The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

148: Stress Incontinence and Yoga with Melissa Dessaulles



Something that affects 33 million Americans, 3.3 million Canadians and almost 400 million people worldwide is a topic a lot of people aren’t talking about – urinary incontinence. That’s a shocking statistic, and all the more reason to address this issue – expert Melissa Desssaulles is just the person to talk about it.


Melissa Dessaulles is a registered physiotherapist with extensive training in the management and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction and perinatal health. Melissa is also the founder of Mommy Berries, which offers a postpartum program to guide new mums through the early healing phase in a way that promotes healing and recovery of the pelvic floor and core muscles. Apart from her physiotherapy work, Melissa also  dedicates time to raising awareness about common pelvic floor issues such as prolapse and incontinence through informative sessions.


Urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction is something that affects a lot more people than we think. Melissa explains the difference between stress and urge incontinence, why leaking occurs, abdominal weakness postpartum, and how yoga during and after pregnancy can help in addressing some of these issues. Stay tuned to the end to find out more about Melissa’s free resource for pregnant people, as well as for a very special discount on Melissa’s postpartum program, just for listeners!


Key Takeaways:

[5:00] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Melissa Dessaulles.

[6:45] Who is Melissa and what is the work that she does?

[9:18] Urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction is something that affects a lot more people than we think.

[11:37] Urinary incontinence or leaking is common, but it’s not normal. Mellissa explains how she approaches the topic without making people feel bad.

[14:33] What is the difference between stress incontinence and urge incontinence?

[17:15] Melissa highlights some of the options available to people who have stress incontinence.

[20:51] How can yoga and the tools of yoga help someone who is dealing with stress incontinence?

[23:43] Listen to Schedulicity’s hot tip of the week.

[24:48] What is Melissa’s advice for people who are doing Kegels exercises and are still leaking?

[28:59] What are some circumstances when people might be more likely to experience stress incontinence? Melissa explains why stress incontinence in pregnant people or just after having a baby is normal.

[32:50] Men also experience incontinence issues.

[33:32] What happens to the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy and delivery should be treated like an injury and addressed accordingly.

[35:20] Who can Melissa help from the standpoint of physical therapy, and when would she refer them to other options?

[38:34] Yoga can be a powerful tool to help with body awareness and empowering people on their healing journey.

[43:15] Find out more about this topic and Melissa’s work on her website, Instagram or join her online program.

[48:17] What were your key takeaways from this episode?




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:


“It’s common, but it’s not normal.” – Shannon


“Every muscle needs to be able to move to do its job well.” – Melissa


“What we work on is we find out why YOU are leaking so we can tell you what your muscles are doing and see what your habits are, and then maybe give suggestions.” – Melissa


“I don’t think we would see so much incontinence persisting if we just acknowledged that those muscles have been through something.” -Melissa