Urinary incontinence is a normal condition among mothers during and after pregnancy. Although it is not dangerous, it can create lots of discomforts.
Is it natural to have urinary incontinence during and after pregnancy?
Urinary incontinence is a common complaint among pregnant women. Some find that it persists even after childbirth. This condition may be mild and infrequent for some women and severe for others. Normally, in about 3-4 months after childbirth, when the bladder and uterus return to their original positions, the incontinence will disappear.
Why does urinary incontinence happen?
The kind of incontinence experienced after pregnancy is usually stress incontinence. Stress incontinence is the loss of urine caused by the increased pressure on the bladder. The bladder sphincter does not function well enough to hold in urine. In most cases, your nerves, ligaments, and pelvic floor muscles work together to support your bladder and keep the urethra closed so your urine doesn’t leak out. Overstretching or injuries to these areas during pregnancy can cause them to malfunction.
How long will it last?
Most women who develop urinary incontinence during pregnancy find that it goes away soon after childbirth. For some mothers, the leaking becomes less frequent or stops within a few weeks of giving birth, while for others it can persist in varying degrees for several months or even longer.
How can it be treated?
Here are a few tips to help ease urinary incontinence:
– Try cutting down on caffeine since it can irritate your bladder and make it harder to control your urine.
– Use a sanitary pad to help absorb the leaking urine and keep your clothes clean.
– Train your bladder to behave. Try to postpone for 15 minutes when having the urge to pee. Do this for two weeks and then increase the amount of time to 30 minutes and so on.
Your doctors will likely recommend that you do regular Kegel exercises to help control urinary incontinence, ease the symptoms and make them your habit. These exercises help strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor. Strengthening the pelvic floor muscles can improve the function of your urethra and rectal sphincter.
A way to find the Kegel muscles is to sit on the toilet and begin urinating. Then, stop urinating mid-stream. The muscles that you use to stop the urine flow are the Kegel muscles. Here are the steps to perform Kegel exercises:
– Keep your abdominal, thigh, and buttock muscles relaxed.
– Tighten the pelvic floor muscles.
– Hold the muscles and count to 10.
– Relax the pelvic floor muscles and count to 10.
Try to work up to three sets of 30 Kegel exercises a day: 10 in the morning, 10 in the afternoon, and 10 at night. They can be done anywhere and anytime during the day – while driving or sitting at your desk or relaxing in front of a TV.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 20, 2017 | Last Modified: January 20, 2017
Loss of Bladder Control Postpartum. http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/postpartum-urinary-incontinence.aspx. Accessed on January 4, 2017.
Postpartum urinary incontinence. http://www.babycenter.com/0_postpartum-urinary-incontinence_1152241.bc?showAll=true. Accessed on January 4, 2017.