During pregnancy, and after birth, your bladder may kick into overdrive. But you don’t have to let it call all the shots.
You’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of your bundle of joy, glowing with anticipation and bliss just like the radiant ladies in the movies—at least you think that’s how you should be feeling, but you have to go to the bathroom. Again.
Frequent urination is one of the first signs that you are expecting, and may continue throughout your pregnancy.
Why You Have to Pee More Frequently
During pregnancy, a spike in the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone enhances the flow of blood into the pelvic region of your body. The hormone may also trigger your kidneys to work overtime. So if you are pregnant, you are probably urinating more frequently than usual.
Plus, as the uterus expands, it puts extra pressure on the bladder and reduces the volume of fluid that your bladder is able to store. Together, these two factors may cause you to dash to the ladies room a few times every hour.
The increased urination may begin shortly after conception and become especially bothersome during the final weeks of your pregnancy. But that’s not the end of the story. The growing size of your uterus may also put stress on the pelvic floor, causing stress incontinence – leakage that occurs unexpectedly and is more likely when you are coughing, laughing or sneezing.
There are a few tips and tricks that can help you manage your busy bladder.
You shouldn’t fight your body’s urge to do what it needs to do. Try to be relaxed and accept that strolls to the powder room will simply give you a little extra exercise during your pregnancy.
You can make your bladder a little less reactive and unpredictable by strengthening the pelvic floor with Kegel exercises To complete a kegel, contract the muscles that you would use to stop the flow of urine, and hold the contraction for a few seconds. Relax the muscles, and then repeat 10 or 15 times in a row. You may increase the contraction to about 10 seconds as you practice the exercises more frequently.
If you are hoping to reduce your trips to the bathroom during the night, when you are supposed to be sleeping, try to avoid beverages as you get closer to bedtime.
Looking for an obstetrician to guide you through your pregnancy? Visit our physician finder and choose “Obstetrics.”