One in Three Women Who Have a Baby Wet Themselves
It is probably not that much of a surprise that every woman who has ever had a baby should do pelvic floor exercises. Yet there is little focus on pelvic floor exercises as part of your recovery post birth.
Women who have just one baby are nearly three times more likely to leak urine and wet themselves, than women who have not had a baby. The more babies you have, the more chance you will leak urine and wet yourself. Yet why do we have a programme of telling women to do pelvic floor exercises but we don’t ensure that they do it correctly and in line with the NICE Guidelines (3 month organised pelvic floor physiotherapy).
Giving birth stretches the nerves and pelvic floor muscles. These muscles can then sometimes be left weak and cannot keep all the urine in the bladder. The bladder then leaks. Stress incontinence happens mostly when you cough, sneeze, lift or do exercise. You may feel a strong urge to empty or go to the toilet frequently caused by overactive bladder. The best way to cure incontinence is with organised pelvic floor physiotherapy.
Urinary leaking will not go away by itself if you just ignore it. It will not heal itself. By exercising your pelvic floor muscles to help get the strength back the leak is more likely to stop. The exercises must be done after each baby. Probably at a time when you least feel like it but it is the best time to tone and look after you.
What happens in France?
France offers what they call “perineal rehab” as part of their standard of postpartum care. Every person who births a baby in France is offered this, and in some cases the therapist comes to your home to get you started. Any woman gets a prescription for 10 free physical therapy sessions to “re-educate” her pelvic floor.
If 10 sessions aren’t enough to fully rehabilitate a woman’s pelvic floor, she is sent back to her gynaecologist to write another prescription and the sessions continue. Once the therapy is done to the satisfaction of the therapist, she starts 10 sessions of abdominal muscle rehabilitation to fix diastatis recti (the separation of the abdominal muscles) and regain core strength. This tummy work is also fully covered by the French healthcare system.
If the NHS want to save costs then this is a good system to adopt. It will save thousands of women undergoing unnecessary surgery for incontinence.
If you have been affected by incontinence and not offered the recommended pelvic Floor Physiotherapy then contact Dr Victoria Handley today on 0800 470 2009 or email email@example.com