There are many joys to being pregnant and having a child; that feeling of empowerment as a female, along with the thrill of feeling baby kick for the first time for instance. Pregnancy and childbirth have a big impact on the female body, and sometimes the changes women experience are not all filled with joy. Let’s take urinary incontinence for example, the urge to wee frequently, and unfortunately, urinary leakage.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is commonly associated with pregnancy and childbirth. For many pregnant women and new moms a sneeze or cough, laughter, or even getting up from a sitting position can cause a spurt of pee to be released.
The reason is during pregnancy and childbirth the pelvic floor muscles relax to prepare for the baby's delivery. Other reasons for SUI may be that pregnancy and birthing have caused muscles to become too weak or perhaps damaged, which can also affect bladder control.
Urinary Incontinence and Pregnancy
Let’s begin with when does pregnancy incontinence start and how does incontinence go away after pregnancy?
For pregnant women there are probably bigger concerns than a little incontinence during pregnancy; however, having to deal with grown-up piddle problems at inconvenient moments can be embarrassing, and the stress of rushing for the WC can be uncomfortable.
More than a third of pregnant women experience spontaneous or involuntary urine leaks during the second and third trimesters, and a third of women leak during the first three months after having a baby.
The good news is that stress urinary incontinence is temporary for most women; plus, there are exercises, muscle toning treatment, and behavioural therapy you can try to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and get back to normal.
Can Pregnancy Cause Incontinence?
Yes, being pregnant can lead to varying degrees of urinary incontinence (e.g., the involuntary loss of urine); for some women it is mild, and for others it can be more severe.
The type of urinary incontinence most pregnant females experience is stress incontinence (SI), which results in the loss of urine because of increased pressure on the bladder and the bladder sphincter not functioning well enough to hold in urine. Factors that can lead to incontinence during pregnancy include:
- Body mass index
- Overactive bladder (OAB)
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Weak pelvic floor muscles
- Damaged pelvic nerve
- Bladder sphincter stress
- Urethra and bladder shift
In most cases, after having a baby, the pelvic floor muscles recover and the pelvis returns to its normal position. Leaking often goes away in a few weeks, but for some women this can take much longer.
Stress incontinence pregnancy issues, along with concerns about bladder incontinence after childbirth, should be discussed with your obstetrician, midwife, or gynaecologist.
How Can I Safely Control Incontinence While Pregnant?
Here are two baby-safe treatments pregnant women can do to increase pelvic floor muscle strength and tone, as well as condition the body to void at appropriate intervals.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
One of the best ways to tighten pelvic floor muscles quickly is through targeted exercise. Pelvic floor exercises strengthen the muscles around the bladder.
Actively strengthening your pelvic floor muscles can help with urinary incontinence, as well as pelvic organ prolapse. And, as an added bonus, pregnant persons who perform Kegel exercises regularly find they have an easier birthing experience!
Pelvic floor exercises are a physical therapy, and bladder training is behavioural. With bladder training, you increase the intervals at which you go to the bathroom by waiting a little longer before you go to wee each time. This timed voiding method will help you keep track of your pee patterns and help you gain behavioural control over the urge to wee.
We have also gathered together Tips to Manage Weak Bladder Symptoms. If you are currently pregnant we recommend you try our Este Emsella treatment after childbirth. Scroll down to find out how Emsella pelvic floor treatments can help you restore and tone your core muscles after you have given birth.
How Common Is Incontinence After Childbirth?
Incontinence after childbirth is very common; it is estimated that about half of women may experience postpartum urinary incontinence, but it is not a condition that lasts long.
How long does urinary incontinence last after childbirth? On average, for females in good health living a healthy lifestyle, it will only take a few weeks (or less than a few months) for urinary incontinence to resolve itself with the help of rest and pelvic floor exercises.
For some women, there are probably incontinence issues after childbirth that can have a negative effect on returning to normal urination and bladder control.
Post childbirth incontinence problems could be related to:
- A high body mass index (BMI)
- Weak muscles around the bladder and pelvis
- The increased weight of the uterus during pregnancy
- A natural childbirth
- A long delivery; a large baby
- The hormones produced in pregnancy
- Damaged pelvic nerve
- Bladder sphincter stress
- Urethra and bladder shift
- Lifestyle factors (e.g., smoking)
Postpartum stress incontinence and other health issues related to painful or frequent urination should be talked about with your family doctor, obstetrician or gynaecologist. Rest assured that severe incontinence after childbirth is rare; only a very small percentage of women experience postpartum incontinence a year after childbirth.
How To Fix Incontinence After Childbirth?
The best way to naturally correct incontinence is with a multidisciplinary holistic approach. For the best and quickest results we recommend you combine at-home and on-the-go pelvic floor exercises with pelvic floor machine treatments (e.g., Emsella treatment), along with bladder behavioural training.
For a concerned parent looking for a non-invasive, drug-free approach to treat postpartum incontinence, pelvic floor muscle stimulation combined with behaviour modification is the way to go!
Make an appointment with Este Medical to learn more about our popular Emsella treatment.
Emsella Pelvic Floor Postpartum Treatment
Many new moms wish they had heard of Emsella to help them tone and strengthen their pelvic floor muscle after having a baby. Emsella is a proven, effective, non-invasive pelvic floor dysfunction treatment that helps fix incontinence after childbirth.
This innovative physiotherapy treatment involves sitting fully clothed on a chair device that vibrates at a rapid pulse to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles to contract at a high rate. Emsella uses HIFEM (high-intensity focused electromagnetic) energy to stimulate the pelvic floor muscles, as a result the muscles contract and strengthen faster than conventional exercises.
The Emsella chair device provides a deep internal workout for the pelvic floor muscles; one treatment session can deliver the equivalent of 11,000 pelvic floor contractions. This treatment is ideal for women looking to treat incontinence after having a baby. This treatment is not recommended for females while being pregnant.
After only 8 treatment sessions you will experience results! Book an Emsella pelvic floor treatment.
New Moms! We Are Here For You
While we are on the subject of postnatal conditions and postpartum treatments to get your body back in good form, we invite you to see what other Este Medical treatments we have to address postpartum hair loss, skin pigmentation, stretch marks, and body contouring.
April 4, 2023