It’s common for women to experience stress incontinence. This means that something as simple as lifting or laughing can cause a leak. As the uterus expanded for the growing baby during pregnancy, more pressure or “stress” was put on the bladder and the pelvic floor muscles may have been weakened.
The good news is this is usually temporary, but here are some tips that may help:
STRENGTHEN THOSE MUSCLES.
Kegel exercises are a great and effective way to strengthen those stretched out pelvic floor muscles. However, many people do them incorrectly because they are unable to isolate their pelvic floor muscles. Vaginal weights can help isolate and enhance your Kegel exercises. They’re small, gradual weights inserted into the vagina. Once in place, you work to hold the pelvic floor weights in place. As your muscles get stronger, you gradually increase the weight of the cones. As little as 15 minutes twice day can make a big difference!
MAKE SIMPLE CHANGES.
Changing daily habits can help reduce the risk of incontinence. Drink plenty of water as dehydration can cause bladder irritability and urinary infections. Avoid caffeine and constipation. Daily bowel movements decrease pressure on your bladder. Exercise and keep a balanced diet to help you gradually lose your pregnancy weight, as added weight can put pressure on your bladder.
TRAIN YOUR BLADDER.
Create a schedule to avoid strong and untimely urges. Timed voiding helps regain bladder control by using the bathroom on a regular basis rather than waiting until you feel the (often urgent) need to go. Keep a diary to keep track of your progress. Once you are comfortable with your schedule, try extending the intervals. By stretching out these intervals, you can retrain your bladder.
PROTECT AGAINST LEAKS.
Use a pad to protect yourself from embarrassing leaks. Make sure you are using a bladder control pad – not a menstrual pad. Bladder control pads help neutralize odor and balance pH for comfort and protection. We recommend Poise pads because of their extensive size and absorption combinations – they’re specifically designed to absorb urine so you know you will be protected. Be sure to carry backups in your purse or bag for a quick change during the day if needed.
SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE.
Call the doctor if you are still experiencing a lack of bladder control after six weeks. Although incontinence after childbirth usually goes away on its own, persisting problems may be a sign of a bigger issue.