All your internal muscle tissues relax a little bit during pregnancy, including the muscle around your bladder.  This is nature’s way of getting your body prepared for delivery.  Your ligaments and pelvis expand so that baby can pass easier through the birth canal.  The hormone progesterone is responsible for making your smooth muscles that line your bladder and intestines more relaxed.  You also drink a lot more liquid during pregnancy because both you and the baby need them.

By the third trimester, you have a large uterus and baby sitting on your bladder.  You are now drinking more liquids; you have pressure on your bladder, and the bladder is relaxed.  This combination results in unintentional urination, or what we call incontinence.  It may happen when you sneeze or laugh.  The best thing to do is simply wear a pad if you are suffering from incontinence.  If you’re going out somewhere restrict your fluids while you are out of the house.  Avoid caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea and soda pop.  Make yourself urinate on a regular schedule, perhaps every two hours so your bladder is relatively empty.  With these strategies incontinence can almost always be avoided.


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