4 articles Tag bladder

Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after Childbirth

Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after ChildbirthChildbirth is an exciting time and there are many news skills to master – and for some women, managing incontinence may be one of them.

It is a common problem that many women suffer from, mainly in the short term. In rare cases, it may be a long-term issue that requires further medical help to alleviate the systems. Being informed means being prepared and so check out these five top tips for managing incontinence after childbirth.

Tip 1 – Use appropriate pads and products

There is a range of incontinence pads in various absorbency levels that make managing incontinence on a daily basis much easier. Unlike sanitary towels, they trap odour as well as urine. They absorb the urine away from the skin, preventing soreness a common complaint alongside urinary incontinence.

They can be worn day and night, and are the ideal solution for catching accidental leaks of urine post childbirth. They allow you a sense of confidence in that embarrassing leaks are stopped in their tracks, great for when you go to post-natal exercises class or enjoy activities with your family.

Tip 2 – Pelvic floor exercises

Alongside incontinence pads, performing pelvic floor exercises several times a day help to combat a weak bladder. These exercises are discreet but incredibly powerful as they tone the pelvic floor muscles, meaning you gain control of your bladder.

The great news is that you can do these exercises anywhere, they are free and require no complicated or expensive equipment.

The pelvic muscle runs from the front of your pubic, across your body to the base of your spine. It is a sling like muscle and during pregnancy, is under pressure not only from the weight of your growing baby but also from a cascade of pregnancy hormones. It is under further pressure during labour and clearly, all that pushing during childbirth also impact on it.

To strengthen it, you need to tighten and hold the muscle for a few seconds and then perform a controlled release. Some people also suggest ‘forcing’ the muscle to relax as the final step. Doing this means that the muscles go through its full movement.

Not sure where your pelvic muscle is or which part to clench? Find out more here.

Tip 3 – Yoga

Incontinence pads and pelvic floor muscles are fantastic just after giving birth mainly because the pelvic floor exercises help you heal and the pads make incontinence much easier to manage.

Now that you have fully recovered you may decide you want to try something that strengthens your pelvic floor in the longer-term. Yoga is having some great results for people who suffered from stress incontinence – in other words, an accidental leak of urine when they cough, sneeze, exercise and so on.

Yoga strengthens and tones a variety of muscles groups, including those in the abdomen, the lower back and the pelvic floor muscle itself. There are various yoga poses that can help manage incontinence better and your qualified yoga instructor will be able to help.

Tip 4 – Train your bladder

Some people find that bladder training helps them too. This works with stress incontinence but with urge incontinence too. The latter is when the bladder has a sudden urge to empty, making it difficult to get to the toilet in time. If you can’t make it to the bathroom in time, an embarrassing leak could ensue.

Training your bladder means holding on between toilet breaks for a certain length of time. For example, when you get the urge to visit the toilet, override this urge by clenching your pelvic floor muscles and resist visiting the bathroom for a length of time, such as 10 minutes. Over time, you increase this amount of time from 10 to 20 minutes and so on. If you need help with this, your doctor may be able to refer you to an incontinence specialist.

Tip 5 – See your doctor

Incontinence can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and so if it continues, becomes worse or you are in pain when you pass urine, seeing your doctor is essential. It is common for women to suffer from incontinence immediately after birth. For some women, it soon disappears but for others, it can carry on for some weeks. However, if you are still struggling to control your bladder several months after birth, see your GP or have a chat with your health visitor.

Incontinence, on one hand, is to be expected after birth but it should right itself within a few weeks. If not, follow these tips – which ones worked for you.

HARTMANN Direct stock a range of incontinence products, ideal for use during and after pregnancy, helping you to manage accidental leaks.

Bladder Weakness – Seeing The Funny Side!

bladder weaknessBladder weakness. Let’s face it. it’s not the most glamorous subject, but given that its something which affects up to 14 million people here in the UK, it’s still something that we should be talking about in order to break the taboos surrounding it. I’m not ashamed to say that after two pregnancies which resulted in c-sections, I still have issues with bladder weakness when I’ve got a cough, which means that I spend most of winter worrying about peeing my pants.

In the spirit of dealing with bladder weakness head on, I took to Facebook to ask my friends if they had any hilarious stories they could share with us, and they came up with some real gems! Read on for a giggle (just make sure you’re wearing your incontinence pants first!)

“I was shopping one day and had a sneezing fit – with every sneeze i peed at least half a millilitre,  and it was the one day i hadn’t put a pad on as i had run out. I must have sneezed at least 7 times! I also had grey joggers on so it was VERY obvious! Lets just say I abandoned my shopping…!”

“When you’re being sick isn’t fun”

“When we were at collage, me and a friend went to a zumba class. It was pretty hard core and we just didn’t have a clue so ended up fairly amused. As the class went on and it got ramped up we got more and more lost and ended up with uncontrollable giggles we were laughing so much that she wet herself right in the middle of a fully mirrored dance studio with 30-ish other woman all pretty close so she grabbed her water bottle and in a pretty quick thinking manoeuvre she squeezed the contents of the bottle all down her front then started screaming and shouted about how rubbish the new water bottle was and that it looked like she’d wet herself.” (side note – I actually think this one is GENIUS!!)

