Get ready for little "oops" moments that are one of the least glamorous aspects of pregnancy: a slight loss of bladder control. You may experience occasional urine leaks, usually when you're sneezing or laughing, or find there's a steady drip that you can't turn off.
What causes urine leaks in pregnancy? The bladder is basically a balloon that stores urine. When you urinate, your bladder muscles tighten to squeeze out the urine -- and then to shut off the flow. The added weight and pressure of your uterus on the bladder can weaken your muscles so that some urine leaks out. The best way to prevent this, both before and after pregnancy, is to do Kegel exercises to keep your bladder muscles strong. If this doesn't help, and you're leaking enough to soak through your underwear, talk to your provider to be sure it is just urine and not amniotic fluid. The problem should resolve itself after your baby is born. If it doesn't, don't despair. Your provider has many ways to resolve this.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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