Problems with your pelvic floor? Blame your firstborn

While cesarean delivery may mean longer recovery time after your baby is born, it may make it less likely that someday you’ll need to cross your legs when you cough or sneeze.

A study in the Dec. 18, 2018, issue of JAMA found that women who delivered their first baby by cesarean had half the risk of developing stress urinary incontinence (which causes urine to leak when you cough or sneeze) or overactive bladder, compared with first-time moms who had a spontaneous vaginal birth.

The finding was based on first-birth information for more than 1,500 women. Of these, 778 had a cesarean and 565 had a spontaneous vaginal delivery. The remaining 185 had what’s known as an operative vaginal delivery, or one in which the doctor had to use forceps or another device to deliver a baby vaginally.

Researchers followed the women for up to nine years to determine whether they developed pelvic floor disorders. The pelvic floor is a bowl-shaped group of muscles and connective tissue in your pelvis that supports your internal organs. When those structures are weak or injured, a woman may experience urinary incontinence, pain, and other problems.

In addition to having a lower incidence of stress incontinence and overactive bladder, women who had a cesarean also had a 70% lower risk of experiencing pelvic organ prolapse compared with the vaginal birth group. In this condition, the cervix and uterus drop from the pelvic cavity into the vaginal space.

It’s important to note that pelvic floor disorders are treatable. Exercises may help strengthen the muscles to relieve some symptoms, and medication and surgery are other treatment options.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Proverbs 3:1-2 NIV

The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin. Proverbs 10:8 NIV

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. Psalm 119:10 NIV

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24 NIV

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12 NIV

I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. Psalm 119:7 NIV

Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. Psalm 119:2 NIV

Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Mark 11:23 NIV

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14 NIV | speaking prayer

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. Joshua 22:5 NIV

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. Psalm 119:111 NIV

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