3 (post-) pregnancy rules you really need to know about

Carmen, a practising naturopath and midwife in a busy London hospital, shares her knowledge in nutrition, natural health and midwifery. She is passionate about women’s health and writes her own nutrition and recipe blog for pregnancy called thepregnantchef.com.
She’s here to reveal how to stay fit and healthy post pregnancy through to our golden years!

Carmen van Zanten midwife and naturopath

Carmen lives in London and is a practising naturopath and midwife in a busy London hospital.


Little did you know that when you are pregnant and especially during labour, your midwife is always making sure that your bladder is healthy too. Now you might ask, aren’t there more important things for the midwife to be worried about?
Yes, your midwife is concerned about how you and your baby are coping during the labour, but the truth is, we want your bladder to be well looked after too! We know that if we don’t, it can cause problems for you in the future…

#1 Why she is nagging you about peeing in labour

If you’ve had a baby before, you may remember your midwife regularly asking you to go to the toilet to pee while in labour. There are various reasons for that, but your bladder actually plays a really important role:

  • If it’s too full it can stop your baby’s head from going further down (who wants a slow labour? No one!) or increase your risk of having a haemorrhage after birth.
  • The increased pressure during labour can damage it so that you have issues such as being unable to hold your urine after birth. Aha! That’s why she nagged you so much about peeing in labour!
  • Your body is going through so much, you didn’t feel that sensation to pee as there were much more intense sensations. Sometimes it can be really difficult to pee during labour too!

#2 Peeing reduces the chances of nasty infections during pregnancy

But you might be thinking, I get why she cares about my bladder during labour, but what about during pregnancy? Well, when you’re pregnant your immune system naturally lowers to allow this ‘foreign’ little thing to grow inside you (so clever isn’t it!), but that comes with its downsides. Have you noticed how you got sick more easily during pregnancy? Or that cold that lasted for weeks?

Well, you’re also more likely to get bladder infections too. These are not only uncomfortable but also put you at risk of premature labour. Oh the joys of pregnancy! That’s why we nag you about making sure you drink enough water every day, and report any symptoms of an infection so we can treat it quickly.

#3 Listen to your bladder. Need to go? Go!

So, remember to look after your bladder during pregnancy, drink enough water, keep your caffeine intake low, reduce your sugar consumption, and listen to it! If you need to pee, pee! It will thank you in the future.

Filed under: Blog

Carmen is a practising naturopath and midwife in a busy London hospital with special interests in nutrition, natural health and midwifery. She is passionate about women’s health and writes her own nutrition and recipe blog for pregnancy (http://thepregnantchef.com).

3 Comments

  1. Hello, Carmen!

    I noticed you mentioned to keep the caffeine intake low. How much is that low? I think you said it because of the dehydration effect of caffeine, right? Caffeine can increase the urine output thus lead to dehydration. I know there is a good method to check if you well-hydrated or not. If you have a dark yellow urine color, your body needs more water, so you should drink more. If you have clear urine color, everything is alright. Thank you for an explanation of the importance of peeing in labour.

  2. Hello, Carmen!

    I noticed you mentioned to keep the caffeine intake low. How much is that low? I think you said it because of the dehydration effect of caffeine, right? Caffeine can increase the urine output thus lead to dehydration. I know there is a good method to check if you well-hydrated or not. If you have a dark yellow urine color, your body needs more water, so you should drink more. If you have clear urine color, everything is alright. Thank you for an explanation of the importance of peeing in labour.

    • Hi Katia, thanks for your comment! You are right, checking the colour of your urine is one of the easiest ways of checking whether you are keeping yourself well hydrated or not. Your body is very clever in that it’ll instruct the kidneys to excrete more or less water depending on your hydration levels, to keep things in balance. Caffeine can increase the rate at which your kidneys excrete water, and will then make you pee more often. For people with bladder incontinence or regular bladder infections, caffeine can make these symptoms worse. Pregnant women are also advised to reduce their caffeine intake to a maximum of one cup of coffee per day (depending on how strong you make it), as research suggests that it can cause problems during the pregnancy. I hope this helps!

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