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Pregnancy and Urinary Leaks

Pregnancy and Urinary Leaks

Pregnant or not, urinary incontinence shouldn't rule your life.

Imagine: You're pregnant and really need to pee. You're stuck at the door trying to get the key in the lock. You don't even take off your shoes as you hurry to the bathroom. By the time you reach the toilet, you have already leaked a little. You are not alone. Women of all ages have struggled with urinary leaks when sneezing, coughing, or even laughing during pregnancy. This article will focus on why this happens and offer some tips for dealing with this surprisingly common issue.

Why do women experience urinary leaks during pregnancy?

There are several explanations of why you may urinate more frequently during pregnancy. Don't worry! Most of these are perfectly normal and nothing to fret over. 

  • During pregnancy, blood volume increases, boosting urine production in the kidneys and increasing the number of trips to the toilet. In addition, as your uterus expands as your baby develops, it puts more pressure on your bladder.
  • Hormones that prepare ligaments and joints for childbirth weaken the muscles that control the urine flow. Constipation (common both during and after pregnancy) puts additional stress on the pelvic floor and bladder. This affects the support around your urinary tract and causes small leaks.
  • Are your legs or feet swelling? Because the fluid accumulating in your legs returns to your bloodstream when you lie down, you might notice you have to go to the bathroom more frequently at night. If you're experiencing excessive swelling, please consult your healthcare provider. 
  • Stress urinary incontinence; This is when you pee a little due to increased pressure on your bladder, like when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. 

Urinary Leakage After Pregnancy

By the time your baby is born, your organs (including your bladder and urethra) will have shifted to make room for your baby. The pelvic floor muscles (muscles surrounding the urethra, vagina, and anus) are stretched in all directions. 

When labour involves a lot of strain and strain, it inevitably affects your pelvic floor. A slight loss of bladder control for some time after birth is natural and very common. Remember that millions of women have had the same experience. It takes time for your body to readjust after giving birth. 

How long will this leakage last?

Urinary leaks commonly occur during the third trimester of pregnancy and the first few weeks after delivery. However, leaks are not uncommon for women to experience over a more extended period of time. If you're worried you may have a more severe bladder problem, it's a good idea to consult your healthcare provider.

Four Tips to Reduce Urinary Leakage

  1. Develop a Stronger Pelvic Floor. A strong pelvic floor helps reduce the risk of urinary leakage. You can do many simple exercises at home to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. If you've just given birth, it's good to start lying down to avoid putting extra pressure on your pelvic area. However, over time, you can practice almost anywhere. Whether you're driving, sitting on the bus, or at work!
  2. After giving birth, try and return to your pre-pregnancy bathroom routine. During the third trimester of pregnancy, your bladder holds less urine. Therefore you go to the bathroom more. Post-pregnancy, you need to retrain your bladder. Generally, you should pee 4-8 times a day or every 4-6 hours. 
  3. Don't drink less water. "I'm going to the bathroom too often. I think I'll drink less." While this seems like a reasonable conclusion, we can't stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated! Even if you are struggling with bladder control problems, never limit the amount of water you drink, especially if you are breastfeeding. If you consume less and become dehydrated, this can not only irritate your bladder and make you want to go to the bathroom more often, but also create other issues such as constipation or bladder and urinary tract infections. 
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