If you are feeling worried or embarrassed about the occasional leak, remember you are not alone. Incontinence during your last trimester is extremely common. It is also known as stress incontinence. Though it can be embarrassing at first, once you learn the causes and how to deal with it, you will feel more confident.
From the first trimester, your body undergoes hormonal changes that cause relaxation of the pelvic muscles. By the third trimester, the baby’s head drops into the pelvis before birth. The increasing weight of the uterus presses directly on the bladder causing urinary leakage. Try the following suggestions to reduce chances of an awkward accident.
Kegel muscles are the ones that you use to stop the urine flow. When you sit on the toilet and start urinating, stop it mid-stream. You will be able to identify your pelvic floor muscles. How to exercise your pelvic floor muscles? Contract them for five seconds, and then relax. Contract them again, and relax. Repeat this three or four times a day.
This involves holding urine in your bladder and lengthening the time between bathroom visits. Start with going to the bathroom once an hour and then gradually increase the duration between each visit.
Coughing, sneezing, exercising and lifting weights can all lead to sudden leakages. Wearing a panty liner or smaller pad will help in these instances as it will absorb any leakage. If you are going out, carry extra in your handbag, so you can change and feel fresh all day.
Excessive weight gain can also add to your incontinence woes. Your doctor can guide you regarding expected weight gain in the last trimester. Stick to small snack meals every two hours and regular walking to manage weight.
Caffeine, spicy foods and acidic foods irritate your bladder. Constipation increases incontinence. Therefore, eat fibre-rich foods to avoid constipation.
Avoid drinking too much water or fluids at bedtime. This will prevent frequent night visits to the bathroom and help you get a restful sleep. During the day, make sure you drink enough water and fluids to maintain clear or pale yellow urine.
- You will have to go to the bathroom more frequently during the last trimester. Do not feel embarrassed to excuse yourself when you are around people. Everyone understands. Whenever you feel the urge, go to the bathroom and urinate completely.
- If you experience a burning sensation while passing urine, you should inform your doctor. It could be a sign of urinary tract infection, which is also not uncommon.
- If the leakage or discharge is clear, odourless, or has plugs of thick mucus in it, you might be leaking amniotic fluid. Check with a doctor as soon as you can.
At the very least, cross your legs when you sneeze. Yes, a simple action like that also helps control your pelvic muscles and prevent a little accident. A combination of your Kegel exercises, conscious diet, and panty liners should make you feel more comfortable.