Disclaimer :: This article contains sponsored content written by Genesis PT & Wellness.
Pediatric pelvic floor health is highly underutilized. Many children suffer silently from bedwetting problems, daytime urinary or fecal incontinence, and constipation, which greatly affects self-esteem and daily life activities. This can be very frustrating for children and parents.
Parents often wonder: How did this start? Is my child doing it on purpose? How can a pediatric pelvic floor physical therapist help children overcome these pelvic floor issues? If your child is experiencing these issues, the first professional to consult is a pediatric pelvic physical therapist!
Beth and Emily visit with Dr. Lea Feghali to discuss how potty training impacts pelvic floor health — yes, pelvic floor habits for our littles, in Momfessions Podcast episode 69. Keep reading to hear more must-know info about this topic from Dr. Lea Feghali.
Feghali is a pediatric pelvic floor physical therapist at Genesis PT & Wellness. She treats children between five and 14 years old who suffer from nighttime wetting (enuresis), daytime wetting, soiling accidents (encopresis), constipation, or other voiding dysfunctions. Most of this is traced back to inadequate potty training and poor toilet habits.
<< RELATED READ :: Potty Training: From Failure to Success <<
It only takes one bad experience (e.g., painful bowel movement, fear of sitting on the toilet, poop anxiety, etc.) for a child to start withholding his or her stool and begin the vicious cycle of constipation.
When a child gets into a “holding” pattern and gets into the constipation carousel, daytime leaking and nighttime wetting often follow. This is due to the overactivity of the pelvic floor muscles and the overstretching of the rectum diameter.
This overuse is also experienced by older children when they are too often told to “hold” urine by authority figures, leading to bladder infections and an inability to sense proper bladder fullness.
For this reason, Dr. Lea created a set of potty training books to help prevent pelvic discomfort by tackling proper bladder and bowel habits early on through potty training.
Potty training cannot be done in a day or a weekend. Potty training starts way before the child is ready to take off the diaper. The job of a pelvic floor specialists is to bring awareness and education about this topic to parents, who in turn will teach their children lifelong good toilet habits.
The Day I Learned How to Use the Potty Activity Book is divided into a pre-training and potty training phase. Dr. Lea’s goal is to educate parents and children about body sovereignty, sensory awareness, good bladder and bowel habits, and proper toilet positioning before moving on to the potty training phase. This will ultimately help prevent constipation and incontinence later on and allow the child to listen to his or her body and use the restroom without pressure to be prompted or please an adult.
>> RELATED READ :: Potty Training Confession <<
Parents need to create a good foundation of bladder and bowel habits early on. Recognizing signs of constipation, encouraging full bladder and bowel voiding, and incorporating adequate nutrition and activity throughout the day is essential. Understanding the physiological cause behind these issues and having a proper treatment plan is key to helping both parents and children navigate pelvic floor discomforts.
Dr. Lea Feghali is a pediatric pelvic floor specialist. She has helped many Genesis PT & Wellness children overcome their bladder and bowel problems. Most of the patients she treats suffer from nighttime wetting (enuresis), daytime wetting, soiling accidents (encopresis), constipation, or other voiding dysfunctions.
Genesis PT & Wellness is a holistic pelvic floor therapy practice including a team of specialty physical, occupational, and massage therapists. Therapists have completed advanced coursework and training in pelvic health for females, males, and children. Specialties include pregnancy related aches and pains, preparation for labor and delivery, postpartum rehabilitation, pelvic floor dysfunction in both women and men, chronic pain, and pediatric pelvic health and potty training. Genesis PT & Wellness’ passion is to come alongside you on your journey to health, wellness, and optimal function in your day-to-day life. The therapists strive to change the way pelvic floor therapy is presented, understood, and utilized throughout all stages of life. Follow Genesis PT & Wellness on Facebook and Instagram.