Find out why you have to pee so much during pregnancy and what you can do about it.

How can I avoid having to urinate so frequently during pregnancy?

Needing to urinate often is an unavoidable fact of life for most pregnant women. But these tips may limit the number of times you need to visit the bathroom:

Skip certain beverages. Limit your consumption of coffee, tea, and soda, because these are all diuretics, meaning they increase urine production and make you need to pee more often. (Alcohol is also a diuretic.)

Empty your bladder. When you pee, lean forward to empty your bladder completely.

Don’t hold it. Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the need. Waiting can actually weaken your pelvic floor muscles in the long run.

Why do I leak urine when I sneeze or laugh?

Both the pressure of your uterus on your bladder and weak pelvic floor muscles may cause you to leak urine when you cough, laugh, sneeze, lift heavy objects, or do certain types of exercise, like jogging. This is called “stress urinary incontinence,” and it’s most likely to happen in your third trimester or in the postpartum period.

You may be able to prevent it somewhat by not letting your bladder get too full, so don’t ignore the urge to pee. And remember to empty your bladder before exercising.

Doing Kegel exercises, which strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, can also help minimize stress incontinence and make it easier to recover from childbirth. It’s a good idea to begin Kegel exercises early in pregnancy and continue them postpartum. (Make Kegels a lifelong habit!)

And if need be, wear a mini pad or panty liner to catch any leaks. (Keep fresh pads handy in your purse or diaper bag.)

How can I avoid waking up at night to pee?

You can try drinking plenty of fluids during the day, then cutting back in the hours before you go to bed. But make sure you don’t go thirsty in the attempt to make bathroom visits less frequent. It’s important for you to stay well hydrated.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 10 8-ounce cups of water or other beverages every day, more or less – whatever is enough that your urine looks pale yellow or clear, not dark yellow or cloudy.

In any case, you’ll probably find yourself needing to get up increasingly often at night to urinate as your pregnancy progresses, especially if you have a lot of swelling in your lower limbs and feet. That’s in part because when you lie down, your legs are level with your upper body. This makes it easier for your blood to carry some of the fluid you retained during the day to your bladder – now that it doesn’t have to work against gravity.

As one mom we know puts it, “It’s nature’s cruel way of training you for the many nights of interrupted sleep once your baby arrives!”

Is frequent urination ever a sign of a problem?

Frequent urination can be a sign of a urinary

Read more