It is estimated that over a third of women following childbirth will suffer from some degree of incontinence. Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is the most common type affecting women in pregnancy and during the post natal period. SUI can lead to urine loss during coughing and sneezing, during your daily activities such as lifting and bending and also on return to exercise.
Rehabilitation of the pelvic floor muscles is a major factor in your recovery. Research has found that many women do these important exercises incorrectly and therefore it is important to check you have the right technique.
You should expect to do pelvic floor exercises 3 times per day for at least 3 months. This can be extremely challenging to achieve when you have a new baby at home and therefore it is vital that you fit them into your daily routine rather than try to set seperate time aside for them. Exercising your pelvic floor whilst you feed your baby can be a useful time in the early days. The NHS endorses the Squeezy app, designed by a Physiotherapist in order to instruct on technique and also remind women to carry out these important exercises routinely.
If you have any concerns regarding your bladder and / or pelvic floor muscles, please speak to your Midwife or GP.
Completing a pelvic floor risk assessment questionnaire can be useful to steer this discussion.
If you score over 6 and your baby is less than 12 weeks old, you will be able to attend a Physiotherapy drop-in session for more information and advice.