We are so excited to welcome Dr Jana Pittman to the Modibodi family as our new ambassador!
Jana has represented Australia at three Olympic Games and is the first Australian woman to compete in both a summer and winter Olympics. A two-time World Champion and four-time Commonwealth Champion in the 400m hurdles, she is recognised as one of Australia’s greatest female athletes!
Now a qualified medical doctor, specialising in women’s health, Jana is also mother to 6 children and was recently on SAS Australia where she experienced incontinence on air and spoke openly about it.
“I am delighted to be partnering with Modibodi. Their brand values and focus on women's health reflects my own passions.” Says Dr Jana Pittman
“I was so happy to find Modibodi because I wanted to just be a normal mum running around with my kids, not worrying about sneezing so to have a product that I felt so happy and comfy in but also knew that if I had a bit of incontinence, no one was going to notice, was the best.
My first experience with incontinence was actually when I was an athlete, I was only so young, and just had a baby and won the world championship but I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, and no one had any information to help. It was a very lonely and alienating experience.”
Q: How was your pregnancy experience different when carrying twins?
It was amazing and challenging all rolled into one. All the symptoms like nausea, my varicose veins and reflux were twice as bad but on the flip side the privilege of carrying two little humans was incredible. I could feel them move independently of each other and the ultrasounds (which were very frequent and longer) were gorgeous as often their little heads were touching.
Q: Did you notice more incontinence?
Yes, more frequent incontinence and from earlier in the pregnancy. The weight of the babies sits on your bladder but also the heaviness of the overall pregnancy messed with my pelvic floor tone. Another issues I had was at times I couldn’t feel that my bladder was full, I had no urge to go, so I had to use the bathroom more frequently and just ‘try’ as if I didn’t do this, the stress of a sneeze or running upstairs at the hospital could often leave me squeezing my legs together. I wore my Modibodi undies all the time!!
Q: Did the birth go to plan?
Well sort of, my little pair came 5 weeks early (2.5 weeks prior to my planned induction) but the birth was wonderful. I really wanted to try for a vaginal birth since I had already had 4 previously. I had a very supportive Obstetrician Dr Bassam Gerges and we talked about the risks at length and came up with a good plan. In the end it was perfect, Quinlan came out head first but little Willow decided to flip sideways so Dr Gerges grabbed her little feet and she came out breech. A fabulous and empowering experience, especially since I am now a doctor myself.
Q: What was the recovery after twins like?
The recovery was definitely a little longer but I think this was also because I have had 6 kids and the last 3 within 2 years so my pelvic floor took some time to recover. After the birth of the twins, I was totally incontinent for 2 weeks, literally couldn’t hold my urine, this had not happened before. I also had a lot more residual tummy this time too as I had stretched a lot to accommodate two babies. So yes, Modibodi undies were an absolute must. Initially the first few days after birth with a pad due to the very heavy bleeding so I didn’t have to worry about overflow, but soon just the high waisted Modibodi pants were perfect for both urine and the blood.
Q: How has your family adjusted to the twins?
Its been a challenge but I am proud to say they have all been terrific, especially as often mums hands are literally full. For me a trick is to say the babies are ‘their babies’, so get them really involved in holding and settling.
Q: What do you find more rewarding, working as a doctor or competing in the Olympics?
This is a tough one, I loved representing our country, it was phenomenal to wear the green and gold. The travel was amazing too but genuinely I love being a doctor more, particularly in women’s health. It is such an honour to work with women in some of the most vulnerable moments of their life from birthing, miscarriage, to incontinence and prolapse issues, to cervical screening and gynaecological cancer. I feel so blessed but also glad I didn’t have to choose between both careers.
Q: What do you find is the biggest roadblock for women not getting treated for incontinence?
Embarrassment, especially younger women who don’t realise they aren’t alone and that it is quite common. It is hard to admit you are wetting yourself, which is one of the reasons I decided to admit it on national TV during my SASAustralia show, as we need to be brave and seek help.
Q: How can we help break down the stigma for incontinence?
We need to talk about it unashamedly!! Get help yourself, see a women’s health physio or doctor. Then share your story!! the more we normalise the issue, the more women will seek help. Use products like Modibodi to share the message, discuss what works for you with others!