Post-baby body surprises (LBL)
Weight gain, swollen feet and sore boobs are the usual after-birth symptoms expected by new mums. But there’s another incredibly common condition you may be surprised to experience because no one’s told you about it – a weak bladder. The best thing is it’s both normal and temporary for many mums.
So let’s talk.
While many women don’t talk about it, the condition can affect women of all ages, but predominantly women pre and post pregnancy. It’s due to pressure from your uterus on your bladder when pregnant and weaker pelvic floor muscles post pregnancy.
New research by Poise Health Pulse revealed 46% of women experience some degree of incontinence during pregnancy with up to 30% having an incontinence problem following delivery – light bladder leakage (LBL) currently affects or has affected 69% of Australian women.
So what can you do?
I have devised the following tips to help manage the condition and get your confidence back in check:
1. Hit the floor
While protection is a key part of managing any bladder weakness problem, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, staying fit and specifically strengthening these weak muscles, pelvic floor exercises can play a vital role in the prevention and recovery from a number of bladder related problems.
2. Food rules
Certain foods and drinks can irritate bladders. Citrus fruits, tomatoes or hot spices may have this effect on you. Try keeping a bladder diary to see which ones may be affecting your bladder weakness.
3. One glass too many
Alcohol and caffeine can seem to be essentials in our lives. But as well as dehydrating the body, they can also irritate the bladder making you want to urinate before you need to, so ensure you drink plenty of water. A good measure is for every coffee or alcoholic drink, match it with one glass of water. Your bladder (and head) will thank you for it.
4. Eat well
Eat a wide variety of nutritious foods, including fibre for a healthy bowel, protein for muscle repair and drink plenty of water (1.5 litres a day) to keep your system flushed. People who eat a variety of food are generally healthier, live longer and have a reduced risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes (a major cause of bladder weakness).
5. Get the right product
It sounds simple, but many people are not using the correct product for their level of LBL and despite its prevalence, approximately 60% of people suffering from urinary incontinence do not seek professional help for their condition. Poise has developed an online tool to help navigate the right product and protection for your needs. Check it out here
For more information about light bladder leakage speak to your healthcare professional or visit www.poise.com.au
 Lonergan Research, Incontinence investigation, June 2013