ANOTHER BABY?! Here comes #4

We must be f*cking mad!!!!

Did you see our birth announcement (above) 2 weeks ago? We are regular faces at the baby show, and we thought it would be some great fun to announce our 4th pregnancy at our favourite event of the year! After the baby show I decided to take 2 weeks away from the computer and get some much needed family time/ spring cleaning completed!

I’m due on the 23rd of September (but I’m not a fan/believer of dates!) and I’m planning on a home birth. The arrival of Ivy was very fast and we barely made it to the hospital. Even my midwife agreed that a homebirth may well be our best option. My midwife this time round is superb and is such a home-birthing advocate, she had her boys at home and knows just how lovely the experience can be. I wanted a home birth for Ivy, but considering our house hadn’t finished being decorated and she decided to arrive during Willow’s 3rd birthday party, it wouldn’t have been the relaxing birth I had hoped for.

Hospital trips

Last month I spent the best part of 2 weeks in hospital from pain of an ovarian cyst. At first doctor thought I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, then they assumed it was kidney stones but finally a cyst was discovered that had fallen behind my uterus and was putting pressure on other bits and bobs. Annoyingly they don’t think the cyst is pregnancy related as it hasn’t developed from the site my ovary kicked out the egg. Chances are I’ve had the cyst a while, which explains why I’ve had the extreme pain build up since November last year… before I even fell pregnant. Last week I had a scan on the cyst and it’s since halved in size. But… another problem was found. I also have Gallbladder stones. But, I am now feeling much better after some well deserved rest and fresh air.

I’m also planning for the birth to be as hands-off as possible. I don’t feel the need for internal examinations, or continuous monitoring. I want it to be me and my husband, in whatever room takes our fancy with the midwife just on hand if we need her. As it’s going to be the summer, and I have a habit of labouring in the day time, I also quite fancy rocking out the early stages of labour in the garden. Why not!?

I know that I want this birth to be the birth I always wanted. It’s going to be our last baby (I know I said that last time, but it is for definite this time!) so I really would love to get it right this time and enjoy every second.

So, will it be ANOTHER girl or are we destined for a son this time? Say “hi” to Newhouse Baby number 4…

bby4

The common link between pregnancy and incontinence – and how you can avoid it

Being pregnant should be an enjoyable time, during which you prepare for the new addition to your family.

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It is a time of change. Your body will adjust throughout the weeks of pregnancy, preparing itself for the impending delivery.

With these changes come side effects, from morning sickness in the first few weeks, to managing accidental urine leakage with incontinence pads for women.

Common, yet rarely discussed

It is probably fair to say that a large proportion of pregnant women will, at some point in their pregnancy, experience urinary incontinence. This is when urine escapes from your bladder when you least expect it or want it to.

Sneezing, coughing, laughing or even lifting something can cause an involuntary leak. In most cases, this leak is small but still enough to cause undergarments to be changed several times a day. If you are working during pregnancy or attempting to continue with any semblance of normal life, this is clearly inconvenient and more than a little embarrassing.

Ordinary sanitary products are not suited to collecting urine; thus, the best option is to choose specific products such as incontinence pads for women.

Although a common and also expected side effect of being pregnant, incontinence is rarely discussed. It may be ‘normal’, it may even be seen as an accepted part of pregnancy but the need to acknowledge should be made, followed by discussions relating to prevention and management.

Can incontinence in pregnancy be prevented?

It may be possible but you need to consider:

  • The growing baby – the weight of the baby, will exert increasing pressure on the bladder to the point that in late pregnancy, the baby will probably be sat on your bladder. Not only does this cause pressure on the bladder, but it also exerts increasing pressure on the muscles and ligaments that control the on/off ‘tap’ to your bladder.
  • Hormones – your body is surging with hormones right from the second the egg is fertilised. And you need them all. They will ensure the baby grows in the right place as well as preparing your body for the birth. The problem is, these hormones relax muscles and joints which is great for the birth but not such good news when you are trying to control your bladder.

In essence, there is very little you can do about these two contributing factors but there are some steps that you can take to control and manage incontinence during and after pregnancy.

Managing incontinence in pregnancy

The good thing is that incontinence during pregnancy and after the birth tends to be a short-term issue. Many women find that when their body has healed, usually within three to six months, the incontinence is no longer an issue.

However, by working with your body during pregnancy, you can minimise the impact of incontinence and possibly prevent it completely:

  • Be prepared – incontinence is, in most cases, a short-term issue related specifically to pregnancy. Investing in incontinence products for women can help to avoid the messiness and the unpleasant odour too. You will also feel more comfortable and confident.
  • Exercise – we are not suggesting you hit the gym but rather you strengthen pelvic floor muscles in preparation for the increasing weight of pregnancy, as well as the birth. Pelvic floor exercises are clench and release type exercises that do a great job of strengthening these important muscles. Start them before pregnancy, continue throughout and keep going after the birth and beyond to bid stress incontinence goodbye.
  • Diet – you may find that you naturally change your diet during pregnancy. Tastes changes, usually driven by surges in hormones thus, tea and coffee, may leave you feeling nauseous, etc. Caffeinated drinks, tea, coffee and some fruit juices can also irritate the bladder so eliminate them or cut back on your intake.
  • Natural juices – you might think that the glass of orange juice in the morning is doing great things for you and the baby, but the acid may be contributing to incontinence. Spicy foods can also irritate the bladder.
  • Drink more water – it seems counterintuitive that when you are incontinent that you should drink more water. A major contributing factor to some kinds of incontinence is an irritated bladder. Up your intake of water just a little and see if it helps. However, don’t go overboard as this can lead to your bladder being ‘flooded’ and you do nothing but pee.

Incontinence during pregnancy is nothing to be embarrassed about. Take action to manage it or even prevent it to enjoy your pregnancy – and your new baby when they arrive.

 

HARTMANN Direct supply a range of incontinence products, including a range suited for use during and after pregnancy. We understand not only the need for quality products at affordable prices, but information on incontinence too, both managing and preventing it where possible.

 

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