Talking about your pelvic health or prolapse symptoms at work can be challenging. This blog is based on an Instagram live between Beth Davies and Sharon Oakley. Sharon shares her experience of talking about her pelvic health in her workplace. Plus some tips from Beth as to how to manage pelvic health and prolapse symptoms at work.
Click here to listen to the live
Talking about your pelvic health with a manager
Sharon has 3 pelvic organ prolapses and is learning to manage her symptoms and live well with her pelvic health. Working from home during the pandemic has meant that taking care of her pelvic health is something she has been able to do in the comfort of her own home. With the return to the “office” Sharon provided some awesome ways to talk to your manager to make your workplace more pelvic floor friendly.
Her role as a fundraiser for a UK university means she travels, attends meetings or may be stood for a long period of time. The move to a hot desking system meant she would need to lug heavy stuff around with her.
After a few attempts of trying to communicate her needs, she wrote an email with a huge amount of clarity as what her needs and expectations were.
These are her top tips for managing pelvic health, and particularly prolapse symptoms at work.
Sharon's top tips:
- Asking for space at work for belongings so you don’t need to carry things around
- Ask for lighter equipment eg tablet rather than laptop
- Be clear about your needs and why this is (they may not read between the lines)
- Write an email if you feel unable to talk about it verbally
- Suggest changes to meeting formats (which will quite possibly make meetings more efficient and productive) eg more loo breaks and less “powering on through”
- Don’t feel guilty for taking up space – this is what you need to be effective in your job
- It’s ok to not be helpful if it’s out of your capacity – “I’m not able to do that, but I can do this” is a line that Sharon uses beautifully
Tips for navigating prolapse symptoms at work
You may be working on improving or managing symtpoms. Here are our top tips:
- Meetings that work for you – this may be a walk and talk meeting or being seated for meetings versus standing
- Look at your desk set up so you feel comfortable sitting for periods of time
- Notice how you are holding your tension – make time to drop your shoulders, unclench your jaw, wiggle your toes and relax your pelvic floor!
- Make time for some movement or deep breaths
- Make time to go to the loo versus doing “one more thing” on your to do list
- Notice what adds additional stress such as notifications or back to back meetings
Habits for managing prolapse symptoms in the workplace
Great bowel and bladder habits are really useful for good pelvic health (wherever you are). Here are our top tips:
- The use of a squatty potty or being able to elevate the feet for a bowel movement
- Movement breaks across the day
- Drinking water and eating well regularly (plenty of healthy food and fibre)
- Being mindful of office snacks!
- Create time to do pelvic floor exercises (if you are on a pelvic floor strengthening programme) so they can be spread out across the day