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Wet Knickers

Wet Knickers

I bet you had no idea when you had your baby that up to 30% of new mothers (regardless of age) regularly leak or wee themselves!

It's more likely to happen if your baby is large, if you have a long labour or if you have a forceps or ventouse delivery.

Fortunately for you there is a technique that you can practise in the weeks before the birth to help reduce this problem - pelvic floor exercises.
What you have to do is, imagine clenching your muscles as if you are stopping yourself from farting and at the same time stopping weeing in mid-flow.

Right, so now you've just found your pelvic floor muscles. The good news is that you don't have to go down the gym to do your exercises, but the bad news is that you need to do them regularly 4 times a day, for at least 12 weeks before giving birth. And to be honest, you should carry on doing them afterwards too.

For how long, you ask?

Well I know a woman in her 60s who happens to do them whenever she's standing at her sink! She 's done them all her life so why stop now?

You need to learn how to do the exercises properly. So get yourself nice and comfy standing, sitting or lying down with your knees slightly apart.

Now gradually tighten the muscles of your back passage and around your vagina as if you are trying not to go to the loo. Hold the tension, relax, let go and repeat.

It's easy really! Do the exercise this way about 10 times and then challenge yourself by doing it without squeezing your legs together, holding your breath or tightening your buttocks. Yup! Now it's suddenly quite a bit harder. Carry on though until you get the technique right. It'll be well worth it in the end!

Slowly build up to ten repetitions each of slow exercises (tighten and count to 10 before releasing) and fast exercises (tighten and relax quickly), four times a day. It's not as bad as it seems!
Let 's be fair, we 're not too bad at this multi-tasking lark us women, so you could do your exercises while you are on the phone, doing the ironing, sitting at your desk at work or just watching television.

Go for it!

On a less humorous note.....

FACTS.....

Bullet Women are often unaware of the link between childbirth and incontinence and starting exercises early may prevent problems after birth
Bullet Pelvic floor exercises are often poorly taught and ineffectively carried out
Bullet Clinical studies revealed that 25% of women indicated their sex lives were adversely affected by post-natal incontinence

Healthy, well-toned pelvic floor muscles are essential at all stages in a woman 's life. They provide essential support through pregnancy and help during childbirth. Well-toned muscles can also prevent or alleviate prolapse and stress incontinence.

Incontinence is a major drain on the resources of the NHS and makes many other 'serious ' medical conditions pale into insignificance. An estimated 3,000,000 individuals have suffered symptoms 'in the past year '. The cost to the NHS is estimated at over £350,000,000 per year.

Arnold Kegel, the original proponent of Kegel or pelvic floor muscle exercises, identified in 1948 that very few women exercise their pelvic floor effectively and on a regular basis. Among those that do, very many fail to identify and exercise the correct muscles, and this can do more harm than good. Research by the Continence Foundation in 2002 confirmed that this situation still exists despite significant efforts to educate women of the benefits of regular exercise.

20% of women over 40 experience embarrassing leaks, and over half of all women experience stress incontinence at some time in their lives. The majority fail to seek clinical help and those that do will put up with the symptoms for an average of 4 years before consulting a health professional (Gallup, 1994). It is estimated that 20% of sanitary pad sales are used to self treat the symptoms of stress incontinence.

Doctors recommend pelvic floor exercises as the preferred primary treatment for stress incontinence and 70-80% cure/improvement rates are reported.

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