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Bladder Control after having a baby

Women who have one baby are nearly three times more likely to leak urine and wet themselves than women who have not had a baby.

Why? - when the baby moved down through the birth canal (the vagina), the canal was stretched. The nerves and muscles that keep the bladder shut (called the pelvic floor muscles) were also stretched.

This can leave the muscles weak so that they are not able to keep the bladder from leaking. This leaking happens mostly when you cough, sneeze, lift or exercise.

This leaking is not likely to go away unless you guard against further damage and exercise your pelvic floor muscles to help them to get their strength back. As you get older, your pelvic floor muscles will tend to get weaker.

If you don't get the muscle strength back after each baby you have, you are likely to start wetting yourself. Following the menopause, there is a higher risk that you will wet yourself.

Information for this article was obtained from New Zealand Continence Association.

For further information and support contact the BLADDER HELPLINE 0800 650 659 or vist their website www.continence.org.nz  (follow the link on this website).

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