A common and rather inconvenient part about being pregnant is the number of toilet visits in a day pregnant mums experience. All husbands who have been through this before would know that their wives’ bladder is a force to be reckoned with. It doesn’t matter when or where; as long as nature calls, there’s really no holding them back.
Hence, it is a symptom that no mother-to-be enjoys, especially that middle of the night or early morning pee that’s hellbent on waking you up from your beauty sleep. Worse still, when you’re out and about, and there’s no toilet in sight!
The good news is that this is completely normal and that there are many other women out there who share the same problem as you. The bad news is that frequent urination is here to stay. So, get ready those tissues in your bag. Here’s how to better understand why this is happening to your body and how best to manage it.
When does frequent peeing start?
Many women experience the need to pee more frequently as early as the first trimester, which is roughly around week 4. In some cases, this need to pee can start as early as week 2 to week 3 of pregnancy. This will become more noticeable when women are about 10-13 weeks along when their uterus starts pushing on the bladder.
Do expect the nighttime bathroom trips to increase in frequency later in the last trimesters, as well as the situation down there becomes increasingly cramped as your baby continues to grow into full term.
Factors that contribute to frequent peeing during pregnancy
One of the biggest reason for this rather inconvenient symptom is pregnancy hormones. The hormone hCG increases the blood flow to your pelvic region, which incidentally heightens sexual pleasure and increases blood flow to your kidneys, making them super-efficient.
While it’s great that your kidneys are doing such an excellent job at getting rid of bodily wastes from both you and your baby, it is not good news for long car rides with no toilet in sight.
Your uterus is also expanding at an exponential rate to make room for your growing baby. As your uterus grows, it puts pressure on your bladder, which means limited space to store urine. And we all know the answer to that one: more frequent bathroom runs!
Another uncanny contributor to nighttime bathroom trips is water retention or Edema. If you ever wondered where all those fluids go, well, you guessed it, it also ends up in your urine.
But in any case, there’s simply no skipping the bathroom as you are nearing the end of your pregnancy, as your baby starts to descend in preparation for childbirth. Once his or her head has descended into the pelvis area, it would be pressing directly on your bladder, making the urge to pee worse than ever.
Managing frequent peeing
While there’s no fixing the situation, there are ways to manage this rather inconvenient pregnancy symptom. One way is to try to empty your bladder completely by leaning forward when urinating. If you’re very in tune with your body, you can also try to squeeze your pelvic floor after peeing to ensure that you have completely emptied out your bladder. By doing this, fingers crossed will result in fewer trips to the toilet.
Do not reduce your fluid intake in hopes of lessening your bathroom trips because both you and your baby must stay hydrated. Dehydration will only lead to urinary tract infections, which is not something you want on top of everything else. On top of that, dehydration can also lead to lower amniotic fluid levels, which can affect your baby’s development.
Stay away from diuretics like caffeine which will only make you pee even more frequently, and try not to drink just before going to bed to reduce those middle of the night pee breaks.
Tell me! When does all this end!
There’s no telling when frequent peeing will end because every woman is different. The arrangement of internal organs also varies from woman to woman, so there is no way to determine a standard for how frequently a pregnant woman pees. The lucky ones may not even notice it at all throughout their pregnancies, while the rest start stocking up on pantiliners. And that means stocking up a lot because frequent peeing is likely to last until the moment you give birth.
Regardless if you’re permanently parking yourself in the toilet or if you practically live in the bathroom now, know that this is normal. However, if you feel it is progressively getting worse and it is starting to affect your daily activities, do check in with your obstetrician. The last thing you want it to be is UTI, and the only way for your doctor to rule this out is to run some test. It is also good practice to monitor the colour of your pee and ensure that you and your growing baby are constantly hydrated. Cut back on those coffees and drink more fluids. A good indication that you’re getting enough fluids is a pee colour that is clear and pale yellow. See a doctor immediately if your pee is dark or if you detect any blood in your pee.