I think my own favourite stress incontinence story is from when I was heavily pregnant with Sausage. Husband and I had gone for a walk in the woods with Chuck, who was on a long lead. Husband was distracted for a moment and Chuck managed to wind the rope round his legs and somehow drag him backwards into a ditch like a human AT-AT. I laughed SO much that I started to leak and being about two miles away from the car or any toilets made for a VERY uncomfortable walk back for me!

The point I’m making is that we’re ALL human and no-one is perfect. People pee themselves and it’s nothing to be ashamed of, just make sure that you’re prepared for next time!

Stress Incontinence – The Inconvenient Truth

I’ve been quite candid in the past about the fact that my continence is not what it once was since having two babies via c-section. I don’t know if it’s the fact that two major operations cutting through my abdominal muscles has left them weak or just the fact that continence issues happen as women age, but either way, wetting yourself when you’re 31 is not a good look.

bladder leakage

There are a whole new set of things that are a peril to me, now that I have tinkle issues; laughing too hard, getting a cough, jumping on a bouncy castle, but perhaps the most annoying is hayfever season. As if it’s not bad enough to have streaming, itchy eyes and a running nose, I have to worry about other potential incidents whenever I sneeze! Obviously the “standing really still and crossing my legs as tightly as I can” is an options, but it rarely works, which is why having added protection from Hartmann can really help. Hartmann offer a whole range of continence solutions from pregnant women right up to the elderly and everything in between, with the main focus on discretion.

It’s all well and good being super frank about these things, and I’m a firm believer that the stigma of stress incontinence needs to be broken, but at the same time I need things to be invisible, as if they aren’t even there, for me to really feel at ease. There’s a really excellent tool on the Hartmann site which allows you answer a few questions, and it then suggests the product which would be most suitable for your age, gender and lifestyle.

Another thing which is really appealing about Hartmann is that you can order online and they’ll deliver straight to your door. It doesn’t get more discreet than that! There’s nothing that makes you feel quite so self-conscious as standing in the supermarket aisle, choosing your incontinence product and then having to walk around with it in your trolley! This completely removes the embarrassment factor and allows you to browse at leisure from the comfort of your own home.

Here are some useful facts about bladder leakage:

  • Bladder leakage is a very common problem. According to the Bladder and Bowel Foundation around 14 million people in the UK experience regular bladder leakage. That means one in every 4 or 5 people who live in the UK have this problem.
  • Stress urinary incontinence is leakage of urine from the bladder on exertion. Simple activities which result in leakage include picking up shopping or a child; a hearty laugh, cough or sneeze; aerobics, trampolining and running. Stress incontinence is due to weakness of the pelvic floor muscles. Contrary to what the name implies stress incontinence is not caused by emotional stress, although any leakage may cause the sufferer to be ‘stressed’.
  • In women, the pelvic floor muscles may be weakened as a result of childbirth, but women who have never had children can still suffer from stress incontinence. In men, these muscles may be weakened following surgery on the prostate gland.

Head over to the Hartmann Direct site for more information.

Are You In the 50%? #oooopsmoments

It’s fairly safe to say (especially if you’ve read THIS post) that my bladder is a bit useless. In fact, I’ve always had a weak bladder, even before having my girls, but after two c-sections it’s worse than ever. That’s why, when I read that 50% of all women suffer some form of bladder weakness, I felt sort of relieved – YAY, I’m not the only one, not even by a long shot! The guys at Tena, makers of lights by Tena (for those #oooopsmoments), have made this little video:

 

For me, the worst time is when I’m dealing with a cough. All that hacking has an unfortunate side effect for me, and having something like lights by Tena to rely on would really give me some peace of mind. I thought I’d ask some of my friends to share their “Oooops Moments” too, to show you just how common these incidents are!

I sneezed in the early stages of labour and starting celebrating my waters had gone, then they examined me and said no actually I’d just peed myself!”

“Sneezing….. coughing…. jumping.. lol I can never think about going on a trampoline ever!”

“My brother in law picked me up during a party with all his rugby mates and I had to *squeeze* like a beast! A friend of mine got drunk at a wedding and decided to have a go on the kids bouncy castle… she pissed all over it and had to go home in shame!!”

I also had a ‘moment’ on a bouncy castle!! Didn’t realise it was going to happen, that’s what having 2 kids does, especially the 9lb 1oz beast!!”

“Jumping on the trampoline!”

Trampolines seem to be a bit of a running theme with a lot of women…I’m thinking they should probably come with a whole set of health warnings for women of a certain age! The beauty of lights by Tena is that they aren’t a full size set of incontinence pads, just a discreet liner which can be worn without anyone knowing. They also contain Feelfresh technology which neutralises odours, so you don’t have to worry about any unpleasant smells, should you have a little accident.

I think, given the fact that almost half of us suffer (and, to be honest, I suspect the number is probably slightly higher as some women still don’t admit it), it’s really important to destigmatise bladder weakness and accept it as a normal thing which happens to a lot of women. The more we talk about it, the less ashamed we’ll feel.

If you’d like to try Lights by Tena, you can request a free sample from the site (details in the video) and I guarantee, once you’ve tried them you’ll wonder how you coped without. With cough and cold season coming up, I know I’ll be stocking up just so that I can cough and sneeze without worrying! Also, I’d love it if you’d leave me a comment, letting me know about your little #oooopsmoments!