Joanna Helcke Video


Stress incontinence

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What is stress incontinence?

Why do I have stress incontinence?

What can I do to reduce or stop stress incontinence?

Stress incontinence and post natal exercise

When should I seek professional help for stress incontinence?


Did you know that many women give themselves stress incontinence by doing the wrong sort of postnatal exercise? With my online postnatal fitness programme you can be 100% sure that the exercise you do is safe AND gets you results.

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What is stress incontinence?

Stress incontinence is the accidental leakage of urine during physical exertion such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Laughing
  • Lifting or carrying something heavy
  • Jogging or running
  • Jumping
  • Any other high impact physical activities

Why do I have stress incontinence?

There are quite a few reasons why you might have stress incontinence following the birth of your little one:


  • Your first vaginal delivery causes a great deal of stretching and weakening of the pelvic floor muscles and it is the strength of these muscles which ensures that you remain leak-free.
  • Having a big baby – over 4kg – causes even greater stretching and weakening.
  • Forceps delivery
  • Episiotomy or tearing and stitches
  • Multiply pregnancies
  • Genetic: if you have a weaker collagen type you will be more prone to incontinence

What can I do to reduce or stop stress incontinence?

Pelvic floor exercises, also known as kegel exercises, have been shown to significantly reduce or even eliminate stress incontinence when performed correctly and regularly. My FREE step-by-step Guide to the Pelvic Floor will make sure that you know exactly how to do your pelvic floor exercises.


Download your FREE guide in the top right hand corner

As well as doing your pelvic floor exercises you need to make sure that you don’t undo all your good work by taking up the wrong sort of exercise following the birth of your baby. Read on to find out more about post natal exercise and stress incontinence…

Stress incontinence and post natal exercise

This is a topic which is very close to my heart. Why? Because if you do the wrong sort of exercise during the postnatal period – those crucial 6 months after giving birth – you could quite easily damage your pelvic floor and end up with stress incontinence. This is exactly what happened to me after I had my third child, and before I had retrained as a specialist in pregnancy and postnatal fitness. Nobody gave me appropriate advice and I went straight back into “mainstream” exercise, ruined my pelvic floor, found myself having to deal with stress incontinence, and then had to be operated on. So take my advice… do NOT do high impact exercise during the first six months after giving birth as this will place immense strain on an already weakened and stretched pelvic floor. By high impact, I mean the following:


  • Jogging (yes, even “light” jogging)
  • Running
  • Exercise which involves jumping around, leaping, hopping etc.
  • Trampolining
  • Skipping

Don't cause stress incontinence by doing high impact exercise

Jogging is high impact


Keep safe and make sure you do the right sort of postnatal exercise. My online postnatal fitness and wellbeing programme does just that.

Try it for FREE to see what it's like.



When should I seek professional help for stress incontinence?

Urinary incontinence is most unpleasant. It makes you feel about a hundred years old and, frankly, is a particularly unglamorous condition. Many women try and sweep the problem under the carpet and never go and seek professional help because either they find it too embarrassing, or they think it is simply part of the “motherhood package”. And yet it can have an enormously negative impact on your daily life, from having to plan shopping trips around availability of loos in town to avoiding any exercises which are likely to cause an accident, even though you are perfectly capable in all other respects of doing these exercises. Next time you go to an exercise class take a look around you and look out for all the women who avoid doing jumping jacks – yes, you guessed, they probably suffer from stress incontinence. So here are my thoughts on when to seek professional help for stress incontinence:


  • Start off by making a commitment to doing your pelvic floor exercise on a daily basis. Get hold of my FREE step-by-step Guide to the Pelvic Floor which will make sure that you know exactly how to do your pelvic floor exercises.

    Download a FREE guide from the top right hand corner of this page
  • Be consistent and allow yourself 15+ weeks before you can expect to see any real improvements in your pelvic floor strength.
  • In the meantime, if the problem is quite bad, you might wish to see your GP and ask to be referred to a Women’s Health Physiotherapist. Given that there is likely to be a waiting list it is a good idea to flag up the problem sooner rather than later. In this way, if the pelvic floor exercises which you are doing at home don’t do the trick, at least you are moving up the waiting list.
  • Finally, and most importantly of all, don’t let embarrassment get in the way of seeking help. On my website I have told you, and the rest of the world, that I suffered from stress incontinence, that I sought help, and that I eventually had to have an operation to solve the problem. I’ll tell you one more thing: it was worth it!


Play it safe and keep fit and healthy the right way with my online postnatal exercise programme.

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Pelvic Floor
Here is my FREE guide to getting your post pregnancy pelvic floor up and running again. I give you clear, step-by-step instructions on how to work at the correct level for your own PFMs.

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