False Labor & The Need To Urinateby Jerri Colonero, RN, BS
I started experiencing false labor last night along with the contractions came he urge to urinate every five minutes (literally). Should I be concerned? My contractions have subsided, but the urinating has not, I am 39 weeks pregnant.
The bladder sits directly in front of the uterus. When you are not pregnant, the tiny pear sized uterus puts no pressure on the bladder. However, as you near full term (considered 38 weeks), the large expanding uterus and the kicking baby inside, leave little room for bladder expansion. That is why it is perfectly normal for woman late in pregnancy to ask the same question that you are asking. As the uterus contracts, the uterine muscle pulls forward making you feel sometimes like you may not be able to hold back the urine. When you are not having a Braxton Hicks contraction you still feel the need to urinate frequently.
It often helps to urinate frequently instead of waiting for the urge. Also practice Kegel exercises to help strengthen the muscle that helps you to hold back urine. (Start urinating and then squeeze your muscles to stop the flow of urine, hold a few seconds, and then begin to urinate again. These same muscles can be exercised with a tightening, hold, then relax pattern at any time, not just when urinating.)
If your urge to urinate is accompanied by pain or burning on urination or itching, you may have a urinary tract infection and will need to report this to your obstetrician or midwife.
At 39 weeks you are almost there. The pressure and urge goes away after delivery!
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