Do you know what the “Spritz” is? We’re not talking about a popular Italian cocktail, but about a term showing up more and more on message boards and websites about delivery and childbirth. Actually, it was a TV commercial for Poise that first brought “the spritz” to popular attention. What it refers to, is a problem faced by millions of women after childbirth: light bladder leakage. As if vaginal bleeding after childbirth isn’t bad enough, according to doctors up to 50% of women will also notice a change in urinary control. The problem is most prevalent after vaginal birth and some studies even suggest that urinary leakage after childbirth can contribute to postpartum depression.
Luckily most urinary leakage after childbirth is what doctors call “stress incontinence”. It’s what happens when a little bit of urine involuntarily spurts out when you laugh, cough, sneeze or lift something. More than 50% of women report some stress incontinence during the third trimester and right after childbirth. What causes it, are the weight of the baby combined with birth hormones that weaken the strength of your pelvic muscles before delivery. Stress incontinence can definitely be bothersome, but for most women it resolves itself in the first year after childbirth. For some women, however, the problem is more stubborn: over one in 10 women still report bladder leakage that is “socially bothersome” 5 years after giving birth.
The first and best remedy for the spritz is exercising your pelvic floor muscles by doing so-called Kegel exercises. When you do your Kegels, you flex your pelvic muscles just like you would flex your abs in the gym. While studies show that Kegel exercises definitely work, it takes time and effort to rebuild your pelvic muscles just like it takes time and effort to rebuild your abs in the gym. So be persistent in your exercises and in the meantime prepare yourself to experience the spritz in the first months after your baby is born. The best way to do so, is by stocking up on pads and liners which are available from all major brands.
The next step is to make sure you have the most comfortable and effective way to keep these pads in place and protect your clothing. After all, any absorbent pad is only as good as the panty that keeps it in place. All the more reason to make sure you take enough maternity panties home when you are discharged from the hospital. And if you didn’t – or if your hospital still uses those ugly, uncomfortable “fishnet” style mesh panties - you can now order the most comfortable and reliable fixation panties on the market in a handy 5-pack from Amazon.
To read more about Kegel exercises: https://www.nafc.org/kegel/