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Running without Peeing, A Case Study

I want to share a story of healing with you.

A First-Time Mother’s Challenge

Several months ago I worked with a first-time mom who came to me to help her get back to running without peeing her pants. At the time she was already running, even though she was experiencing urinary incontinence during running and with coughing, sneezing and sometimes just at random times. 

She was hoping the leaking would just go away on its own, with time, but so far it really hadn’t improved. It all started after having her son, who was 8 months old at the time we met. 

Meet “Laura”

This mom, who I’ll call Laura, was 45 years old and she also had some back pain and symptoms (numbness, weakness) in her left leg. That had been an issue off and on for 14 years. She had tried other therapies, like physical therapy, chiropractic care and exercise, but her symptoms actually seemed to have gotten worse after having her baby.

Birth Trauma and Its Aftermath

Laura had a vaginal birth with some birth trauma. During birth there was some talk about possibly needing a C-section, but her son was able to be born vaginally, with vacuum assist. At the time I met her, Laura was breastfeeding and generally active with her family, but she was concerned about her leg, back and bladder symptoms. 

She was very active growing up so you can imagine how this was impacting her daily routine, not being able to run without leaking, in order to stay healthy physically and mentally. Plus she was worried that her back and leg symptoms would get worse with age. Her little guy wasn’t very active yet, but she knew soon enough he’d be running around and would want mommy to chase him and play ball with him. 

Unraveling the Diagnosis

What I found on the first visit is that Laura was in an ‘Open Birth Pattern’, as coined by my mentor, Lynn Shulte at The Institute for Birth Healing. Basically she had signs that her pelvic bones were still “open” and her body thought it was still birthing. 

You see, the pelvic bones go through certain positions and movements in order to allow baby to enter the pelvic inlet (top of the pelvis) and then move through to the pelvic outlet (the bottom) to exit out of the vagina. It doesn’t always go back to a nice, closed position after birth. And unfortunately it can stay that way for years.

Laura’s body showed signs that her pelvis was still in an Open Birth Pattern and therefore she didn’t have the normal support and coordination from her muscles, ligaments and fascia (connective tissue) that she needed in order to support her lower back, her hips, her pelvis and her pelvic organs, namely her bladder. I know that sounds kinda scary, but it’s something that can be easily fixed by a practitioner that knows what to look for and how to close the pelvic bones back up. 

Laura’s Path to Healing 

I ended up seeing Laura for a total of 5 sessions. The first visit was the assessment and I was able to do some tests that first day to discover the Open Birth Pattern and we started on treatment. I even gave Laura some “homework” to do so that she could help herself at home. That made her feel like she had more control in her care and also helped her save time and money in the long run because she required fewer sessions with me. 

Each subsequent session included an assessment of where she was vs the week before, more treatment in the clinic, and a progression to the homework she was doing at home. 

By the end of the 5th visit Laura reported that she was able to run 30 minutes at Garden of the Gods (2-3 miles total) without peeing her pants and with less numbness in her leg. 

To be perfectly honest her back and leg issue still needed some more work, but Laura was happy with her progress related to her bladder and she decided she was “good enough” at that point. (I wish she had continued with care to prevent any further nerve damage to her leg, but I was happy to help her during the time she worked with me.) 

Rebuilding Confidence After Childbirth

As a Certified Birth Healing Specialist, I love helping moms recover after childbirth. The postpartum period comes with a lot of changes, physically, mentally and emotionally. As a mom myself, I understand that on a personal level, as well as on a clinical level.

I love being able to help moms navigate this time period so they can feel more confident, stronger and able to be more active with their families. 

When you can trust your body again after birth, it makes a world of difference! 

If you’re a mom, regardless of how long it’s been since you had your baby, and you’re peeing a little when you don’t mean to, maybe it’s time to get some help. 

● You don’t have to be embarrassed about what’s been happening and wear a pad “just in case”. 

● You can learn to trust your pelvic floor and core muscles again and get them to work FOR YOU, so that you don’t have to wear dark yoga pants to exercise class because you’re worried that you’ll have an accident. 

● You deserve to feel confident when you sneeze, laugh, cough, jump or run so that you aren’t worried about having to wear adult diapers someday.

 ● Just because your mom or your sister or your friends have this problem and it’s common after birth, doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it! What has “always been true” doesn’t have to be your story. 

● You CAN stay dry when you jump up and down on the sidelines at your son’s soccer game.

● You CAN stop having to cross your legs when your allergies are bothering you. ● You CAN have sex without wondering if you’ll leak a little on your partner. 

What else would you like to be able to do but right now, but the fear of urinary incontinence is holding you back? 

There’s Hope For Moms Everywhere

If Laura’s story inspires you to want to run (or sneeze or cough…) without peeing your pants, let’s talk. The best way to get started is by using the button below and setting up a time to talk to a member of my team. 

We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have. If you’re a good candidate for therapy, then we’ll help you with the next step – scheduling you for a Discovery Session. 

If you’ve been a patient in the past and you stopped treatment before reaching your goals 100%, don’t be afraid to reach back out. Just like Laura wasn’t 100% when she stopped treatment (it happens for various reasons, but I hope costs aren’t the only factor in this decision) and she needs more care, maybe you stopped a little too prematurely as well.

Don’t worry, it’s not too late. Give us a call at 719-270-1123 and let’s get you back on the schedule. 


Justine Calderwood

The Healing Spot Physical Therapy

"We Help Individuals Overcome Pelvic Floor Issues, And Heal Bowel & Bladder Conditions So They Can Be Active and Pain Free Again, Regardless of How Long It's Been"