Learn how pregnancy can affect incontinence
Pregnancy provides a range of new experiences and for many women this can include light bladder leakage or pregnancy incontinence and this can sometimes continue after your new bundle of joy has arrived. It’s nothing to be worried about, ashamed of or embarrassed about, it’s just part of the extra pressures your body experiences during pregnancy.
Being pregnant is commonly said to be one of the most exciting and celebrated experiences in a woman’s life, but what’s also common during this period is you could begin to experience light bladder leakage or pregnancy incontinence for the very first time. This can even continue after your new bundle of joy has arrived so don’t worry it's normal.
During pregnancy your body experiences many changes and, as your baby grows, often the pressure on your bladder will increase too. All the extra weight pressing down on your pelvic floor muscles weakens them, which usually means the amount of urine your bladder can typically hold decreases. So, during pregnancy you’ll find yourself having to urinate more frequently, or you may experience loss of bladder control.
After having your baby, the truth is, you might find your bladder leakage issues still wants to hang around.
Why? Well, pushing your baby through the birth canal places all sorts of stretching pressures on most of your pelvic organs, and while some women might be able to withstand that kind of pressure more than others, some may find the process has put a huge strain on their bladder, which can again trigger a reduction in bladder control.
While most women will eventually and slowly regain control of their bladder, it’s important to note though that this can commonly be aggravated again further down the track (and by further down the track, we hopefully mean many years), by such natural changes like menopause. Luckily, having your children and seeing them grow up is worth the inconvenience!
Pregnancy incontinence should only last for a short period after giving birth, enough time to allow muscles to be regained. If you’re still experiencing light bladder leakage more than six weeks after you’ve given birth you should consult your doctor. It’s always recommended that you talk to your doctor or health care professional when it comes to helping you determine, control and improve your loss of bladder control to fit with your own unique lifestyle.
Kegel exercises can help to prevent leaking urine while you're pregnant and after your baby is born. Kegel exercises should be a part of your antenatal classes, especially if it’s your first baby. If they’re not, ask your midwife about them during your next class.
Building up your pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises can:
- help support the extra weight of pregnancy
- shorten the second stage of labour, when pushing your baby out, and…
- heal the perineum (area between your anus and vagina) after birth by increasing blood flow to the area
Another great benefit of stronger pelvic floor muscles is that you will experience stronger more pleasurable orgasms, which lead to a more satisfying sex life.
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Kimberly-Clark Singapore makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice.
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