How to stop peeing when you sneeze (or run, or jump, or laugh)

pelvic floor postpartum Mar 04, 2023

You might be surprised to know that leaking is a surprisingly easy fix. 


So quite why we have all been led to believe that’s it’s something that we must now “tolerate” because “we are mums now” is an absolute mystery to me 🤷🏼‍♀️


There’s a name for it. It’s called Stress Incontinence, and it occurs when you cough, laugh, run, jump, sneeze, etc., and you pee your pants a little as a result. This often happens when too much pressure is exerted on the bladder, forcing urine out. In most cases, this is a result of weakened pelvic floor muscles, usually due to childbirth, age, and/or menopause. 


Urge Incontinence occurs when there is a strong urge to urinate despite the fact that your bladder may not be full. This urge is often strong enough that you can’t make it to the bathroom in time. This is usually related to having a pelvic floor that is too tight (often from doing too many “Kegels”). This is a whole separate conversation. But I will just say that tightness does not equal “strength”. Tightness and weakness very often go hand in hand. Just because a muscle is too tight doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need strengthening also. In this instance, we just want to release some of that tightness FIRST before we start adding in strength work.


Symptoms of both kinds of incontinence can often be significantly reduced by looking at the pelvic floor, although each requires a slightly different approach. While stress incontinence requires more strengthening of the pelvic floor, urge incontinence usually requires more releasing of the pelvic floor before you can start to strengthen.


If you’ve been doing all the “Kegels”, and wondering why it’s not helping with your stress incontinence, it’s because your pelvic floor was never designed to function independently from the rest of the core and from the diaphragm. We now know that Kegels are an outdated approach to strengthening the pelvic floor and that we must learn how to connect the pelvic floor with both our breath and the rest of our core in order to truly get the benefits of strengthening the pelvic floor.


Here are my top tips on how to stop peeing when you sneeze:


  1. Learn how to coordinate your breath with your pelvic floor (download my free training here)
  2. Spend 5 minutes a day strengthening your pelvic floor with said breath coordination
  3. Use the Pilates ball to deepen your pelvic floor connection (check out my Restore program here)
  4. Set a daily alarm on your phone to remind you to be consistent
  5. Don’t forget to thank your body for everything that it has created


The Mama Method is a proven method of core and pelvic floor restoration that not only avoids contraindicative movements and exercises, but that actually teaches you how to strengthen and rebuild your entire body, no matter how long it’s been since you gave birth. We’re a community of fierce women who want to “bounce forward” and to become the strongest, most capable versions of our new selves. Learn more about the Mama Method here.


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