As parents, we are constantly guiding our children in many ways. But what often doesn’t get discussed is the importance of pelvic floor health. It’s no surprise, out of sight, out of mind. The problem is, one in three women post childbirth experience bladder leaks. And this can end up costing a fortune. Not to mention the embarrassment that comes with it.
For many of us, there are three common habits we start in our younger years that can create a disobedient bladder. If we took a moment to teach our girls a few key things, it could help them prevent bladder leaks in the future.
You see, your body does what your brain tells it to. Your bladder, being a muscle, is no different. Sometimes we give our bladder ill-advised direction, and this creates a habit. Habits are not that easy to break. Hence, it’s good to avoid troublesome habits in the first place.
Firstly, peeing in the shower. Regular peeing in the shower sends signals to our brain that it's safe to go pee at that time. Our bladder quickly become attune to that habit. This then links the sound of running water to going pee. Resulting in the urge to go pee when you hear running water. Which is not always helpful, so good to avoid.
Do you ever get the urge to go pee when filling up the kettle or turning on the water to do the dishes? If yes, think about why your brain has this association.
Secondly, be mindful about teaching your daughters to go pee ‘just-in-case’. Because this weakens your pelvic floor muscles and tells your brain that you need to pee when your bladder is often only partially full.
It's helpful to pee at certain times, like before bed, exercise, or a long drive. But it’s not helpful when it’s too frequent and your bladder is only moderately full. Not only does this create a trigger in your brain that tells you to go pee when your bladder is only ~60% full, it also weakens your pelvic floor muscles because you are not actually using them. It’s like they can sit back and relax.
Muscles are naughty like that. If you don’t use them, they will take advantage and become lazy.
It’s also important to teach our daughters (and ourselves) not to strain while going number 2’s. As this can overstretch and strain your pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to, or make, bladder leaks worse. Keeping poo movements regular, and without straining, is the ultimate goal.
Lastly, hormones – they are the root of all evil! Just kidding. However, hormones do have a lot of power and among other things, can affect the muscle strength in your pelvic area. That's why bladder leaks are more common in women who are pregnant, giving birth, or going through menopause.
Raising awareness about how hormones and certain activities will affect your pelvic floor muscles, can never be a bad thing. Start today!
Should you, or anyone you know, be experiencing bladder leaks, then it’s probably time to start strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. And while you’re working on it, try some Vivo Bodywear leak proof washable underwear! Hands down - the best bladder control underwear you will find!