As emotionally and physically distressing pregnancy can already be, a pertinent problem that new mothers have to watch out for after childbirth is postpartum incontinence. You may have heard of new moms joking about how they pee their pants after having children. But this issue may be a real problem for some mothers.
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What is Postpartum Incontinence?
Postpartum incontinence, also known as urinary incontinence, is the loss of control of one’s bladder after childbirth. This may look like partial or full release urine when one’s bladder is put under stress when exercising, coughing or sneezing. This change in urinary control affects most mother’s after pregnancy, affecting up to half of all new mothers. If you happen to be a new mother and is panicking about the loss of your bladder control, fret not! Postpartum Incontinence is not permanent, and there are ways to manage your postpartum incontinence as your body recovers from it.
What causes Postpartum Incontinence?
During pregnancy, the weight of the child puts stress and strain on the muscles of the pelvic floor, which happens to support the bladder. As the baby grows and increases in weight, these muscles weaken over the period of prolonged pressure, causing bladder control to be lost. The ability to contract to hold or stop urine leakage is hence affected, which is why you may experience leaks when you lift something heavy, sneeze, laugh or exercise.
How can we treat Postpartum Incontinence?
There are several ways to treat postpartum incontinence, but in certain cases, it may take up to 6 months or longer for a full recovery. However, during this period of recovery, know that there are options that help take your mind off any worries you may have of experiencing another embarrassing leak.
Change your diet
To control what goes out, you got to regulate what goes in! If you’d like to minimize any unnecessary stress on your bladder, have a diet that’s kind to it! You can start by staying hydrated, to avoid UTIs and dehydration. Next is load up on fibre-rich fruits and vegetables. Last but most importantly, avoid diuretics like coffee and nicotine! This can help reduce stress on the bladder and help with a smooth recovery.
Try bladder control pads
With bladder control pads, you can say bye to any worries of having involuntary leaks in the public! Bladder control pads are discreet counter-measure supplies that help prevent leaks from causing a mess. Similar to menstrual pads, there are small absorbent pads that are used to absorb urine when a leak occurs. Bladder control pads are changeable and easy to carry around making them a great solution to wearing bulky briefs.
Perform kegel exercises
Once you’ve recovered enough to perform light exercises, you might want to try out Kegel Exercise. Kegel exercise can help speed up your recovery from stress incontinence by strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises can be as simple as squeezing your pelvic muscles and holding them for 10 seconds. But if you’d like to receive more specialised training for your pelvic floor muscles, going to a pelvic floor physical therapist may help! They specialise in help patients recover from pelvic floor disorders, especially prenatal and postpartum.
Above are only a few of many other treatments and devices that can help with your urinary incontinence, but the first recommended step should be to consult a doctor or specialist, so you can take the right steps to regain your bladder control. Your healthcare provider can first rule out the possibility of any serious conditions before the both of you can start developing an effective recovery plan.