Has anyone else experienced postpartum stress incontinence and will it get better? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 03-16-2011, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi mommas-

I've been experiencing stress incontinence (leaking urine with sneezing, coughing,etc) since giving birth to my little one. I've been trying to do kegels (but suppose i should get very religious about it). Has anyone else experienced this and does it get better with time? I'm 6 mo postpartum now. I want to have more children but am worried that this will get worse and I'll need surgical intervention which is scary. 

Thanks :) 


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#2 of 4 Old 03-23-2011, 06:32 AM
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I had this for the first few months after my first baby was born, but it did go away eventually.  It's an embarassing problem though, even though it was just a little trickle at a time. I hated the feeling of not knowing when I would need to change my clothes during the day, and wondering if anyone else noticed. :(


I didn't have any stress incontinence at all with my second baby.  My personal theory is the 3 hour pushing stage I had with dd - thankfully I didn't find pushing painful at all, but I did have a great amount of pressure from the baby's head pressing on my perineum for an extended time.  I think that is what caused the more long-term muscle weakness down there.  I had a very short pushing stage with my second baby, and had no post-partum problems.


I don't know how severe a problem needs to be before a doctor would consider surgical intervention.  You may need to make an appointment with a doctor to discuss your options if this really isn't resolving.

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#3 of 4 Old 03-23-2011, 08:10 AM
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I had this while pregnant with #1 and for a few months after. It did clear up, but now I have it again with #2. I suspect it will clear up after this one as well. It just seems to be something I do. And I have very strong kegels per the midwife. :)


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#4 of 4 Old 03-23-2011, 01:49 PM
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I had some prolapse.  Not quite the same, but similar origin to the problem. My suggestions are:

1.  Get a referral for a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction (yes, they exist)

2.  Do what she says.  Every day.  Consistently.  Focus on technique, not on how many of the exercise you can do.


Give it 3-6 months and you'll be completely better I bet.  It's not just kegels.  And you've read, I'm sure, that "most people do kegels wrong".  This is in fact true.  The point of kegels is to *isolate* the muscle.  Most people (myself included, initially) will naturally try to recruit other large muscle groups (abs, butt, etc) and/or hold their breath while doing them, which can be counterproductive.  Your PT can help you with this, plus can help you correct any other lingering postpartum issues (such as split abdominal muscles, which can actually contribute to incontinence, lower back weakness, etc).  IMHO, these folks are worth their weight in gold and a visit to a PT should be a standard part of postpartum care.

Mom to James (ribboncesarean.gif 5/2006), Claire (vbac.gif 6/2008), furry kitties Calvin and Bob, and wife to Dennis. 

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