The birth of a new baby is wonderful, and the beginning of many happy times. However there are many challenges that a new mother faces, including the well-known challenges of breastfeeding and sleepless nights. A less widely discussed, but equally challenging issue, is that of incontinence.
About one third of Australian women will experience leakage of urine after having a baby. As well as leakage, associated problems include frequency (wanting to go to the toilet often – including getting up more than twice at night) and urgency (a sudden urge to go to the toilet).
Incontinence is common following birth but may also occur as a result of:-
- Constant coughing over a long period of time
- Not using the pelvic floor muscles because of illness or lack of awareness
- Heavy lifting, jarring (can be common amongst athletes)
- Straining because of constipation
- Hysterectomy or other pelvic surgery
- Side effects of certain medications
- Infections of the urinary tract
- Neurological disorders
- Menopause or prostate problems
- Being overweight
- Diet and/or type and amount of fluid intake
The good news is there is now a wealth of evidence that this common and possibly embarrassing condition can be effectively treated with correct pelvic floor muscle exercises and lifestyle modification. It is essential, however, that these exercises are done correctly, as studies show that a large percentage of people were incorrectly activating their pelvic floor muscles when they were only given verbal instructions.
Another study has shown that physiotherapy proved effective for 84% who received pelvic floor muscle training and lifestyle advice with a qualified Women’s Health Physiotherapist.
At Better Health Practice we can assess you, make an individualized exercise program and give advice on lifestyle modifications. Remember early intervention may prevent or delay problems recurring or getting worse later in life.
or phone reception on 9518 0722 to make an appointment.