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Postpartum Urinary Incontinence

Postpartum Urinary Incontinence

ITR Physical Therapy urinary incontinence

Do you cross your legs tightly when someone starts to tell a joke? Do you wear pads or panty liners to catch little dribbles? Do you get up in the middle of the night to pee? Perhaps you find having a bowel movement is not as easy as it used to be or maybe you find yourself feeling pain down there….

Last week I talked about how, as a postpartum mama, I put myself last.

I’d love to tell you that that was a new habit for me since having my children. But truthfully, putting myself last was a long-time habit that I practiced for the majority of my life. And after working with so many postpartum women… 1, 2, 10 or 18 years after having their children… I know that putting ourselves last is pretty darn common for many postpartum women.

I have heard countless stories of women that just wait and hope that things will eventually get better and go away on their own.

Maybe this is the case for you. Or maybe you briefly mentioned something about constipation or your urinary incontinence, your back pain, or your pelvic pain to your physician at your six-week check-up (and likely only postpartum appointment with your physician) but were told that your new postpartum symptom is normal and will go away on its own in time.

And, yes, sometimes it will.

And often, it won’t.

The thing is, when we don’t take care of symptoms early on, they can get worse over time. I’ve seen it. Hundreds of times. My patients come in telling me they had been dealing with pelvic pain, low desire, incontinence and or constipation usually for years before they find their way to us, and if they were able to get help when the problem originally started their road to recovery would often be much shorter and easier. Not to mention they likely would not have had to live with their symptoms for all of that time before they finally found us.

urinary incontinence Jen Chu

But even if your particular symptom(s) will eventually improve on its own over time, why wait for that to happen over months or even years? Why sit back and live with your symptoms that are now vexing you and potentially affecting your ability to live the full active life you remember having before your baby.

Why should you just suck it up?

Let’s start getting help today.

Right now.

Let’s start by learning a bit about urinary incontinence. Here are a few facts:

More that 25 million people suffer from urinary incontinence or bladder leakage in the US alone. So, if you are one of them, you are most definitely not alone. And you don’t have to be a postpartum woman to be dealing with incontinence. Men, athletes and even teenagers also suffer from bladder leakage.

There are different types of urinary incontinence: Stress Urinary Incontinence is bladder leakage due to increased intra-abdominal pressure. This typically occurs with things like coughing, laughing, bending over and physical activity. Urge Urinary Incontinence is bladder leakage associated with a strong urge to urinate. Mixed Urinary Incontinence is a mixture of both stress and urge UI.

Doing Kegel exercises is not necessarily the best treatment. In fact, depending on the type of incontinence you have, doing your Kegel exercises could actually make your bladder leakage worse.

What you eat or drink (and what you don’t drink) can affect your bladder leakage. Two of the most common bladder irritants are caffeine and alcohol.

Your bowel habits can greatly affect your bladder leakage as well. Constipation typically makes urinary incontinence worse.

If you are one of the 25 million or more people dealing with bladder leakage, I hope you find some of this information helpful.

And remember, people from all walks of life deal with urinary incontinence.

And know that help is right here. You don’t have to live with bladder leakage. Know that our physical therapists help women, men, and children with leakage every single day.

If you have any questions or would like more information on how to get more help, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

In Peace and Kindness,

Jennifer Chu, MS, PT, WCS, Mind-Body Health Coach
Owner, ITR Physical Therapy
Founder, Health Education Your Way

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(703) 772-5097

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