How to prevent bladder weakness

12:0AM, Dec 1st 2011

Advice on how you can prevent embarrassing accidents during pregnancy with Pilates

Image: Thinkstock

A woman's body goes through many changes during pregnancy, and unfortunately your bladder can often be one of the organs affected by this nine-month baby-growing process.

Bladder weakness, or urinary incontinence, is very common. Fifty percent of pregnant women, and 85 percent of women in their second pregnancy, will experience some degree of bladder weakness. It's most common in the third trimester of pregnancy, when the bladder often has a rapidly growing baby pressed up against it which weakens the pelvic floor muscles.

The pelvic floor muscles are a sling of muscles from the base of your spine to the pubic bone, in the front of the body. They help to hold the bladder, uterus and bowel in place.

The pressure of the baby and hormonal changes during pregnancy cause the pelvic floor muscles to stretch and soften — as the body prepares for birth — but maintaining good pelvic floor strength is important, and can also help you to have a better (ie, faster) labour.

Weakened pelvic floor muscles — affected by pregnancy (and later childbirth) — can "let go" without notice, leading to the involuntary release of urine. This can be brought on by intense physical movements such as coughing, sneezing or when lifting heavy objects — including a new baby.

There are more serious conditions that can cause bladder control issues, so be sure to talk to your healthcare professional about any weakness you are experiencing.

There are simple exercises you can do on a daily basis to help to keep your pelvic floor muscles strong. Pelvic floor exercises — also known as Kegel exercises after their inventor Dr Arnold Kegel — should be performed on a regular basis by all women regardless of age or health.

Kegel exercises involve a clenching of the pelvic floor muscles for three to five seconds then releasing and relaxing for five seconds. Do as many repetitions as you can several times a day and try to increase this each day.

Many women are embarrassed about suffering from bladder weakness, but rest assured it's a common problem for women of all different ages. There are a range of different products available to help you keep your problem from affecting your day to day life, ranging from light liners to heavier pads.

Visit www.poise.com.au for more information and to see a range of products designed to suit your needs. Poise products are also available from the feminine hygiene section of the supermarket.

comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • This new cot linen from @kipandco is rocking our world!! They have collaborated with @munsterkids for one ahhh-maaaa-zinnggg collection. If you want something bold and bright that is going to make a statement, then check this out TODAY!! Got a feeling this will sell out fast! #musthave #kipandco #munsterkids #alsodokidsbedlinen #socool

    mother and baby This new cot linen from @kipandco is rocking our world!! They have collaborated with @munsterkids for one ahhh-maaaa-zinnggg collection. If you want something bold and bright that is going to make a statement, then check this out TODAY!! Got a feeling this will sell out fast! #musthave #kipandco #munsterkids #alsodokidsbedlinen #socool

    More from the team
  • Start Young and Stay With It!!! At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects. Guide your little one by pointing to the pictures, and say the names of the various objects. By drawing attention to pictures and associating words with both pictures and real-world objects, your child will learn the importance of language!! And you will have a laugh at some of the things they come out with!!! What's your favourite book to read with the kids?

    mother and baby Start Young and Stay With It!!! At just a few months of age, an infant can look at pictures, listen to your voice, and point to objects. Guide your little one by pointing to the pictures, and say the names of the various objects. By drawing attention to pictures and associating words with both pictures and real-world objects, your child will learn the importance of language!! And you will have a laugh at some of the things they come out with!!! What's your favourite book to read with the kids?

