When I was studying for my diploma in aromatherapy, we had a talk from a nurse about pregnancy and how to use essential oils in each trimester. As part of this lecture, she covered a subject which you don’t hear much about: bladder weakness.
I’ve never been pregnant so I didn’t appreciate quite how many women were affected post pregnancy, but also, I had no idea that my own little habit of having a ‘just in case’ wee could possibly cause me a problem in later years. Her advice was never to go just because you think you should, but go only when your body is actually telling you, as you can train your bladder into not working to its full capacity, just as you can train it to work properly by using common sense.
I’m glad I took her advice because years later, long bus and train journeys hold no fear for me and waking up in the night to visit the loo doesn’t happen too often, but for many people it does, and we simply don’t talk about it.
I for one had never had a conversation with my friends about it until TENA Lady asked me to do this piece for my blog. So I did a quick and unscientific poll. It seems that it’s not only post pregnancy that you can suffer an embarrassing leak when exercising, laughing or sneezing, but also during and after menopause (oh no!) even if you have not had a pregnancy.
You can be given medication to help and one lady knew someone who had had botox (who knew?) to sort it out. As for self help, of course we all know about pelvic floor exercises and how you should be doing them whilst standing in the supermarket queue, but seriously, do you ever remember? The only time I remember my pelvic floor is during Pilates and Yoga classes when you are constantly reminded to pull in and up.
Interestingly it had never occurred to me that bladder weakness could affect your sleep, but of course, if you can’t relax and drop off, or you are awake multiple times then it is going to be an issue. There are lots of tips to get off to sleep, but TENA Lady offers a product which may help.
This is what TENA Lady say about their product:
For extra peace of mind, TENA Lady Maxi Night with Lie Down Protection gives you Triple Protection from leaks, odour and moisture. With additional length and width at the back for extra coverage and security, TENA Lady Maxi Night is specifically designed to give you confidence that lasts all night long.
You can get a free sample from http://www.tena.co.uk/women/
They offer lots of advice and tips on their website for getting a blissful night’s sleep, and I agree wholeheartedly with the recommendation to avoid caffeine and of course use essential oils such as lavender pre bedtime. A word of caution with lavender though, you can use too much and it will act as a stimulant, so use sparingly and maybe try frankincense or vetiver as an alternative.
Sweet dreams everyone!