The Rise of Urinary Incontinence for New Mums
A large number of new mums are staying silent about incontinence after childbirth because they are too embarrassed to seek help, a survey has revealed.
Midwives and physiotherapists say the NHS should do more to advise women about the best way to avoid urinary incontinence and make it easier to get treatment.
The online parenting forum Netmums for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) conducted a poll and found that:
- One in 2 respondents had never spoken to anyone about their incontinence
- Three quarters of new mums say they have never sought help from a health professional about their condition
- Six out of 10 women say they consider incontinence a 'taboo' subject
- 56% of women say they fell "embarrassed" they have the condition
- Around 16% admit they feel ashamed about their urinary incontinence
The CSP and the RCM are launching a joint initiative to ensure women are made more aware of the importance of pelvic health to prevent incontinence and are proactively taught how to excercsie and maintain their pelvic floor muscles during and after pregnancy.Many women are now suffering in silence for years following childbirth. Both organisations are encouraging GPs, nurses and health visitors to proactively promote advice on continence and to make quick referrals for those experiencing leakage. Ruth Ten Hove, professional adviser at the CSP said in a statement: "Continence issues can take a terrible toll on people’s lives, as this survey shows. "Understandably, people find it a difficult subject to discuss and don’t seek help, which can cause the problem to worsen. But it doesn’t need to be this way – physiotherapists are experts in treating the condition and can make a big difference. "We want the NHS to make it easier to access these services, but we are also working with midwives to help more women avoid developing the problems in the first place." Jacque Gerrard, RCM director for England, adds in a statement: "For women with incontinence their whole day is planned around being able to stay close to a toilet and without help these problems will only continue to get worse. "During pregnancy women are generally more receptive to health messages so this is an ideal time when midwives can be proactive in discussing prevention." Here at Incontinence UK we do not want anyone to suffer in silence when it comes to incontinence, nor feel embarrassed. This is why we pride ourselves on providing a professional, discreet and personal service with experienced staff. Please see our full range of incontinence products online.