This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Equate® and Assurance® and Walmart. All opinions are 100% mine.
Okay so this might be the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever typed for anyone to read.
But in the spirit of keepin it real–here goes:
We were about to do it: my family was running early for a wedding. I scampered out of the house and along the wooden walkway that was damp after the morning rain. My smooth shoes not intended for traction slipped out from underneath me, and in a moment I was on my back in disbelief. No, I wasn’t injured, but as I slipped a surge of pee just evacuated itself from my body without my consent. HOW EVEN? I now needed to change my underwear. Add five frantic minutes to our trip. IS THIS MY LIFE NOW? I shake a fist at my husband and two sons who are snickering at my expense: YOU’RE THE ONES WHO CAUSED THIS.
The post-baby body is something to get used to. We all have to learn to love the marks that have made us mommies be they stretch marks, scars, some extra pounds, even the deflated breasts we’re left with after nursing. But then there’s the embarrassing reality of urinary incontinence. Little losses of control that remind us how motherhood is made up of a thousand little losses of control over our lives in general. And yet, the sacrifice is worth it. Bodies that give life are always beautiful. Believe that with me, will you?
Urinary incontinence isn’t exactly something we feel comfortable bringing up among girlfriends over coffee while comparing mom notes. I can’t imagine myself asking anyone, “Do you pee yourself a little when you jump, laugh, or sneeze, too?” No, we want to deal with urinary incontinence discreetly, but it’s difficult when we don’t know exactly how to deal with it. So here is some advice that you get to READ rather than talk about (yay for blogs!)
First of all, it’s relieving to me to know that urinary incontinence is common among moms. My sister-in-law is a dance teacher and tells me that her adult students will flat out refuse to do any jumping if they haven’t come prepared with panty liners! In fact, 30% of women over the age of 30 experience incontinence. (I’m not even 30 and it’s a problem so, in my humble opinion, it has a lot less to do with AGE and a lot more to do with birth experiences.)
So what can you do about it? Kegels. I know you know this. I know your OBGYN or your midwife told you this. But are you really sticking with them? I know I was a kegel rockstar (Did I just say kegel rockstar? Yes, yes I did.) while pregnant with my first baby, but after birth I didn’t stay disciplined about it. I always have great intentions but have the hardest time concentrating long enough to complete a rep. It’s time to tighten up the regime (literally, LOL), though, and make them a part of my daily routine. My midwife told me to do ten kegels per day, holding each one for ten seconds at a time. I do mine before bed. I have a friend who does hers at stoplights. You do you, girlfriend, just do it daily.
Ease up on the bladder irritants. Certain foods and drinks may cause more bladder leakage than usual. Try eliminating any of these things for a week and see if your problem improves: caffeine, alcohol, acidic fruits, tomato-based foods, artificial sweeteners, sugar, carbonated beverages, even–dun dun dun–chocolate (WHHHY?!)
There is physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction (which is where urinary incontinence stems from). I like this no-nonsense article about how incontinence isn’t just a new mom problem we should all accept and that if a problem has persisted for three months or more–physical therapy can help a great deal. And no, it’s not weird. In fact, in France, it’s a routine part of post-partum care.
And finally, a wonderfully discreet way to go about your daily routine confidently is to wear the right stuff. Wear the panty liner that is tailored to your needs. And the best way to figure that out is to become a member of the Options and Assurance Advantage Program. They are a subscription service that delivers the high-quality products you’re used to at a value smart price. Imagine all those products you blush to buy at the store right at your doorstep instead! Become a member of Options and Assurance for free and get great savings, members-only free samples, new product information and much more!
Right now, you can sign up to become a member and enter the Options and Assurance Advantage Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $50 gift card. Sweepstakes ends October 31st and winners will be selected at random.
So now that we’ve had the most thorough talk either of us ever thought we’d ever have on the topic of bladder leakage… (okay, I did all of the talking, but hey you stuck with me until the end! Hat’s off!) let’s go about our lives not embarrassed of the challenges these life-giving bodies of ours face. But instead, let’s be confident and assured that we can deal with this well, and no, this is NOT forever and always how it will be.