me started on the winter sneezing season.
So when Soda, School of the Digital Age approached me to test their pelvic floor trainer, I was apprehensive, but also quite hopeful. I read some online reviews to check I wasn’t bonkers for putting an egg-shaped exerciser inside me – nope, I’m in excellent company. That said, I waited until the house was empty – a challenge in itself – before starting.
Ok – the science bit. You download an app, gently push the oval (think a small egg) into your vagina, and link it to the up with a gentle squeeze (yup, with your vagina.) Then the Elvie is paired up and you are ready to go. A couple of test squeezes when prompted by the app and then a series of exercises. And did I mention YOU CAN DO ALL OF THIS LYING DOWN. If you could do any other exercise lying down (get your minds out of the gutter please) I’d be an Olympic athlete.
Your fanny-power is represented by a jewel on screen, which changes colours as you advance through the levels. It’s essentially Candy Crush for your ladygarden. You have to hit the targets – either lots of little pulses, or holding your jewel above a line, or in a circle – and at the end of each workout Elvie reports on your progress. It’s rewarding to see yourself improving, and as the Elvie promises that with a stronger pelvic floor comes a better sex life, not to mention the bladder control that so eluded me, the rewards are multiple. But the best reward, of course, comes courtesy of my 3-year-old. “Mummy, you are really really good at bouncing. Can we get a trampoline?” That’s Christmas sorted. Thank you Elvie.
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