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Weak bladder? Here are 5 reasons why and how you can fix them

You can strengthen a weak bladder.

It’s sort of a mom joke that we’re all in on. Jumping on the trampoline sometimes doesn’t jive for a woman who has been through childbirth. It’s like a grown up girl code. We understand it, but we don’t often talk about it.

Lindsey Newman, postpartum exercise specialist, shared five reasons for a weak bladder, and how they can be fixed.


1. Core strength

You may think your core is all well and good, but it may be lacking strength to maintain pressure inside your body correctly.

“We’re like a soda can that’s kind of crumpled and crushed. That’s kind of what happens to your posture and your muscles and how you hold yourself after you’ve had a baby,” Lindsey explained. “We have to put things back together so that the pressure can be maintained really well.”

The way to fix this is training.

“Your core is a huge piece of keeping you stacked really nice and neat,” Lindsey said. Training that core not only strengthens it, but helps you reset your alignment.

2. Alignment

Posture changes during pregnancy, and it’s our job to train it back. Pregnant posture lingers postpartum, and it’s a huge reason why you might have a weak bladder.

“We want to put intention here, not just practice sitting up straight,” Lindsey said. “With my clients, I’m training their core, their glutes, their big anchor muscles to really put their bones back where we want them to be.”

Over time, your body will learn with that practice and training.

3. Glutes

Your glutes need to be strong to keep smaller muscles out of the big action. Many moms complain that their backside became flatter after pregnancy. There’s a reason for that, but your glutes help keep you aligned. They make for a healthy pelvic floor. If we don’t have them, they should be a big focus.

“When that alignment changes, your big glutes, aren’t really in line to do their job as well as we want them to. So we have to train you back to where you came from,” Lindsey explained.

4. Reverse breathing pattern

Pregnancy will mess up your breathing system – your ribcage, your mobility, your pressure management. When you inhale your lungs pull pressure in and down. When you exhale, that pressure should come back up and out. But when we are pregnant, we get stuck breathing backwards.

“Think of bike pumps where you’re pumping up a tire. You’re taking all that air and you’re pressing it down and it moves through the funnel. When we get caught in a reverse breathing pattern, that is what’s happening,” Lindsey explained. “We are sending air down and it’s pressing on the bladder.”

If this isn’t fixed, it’s going to be hard to stop your leaking no matter how much fitness you do.

“We retrain this breathing pattern by getting your ribcage more mobile, putting things back in line, and creating that strength so that you’re breathing correctly, and sending that pressure away from your pelvic floor,” Lindsey said.

5. Tension

Maybe your weak bladder isn’t because you’re too loose down there, maybe you’re too tight! Too much tension in the pelvic floor, glutes, or smaller muscles can be a sneaky thing.

“If you’re missing a lot of core strength, you’ll find you’re really tight in your neck, shoulders, and back. You might have all sorts of pain, and that compensation is going to cause a lot of problems and tension at the pelvic floor,” Lindsey explained.

Looking at the big picture and tackling the root cause, not just the symptom is how you can train your body and resolve these issues.

Lindsey Newman, CPT, is a postpartum corrective exercise specialist and functional nutritionist. Find more of her advice on Instagram, @lindscnewman.

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