You often hear more experienced moms joking about "peeing a little" when they laugh, but there are other struggles women with postpartum incontinence know all too well. Struggles that can be embarrassing, hilarious, and sometimes downright ridiculous. Most new moms assume they won't have the same problem, and maybe they won't, the first time around. Or, perhaps it will be mild after the first baby, and then your second baby will be gigantic and you will have a ridiculously fast labor and delivery, only to find yourself essentially "screwed" in the pee department. That could just be me, though.
In all truth, though, this is an issue that many new moms face, if only for a short period of time. I prefer to laugh and joke about it instead of lamenting about the condition of my pelvic floor, in the hopes that we can reduce the stigma around postpartum incontinence. Growing up, I remember seeing ads for older and middle aged women, and I didn't really understand why a woman would suddenly develop bladder problems. I know there are other issues that can cause incontinence, but let's be real: pushing a small human out of your vagina, after said human has been sitting on your bladder for months, is pretty hard on your pelvic region. There's no shame in admitting that things have changed, and that perhaps you need some physiotherapy (or pantyliners).
I currently need both, because when you dilate to 10 centimeters in two hours, and push a nine-and-a-half pound baby out of your body in 15 minutes, your pelvic floor may need some help getting back to normal. In the meantime, I struggle with postpartum incontinence, and I refuse to be ashamed of it. With that in mind,here are eight struggles women with postpartum incontinence know all too well, because solidarity is freakin' awesome.
You Might As Well Buy Stock In Your Favorite Pantyliner Brand
I'm pretty sure pantyliners were invented for women like me. There's nothing worse that leaving the house without one, and then ending up with an adorable little wet patch that you're left trying to continuously hide.
Running Becomes A New Kind Of Challenge
Either I'm wearing a massive pad while running, because I pee a little bit basically every time a foot hits the ground, or I wear black, so that it can't be seen. I think this actually improves, gradually (assuming you're doing kegels or squats or whatever help get that pelvic floor back in shape), if you work on it consistently.
Unexpected Sneezing Can Be Disastrous
I'm not sure why this always has to happen in the grocery store, but it does. Maybe because I'm distracted with all the food, and the list, or something along those lines? Yeah, probably.
Remembering To Cross Your Legs Or Do A Kegel When You Laugh
God forbid, you're at a really hilarious movie or a comedy club. You're basically screwed, my friend, if that's the case. Get working on those kegels!
Having To Go Pee "One Last Time" Before Exercising, No Matter How Recently You Peed
Even if you just have a teaspoon's worth of pee left in your bladder, I guarantee it will find its way out, especially once you start any kind of weight training or cardio. Best to just go to the bathroom again to try and squeeze the last of it out.
Having Your Child Jump On Your Stomach When You're Lying Down Is A Serious Problem
As if you didn't already have that kid pressing down on your bladder for the nine months they were inside you, now you have the joy of them using you as a human trampoline. Notice how your partner is completely fine when they do this? Yeah, that's not a coincidence.
Jumping Jacks Are A Thing Of The Past
I'm not entirely convinced this is a bad thing, but if jumping jacks are your bag, you may be disappointed. There are modifications to make them less, um, messy, however.
Tripping Doesn't Just Leave You With An Injury
This is the worst. An unexpected stumble in the park can leave you needing to go home and change, which will likely tick your child off. If any parent knows anything, they know that an extra tantrum is exactly what you don't need.