Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Coping with Postpartum Bladder and Bowel Incontinence: Causes and Management

Coping with Postpartum Bladder and Bowel Incontinence: Causes and Management

The postpartum period is a time of great joy and adjustment for new mothers, but it can also bring physical challenges, including bladder and bowel incontinence. Postpartum incontinence is a common issue that can occur due to various factors related to pregnancy and childbirth. In this blog, we'll explore the causes of postpartum bladder and bowel incontinence and provide management strategies to help new mothers regain control and confidence.

Causes of Postpartum Bladder and Bowel Incontinence

  1. Childbirth Trauma: The physical trauma of childbirth, particularly vaginal delivery, can stretch and weaken the pelvic floor muscles and damage nerves that control bladder and bowel function.

  2. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal fluctuations during and after pregnancy can affect the elasticity of the pelvic floor muscles and the overall health of the urinary and digestive systems.

  3. Pressure on Pelvic Organs: The weight of the growing baby during pregnancy can place increased pressure on the pelvic organs, leading to stretching and weakening of the pelvic floor.

  4. Episiotomy or Tears: Surgical incisions (episiotomy) or tears during childbirth can contribute to pelvic floor muscle weakness and incontinence.

  5. Constipation: Postpartum constipation, which is common due to hormonal changes and pain medications, can strain the pelvic floor and worsen incontinence.

  6. Large Baby or Multiple Babies: Having a large baby or giving birth to multiple babies can increase the risk of pelvic floor damage.

Management Strategies for Postpartum Incontinence

  1. Pelvic Floor Exercises (Kegels): Pelvic floor muscle exercises, known as Kegels, are an effective way to strengthen the muscles that control bladder and bowel function. Your healthcare provider or a pelvic floor physical therapist can provide guidance on proper technique.

  2. Physical Therapy: Consider consulting a pelvic floor physical therapist who specializes in postpartum care. They can assess your pelvic floor and create a personalized exercise plan.

  3. Bladder Training: Bladder training involves gradually increasing the time between bathroom trips to help regain bladder control. A healthcare provider can provide guidance on this technique.

  4. Dietary Adjustments: Maintaining a high-fiber diet and staying well-hydrated can prevent constipation, reducing the strain on the pelvic floor.

  5. Scheduled Bathroom Breaks: Establishing a regular bathroom schedule can help reduce the risk of accidents by ensuring that you empty your bladder and bowels at predictable times.

  6. Behavioral Strategies: Techniques such as double voiding (emptying your bladder twice) and avoiding caffeine and alcohol can help manage bladder incontinence.

  7. Medications: In some cases, healthcare providers may prescribe medications to help manage incontinence symptoms.

  8. Pessaries: A pessary is a medical device that can be inserted into the vagina to support the pelvic organs and alleviate incontinence symptoms.

  9. Biofeedback: Biofeedback therapy uses sensors to provide feedback on pelvic floor muscle contractions, helping you learn to control these muscles effectively.

  10. Surgical Options: In severe cases of incontinence that do not respond to conservative treatments, surgical interventions such as sling procedures or colostomy may be considered.

  11. Continence Products: Consider using absorbent products like pads or adult diapers to manage accidents and increase comfort and confidence.

  12. Emotional Support: Coping with incontinence can be emotionally challenging. Seek support from healthcare providers, support groups, or a mental health professional if needed.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you experience severe or worsening incontinence symptoms, persistent pain, blood in your urine or stool, or signs of infection, it's essential to seek prompt medical attention. These could be indicative of underlying issues that require medical evaluation and treatment.


Coping with postpartum bladder and bowel incontinence can be challenging, but with the right management strategies and support, many women experience improvement in their symptoms over time. It's important to be proactive about seeking help and addressing incontinence issues to regain control and confidence in your daily life. Remember that you are not alone in facing this challenge, and there are resources and healthcare professionals available to provide guidance and support during your postpartum journey.

Read more

Understanding the Role of Postpartum Doula Care

The postpartum period, often referred to as the "fourth trimester," is a time of significant transition and adjustment for new parents. While the focus often centers on the well-being of the baby, ...

Read more

Understanding the Benefits of Postpartum Support from Other Mothers

The postpartum period, often referred to as the "fourth trimester," is a time of significant adjustment, both physically and emotionally, for new mothers. While the focus is naturally on the well-b...

Read more