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By Thea Theresa English

Dealing with postpartum incontinence

After giving birth last year, I noticed that it became more difficult to use the restroom due to constant urinary leakage. After doing some research, I found out that it is common for some women to experience incontinence after childbirth. Women who delivered vaginally are more likely to suffer from postpartum incontinence, but there are ways to manage it well. Here are some tips.

Gradual weight loss helps

After childbirth you will probably be carrying some extra pounds from your pregnancy, and those pounds sometimes add pressure to the bladder. You can alleviate some of this pressure by gradually shedding the excess weight. Eat small meals during the day and spend at least thirty minutes a day on exercise. Make sure that the meals you eat contain the right foods.

Don't wait until you're pushed to go

A mistake I made is to wait until I was pushed to use the restroom, but whenever I did this, the leakage was worse. Instead, it is best to urinate at least an hour or thirty minutes before you really need to use the restroom because this takes some of the pressure off the bladder.

Wear pads during the day

For me, pads are no longer just for my cycle. I now wear them to absorb the urine leaks. If not for those pads, I would have to wash my underwear more frequently than I do now. Look for pads that are specifically designed to soak up excess leakage, and remember that some brands are better than others.

Cut back on fluids that make incontinence worse

I just love coffee and wine, but these days I only drink them in moderation. This is because these kinds of drinks make bladder control challenging and contribute to the incontinence. It is best to stick to water as a way of staying hydrated.

If necessary, visit the doctor

My incontinence isn't severe, but for some women, postpartum incontinence could also be because of an overactive bladder or another potential illness. If you're dealing with incontinence and other issues with your bladder, such as blood in the stool or urine, then it is time to visit a doctor.

Kegel exercises sometimes help

To do Kegel exercises, start by locating your pelvic muscles — you can do this by urinating briefly then stopping halfway. The muscle you used to stop the flow is your Kegel muscle. Now finish urinating, because it will be painful to do the exercise when your bladder is full. Lie on your back and practice contracting and releasing the pelvic muscles. Do as many as 10 to 25 repetitions per session. You can also do these exercises while standing or sitting.

Continue to educate yourself

New medical studies come out all the time on this topic, and those studies might have recommendations you never thought about. Educate yourself and talk to other new moms who have successfully managed their postpartum incontinence. By doing this you become well-informed and are not as stressed about it. With the above-mentioned tips, you don't have to be a prisoner to postpartum incontinence.

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