During pregnancy bathroom trips can become a challenging interruption to an already busy day. Who would have thought that you’d replace the hassle of running to the bathroom during menstruation with that of a weakening bladder? Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce your extra urges and improve your bladder control, starting today.
Why the Extra Trips?
There are a myriad of reasons why your bladder may act differently during pregnancy. Know that it’s normal to experience periods of heightened frequency of urination. Throughout your pregnancy your body contains more fluid and your kidneys work overtime to flush waste out of your body. In the first weeks of pregnancy you may feel the need to go more often due to a natural hormonal change. By the third trimester, added weight and a shift in the baby’s position also increase pressure on your bladder. This may result in the need to urinate more often and even cause a little urine to leak out, especially if your pelvic muscles are weak.
Boost Your Bladder
When bathroom breaks become excessive, there are a number of easy changes that may improve your situation. When you go to the bathroom, try to completely empty your bladder—some women suggest that leaning forward a little helps. Drink water regularly during the day, but cut back on fluids right before bed. Another important step is to pay more attention to what’s in your cup.
In addition to when you drink or how much you drink, it may be what you drink that’s causing the problem.
6 Drinks that May be to Blame for Your Bathroom Break:
1. Coffee & Tea: Caffeinated drinks have a diuretic effect that makes you urinate more (even decaffeinated coffee and tea contain some caffeine).
2. Highly Acidic Fruit Juices: Including all of the citrus fruits, tomato juice, pineapple juice and more, these drinks contain high amounts of citric acid that can irritate your bladder.
3. Carbonated Beverages: Carbonated drinks such as club soda and cola can aggravate your bladder in a way similar to acidity, even if they don’t have caffeine.
4. Artificially Sweetened Drinks: Next time you reach for a soda or juice, check the label before drinking. Research has shown that fake sugars commonly found in super-sweet drinks can cause you to use the bathroom more frequently during the day and night.
5. Alcohol: Of course you shouldn’t be drinking this anyway, but in addition to the major risks, alcohol has also been shown to act as a bladder stimulant.
6. Extra Sugary Drinks: Sugary drinks, including honey, corn syrup and fructose can aggravate your bladder and cause the need to go to the bathroom.
They key to discovering what’s right for your body is to simply pay attention to how different drinks and foods affect you. Adopting healthy intimate habits can also have a huge impact on daily health—before, during and after pregnancy. Remain watchful for signs of infections, wipe from front to back, wear clothing that breathes and only wash with products specially designed for intimate use. All of these things will help you to stay fresh and healthy every day.
Finally, as your baby and your belly get bigger, more pressure is exerted on the bladder and your pelvic floor. The pelvic floor muscles are responsible to keeping you in control of your bodily functions and when weakened it can lead to bladder leaks. You can strengthen your pelvic floor with simple contract and release exercises called Kegels. Find out more about these exercises and how to prevent pregnancy incontinence before it happens.
Please note that advice offered by Intimina may not be relevant to your individual case. For specific concerns regarding your health, always consult your physician or other licensed medical practitioners.
A collective group of “lady experts” at Intimina who love sharing our personal experiences, even when they are a little too personal. We believe it’s time to start breaking down the taboos around menstruation, motherhood, and menopause, and start owning our female health.