One out of every three women who have ever had a baby will wet themselves, yes that’s right they will have urine leaking when they cough or sneeze. It’s called stress incontinence and it’s all due to weak pelvic floor muscles caused by the weight of pregnancy.
Pregnancy and childbirth can have a lasting effect on your pelvic floor muscles and increase your risk of devloping incontinence. It’s really important to look after these muschles, patricularly during this stage in your life.
During pregnancy, hormones and the increasing weight of your baby combine to weaken your pelvic floor muscles, making it harder for the muscle band to hold your pelvic floor orgns in their correct position. The pelvic floor muscles and ligaments are also stretched at birth, which can sometime lengthen the tissues permanently. Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to bladder and bowel issues if they are not strengthened.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises are an effective way to maintain you pelvic floor fitness during and after pregnancy, and will help to reduce the risk of developing a prolapse. Good pelvic floor muscle tone will assist you with your after birth recovery.
The Continence Foundation Of Australia has a free smart phone app called “Pregnancy Pelvic Floor Plan” and has instructions on how to do pelvic floor muscle exercises and other informative features which include:
- Tips on looking after your pelvic floor, bladder and bowel during pregnancy.
- Reminder alerts to do your pelvic floor exercises
- Information about safe exercise during and after pregnancy
- Changes to your body as your pregnancy progresses
- Local services that treat pelvic floor problems
- The app is available to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play, or www.continence.org.au. For further information phone the Continence Foundation’s National Continence Helpine on 1800 33 00 66. This free service is staffed by continence nurse advisors who can provide advice, resources and referrals to local services.
Source: Continence Foundation Of Australia.