Regaining Control of Your Bladder After Giving Birth

Many new moms experience complications with bladder and bowel control after giving birth. This is because labor and pregnancy are both taxing on the bladder. The uterus sits directly on the bladder acting as a weight. The weight of the uterus combined with pregnancy hormones make for an overpowering combo that causes leakage.

What is Incontinence and Why Does it Happen?

Incontinence is the lack of voluntary control over urination. It can be separated into two categories – stress and urge. If you’re experiencing leakage when you laugh, sneeze, cough, jump, run, or lift weights, you have stress incontinence. Urge incontinence, on the other hand, is caused by an overactive bladder.

Bladder leakage after giving birth is caused by weakening of the muscles around the bladder and pelvis from child birth and pregnancy. Since these muscles are typically weaker after giving birth it is harder for women to control when urine starts and when it stops. The hormonal changes experienced during and after pregnancy also affect the bladder, since estrogen helps to strengthen the pelvic muscles that control bladder usage.

Treating Incontinence with Pelvic Floor Testing

A great way to really find out what is going on with your bladder and how to stop leakage is pelvic testing. This is a simple, non-surgical diagnostic test that tests the groups of muscles in your pelvic area. These muscles contract to help support organs such as the bladder, uterus, and rectum. Incontinence is just one condition that pelvic floor testing helps to treat and identify along with irritable bowel syndrome and fecal incontinence. Bardisa Medical Center is now offering pelvic floor testing to patients in Southern Florida for all bladder and bowel control issues.

To help treat incontinence, the pelvic floor muscles need to be strengthened. Strengthening these muscles will help you gain more control over the muscle group and their assistance in bladder and bowel movements. Our treatments consist of one session per week for eight sessions. The first appointment will last an hour while the other seven sessions are thirty minutes each.

Additional Steps to Take for Bladder Control After Giving Birth

Here are some additional ways that you can try to lessen the chances of bladder leakage after labor:

  • Kegels – These exercises engage and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, uterus, and other organs and control the flow of urine and the contraction of the vagina and anal sphincter. The goal is to contract the pelvic floor muscles for short intervals several times a day.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption – Coffee and alcohol are diuretics, meaning they increase the amount of urine you produce. By monitoring your consumption of diuretics, you can decrease the amount of urine produced.
  • Avoid bladder irritant foods – Tomatoes, apples, citrus foods, spicy foods, foods that contain corn syrup, and artificial sweeteners are all foods that can irritate the bladder and bladder function.
  • Practice retraining your bladder – To retrain your bladder, set up a time interval such as 30 minutes. This means you should empty your bladder every 30 minutes, even if you don’t think you need to. Over time, extend these time intervals, and your bladder should start warning you when it’s full again.
  • Pads – To keep from having noticeable leakage, use sanitary pads; these will help to absorb any leakage you may have.

Schedule You Pelvic Floor Test Appointment Today

If you’re struggling with bladder leakage after giving birth, allow the medical professionals at Bardisa Medical Center help you today! Schedule your pelvic floor test appointment by giving us a call at 305.661.2002 or contact us online by filling out our patient form.