Incontinence is a common problem during and after pregnancy. Pregnant women are sometimes unable to prevent a sudden spurt of urine or a small leak when they cough, laugh, sneeze, move suddenly or just get up from a sitting position.
This may be temporary, because the pelvic floor muscles (the muscles around the bladder) relax slightly to prepare for the baby’s delivery.
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Watch this video on how to strengthen your pelvic floor:
When to get help
In many cases, incontinence is curable. If you have a problem, talk to your midwife, doctor or health visitor.
Peeing a lot in pregnancy
Needing to pee a lot often starts in early pregnancy and sometimes continues until the baby is born. In later pregnancy, it’s caused by the baby’s head pressing on your bladder.
How to reduce the need to pee
If you find you need to get up in the night to pee, try cutting out drinks in the late evening. However, make sure you drink plenty of non-alcoholic, caffeine-free drinks during the day.
Later in pregnancy, some women find it helps to rock backwards and forwards while they’re on the toilet. This lessens the pressure of the womb on the bladder so you can empty it properly.
When to get help
If you have any pain while urinating or you pass any blood in your urine, you may have a urine infection which will need treatment.
Drink plenty of water to dilute your urine and reduce pain. You should contact your GP within 24 hours of noticing these symptoms. Read more about symptoms and treatment of urinary infections.
Don’t take any medicines without asking your midwife, doctor or a pharmacist whether they’re safe in pregnancy.