pregnancy incontinence

The decisions you make during your pregnancy may affect your bladder in the future.Pregnancy incontinence ( urinary ) affects 30-50% of all childbearing women by the age of 40, and up to 63% of women who experience stress incontinence after pregnancy (leakage when laughing, coughing, straining, sneezing, running) state it began during or after pregnancy.

A woman’s body is never the same after pregnancy and delivery, and while learning about what to expect is important, decisions may affect your bladder function and pelvic floor for many years. Urinary incontinence during pregnancy and after pregnancy is something that many people experience, and there are things you can do and products you can use to assist your bladder.

During Pregnancy

Unborn babies can push on the bladder and pelvic floor muscles – therefore the pelvic floor strength may be reduced which can lead to leaking or problems passing fluid from your bladder and cause urinary incontinence during pregnancy. You might find that when you are pregnant, urination is more frequent due to the weight of the uterus on the bladder.

incontinence after pregnancy

“Decisions made during pregnancy may affect your bladder and pelvic floor function for many years to come…”

Pushing during labor, results in a huge amount of strain on your pelvic floor. Therefore it is important to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles through practising Kegal Exercises regularly. By strengthening your pelvic floor, the likelihood of being incontinent after birth can be decreased. Labor can also damage nerves which control bladder release. Although many problems caused by pregnancy and birth resolve themselves after muscles have had time to heal, ensure you speak with your health care professional if you are experiencing postpartum incontinence 6 weeks after giving birth.

In some extreme cases, a prolapse can occur and is often the result of the pelvic floor being damaged and surgery may be recommended.

How does incontinence occur after childbirth?

 

  • The vaginal wall can be weakened in those who have given birth.
  • The walls of the urethra can be weakened or thinned.

What can you do to help?

There are several things you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor during pregnancy and after childbirth, and they include:

  • Sit on the toilet, don’t hover.
  • Sit with your legs open which provides the urethra and bladder the right path to release fluid easily.
  • Relax.
  • Don’t push, let your internal muscles do their work naturally.

Another way of helping with the small leaks when they happen is to tighten your pelvic floor muscles before you sneeze, cough or laugh. Don’t go to the toilet “just in case” as this can retrain the bladder to think it is full when it is not.

Of course, doing Kegal exercises is essential for strengthening the pelvic floor, and should be done on a daily basis regardless of whether you are or are not pregnant.

What Conni can do to help you:

pregnancy baby girl with mom

Stress incontinence can occur during and after pregnancy, and Conni has many products that are perfect to assist and help keep you dry.

When out-and-about, utilize reusable Conni panties or panty liners, specifically designed to be comfortable and discreet, while quickly absorbing any fluid and protecting your clothes.

When in bed, shield your mattress with a Toggle Mattress protector, which will protect your mattress completely; even down the sides. The waterproof Toggle mattress protector (non-absorbent) is easy to put on and take off with a toggle at each corner as a substitute for elastic. Micro-Plush Fitted Sheets are waterproof and absorbent and are able to be used as a mattress protector and fitted sheet all-in-one, no additional sheet is necessary.

Combine a Toggle mattress protector or Plush fitted sheet with a bed pad/under pad which is extremely absorbent and waterproof. Conni bed padshave been designed to be super-comfortable and provide peace of mind for those experiencing bladder weakness at night time. Conni also has a range of chair pads to assist when seated.