Are you having trouble controlling your bladder during pregnancy? Here’s a handy guide on what causes this and what you can do to deal with a potentially embarrassing little issue.
You might find yourself going to the bathroom more often than usual when you’re pregnant. Here are reasons why you may have urinary incontinence in pregnancy, and how to prepare yourself when it happens.
You’re able to urinate when the muscles around your urethra relax, which allows urine to flow from your bladder and out of your body. When you’re finished, the muscles around your urethra contract, until you’re ready to empty your bladder again. Pregnancy and the weight of your baby on your bladder can interfere with the normal way your urethra relaxes and contracts, which may cause urinary incontinence.
If you have a family history of incontinence, have a higher body mass index, gain more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy, and are over 35 when you get pregnant, you may have a higher chance of experiencing incontinence.
One of the best ways to prevent urinary incontinence is to strengthen and tone the pelvic floor muscle during pregnancy. Here are a few tips to help you cope with incontinence during pregnancy:
Kegel exercises help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that are used to hold urine in the bladder and can help you control incontinence.
Step 1 – find the pelvic floor muscle. When you are using the bathroom relax your thighs, stomach muscles and buttocks. Then stop yourself from passing urine in midstream, and holding for 10 seconds. Then let go. The muscle you’re using is your pelvic floor muscle.
Step 2 – always make sure you’ve emptied your bladder before starting your exercises.
Step 3 – sit or lie down while doing Kegel exercises.
Step 4 – contract your pelvic floor muscles.Just like you did in Step 1. Hold the contraction for 3 seconds at a time, and then relax.
Step 5 – repeat ten times.
Step 6 – You should always talk to your doctor before doing any exercises, and if you do not see any improvement.
Start by doing a few Kegels at a time throughout the day. As your muscles start to feel stronger, gradually increase both the number of Kegels you do each day and the length of time you hold each contraction, up to 10 seconds. Try to work up to two sets of 10 about three times a day, but more than that isn’t a good idea – overdoing it may lead to straining when you urinate or move your bowels.