The additional weight of pregnancy strains the pelvic floor muscle which is why many women experience stress incontinence, particularly towards the end of gestation.
Even with a caesarean delivery, the muscle may already have endured stretching from the pressure which in turn can cause bladder weakness, and without exercise, it doesn’t always spring back.
A vaginal birth can put immense strain on the pelvic floor muscle, often causing tissue and nerve damage. Much of this should improve naturally over a few months but pelvic floor muscle exercises are highly recommended to help strengthen the muscle and improve bladder control.
Subsequent pregnancies and births can consolidate and exacerbate the issues as the muscle has already been stretched and weakened. A regular regime of exercises between and after pregnancies can dramatically improve the strength of the pelvic floor and its ability to maintain continence.