Baby Steps: Urinary Incontinence after childbirth - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Baby Steps: Urinary Incontinence after childbirth

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by Pam Warnke

WESTON (WAOW) -- While most Mothers are happy to discuss what's new and first in their babies lives, something you probably won't hear them talk much about is urinary incontinence.

For many, the stigma attached with the condition is something they'd rather keep quiet.

"It is a common problem for women," says Christine Block a physical therapist with Marshfield Clinic.

But it's not something they have live with, although keeping quiet often puts them in that situation.

Block says, "They need to talk to their OBGYN or talk to their doctor about that because there's conservative treatments such as phyical therapy."

As a physical therapist, Block treats patients suffering from U.I.  She's also a new Mom.

She suggests you see your doctor who can help prescribe treatment for the problem, often times leading patients to physical therapy.

Block says, "We go through an evaluation and we look at their pelvic floor muscle strength.  We also look at the spine and their pelvis to see how things are moving because all of that can be affected by pregnancy as the ligments loosen up and stretch for the baby."

Those loosened ligaments can lead to the inability to hold urine in the bladder following childbirth.

Strengthening the muscles with isolated exercise can help.

She says, "A lot of people will use their butt muscles or their leg muscles instead of using the pelvic floor muscles, and if you're doing a kegel exercise correctly, you should be able to stop your urine flow when you go to the bathroom and that's a good test of being able to do them properly."

If this conservative option doesn't work, there are other options.

Talk with your doctor to find out how to get back into a life with out urinary incontinence.

"Women don't have to live with that, and I think that's the most important thing people need to know," says Block.

Online Reporter: Pam Warnke

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