It was almost 11:00 at night. I was 38 weeks pregnant and already semi-comfortably in bed. I thought I should get up to pee one more time before falling asleep. My ribs were killing me the whole pregnancy, and based on my two other sons being late…I thought I had time before this baby arrived. I had been out shopping earlier in the day and still needed to shave my legs when it got closer to my delivery date. A feat at 38 weeks pregnant I wanted to wait until the last possible moment.
I stood up from the toilet and I heard a pop and felt a strange sensation. I looked down to see a few drops hit the floor. I yelled for my husband. “Wake up! I think my water broke” More started pouring out and I immediately got into the bathtub. I had hubby bring me the portable phone and I called my OB’s answering service. This was the first time my water broke and I was happy to be in labor, but leaking.
The phone rang and it was the on-call OB on the other line. “Are you SURE it’s your water?” she asked, “Ummmm, I’m standing in the bathtub and have no idea how I’m going to get in the car leaking like this.” My OB told me to “Stick some towels between your legs and drive over to the hospital.” I thought showing up at the hospital waddling with a stack of towels between my hairy legs would be a wonderful way to travel… (not sarcasm).
Still standing in the bathtub I yelled for hubby to get my nearly packed suitcase and some extra supplies and called my parents to sit with my two toddlers. It was at that moment that it occurred to me…..I HAVE A DIAPER!! I had mysteriously received an adult diaper sample in the mail with two briefs. I, feeling especially smart, put on my adult diaper, some pajama pants and headed to the hospital.
When I arrived at the OB department, for my 2nd VBAC the nurse asked…”Are you sure your water broke”…”Yes! I’m wearing a diaper!” Feeling especially smart I apologized for my hairy legs, but had made it there without ruining the car seat and with dry pants. And that’s why every pregnant woman should have at least one diaper around.
For others, they need absorbency throughout pregnancy.
Pregnant Diapers through pregnancy
While I found an adult diaper to be a must-have for when my water broke, two pregnancies in a row, many women find that wearing a diaper throughout pregnancy becomes necessary. Why? The way baby is positioned kind of re-organizes our internal organs and put a strain on our pelvic floor muscles and causes different levels of urinary incontinence. Pelvic floor muscles control our urinary and fecal continence by holding our bladder, uterus and associated structures in places. In addition, the pelvic floor muscles sometimes referred to as the pelvic diaphragm keeps the urethra closed and urine inside.
Some pregnant women experience light leaking and others experience larger gushes and possibly even full bladder accidents. What can you do? While wearing an adult diaper, whether disposable or cloth diaper, the root of the problem is pelvic floor dysfunction. Obviously, delivery will solve the pressure on your pelvic floor, and not long after delivery your organs should return to position, your uterus will shrink back to normal size and the heavy weight of baby + amniotic fluid will bee off of this muscle sling. However, it won’t solve the strength issues that may be related.
Many women post-birth find that pelvic floor exercises, often pelvic floor rehab therapy and strengthening with pelvic floor exercises help urinary incontinence. Talk to your doctor, request to see a pelvic floor rehab specialist and insist if necessary and be patient.
What type of diapers are best for pregnant women?
There are two diaper styles. The first is a disposable diaper, that even someone who isn’t pregnant may wear. The pull up and down just like underwear and you can tear the sides to throw them away. Downsides? Like baby diapers, they take over 500 years to decompose in landfills and may not be the easiest on sensitive skin.
There are also reusable diapers. These diapers go up through adult size and can be used in the wash. They come with natural or synthetic inserts and get washed just like regular diapers. In addition, there are great reusable pads that are ideal for smaller leaks and have absorbency from light through heavy.