Preparing for the postpartum experience ahead of time is wise, but there's so much to consider about the body changes to come. For many women, potential issues with bathroom problems are a concern. Plenty of expectant women wonder if it is normal to pee your pants postpartum, because, well, it can feel a little embarrassing.
The short answer is yes: it's totally common for women to lose some control of their bladder after giving birth, also known as urinary incontinence. You may even take comfort in knowing there are many physical reasons postpartum urinary incontinence happens. Both pregnancy and childbirth weaken muscles that support the bladder, according to What to Expect, and a weakened pelvic floor makes bladder control more difficult. If laughing, sneezing, or sudden movements cause you to leak a bit of urine — something that happens to new moms all the time — you likely have what is known as stress incontinence, according to Baby Center. For some women the incidents of stress incontinence go away soon after birth, but others deal with it for months or more, as noted in Baby Center. It's a real annoyance.
Although it may not be discussed often, many new moms deal with pee problems. In fact, about half of new moms experience urinary control problems after childbirth, according to the website for Fit Pregnancy and Baby, even if their pregnancy did not present any complications. It's one of the things no one really warns you about before pregnancy.
Can you prevent pee leakage after having a baby? Probably not. There does not appear to be a simple, straightforward way to prevent postpartum incontinence, according to The BMJ. Without preventative measures via surgery, it looks like incontinence is just going to be a reality for many women.
Even Kegels exercises, which are recommended to remedy basically all pelvic floor issues, may not be so helpful here. As a 2014 study of 175 women in Norway found, intensive pelvic floor training did not appear to reduce incidents of postpartum incontinence, according to American Family Physician. You are welcome to practice Kegels exercises anyway, but don't feel bad if you still leak a little with every laugh. In general, if your body is going to leak pee after giving birth, there is not a lot you can do to prevent or stop this from happening. It's another weird marker of motherhood.