You might find yourself wondering who needs a diaper more, you or your newborn. Happens to the best of us. Studies indicate that 21 percent of women experience urinary-stress incontinence (leakage when laughing, sneezing, or lifting heavy objects) after they give birth. It's due to weakened perineal muscles, instrument-assisted deliveries, or episiotomy. The condition can persist for several months or longer.
HANDLE IT AT HOME
Kegels are key, and they couldn't be easier to do: "When you urinate, stop and start the stream to gain better control of the muscles that keep the bladder working well," Dr. Gallo explains. You can do these subtle little exercises pretty much anytime and anyplace -- on a park bench, lounging on the couch watching TV, at your in-laws' -- and nobody will be the wiser for it. Aim for Kegeling in sets of ten; work up to ten sets a day. You should also go to the bathroom often so your bladder doesn't get too full. Cross your legs the moment you feel a laugh, cough, or sneeze coming on to prevent leaking.
DIAL YOUR DOC
If the leaking lasts more than six weeks, call the M.D.