Urinary incontinence, or urine leakage, is commonly associated among elderly groups of people. Surprisingly enough, this pelvic floor disorder is also very common among pregnant women and may even continue after pregnancy. You may experience bladder problems in your last trimester -- when your baby is at its heaviest, putting extra pressure on your bladder.
The most common type of urinary incontinence among pregnant women is stress urinary incontinence (SUI). With SUI, your bladder is not able to function well enough to hold the urine. This results in leakage after laughing, coughing, sneezing, or lifting something.
This also affects the quality of life of many pregnant women. However, it’s a common disorder, and usually temporary, so don’t worry! If anything, it should be a topic that we should normalise and talk about without any judgements.
Causes of Urinary Incontinence During and After Pregnancy
There are a few causes as to why pregnant women experience urinary incontinence.
One reason could be due to your bladder getting flattened as your growing baby expands, leaving less space for urine. This pressure can make you urinate more often than normal.
A pregnant woman’s pelvic floor muscles work extra hard, too, to support the growing baby causing the muscles to stretch and become weak.
Another reason could be due to hormonal changes, specifically your relaxin and progesterone hormones, which help control your bladder.
During vaginal delivery, your pelvic nerves and muscles that control the bladder are impacted, too. They can get injured through a long and difficult delivery, forceps, or prolonged pushing causing a weakened pelvic floor muscle which lasts a few weeks after birth.
Treating Urinary Incontinence
There are several methods for treating urinary incontinence.
Kegel exercises are a must for those suffering from bladder control problems, or for those trying to avoid them altogether. These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and you can do these at any time of the day - while sitting, standing, or lying down.
If you need assistance, Elvie’s Kegel trainer may help. It’s a smart equipment able to guide you on your pelvic floor exercises in a fun and unique way. It also comes with an app to easily monitor your progress.
Pay attention to your weight
It’s also helpful to try and keep your pregnancy weight gain moderate, as extra pounds mean extra pressure on your bladder.
Avoid certain drinks
Not only does avoiding decaffeinated drinks, soft drinks, and alcohol help you keep your baby healthy, but it also helps you control your bladder better! So ensure to drink 8-10 glasses of water daily. In fact, if you plan on cutting back on the water to control the peeing, it’ll only make you prone to dehydration and urinary tract infections.
Control consumption of fibre rich foods
Also be careful of the amount of fibre-rich foods that you’re consuming as this leads to constipation, and can then cause urine leakage.
Keep a record of your trips to the bathroom
Another technique to manage your pelvic floor disorder is by keeping a record of all the times you experience leakage. If you notice a pattern, you could try avoiding leakage by planning trips to the loo ahead of time.
If you’re still experiencing bladder problems six weeks after delivery, consider seeing a professional opinion.
More on urinary incontinence
Keep in mind that you can control a lot of things during your pregnancy to ensure a smooth-sailing journey, including your bladder!
If you’re looking for products that can make you as comfortable as possible during your time as a pregnant mum, visit our website.
We carry pregnancy-related items, such as Elvie’s Kegel trainer, and pregnancy pillows, as well as products for your baby, from feeding to playing -- ensuring mummy and baby are well taken care of.
You may also want to visit our showroom to see which products are best for you and your little bundle of joy.