Urinary incontinence

Sometimes, pregnant women and new mothers may pass urine involuntarily, especially when coughing, straining or laughing. During pregnancy, the baby is often resting directly on your bladder, and no one can stay dry with a baby bouncing on her bladder. Sometimes, damage at birth to the pelvic floor muscles and nerves to the bladder will cause urine leakage for a few weeks after birth. Fortunately, this problem usually improves within three months of giving birth. Unfortunately, the problem tends to recur later in life.

■ Prevention and self-care for urinary incontinence

Research shows that doing Kegel exercises may help prevent urinary incontinence during pregnancy and after childbirth. These strengthening exercises help form a stronger, thicker support for your bladder, urethra and other pelvic organs. To do Kegel exercises, squeeze the muscles around your vagina tightly, as if you were stopping the flow of urine, for a few seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

If you do experience incontinence, wear protective undergarments or sanitary napkins.

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