Thanks to Depend for sponsoring this discussion about the #dropyourpants for #underwareness campaign!
When it comes to pregnancy and having kids, people want to talk to you about EVERYTHING. Everything from what kind of birth you have to how you should feed your baby. No one is shy sharing their own stories, especially horror stories. But there is one thing no one wants to talk about: bladder leakage. I REALLY wish someone had warned me about that tiny detail. Other than Billy Madison, it’s not cool to pee your pants. But surprisingly, a lot of people are doing it. (Click to Tweet)
I wrote some time ago about my return to roller derby after having kids. I regained my skill set and endurance pretty quickly, but one thing I had lost? My pelvic floor. When I ran during off-skates practice, when I yelled on the track to communicate with teammates, or when I gave (or took) a big hit—all of these were moments that revealed this great loss.
The amazing thing about roller derby is that such a diverse group becomes amazingly close-knit. Girls talk about everything and it hasn’t been a good practice unless someone has touched every part of my body. As soon as I began talking about the fact that derby sometimes made me pee my pants, so many girls—both moms and non moms—confessed that they, too, struggled with bladder leakage. Once the cat was out of the bag, the stigma started to fall away. The more awareness, the less shame! Instead of just saying, “Nice hit,” compliments became, “That hit was so good it made me pee my pants!”
Leave it to derby girls to take the taboo out of the taboo and make it normal. Did you know 1 in 4 people struggle with it? Talking about your bladder issues may be taboo, but the more people open up about this common issue, the less taboo it becomes. And the less shame people feel. I’m all about helping people get rid of the shame. Want to help? Right now, Depend is raising awareness through a social campaign, #DropYourPants for #Underwareness. For every one of their videos or photos shared with the campaign hashtags, Depend will donate $1 for charities furthering research, education, and awareness about bladder leakage.
Meanwhile, here are some tips if you’re struggling with bladder leakage:
Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor. You can do exercises like Kegels to help build up the muscles that will help you keep control. I heard the suggestion that every time you hit a red light in the car, do Kegels. Find something small in your day to remind you.
Protect Yourself. Depend provides a discreet product to help protect against bladder leakage, regardless of age or gender. This is an issue that can affect anyone and while you are working to regain control, Depend briefs and underwear can help keep you from having visible leakage.
Keep Exercising. I found that through time, my body recovered from having babies and the more I skated and worked out, the stronger my pelvic floor became and the more control I had over bladder leakage. Don’t give up, but keep pushing on. Time, focus, and strengthening your muscle groups can help reverse this issue.
Don’t Be Held Back by Shame. The more we talk about this issue, the more you will know you’re not alone if you’re struggling with any form of incontinence. Rather than being ashamed and keeping it to yourself, consider joining the #Underwareness campaign.