I know what you’re thinking.

Incontinence is just a part of aging.  Incontinence is because of your kids or menopause.

Are you sick and tired of the embarrassment of incontinence?

Picture this.  No more fear and frustration with running and jumping.

No more need to cross your legs when you cough or sneeze.

Saying YES to the things you love to do again.

Let’s dive in.

Which activities increase your leaking and which ones do not?

When does your leaking occur?

  • Is it during running? When you hit the hill?
  • Do you leak when you yell at your kids?
  • Does it happen when you step to the side?
  • Or stand up after going?

This all can change.  We need to re-train your body for the event in which leaking occurs.

Incontinence after birth

Running & Bladder Leaking

You’re going for a run and all of a sudden you feel it.  Take note.  What was happening in your run to cause the leaking?

  • Does it happen just when you reach the hill?
  • Did you think of something that caused you to stress?
  • Did your pelvic floor fatigue and you’re tired?

These are all reasons why you may experiencing leaking.

Your pelvic floor, the muscles that hold up your bladder, are part of a pressure system that runs from your the top of your mouth to your pelvis called your intra-abdominal pressure (IAP).

When one part of this system is compromised, say in childbirth when your pelvic floor may weaken, then the whole system is affected.

But don’t forget….

Women who’ve had a C-section, large tears, abdominal separations and episiotomies have increased pressure inside their body because their pressure system has been cut into.  Therefore, you may need more breath training then a friend who did not have these experiences. ¹

Similar, when you cough in excess, sneeze, run, or jump you increase the pressure and when the muscles are not activating correctly, the pressure moves out of the system; as in leaking.

Incontinence causes:

  • your pelvic floor muscles are weak/long
  • your pelvic floor muscles are short
  • caffeine and your diet may be causing inflammation and constipation
  • you may be in a high-stress response all day long
  • you may have had surgery that has compromised your pelvic floor/bladder area {C-section, episiotomy, or a large tear}
  • your exercise routine may be too intense for you right now
  • you’re overweight and it’s too much pressure downward
  • you have a forward head
  • your upper back is stiff
  • you’ve had a cold and have coughed for days
  • your sleep
  • your posture is poor
  • you are carrying two kids and groceries all at once!

So what’s the secret to stopping incontinence?

Incontinence Care


5 Little Known Facts To Stop Incontinence

#1 Reduce Constipation

The pressure of constipation {and even excessive coughing} weakens the pelvic floor and decreases its ability to hold in urine. Try these tips to reduce constipation.

  • Increase your daily water consumption – up to 8 Glasses/day.  Even if you’re worried about leaking.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages as much as possible (as they can lead to dehydration)
  • Walk 30 minutes a day
  • Use the bathroom at the first urge to eliminate
  • Use the toilet at a consistent time every day
  • Minimizing consumption of constipating foods (like ice cream, meats, cheese, and high-fat foods
  • Increase adequate dietary fiber – 20-35g/day (i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans)
  • Add Flaxseed to your diet: Grind a cup of flaxseed and store in the refrigerator.
  • Take 1 tbs. of ground flaxseed and add to your food daily.

#2 Engage & Stretch Your Pelvic Floor

In a woman’s body, the pelvic floor muscles surround the urethra, vaginal opening, and anus. In addition to keeping the pelvic organs in place and the pelvic bones stable, the pelvic floor muscles are also responsible for:

    • The pleasurable muscle contractions felt in the genitals during orgasm. Orgasms feel bigger and stronger when the pelvic floor muscles are strong.
    • Comfortable vaginal penetration. The flexibility of the pelvic floor muscles is important for comfortable penetration.
    • Keeping urine inside the bladder at moments of unexpected belly pressure (laughing, coughing, lifting, sneezing, jumping).
    • Keeping stool inside the rectum until you consciously relax your pelvic floor to allow it to pass.

#3 Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is a deeper breath with increased coastal expansion and it allows the abdominals to relax.  Think of breathing side by side like a bellow.  It regulates the pressure in the abdominal cavity and releases tension and tightness in the pelvic floor. 

Women say they feel tense or tight in their core and pelvic floor when they have incontinence. The diaphragmatic breathing releases this tension.

To do:

    1. Begin by sitting on a hard chair or bench and pull your “flesh away” so you feel your sitz bones.  If you are on the floor sit high on blocks or a firm cushion.
    2. Inhale-Envision the diaphragm moving downward, the abdomen contents are displaced outwards and the pelvic floor bulges slightly.
    3. Practice 3 ways: put both hands on your ribs and breathe into your hands 3-4x, place hands on your belly and allow it to push into your hands 3-4x, and last place hands on your collarbone and feel your breathe rise above your heart.

#4 Reduce Your Stress

As your bladder fills up it sends nerve messages to the brain to tell it when to empty your bladder.  When we “go to the bathroom, just in case”, we are actually decreasing the size of urine our bladder can hold therefore making the problem worse.  By relaxing your nervous system, you can change the response your brain triggers when your bladder is full.

Reducing stress is a multi-dimensional healing process.  Some steps you can take today are:

  • Incorporate meditation as often as possible to change your stress response
  • Drink caffeine-free teas
  • Add adaptogens to your diet
  • Exercise daily
  • Journal
  • Read this: 7 Natural Remedies For Everyday Stress

#5 Try Homeopathy

Homeopathy is safe, gentle and affordable and can be used with children and adults alike.  The key to homeopathy is finding the right remedy for your specific symptoms. The theory “like cures like” implies you are seeking the specific remedy for your unique symptoms.   Read about the remedies here.

In Conclusion

It’s easier than you think.  The first step in stopping incontinence is to tap into your breath.  Notice if you’re holding your breath during the day and when incontinence happens.  Breath holding, constipation, and your stress response increase your risk of leaking.  What’s stopping you from trying this?

Let me know in the comments below.


References

¹ Clint, Susan; The Whole Body Connect

² IAP with Functional Activities. Egger, et al. Reproducibility of Intra Abdominal Pressure Measured During Physical Activities Via a Wireless Vaginal Transducer. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg 2015;00: 1

²  Lift and carry conditions; Int Urogynecol J (2015)

Are you suffering from postpartum leaking? In this blog post, I cover why this may be happening and the steps you can take to stop it.
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