Frequent trips to the bathroom are one of the earliest tell-tale signs of pregnancy. Incontinence or leaking uring is extremely common during and after pregnancy. Over half of the pregnant ladies out there have reported various adverse effects on their quality of daily life. Traveling and emotional aspects had some negative impacts as well.
As the baby grows larger, the symptoms increase, and they can last a few weeks after the baby is born. There are a few types of urinary incontinence that pregnant women deal with. The variety of bladder issues you're having plays a role in how to control it better.
Types of Incontinence Issues
Stress Incontinence: Leakage is caused by physical stress or pressure on the bladder.
Urgency Incontinence: The sudden, urgent need to use the bathroom causes leakage. Bladder contractions commonly cause this type of bladder issue.
Transient Incontinence: A temporary loss of urine caused by medication or another temporary condition. Urinary tract infections and constipation can also lead to transient incontinence.
Mixed Incontinence: A mix of stress and urgency incontinence.
Our bladder sits directly above our pelvic bone. Our pelvic floor supports it. It relaxes and fills with urine throughout the day, while our sphincter holds the organ closed until you use the bathroom. Pregnancy will test your pelvic floor muscles, putting them to the test; no worries, you're not alone.
Tips To Help Strengthen Bladder Control
There are several ways you can improve and strengthen your pelvic floor. You might also have to make minor lifestyle and diet changes because sometimes they can be the culprit.
- Use Kegels: Kegel exercise help strengthen our pelvic floor. The good news is that they're safe to do during and after pregnancy. Learning how to relax your pelvic floor can be beneficial during and after labor.
- Create A Bladder Diary: Keeping track of when you notice the most leaks, how often they occur, and anything you think that could be triggering them can help you. Planning trips to the store, out of town, across the street can become problematic if while cruising down the highway with the only exit ramp being seven miles down the road and your bladder says it's go time.
- Cut Back or Eliminate Carbonated & Caffeinated Beverages: We all have our vices, so if you are a caffeine or carbonated beverage drinker, you may have to limit or eliminate them. They have a way of making us feel like we have to use the restroom, and more often than not, we DO have to go.
- Limit or Avoid Late Night Drinks: Not adult beverages; anything including water should be avoided late at night unless you don't mind waking up very often to use the toilet, with the potential of changing out your undies being in the forecast in that setting.
- Eat a High-Fiber Diet: A high-fiber diet can help keep us from becoming constipated. Constipation adds stress to our pelvic floor, which causes leakage and incontinence.
- Maintain A Healthy Weight: Extra weight is to be expected during pregnancy, especially around the belly region. This extra weight increases pressure around the bladder. Maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight will help reduces the chances of pregnancy incontinence. After labor, focus on losing any excess weight to help post-pregnancy bladder control issues.
Try not to let bladder control issues get you down. Take any preventative measures to help avoid triggering the issue and any necessary steps to strengthen your body. Many women deal with pregnancy incontinence; you're not the only one.