Your Mission: Pelvic Health and Wellness
The goal of NWHW was to empower women to make their health a priority. The week also served as a time to help women understand what steps they can take to improve their health. The week kicked off on Mother’s Day on May 8th, and was celebrated until May 14th, 2016. Our own homage to women’s pelvic health took place on Friday May 13th in Chicago at our favorite urban venue: Below The Belt: Celebrating Women’s Pelvic Health gala was a tribute to our long-time supporters, a welcome to new fans and a tribute to our Passion Award and Medical Ambassador Award winners. How lucky we were to have Hannah Thomson, of Elvie, with us- few companies have the singular focus and innovative product to catch our attention, and Elvie surpasses both.
Women’s Health Foundation (WHF) has been in existence for 12 years. Not only did Missy Lavender, its Founder and Executive Director, coin the term “pelvic health” (now common everyday lingo) she, along with a sharp team of researchers and medical professionals, developed the first series of evidence-based pelvic fitness programs. Such programs are designed for women experiencing bladder incontinence as a result of pregnancy and delivery, injury, medication, and ill-advised bathroom behaviors. WHF and its health educators have proven that bladder and bowel incontinence are not a consequence of old age but are most likely due to a lack of pelvic floor awareness and fitness. Nothing fills us with more gratification and joy than the testimony of a client who proclaims she was able to leave the house for the first time in years without scoping out every restroom on her route.
Now, our Total Control® program reaches seniors, women with limited mobility, professionals in the Home Health Care field and in study, a program utilizing an exercise ball – lovingly labeled “Total Control Bump on a Ball” for women in mid-pregnancy. We also spell out in “girlfriend” voice conditions and suggestions to increase pelvic awareness and wellness.
We are so excited to be developing a circle of knowledge by creating content for girls, teens, college-age women, and ostensibly their moms, aunts and grandmoms. Our award-winning book for adolescent girls, Below Your Belt: How to be Queen of Your Pelvic Region, is one such entrée into this circle of knowledge that we intend to evolve concentrically outward to future generations. More and more campaigns are challenging the taboo around periods, and WHF’s programming aims to break the taboo surrounding bladder health, bowel health, hygiene, and what we call “pre-sex ed”. As we say in BYB, modeling behavior is the beginning of public health, and to ourselves and our followers, we ask how in the world can we teach our girls about sexual education without any knowledge of the area they have been admonished to protect!
Pelvic health involves knowledge of muscles, structures, exercise, nutrition, sexual health and building acceptance and pride. Physical health, absolutely. Emotional and mental health, definitely! Embrace your pelvic health as the most important part of your health regimen.
There is no total self-pride and dignity if you live in a state of ignorance, embarrassment or fear of your body. We call the pelvic region the “Center of all Centers” and we just love it when individuals, organizations and companies fully comprehend our mission. We are so thrilled to be the recipient of Elvie’s philanthropic commitment to women’s pelvic health, and happy to extend the conversation in any way we can.
Be sure to buy your own Elvie this week, as the proceeds support WHF programming!
We just have to list once again the National Women’s Health Week pointers, and not miss the opportunity to guide you to http://www.womenshealthfoundation.org.
From the NWHW activity list:
- Visit a doctor or nurse for a well-woman visit (checkup) and preventive screenings
- Get active
- Eat healthy
- Pay attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress
- Avoid unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, texting while driving and not wearing a seatbelt or bicycle helmet
- Find out what additional steps you can take based on your age.
By Lise Wood, Women’s Health Foundation