Managing Postpartum Urinary Incontinence
How To Improve Your Postpartum Bladder Leakage
You’re a mother. Yay! But all of a sudden the baby isn’t the only one needing a diaper. Ok, it doesn’t get that bad but it’s serious enough for you to need some protection. You may have experienced it during your pregnancy; a little bit of bladder leakage a.k.a urinary incontinence. After giving birth vaginally you might still be experiencing leakage here and there. It may be a laugh, cough or sneeze, getting startled, or running that is causing you to leak a little. I have gathered some great ways to manage postpartum bladder leakage.
Your nerves, ligaments and pelvic floor muscles work together to support your bladder. They also keep your urethra closed so your urine doesn’t leak out. When you are pregnant and during childbirth, it can become overstretched; even causing injury that leads to urine leakage afterward.
As a woman in medicine, I know firsthand that incontinence is common for men and women in all walks of life. Though common, it is rarely talked about, leaving many suffering in silence and embarrassment. It’s ok to talk about it, share this resource with anyone you know that needs hope. Together you can limit leaks or fully regain control once and for all. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about your options. Below are steps you can take to tackle your postpartum bladder leakage.
Tackle Postpartum Bladder Leakage
Pelvic Floor Exercises
If you ignored them during pregnancy that’s unfortunate but you need to start working on those pelvic floor muscles now! The pelvic floor is an intricate part of holding your bladder up and in. Start with this exercise:
Kegels are THE BOMB. They’re a workout that you can do anywhere at any time like a secret mission, and no one will know you’re on it. The best way to explain a Kegel is to have you contracting the muscles you use to stop your urine midstream. One really effective way is to have you perform them on your back as you thrust your pelvis forward. Work on holding the contraction for five seconds, then relax, and repeat. As you get better you can incorporate more of your transverse abdomen, in turn helping melt the mommy tummy away. Try doing this around 5-10 times in a row and three times a day.
- Start with feet further than shoulder distance apart, toes pointed out to opposite walls
- Plie/Bend your knees and hold in your pelvic floor as well as your transverse abdominal muscles on the way down
- Slowly release your contracting muscles as you stand back up
- Repeat this for 15 reps a day.
Caffeine has been shown to increase incontinence in some, try to limit or skip caffeine altogether. There is no harm in trying if it might work, right?!
All those extra pounds we gain during pregnancy really do weigh on our bladder. As you lose the weight it can help take pressure off and reduce your bladder leakage.
See Your Healthcare Provider
Consult with your gynecologist if you are really having a hard time with your incontinence despite these recommendations. They can refer you to a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor rehab. Or if it is severe enough, you may be a candidate for surgery to help fix those stretched muscles. Your gynecologist can do a proper physical exam and help make the right choice for you.
Prepare For Accidents
As a new mom, you may be more worried about diaper blowouts then your own leakage. But when you are out and about, make sure to stay prepared with a Prevail Bladder Control Pad. As the number one ranked adult incontinence brand in U.S. healthcare, Prevail products feature expert innovation and high-quality materials, providing a superior hygiene experience that enables men and women to live more confident and worry-free lives. Prevail Bladder Control Pads help catch any leaks you may have. They are light and discreet so no one will know you even have it on.
Their Bladder Control Pads are recommended for light leakage. These pads are the perfect choice to offer added daily support for those “just in case” moments—keeping you protected through all laughs, coughs or even sneezes. Prevail’s Bladder Control Pads lock in 20% more wetness than the nationally advertised brand. You can get your free samples here.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.