Heather Jeffcoat, DPT
Postpartum Stress Urinary Incontinence Affects Many
Motherhood ushers in a lot of changes, both emotionally and physically, for those who take on the role. While it can lead to a new sense of purpose and feelings of unconditional love, it can simultaneously lead to worry, physical exhaustion, and, in the case of multi-hyphenate talent Whitney Port: bladder leakage.
When I started working out after having [my son] Sonny, I experienced bladder leakage trying to do jumping jacks or any kind of cardio," Port tells mbg.
While postpartum stress urinary incontinence may not be one of the joys of having children, it is an incredibly common side effect—both from vaginal and cesarean deliveries.
How does pregnancy affect the pelvic floor?
Although pelvic floor muscles stretch over 300% during vaginal delivery, being pregnant increases your risk of pelvic floor dysfunction regardless of how you deliver," physical therapist Heather Jeffcoat, DPT, explains.
The pregnancy itself causes postural and hormonal changes that increase the risk of bladder leaks."
Exercise, laughter, coughing, sneezing, bending, lifting, etc., can trigger these leaks—making them essentially unavoidable postpartum. As many as four in 10 women experience urinary incontinence after giving birth, and many of them (including Port) don't expect to.
I didn't really think much about my pelvic floor before becoming a mom," she tells mbg.
I think the terminology starts sparking when you get pregnant and you're about to have the baby."
After learning of its importance, Port began taking prenatal Pilates classes, focused on the core and the pelvic floor. And of course, following the birth, those exercises became even more top-of-mind.
To learn more about postpartum stress urinary incontinence continue to the full article here.