Managing Incontinence Leaks After Pregnancy

For many women who have recently given birth, urinary incontinence or loss of bladder control is a common issue that can continue for days, months, or even years after childbirth. Incontinence can be a personal and challenging problem, especially for young mothers who may be overwhelmed with their new parental role and physically active with their new baby. We understand that incontinence can affect a patient’s life in multiple ways. Many people have difficulty managing their symptoms while also participating in daily activities such as errands, exercise, and social activities.

Incontinence and Pregnancy

Often urinary incontinence starts during pregnancy and can grow in severity following birth. Recent studies have found that women who deliver by Caesarean section are far less likely to have severe urinary incontinence following birth than those who deliver vaginally. Several studies show that the group with the most significant risk of developing incontinence after giving birth are obese women over 35. Overall, women who deliver their babies naturally have a 40% chance of developing urinary incontinence. This incontinence is most generally caused by a weakening of the bladder and pelvis muscles during childbirth. Following childbirth, the uterus will begin to shrink back to its original size by repeatedly compressing, putting a strain on the bladder.

Most women experience incontinence for three months after delivery; however, it is normal to experience minor incontinence one year after giving birth. In some rarer causes, women can experience incontinence even eight years after giving birth. However, only 2% of these women say it is a significant problem.  The length of time a woman experiences incontinence after giving birth varies from case to case, although some factors can influence the duration of a women’s recovery time. Age, multiparity (number of children born at once), and birth method all are factors that can affect the likelihood of developing incontinence. However, the most definitive warning sign of long-lasting symptoms are women experiencing stress incontinence three months after their first delivery.

Tips for Managing Incontinence Leaks

Luckily, there are steps to reduce the likelihood of long-lasting incontinence and ways to manage current symptoms. Women who are experiencing urinary incontinence due to childbirth may want to consider trying the following exercises and life changes:

Practice Kegels

While this tip may seem obvious for most women, it would be an oversight to underestimate the importance of kegerator exercises to manage incontinence. Kegels are an exercise that strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which support the small intensities, uterus, rectum, and bladder. The most doctor recommended Kegel regiment is to practice three sets of 30 Kegels a day.

How to Correctly do Kegel Exercises

Try Bladder Training

Many people believe that the way to strengthen the bladder is to wait a long time between bathroom breaks or “hold” in their urine. The opposite, in fact, is true. To strengthen the bladder, you must start by attempting to pee every 30 minutes and gradually increase the time between bathroom visits.

Consider Using Female Catheters

Female catheters are an excellent option for women experiencing incontinence. Female catheters can help retrain the bladder to fill and empty at regular times throughout the day. While male catheters are typically 16-inches in length, female catheters are 6 to 8 inches long though they can range down to smaller sizes.  Those who are prescribed self-catheterization should follow their doctor’s instructions for how frequently to cath.

421571 gentlecath glide female catheter

Avoid Constipation

For the first few months after giving birth, many women experience mild to severe constipation. Like many other medical ailments, frequently, one symptom can impact another. When dealing with incontinence, it is essential to manage constipation to the best of your abilities as full bowels put additional pressure on the bladder. To avoid constipation, eat high fiber foods and exercise frequently.

 

Stay Clear of Bladder Irritants

It is recommended that those with incontinence look at their diets to see if there are foods that could worsen symptoms. Some food items that can irritate the bladder are coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, soda, and various citrus fruits. If the bladder is irritated, stopping unexpected leaks can become more difficult. It is important not to avoid drinking water when battling incontinence. It is common to avoid drinking water to help prevent urine leaks; however, this may increase the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and dehydration.

We carry thousands of home delivery medical supplies at Personally Delivered that can help with all types of incontinence. We know that it can be overwhelming choosing products that are right for your unique needs. That’s why we have Product Experts to help guide you through the decision-making process to make it easier for you.

For any questions on the incontinence related products we carry, or any of the other medical supplies we offer, give us a call and we will be glad to help.

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GentleCath Glide Female Catheter

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Hollister VaPro Plus Pocket Female Catheter

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