Here is a statistic that will make you want to cross you legs: One in three women who have ever had a baby will wet themselves due to incontinence.
That’s one third of us. Wow.
Although this can affect both men and women of any age, mums are especially prone. The reason? Carrying a baby during pregnancy weakens the bladder and bowel.
With World Continence Week approaching on 24-30 June 2013, here are six healthy habits to adopt to prevent incontinence and avoid the embarrassment and inconvenience.
- Work out your pelvic floor – now’s the time to implement those exercises learnt in hospital after having bub. By regularly doing these exercises you can strengthen the muscles that control continence. For fully detailed how to’s see the Continence Foundation of Australia’s website
- Lift baby properly – tense the pelvic floor before lifting your bub (or anything else) rather than using your back
- Practice good toilet habits – don’t hang on or go “just in case” and ensure you fully empty your bowel and bladder
- Exercise regularly – as part of overall good health exercise 30 minutes most days. Women’s gyms like Fernwood include a focus on the pelvic floor in some of their exercise classes
- Drink well – drink one to two litres of fluid, mainly water and limit your intake of caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks
- Eat well – Consume at least 30g of fibre a day for bowel health – you’re aiming to go daily.
It sounds like managing incontinence is about prevention rather than waiting until it’s too late. For the full run-down, visit www.continence.org.au for more information, tips and exercises.