A person can develop incontinence for a number of reasons. Pregnancy and childbirth are common causes, however, they are rather broad terms that don’t actually explain why a woman may become incontinent as a result of giving birth.
In this post, we will discuss the major causes of incontinence in expectant and new mothers.
1. A growing baby
As a foetus develops and grows in the womb, it will start to add pressure to various parts of the body. When the baby adds pressure directly to the bladder – no matter how full – urine has nowhere to go but out! Babies can become rather active in the womb, and a surprise kick or dance move to the bladder can cause even the smallest leak.
2. Stretched pelvic floor muscles
Your pelvic floor is vital in bladder control. The weaker your pelvic floor, more likely it is that you will lose control of your bladder; the stronger, the more control.
As a baby grows in the womb, it will stretch all parts of the body – including the muscles that make up your pelvic floor. You could expect these muscles to get weaker as the weeks pass.
If you are planning to have a child, you might like to consider exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor, likewise during pregnancy, when it is safe to do mild exercise. It’s best to consult your doctor before starting.
3. A large baby
Following from the two earlier points, the larger the baby is, the more its size can affect your body. That’s not to say that women who give birth to a small baby will avoid incontinence entirely.
4. Giving birth
During a regular vaginal birth, as the baby passes through the birth canal, it can put extra pressure on (and damage) nerves, muscles and ligaments that control continence, such as the pelvic floor or the bladder sphincter.
Tears can increase the chances of both bladder and bowel incontinence, while a cesarean birth may reduce the odds of incontinence, but it doesn’t guarantee that a new mother will avoid the condition.
Laughing, sneezing and coughing at any stage of pregnancy and in the weeks or months after giving birth can result in small leaks due to the reasons outlined above. The condition may be remedied with time and exercise, however, there are many cases where a woman will suffer from some form of incontinence for life.
A urinary tract infection is a common cause of incontinence generally. We won’t go into much detail here, but if you feel like you may have a UTI, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor to clear it up as soon as possible.
For more information regarding incontinence during pregnancy, or after giving birth, contact your healthcare professional. And for a range of products that can help you manage incontinence, take a look at the Holistic Incontinence range in the online store.
Don’t forget that we offer free samples, so you can be sure that a product is right for you.