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  Urinary Incontinence of Mother
Since the baby was born, I dread sneezing or any physical exertion because it causes me to wet my panties. It is so embarrassing. Will it always be like this from now on?

This is a problem that is caused mainly by the stress that labour and delivery place on the muscles and tissues around the bladder. Unfortunately it is likely to get worse with each delivery. The pelvic area endures tremendous pressure during pregnancy, and this is intensified during the labour. The weakened muscles and tissues are subsequently unable to withstand the stress of activities such as sneezing or intense exercise. The resulting leakage is very troubling for many women, and it may be worth routinely wearing a sanitary towel while you try and strengthen this area again.

There are a few things you can do to improve the situation, and the most helpful one is doing your Kegels exercises. See the section on Kegels for more information (click here: Kegels). It is worth your while to make a concerted effort to do these exercises several times a day, starting with a few each time and building up. It can take a few months to feel the difference, so don’t be despondent, and do persevere. This really is the best way to improve the situation, and having strong muscles in this area is excellent for your overall health.

In addition to being rigorous with your Kegels exercises, you need to consider a few factors. Being overweight puts extra pressure on the pelvic area, so this is another reason why you should be careful about your diet and do a bit of extra exercise, in order to lose weight slowly, if you are carrying extra kilos. You diet has more effect on your bladder than you realise, so start to take note of whether things like spicy foods and coffee aggravate the problem. It may be worth eliminating caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods completely for a short time and see if that helps. The other offender in causing bladder irritation is nicotine – so here is another reason to stop smoking!

With the busy life we lead, women in general are guilty of waiting too long to go to the toilet. Get in the habit of being in touch with your body, and noticing the first signs that you need to go to the toilet. By doing this you reduce the stress that your bladder experiences, allowing it to heal and strengthen more easily, and also reducing the amount of urine available to leak out at any given moment.

It is also worth a trip to the doctor to discuss this problem. There are systems available that speed up the action of the Kegels – using weights or electrical stimulation, and your doctor would be the best person to guide you in this regard. If you have been religiously doing your Kegels for several months, and have modified your diet and still suffering from stress incontinence, your doctor may consider whether you are a good candidate for surgery to help you.

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