Mom Bladder Doesn’t Have to be Your New Normal
Urinary incontinence - leaking urine when you don’t intend to, such as when laughing, coughing, jumping, or at any other time - is a common occurrence, especially in those who have been pregnant and/or delivered a baby. It’s so common in postpartum patients it’s even been nicknamed “mom bladder” and patients are often told (whether by friends, relatives, or even occasionally by healthcare providers) that it’s “normal”. In fact, it’s so common that there are entire lines of products designed to help you live your life with your new, leaky bladder. Pads used to just be for during your period - now you find yourself wearing them most if not all days of the month. Even if your period has stopped due to breastfeeding, birth control, or menopause. Some people even find themselves wearing bulkier “depends” style disposable underpants to cope - coincidentally, there’s now a line of “fashionable” briefs designed just for this purpose. If these two options aren’t your style, Poise even makes “bladder supports” - but they are worn in the vagina like a giant tampon and they more compress the urethra (the tube leading from the bladder to the outside of the body) - like pinching a straw - rather than support the bladder. What do all of these products have in common? They help make life *with* a leaky bladder easier - but you still have a leaky bladder.
This is where we’d like to point out an important distinction before further discussing this topic and its effects and solutions. Common does not mean normal. For example: It is common to have back pain during pregnancy. But it’s not normal. It’s generally an indication that there is an underlying structural dysfunction at play. Round ligament pain is common during pregnancy. It’s not normal. Again, it’s generally an indication that there is an underlying structural dysfunction at play. So just because most, if not all, of the moms that you know have some degree of bladder leakage does not mean that it’s normal, permanent, or something you have to keep planning your life around Our next post: Why Kegels don’t Fix Incontinence, will delve into the anatomy of the problem and its solutions.