Healthy Bladder and Bowel

Having a healthy bladder and bowel can help you avoid Pelvic Floor Disfunction (PFD).  

Eating & Drinking

Drink 6-8 glasses of fluid daily, preferably water. You can also have other drinks such as milk, herbal (caffeine-free) teas, and diluted squash. This helps you to stay hydrated. If you don’t drink enough, your poo can become hard and difficult to pass.

During pregnancy, it is recommended to avoid caffeine (including tea, coffee, and cola) because it can increase your blood pressure and heart rate, and increase the urgency and frequency that you will need to wee. This can lead to you becoming dehydrated.

A balanced nutritional diet will also help your poo be soft and formed.

Weeing

When using the toilet, sit down to wee, don’t hover! Sit in a relaxed position and lean forward with your feet apart. This will help your bladder to empty fully. Remember to give your bladder time to empty. When you have a newborn baby or small children you may often hurry off the toilet before you have completely finished. This can lead to you needing to go back again or leaking after.

Cut out ‘just in case wees’. During pregnancy, you may feel you are going very often to the toilet due to the pressure of your growing baby. Over the weeks and months following the birth of your baby, teach your bladder to hold again and aim to go every 2-3 hours. Try to avoid going just because you are going out the door! This can cause bad habits.

Check your urine. If it is dark, cloudy, smelly, or blood-stained, tell your midwife or GP. During pregnancy you are more likely to get urinary infections and a health professional can check this for you and also rule out other causes.

Pooing

Use a footstool to poo. Placing a stool or toddler step under your feet can ensure you are in a more relaxed squat position. This will help pass your poo more comfortably.

Listen to your bowel. It is important to make time to poo when your body tells you it needs to go. If you miss the ‘call for stool’ it can then be harder to open your bowels.

Don’t strain, this can weaken the pelvic floor muscles further. If you are finding your poo is too hard and difficult to pass, discuss treatment options with your health professional.

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