Having a loss of bladder control post-pregnancy is more common than you think.
WORDS CHRISTEL GERALYN GOMES
It’s fairly common for new mums to experience leaking or loss of bladder control. According to Dr Roy Ng, senior consultant at the Division of Urogynaecology and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgery at NUH Women’s Centre, it will usually take between one and four weeks to regain control of your bladder post-delivery.
“The compression of the Pudendal nerve – which supplies the pelvic floor – during the second stage of labour, can cause it. Vaginal births also stretch or damage the pelvic floor muscles, ligaments and fascia, contributing to urinary incontinence after delivery. Pain from vaginal or instrumental delivery, episiotomy, tears, piles; the antidiuretic hormone effect of Oxytocin infusion to induce or augment labour and epidural analgesia for labour and delivery can also cause an over distended bladder and overflow incontinence,” he says.
What you can do
According to Dr Ng, doing pelvic floor exercises (Kegel’s) before pregnancy and then continuing to do them from 24 weeks of pregnancy until delivery, helps. “A randomised controlled study demonstrated that mothers who did supervised pelvic floor exercises from 24 weeks had a 25 per cent reduction in stress incontinence compared to the mums who did not,” he informs us.