“The worst was when I peed my pants in front of 10 of my friends. I was the only one who had a kid at that time and it was just a few months after she was born and we were drinking alcohol. They didn’t understand that when they kept making me laugh and I said, ‘Stop, or I’ll pee my pants!’ that I actually would do it. Luckily, I had an extra pair of pants to change into. This was seven years ago and they still make fun of me for it, but they’re a bit more understanding since they have kids of their own. Now I wear Poise pads if I’m likely to be drinking alcohol and laughing.” - Kelly Jones
“When I sneeze or laugh, I tinkle and may not being able to hold it in long enough to make it to the bathroom from time to time. It runs in my family—my mom has the same thing as does my aunt. Although none of us had this issue prior to pregnancy, it gets worse with each baby. They have both had surgeries to deal with it, so that's likely in my future. Despite all of this, I still don't feel motivated to do my Kegels.” – Marie Smith*
If your incontinence doesn’t go away three months after your baby’s birth, Dr. O’Dell recommends the following:
1. If you don’t have pain, do Kegel exercises each day and make sure you’re doing them correctly—the action is up and in. Here’s our guide on Kegels.
2. Try going to a physical therapist and getting a customized rehab program to strengthen those pelvic floor muscles.
3. Make lifestyle adjustments so your bladder works better, like decreasing coffee consumption, changing the amount of water you drink, and don’t put off going to the bathroom for more than three to four hours.
4. Remember, maintaining a healthy weight and walking are great for the pelvic floor.
Keep Reading: Find out more about incontinence in our Leaky Business article.
*Names have been changed.