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Leaking Urine/Incontinence

Pregnancy Symptoms & Discomforts

Stress incontinence (leaking urine) is quite common during pregnancy. It tends to occur when you cough, sneeze, run or laugh. Approximately 4 out of 10 pregnant women will suffer from it. There is good news, there are things you can do to stop it!

Leaking occurs due to pressure of the growing uterus on the bladder. It is also caused by the hormonal changes of pregnancy and can cause the pelvic floor tissues and muscles to stretch. This can cause weakness in the muscles that control the release of urine from your bladder.

How to deal with it: Kegel exercises! Contracting and releasing the muscles around the vagina. This helps many women control their bladder. Studies show that starting your pelvic floor exercises (kegels) early will also help with leaking after giving birth. It is much harder to do these exercises after delivery, so get as much practice in now as you can.

How to do kegels: To identify the correct muscles needed for going kegels, next time you use the bathroom voluntarily interrupt the flow of urine. If you can stop the urine stream you know you have the correct muscles. (Don't make a habit of doing this during urination as it can lead to problems, just use this method to ensure you have identified the correct muscles) Tighten and hold the muscles for 8 to 10 seconds at a time. Kegel exercises should be done every day, multiple times. Aim for 10 to 15 repetitions 3 to 4 times per day.

Whatever you do, don't stop drinking lots of water in an attempt to avoid this problem. Both you and your baby need lots of fluids to stay healthy!

If you are concerned that you may be leaking amniotic fluid, and not urine, be sure to notify your doctor or health care provider immediately.

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