Do You Leak?
It's an issue that affects an upwards of 30% of postpartum women yet it is rarely discussed. Women are told it is just a regular part of having a child and to "deal with it". It is something that can greatly affect a woman's life both socially and mentally including how we see ourselves and our bodies postpartum.
What am I talking about? Incontinence.
Incontinence is any urine that leaves the body when one is not on a toilet wanting to pee. It can range from a few drops to a full release of the bladder. There are different types including Stress Incontinence (leaking on exertion-think running, jumping, coughing etc.) and Urge Incontinence (an intense urge to urinate when the bladder isn't completely full).
Stress Incontinence can be caused by the pelvic floor muscles being weak from under use or chronically contracted and weak from over use. The pelvic floor muscles need to be able to relax and contract and if they cannot do this then dysfunction is present and needs to be addressed.
Urge Incontinence can be due to nerve damage caused by pregnancy & birth, it can also develop when a woman goes to the bathroom consistently when her bladder is not full.
What can you do?
The main thing to remember is that incontinence is something that is COMMON but is definitely NOT NORMAL and women do NOT have to to LIVE WITH IT.
I recommend all women see a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist to be properly assessed as in some severe cases medical intervention may be necessary. But in most cases incontinence can be helped and even corrected by strengthening the pelvic floor muscles (or a combination of strengthening and releasing depending on what is going on with your pelvic floor). A great way to strengthen your PFM is by doing pelvic floor contractions, always keep in mind that we are not only squeezing these muscles but rather squeezing and lifting them (check out my video of the Core Breath to learn more).
When I have a client come to me with incontinence I work with their pelvic floor physio to create a program that helps them regain proper function and strength in their core and pelvic floor and have had great success!
Ladies do not think you have to suffer with this issue. You can definitely do things pre-natally and post-natally to help prevent/correct incontinence! If you are wanting to know more message me today to find out what you can do and how I can help!!