The whole endeavor is just soaked in bodily fluids, isn’t it? If it isn’t your own peeps and poops, it’s the baby’s. On that note, today’s science headline concerns incontinence in women who have given birth. Most of you probably know that during pregnancy incontinence is not that uncommon, especially towards the end.
It’s also pretty common postpartum as things tighten and shrink and get back into place. Occasionally incontinence continues well after the postpartum period. Usually, it’s not so bad– the kind of thing triggered by a big sneeze. But it can be more pronounced.
For a long time experts have thought excess weight gain in pregnancy increases risk of longer term incontinence. But a study tracking 13,000 women in Norway found little correlation between weight gain and incontinence. They did however, find that the sooner a mother lost her pregnancy weight the lower her chances of incontinence.
Researchers aren’t sure why this is. Maybe it’s because of the kind of weight? Maybe there are some hormones in fat cells? They don’t know. I’m not really sure what to do with this information. I don’t think women need to to rush to the gym for fear of wetting their pants on a regular basis. Taking it easy postpartum is good for mom’s health.
But I do think that we can all pay more attention to our pelvic floor. Kegels have been proven to help. Moving around in labor and getting into gravity friendly positions for pushing have been shown to prevent damage to those muscles. So I guess the bottom line remains the same: try to stay healthy, change positions in labor if possible and do your kegels.
Photo: Fabulous cloth panty liners from Making Ends Meet.