    More from the team
  • Ooouuuuuu-uuuu. Is it true?? Are Ricky Martin and Ian Thorpe dating?? We really hope so. What a great couple they would make. #coulditbelove #couldnotbemorehandsome

    mother and baby Ooouuuuuu-uuuu. Is it true?? Are Ricky Martin and Ian Thorpe dating?? We really hope so. What a great couple they would make. #coulditbelove #couldnotbemorehandsome

    More from the team
  • Holidaying with kids ain't always a 'holiday' now is it??!!! Don't get me wrong, it's brilliant spending quality time as a family but these two words are going to ring music to my ears today... KIDS CLUB!! Best part is it's free for kids over 3 and they have fantastic activities planned for them all day. Alleviates that mummy guilt as the kids have a blast! Where are you planning your next family holiday. #familyholiday #fijibeachresort&spamanagedbyhilton #kidsclub #holidaybliss

    mother and baby Holidaying with kids ain't always a 'holiday' now is it??!!! Don't get me wrong, it's brilliant spending quality time as a family but these two words are going to ring music to my ears today... KIDS CLUB!! Best part is it's free for kids over 3 and they have fantastic activities planned for them all day. Alleviates that mummy guilt as the kids have a blast! Where are you planning your next family holiday. #familyholiday #fijibeachresort&spamanagedbyhilton #kidsclub #holidaybliss

    More from the team
  • It's happened to us all, right??!! The moment when you are next to the yoghurt and cheese in the supermarket and they ain't wanna be there!!!! Check out www.motherandbaby.com.au for a great article on how to avoid supermarket meltdowns. #allbeenthere #toddlertanturm #meltdown #givemestrength

    mother and baby It's happened to us all, right??!! The moment when you are next to the yoghurt and cheese in the supermarket and they ain't wanna be there!!!! Check out www.motherandbaby.com.au for a great article on how to avoid supermarket meltdowns. #allbeenthere #toddlertanturm #meltdown #givemestrength

    More from the team
  • While rewarding, being a parent can be VERY hard. Take the time today to ask those around you if they are ok. It's a simple question... But one we need to ask more often. #ruok #toughgig #areyouok

    mother and baby While rewarding, being a parent can be VERY hard. Take the time today to ask those around you if they are ok. It's a simple question... But one we need to ask more often. #ruok #toughgig #areyouok

    More from the team
  • Love the feature on @zotheysay and her gorgeous son, Sonny on @thegracetales this week. Zoe shares some great insights in to the first few weeks/months of parenting. Check out @thegracetales to link into the article. #regram #motherhood #babybeautytips

    mother and baby Love the feature on @zotheysay and her gorgeous son, Sonny on @thegracetales this week. Zoe shares some great insights in to the first few weeks/months of parenting. Check out @thegracetales to link into the article. #regram #motherhood #babybeautytips

    More from the team
  • Attention at the runner mums/mums-to-be!!! @bugaboohq are launching a running pram!! Unveiled at the ABC Baby Expo in Las Vegas, this is set to be a hit when it launches in Australia in Autumn 2015. The good news is that's it's compatible with your existing #bugaboo #runningwithbaby #jogging #run #wonderifkatewillchoosethis?!

    mother and baby Attention at the runner mums/mums-to-be!!! @bugaboohq are launching a running pram!! Unveiled at the ABC Baby Expo in Las Vegas, this is set to be a hit when it launches in Australia in Autumn 2015. The good news is that's it's compatible with your existing #bugaboo #runningwithbaby #jogging #run #wonderifkatewillchoosethis?!

    More from the team
  • Of course, it's already started!!! What are you thinking?? We are divided in the M&B office. But leaning towards another boy. Reckon 'Spencer' should have made this list. #royalbabynamebetting #royalbaby2 #soexcited #hurryupapril

    mother and baby Of course, it's already started!!! What are you thinking?? We are divided in the M&B office. But leaning towards another boy. Reckon 'Spencer' should have made this list. #royalbabynamebetting #royalbaby2 #soexcited #hurryupapril

    More from the team
  • How exciting! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child! The news was announced by the Royal Family moments ago. Do you think Prince George will have a little brother or sister? #royalbaby #goodnews

    mother and baby How exciting! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their second child! The news was announced by the Royal Family moments ago. Do you think Prince George will have a little brother or sister? #royalbaby #goodnews

    More from the team