The need for a nearby bathroom when you're pregnant almost becomes comical as you reach your third trimester. I mean, every pregnant person is fairly sure that they've never peed so much in their entire life. But the fun doesn't stop once you've delivered your baby. I'll put it this way, if you've never once thought, "Why do I keep peeing myself after having my baby?", then you are incredibly lucky.
And OK, let's make it clear here. It's not like you're just gushing urine out in the middle of the day with no warning. All it takes is a little too much laughter, a giant sneeze, or a coughing fit to remind you that you need to do your kegels. Many people assume that a vaginal birth is what causes this postpartum leakage, but that's not necessarily true.
According to What to Expect, the muscles that supported your bladder throughout your pregnancy are stretched and weakened post pregnancy, along with your pelvic floor. In the postpartum period, your uterus begins to contract while it's on top of your bladder, making it even harder for your bladder to hold in your urine. Not to mention, the one thing you can blame all of your problems on after having a baby — hormones. What to Expect also notes that all those hormonal changes can affect your bladder and body.
OK, science and explanations aside, it's still really embarrassing and disheartening. I get it. But trust me, you're not alone. The ladies at HelloFlo totally get it, too.
And luckily, suffering from a little postpartum incontinence doesn't mean you're going to pee on yourself forever. If you're having pain when you pee or a burning sensation, you'll want to talk to your doctor to rule out any kind of infection, notes Baby Center. But if your leakage is just a tiny bit of pee when something forceful happens, like a jump while exercising or a sneeze, here are four things you can do about it.
1. Wear A Panty Liner
OK, this isn't going to cure your postpartum leakage, but it can help you out when you're wanting to do an activity that might make you prone to peeing yourself.
2. Watch Your Caffeine Consumption
As a mom, I know you need your caffeine, but it can cause problems with your bladder and make your incontinence worse. According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeinated drinks act as a diuretic and stimulate your bladder while increasing your urine amount.
3. Do Your Kegels
You already know how important your kegels are and Today's Parent notes that they are perfect for building up your pelvic floor muscles to combat postpartum incontinence. Best part? You can do them whenever and wherever.
4. Talk To Your Doctor
Even if it doesn't hurt to pee, if the leakage is too much to deal with or seems to be getting worse despite your best efforts, you may want to consult your doctor. They could recommend a therapist for rebuilding your pelvic floor muscles as well as bladder sling surgery to correct the problem notes Fit Pregnancy.