During pregnancy, you may feel the need to urinate often, sometimes even when your bladder is almost empty. During later pregnancy, many women find that they need to urinate even more frequently. Many pregnant women leak some urine when coughing, laughing, sneezing or exercising. During pregnancy, it’s normal to need go to the bathroom often.
How the bladder works
The bladder is a balloon-shaped muscle that stores urine. Muscles under the bladder keep the urethra (the tube where urine leaves your body) closed and keep urine from leaking out.
The pressure of a full bladder signals your brain, giving you the “urge” to urinate. When you urinate, the muscles around the urethra relax and the bladder tightens to squeeze urine out.
Causes of frequent urination during pregnancy
Your need to go to the bathroom will change throughout the stages of pregnancy. Sometimes, you may feel the need to urinate more often. Other times, you’ll feel like you’re back to normal.
For the first few days after delivery, you may urinate even more often as your body gets rid of the extra fluid of pregnancy. But after a few days, your need to urinate should return to what it was before you became pregnant.
What you can do
Here are some tips for dealing with frequent urination or leaking during pregnancy:
Stay away from caffeinated drinks.
Do Kegel exercises.
Avoid drinking fluids right before bedtime.
Empty your bladder completely.
Wear a sanitary pad or panty shield.
When to call your provider
Talk to your health care provider right away if you have any of these warning signs:
These signs could mean you have a urinary tract infection (UTI), the most common infection in pregnant women. If untreated, a UTI can lead to more serious infection or preterm labor.
Knowing the signs of pregnancy can help you tell if you’re pregnant. Here are some signs that you might be pregnant:
If you have any of these pregnancy signs and think you may be pregnant, go to your health care provider. The sooner you know you're pregnant, the sooner you can begin prenatal checkups and start taking good care of yourself and your growing baby.
You'll start feeling your baby's kicks at around the 28th week of pregnancy. By this time, your baby's movements are usually well established and some health care providers recommend keeping track of these movements.
Keep counting until you've felt 10 movements from baby. If baby doesn't move 10 times within 1 hour, try again later that day. Call your health provider if your baby's movement seems unusual or you've tried more than once that day and can't feel baby move 10 times or more during 1 hour.
Popcorn popping. A little fish swimming. Bubbles. Butterflies. Tickles. These are common words used by women to describe their baby's first movements. Also known as "quickening," it's a reassuring sign that your baby is OK and growing. This milestone typically starts sometime between 18 to 25 weeks into pregnancy. For first-time moms, it may occur closer to 25 weeks, and for second- or third-time moms, it may happen much sooner.
At first it may be difficult to tell the difference between gas and your baby moving. You might not feel movement as early as you are expecting to feel it, but you'll notice a pattern soon. You'll start to learn when the baby is most active and what seems to get her moving.