How pregnancy can affect your bladder

What to expect when expecting

Being pregnant can be a joyful time. Waiting and planning for the family member to be is exciting or even exhilarating. But we shouldn’t be scared to touch upon the more inconvenient sides of growing another human being inside your body. For example, the baby doesn’t let your inner organs keep her or him from growing. “All that stuff” simply has to move to make way. And your little bundle of joy will not show any respect for your bladder when it starts to kick, resulting in feeling the urge to use the toilet many times. 

How does pregnancy cause incontinence

During pregnancy hormones are released that affect the tissue and the muscles in the body, allowing it to expand as the baby grows. This allows the muscles in the pelvic floor to become softer and smoother to ease childbirth. This can make it harder for the muscles and ligaments to hold the pelvic floor organs in place. 

The extra weight carried during pregnancy can put pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and bladder which can result in issues such as incontinence. And after childbirth, leaks may keep occurring, because giving birth weakens the pelvic floor muscles which can cause stress urinary incontinence. 

How to cope with incontinence after child birth

Many women who experience pregnancy-related incontinence find that kegel exercises really make a difference for them. You can even start doing exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor while you’re pregnant! 
If you are dealing with incontinence after childbirth, you might find that using a TENA product can help you feel more confident and supported. 
While incontinence after pregnancy is a common for many women, it isn’t normal. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you are experiencing incontinence, so they can help recommend the best way treatment options for you.