'˜I overcame incontinence and it totally changed my life'
Erica Foggett from Worthing used to be among the seven million UK women who are said to suffer from some degree of incontinence.
As a result of two traumatic labours, the 42-year-old fitness instructor found herself suffering with the condition which had a huge impact on her personal life as well as her career.
She was devastated but refused to accept the condition, which affects one in three British women, and enrolled on a course to cure herself.
Through sheer determination and hard work, she managed to not only recover from the incontinence she suffered but has gone on to help dozens of women do the same.
Erica is mum to two children, aged seven and 10.
She said: “My first labour was a struggle and the doctors tried to get my daughter out using the ventouse method, applying a vacuum to her head with an episiotomy but neither attempts worked and after hours of agony I was finally rushed in for an emergency caesarean.
“My pelvic floor felt fine after that birth but now I know it would have been weakened significantly as a result of this trauma.
“Then my second child ended up with a forceps delivery, another huge stress on the most delicate of body parts. As my babies became toddlers and then young children, I decided to reclaim my life and pursue my dream of being a full-time fitness coach. I achieved my postnatal and pregnancy qualifications and was applying the kegel exercises I’d been taught during my training to help with my pelvic floor.
“But then despite doing these, on two separate occasions while I was exercising, I completely wet myself in the gym where other people were around me. I was devastated and so embarrassed, especially as it was in front of men.
“I quickly ran out of the room hoping that nobody noticed but I know they did.
“I was mortified but the second time it happened was a turning point in my life that gave me the determination not to let this happen again.”
Realising she had no control over her pelvic floor while exercising, she wasn’t ready to give up her new career, so she searched for a solution.
“Through my training I had met a Holistic Core Restore coach,” Erica said.
“I contacted her and explained what had happened. She told me about the many success stories of women who had been through the Holistic Core Restore programme and described how it genuinely changed their lives.
“She also explained that unlike being a personal trainer, where change is incredibly hard to achieve and takes a long time for clients, it can be relatively quick to see massive strength and control changes in women’s’ bodies when teaching this course.”
She signed up and became a coach, and said it took around six months before she could do high impact exercise without issues, noticing a positive change in six weeks.
She said she no longer needs to worry and knows which exercises to avoid and is ‘hugely proud’ to have been ‘changing the lives of others’ for the last two years.