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Almost any woman has probably had a moment at some time in her life when she laughed too hard, or perhaps drank a little too much alcohol and really, really had to go to the bathroom. But as Fit Pregnancy readers know, that baby pressing against your bladder makes you have to go to the bathroom often, and it’s quite common to have leaking or incontinence issues after your baby is born as well. And while we know it’s not a sexy topic, it’s a big (often embarrassing) problem for many women.
So you don’t feel alone in this, we asked real women to share their leaking stories, and boy, did they have a lot to share. Read on for their anecdotes and get tips from Katharine O'Dell, CNM, PhD, associate professor of OB/GYN at UMass Memorial Medical Center who specializes in Urogynecology.
“I went to an exercise class made up of all moms, we were doing a bunch of jumps and slowly but surely the whole room began to smell like urine. I think every mom in there had some leakage.” says Jessica K. on Fit Pregnancy’s Facebook page
“I've actually gained weight because of this problem. It doesn't matter if I sneeze, cough, hiccup, try to run or even do yoga, I leak. It's embarrassing. No jumping jacks or Zumba for me because well, let's face it, I fill the Poise pads I have to wear. It’s so discouraging when you're trying to lose weight. Not to mention the cost of having to buy these things every couple of weeks.” – MS
“After baby number one, I was never able to go on a run without issues. I saw a physical therapist, but really the only thing that helped (though didn't totally cure it) was to stay hydrated. Concentrated urine, I learned, irritates a bladder leading to more issues. I miss running. Things got better, surprisingly, when I got pregnant again, and through the first few weeks after giving birth, even. But lately (as I've gotten sloppy with hydration, and excited about coffee and alcohol again) there have been a few incidents.” – Susan Richmond*
“Ugh! I think this is completely the worst side effect of pregnancy! After I had my second child, I decided to get back into shape by doing karate with my son. It wasn't until my first class when I had to do jumping jacks that I realized that I would leak every time I jumped! So now, every time I go to karate, I make sure I go to the bathroom at least twice to make sure my bladder is empty. I also wear a panty liner and I wear thick biker shorts to make sure I don't leak onto my white pants!” – Jessica Hensley