Incontinence after pregnancy and childbirth

Incontinence is a common postpartum ailment. A large number of women suffer from this during pregnancy and after childbirth. Incontinence does not have to come on immediately after delivery; in some cases, you may not notice it until years later. It is thought that 60-80 percent of incontinence symptoms are caused by pregnancy and childbirth.

What causes incontinence?

Your pelvic floor muscles and connective tissue have become a lot weaker with pregnancy. Because of the hormone relaxin, the muscles around your vagina become a lot weaker; this ultimately makes it easier for a baby to come out during birth. Because of this, the pelvic floor muscles provide less support, and your urethral closure mechanism may not work as well. So, your bladder does not close properly and you may lose urine.

For example, movements like jumping (on a trampoline), running, sneezing, and laughing can suddenly become very annoying. Because you know there’s a chance you’ll lose urine. For some women, incontinence is a restriction on their social life, they may feel ashamed of it.

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Never be fooled into thinking that incontinence is “part of the deal” and don’t let it affect your (social) life. Incontinence of all sizes can in fact be remedied by training your pelvic floor muscles with the BTY Kegel exercises. With these exercises, again, you make sure you learn to tighten and relax your pelvic floor muscles. This allows your muscles to provide the support your bladder needs and will prevent future urine leakage.

(Komische) ervaringen met incontinentie:

“I was super motivated to start exercising again after my pregnancy. But I waited 12 weeks. My wonderful midwife and I always consulted with each other. In the beginning, I really only did postnatal exercises that she showed me beforehand.

None of that helped. Sometimes I don’t even have to sneeze and I can already put on clean underwear again. In fact, sneezing has become a running joke between me and my partner – especially in public. It’s gotten a lot better, but I can’t control it. Lotta likes to watch the washing machine anyway. So I happily still make the child happy with spinning underpants.

I take it with humor. If that’s the consequence for my sweet baby … OK!”


“The very first time I went out for dinner with a friend again, which I found terrifying because for the first time I left my little one without me, I tried to relax as much as possible. This worked out well after a glass of wine, which went down well because I hadn’t had any for so long. After a good meal, I became more and more relaxed and had an old-fashioned laugh with my friend. Which unfortunately ended in wet pants up to my ankles, even though I didn’t realize I had to pee. Fortunately, my friend and I could laugh terribly about this as well and she then also quickly brought me home.”

Do you suffer from incontinence after pregnancy and childbirth? Then take a look at the Back To You book or app. It contains useful tips to help your pelvic floor recover.

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