You likely have bittersweet emotions about watching your body change during pregnancy. Some changes, like your growing belly and moving baby, are wonderful! Other changes, like the constant need to run to the bathroom, aren’t quite as great.
If you’re experiencing frequent urine leaks during pregnancy, you’re not alone. Many women experience bladder incontinence during pregnancy. Changes in your body’s hormones, posture, muscles, and of course, your growing baby can all put pressure on your bladder, causing you to leak pee.
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with inconvenient urine leaks during the rest of your pregnancy. Let’s take a deeper look at what causes women to leak pee during pregnancy and what you can do today to stop urine leaks.
What Causes You to Leak Urine During Pregnancy?
There are multiple reasons you may be leaking urine during your pregnancy. Here are a few of the most common:
- Hormonal changes. When the relaxing hormone is released during the early stages of pregnancy, your tissues begin to loosen to make room for the baby. These tissues include the ligaments that support and suspend the bladder and may cause this organ (and others) to shift positions, resulting in urine leakage.
- Pressure. As your baby grows, they will push down on your bladder, causing leaks.
- Postural changes. As your body changes and adjusts to make room for your baby, your muscles elongate, and the posture you normally assume adjusts to accommodate your growing belly. This change can cause your bladder to leak.
- Unintentional movements. During the later stages of pregnancy, it becomes more challenging to move your body fluidly, like when you’re getting in and out of bed, bending over, or getting into the car. Unfortunately, forceful, sporadic movements put pressure on the bladder, resulting in leakage.
- Gripping muscles. Your muscles work hard to hold your entire pelvic floor together during pregnancy, and when those muscles grip, the tension can “squeeze” or put extra pressure on your bladder.
Helpful Ways Stop Urine Leaks During Pregnancy
Preventing urine leaks is much easier than treating them once symptoms are already present.
If you’re already experiencing bladder leakage, here are some ways to manage these leaks during the remainder of your pregnancy.
1. Eat Healthy & Exercise
One of the best ways to support your bladder function during pregnancy is to move your body regularly and eat healthy, nutritious foods.
Women who experience healthy bowel movements are much less likely to have urine leakage than frequently constipated women since constipation can contribute to urinary incontinence. Although exercise and eating healthy can help you manage urine leakage, it’s also great for you and your baby in general!
2. Alleviate Muscle Tension
While exercises like Kegels can be a great way to treat urinary incontinence, often, the reason you’re leaking pee is not from loose muscles—it’s because your muscles are too tight!
As we mentioned earlier, gripping pelvic floor muscles can squeeze your bladder and cause urine leakage during pregnancy. If this is the case for you, performing movements that cause tightness or clenching in this region may cause more harm than good.
Talk with a pelvic health professional, like the team at Moment of Truth Physical Therapy, to determine if movements that support your pelvic floor health, like reverse Kegels, is what your bladder needs to stop leaking pee.
3. Keep a Journal
If you’re not sure what’s causing you to leak pee, it’s helpful to keep a journal that tracks each time the incident occurs, so you can target the problem when you’re working with a professional. You can keep the journal on your phone, written on a piece of paper, or anywhere else where it’s handy to access.
It’s common to leak pee when you cough, sneeze, jump, or laugh, so if these reasons, or others, are causing you to leak— write them down. It’s also helpful to note which times of the days you go to the bathroom most or how many times you feel the urge to pee in a day.
Prevent or Avoid Urinary Incontinence During Your Pregnancy with Moment of Truth Physical Therapy
You may think that leaking pee is just a normal part of pregnancy, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent this frustrating problem as your baby grows—but that’s simply not true!
Our team at Moment of Truth Physical Therapy is passionate about pelvic health, as well as educating and equipping women on how to treat urinary incontinence during their pregnancy.
If you’d like to learn more about how to stop urine leaks during your pregnancy or talk with a professional about the reasons you may be experiencing bladder incontinence, contact our friendly, knowledgeable team in Peoria, Arizona!