When you were pregnant you probably got lots of tips and recommendations from experienced moms around you, but did any of them let you know that you might pee when you laugh or cough? If you didn’t know it could happen, you’re not alone. Stress urinary incontinence isn’t a hot topic of conversation and it’s not even really discussed at the doctor’s office, so that first surprise leak is how a lot of women find out about this somewhat hushed effect of childbirth.
The good news is that there’s been a surge of awareness about pelvic-floor issues, however it’s still unlikely that your doctor will ask you about your pelvic floor during your next visit. As uncomfortable as it might be to bring the topic up, it’s an important conversation to have because healthcare providers can help you on the road to recovery. That’s even more good news – it’s recoverable!
Some physiotherapists specialize in pelvic floor health and can help women understand the system of muscles supporting and controlling the pelvic floor. They can also provide strengthening exercises and make sure that you’re doing exercises (such as kegels) correctly.
Some countries, such as France, have post-partum recovery plans that include pelvic floor physiotherapy. Unfortunately Canada doesn’t offer such services, so individual new moms need to take it upon themselves to seek the health care support they need and deserve. If you’re one of those new moms, do yourself a favour and start talking about your leaks with healthcare professionals. And do those other expectant and new moms a favour and talk about your experience so they know they’re not alone.