After having a baby I sometimes leak a little when I’m exercising or if I sneeze. Will this fix itself on its own over time or is it something physio can help?

Q22:

Urine leakage affects over 35% of women after having their first baby.  A number of factors contribute to leaking.  The growing weight of the fetus and uterus stretch and weaken the pelvic floor.  During the pushing stage of labour further stretching and possible tearing  increase the risk of leaking postpartum.  

Incontinence is so common that many women believe leakage is normal after having kids and you just have to put up with it.  This is a myth!  Leaking urine is common, but not normal. It's a sign that your pelvic floor muscles aren't working effectively. 

Urine loss when running, playing soccer or with any exercise is one of the main reasons women give up these previously-loved activities.  This is a serious problem as exercise is so important for women's physical and mental health.  Urine leakage won't go away by itself.  Pelvic floor physiotherapy is the recommended frontline treatment for incontinence.

I really encourage you to see a pelvic floor physio at one of our clinics.  The physio will do a detailed assessment your pelvic floor muscles and teach you exercises tailored to the needs of your pelvic floor.  She'll make sure you know how to use your muscles correctly and effectively.  Your pelvic floor will get stronger, faster, and have better endurance and coordination. Your physio will teach you how to use these muscles to prevent leaking in all situations.

Besides retraining your pelvic floor muscles, your pelvic floor physio can also assess and treat other pelvic problems related to pregnancy and childbirth: diastasis (separation) of the rectus muscles, weakness in the deep abdominals, pain with sexual activity, pelvic organ prolapse (heaviness in the vagina) and pelvic joint problems. Your physio can also advise you  about returning to the physical activities you love.  


You don't have to live with urine leakage or any of the other pelvic problems related to pregnancy and childbirth.  Please seek treatment right away.  You'll be so glad you did!

Penny Wilson