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Tips to Help with Urinary Incontinence After C-Section | Therapy Article World

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Tips to Help with Urinary Incontinence After C-Section

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Posted by: Hana Kim on 03/05/2012
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There is an increase of C-sections in the USA by 20% to 25%.  More and more women are having issues after C-section.  Anything from pain, surgery scar ruptures to difficulty getting back to your flat stomach.   But I'm going to talk about something a little sensitive and embarrassing, urinary Incontinence.  My pregnancy was easy.  Since I was a healthy woman, with no health issues prior and during pregnancy, I had thought that my delivery process would be just as easy.  Unfortunately due to unexpected circumstances, my delivery process ended with C-section.  All the health professionals in the hospital said I would have pain in my surgery site and "under the belt” area, but what I didn’t expect was urinary incontinence.  You hear about women who delivered vaginally suffering with urinary incontinence, but with a C-section, really?  But ladies, there simple things that can be done to help you with this embarrassing issue. 

 

There are a few causes for urinary incontinence after a C-section and pregnancy.  First reason, you carried a baby for 9-months.  That precious baby has sat on your pelvis area.  This is a long time and heavy weight that is pushing and stretching out your pelvis muscles and bladder.  The bladder being a muscle can definitely be stretched while carrying your baby.  Second reason, for your C-section, you would have gotten catheterized.  The tube can temporarily stretch your urethra and also cause mild damaging to the bladder and urethra.   But in most cases, the catheter is not used for long periods; it can cause temporary urinary incontinence.  Not to mentions potential Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Third reason, the local anesthesia used (spinal or epidural) is meant to dull the nerves so that you don’t feel anything during the C-section.  Which is definitely a blessing!  But nerves can take time to fully recover.  Since the bladder is a muscle controlled by your nerves.  It is only normal that your bladder may not function 100% right away.  It may trigger sensations of having to go to the bathroom late or cause mild spasms that cause leakage.  Whatever the reason, urinary incontinence is NOT a fun thing to go through.  There are a lot of other things that you would rather be doing as a new mother than worrying and being embarrassed about whether you will have “an accident”.

 

After your C-section, first thing to start doing is kegel exercises.  This is by gently pulling your belly button in towards your spine and tight.  Then you are going to tighten the muscles that will stop your urination flow.  I find one of the best places to practice this is in the bathroom as you are urinating.  Once you got the basic kegel maneuver, you can apply it to other positions.  Whether you are lying in bed, sitting up, walking, and standing or even during your workouts. 

 

Many say that walking or exercising will help with urinary incontinence and it can. But remember since you had a C-section, it recommended that you don’t perform any abdominal exercises such as sit-ups or aggressive workouts for 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.   This is to let you surgery heal.  Going back to aggressive too soon can cause your stiches to rupture.  Before starting on any workout, it is always best to ask your healthcare professional if you are ready to start exercises.  If you have any concerns on how to start a program or what you are ready to do, you can consult a Physical Therapist.  They will assess your needs and design a program that is appropriate for you.   

 

So ladies, don’t be embarrassed anymore about urinary incontinence and get it taken care of.  Try some of the simple tips from above, but never free that help is around the corner in a physical therapy office!

 

Hana Kim is a physical therapist in Murrieta, California.  She started her interest in Women’s health issues after her personal experience with C-section.  You can contact her at hkim@indefreept.com for further information.  Check out www.indefreept.com for more help.

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