When you’ve just given birth, there are so many things to think about – number one is finding a moment to rest and let your body recover! Incontinence can feel like another thing to worry about, but it doesn’t have to be…
Let’s look at why bladder weakness happens to so many women after pregnancy, and all of the things that can help you feel confident and take back control.
How Can Labour Affect My Bladder?
So much is different when you have a baby. Not only do you have a new addition to your family to look after, but also your body goes through so many amazing changes to accommodate your growing baby. But these changes can mean that things may look and feel different from what you’re used to, and you might even experience little leaks.
This is because during pregnancy, your pelvic floor (the supportive sling of muscles and connective tissue that stretches from your tailbone at the back to your pubic bone at the front) will have been stretched and pulled in all directions while supporting your baby. Also, if your labour involved a lot of pushing, your superhero pelvic floor muscles will have taken the strain.
How Long Will I Leak Urine For After Pregnancy?
Many women experience light loss of bladder control for a while after giving birth. Little leaks can happen during the later stages of pregnancy and the first few weeks after giving birth. Or you could have the odd accident for a longer period of time.
Although little leaks are common, they can seem like a big deal. No one likes walking around in wet underwear, especially when you have so much else going on as a new mum! Thankfully, post-natal incontinence isn’t forever…
So, What Can I Do About Incontinence?
The most important thing to remember is that while experiencing little leaks after giving birth is very common, that doesn’t mean you have to just accept it! There are many things you can do to help improve the situation and get your confidence back.
See a Specialist
If you find yourself dealing with incontinence as a new mum, don’t hesitate to get professional advice. That could mean making an appointment with your GP, talking to your nurse or midwife, or even seeing a physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic health.
Your specialist will be able to give you expert help, reassure you and recommend the best course of action to take.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises are one of the most effective ways of improving your bladder strength by toning up your pelvic floor muscles. You might have heard them referred to as kegel exercises too.
Practising these exercises for a few minutes around 3 to 4 times a day can be transformative. You can even start when you’re pregnant, and do them in all sorts of situations, like when you’re sat in traffic or stood waiting in a queue at the shops!
Use The Right Products
You wouldn’t board a boat without a life-jacket – sure, you might not need it, but it’s always better to be prepared. The same applies to using incontinence pads from TENA, so worries about accidents won’t even cross your mind. Purpose-made products can help you feel protected no matter if you experience a little leak that day.
While working on your pelvic floor, products like TENA Discreet Pads give you TRIPLE PROTECTION against leaks, odour and moisture so you can your cope with your condition with added confidence. TENA Silhouette Pads and Liners all are thin, unnoticeable and completely discreet when worn with black underwear. They can provide that added boost to help you feel assured as you go about your day.
Ask For Support
Looking after a newborn is hard, but looking after yourself at the same time is even harder. Remember that you don’t need to go through everything alone. If incontinence is affecting you, it may help to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. Being able to ask your family for support with your baby can make the world of difference.
Confiding in a close friend, female relative or fellow new-mum about your leaks may also help – they might have even gone through the same thing! If you ever feel you’re the only person experiencing little leaks, remind yourself that they’re common after birth. And that your body’s doing a great job adjusting to all the changes.