Discomforts during pregnancy 229
If you normally use a catheter each time you want to pass urine, continue to
do this if it does not cause you any problems. But if you find it too difficult to
put a catheter in more times than usual, try using thick pads of cloth to catch the
urine. These pads must be changed, washed and dried often to prevent a rash or an
infection on the skin around your genitals (see pags 111 to 113). Make sure the pads
are clean and dry before using them again.
I’m doing my
squeezing exercise and
Ekaete doesn’t even
Some women change to a catheter that is left in all the
time (a ‘fixed’ or Foley catheter). But, if possible, try not
to do this, because it may be difficult to change back after
the baby is born. The muscles that control your bladder
will “forget” how to hold the urine inside. Also, having a
catheter in all the time can increase the risk of getting a
If you have trouble with leaking urine at night,
use pads, or keep a bowl, bucket or something
else close by to pass urine into. A convertible
wheelchair-toilet may be a good solution (see
If you are able to use the muscles in the lower
belly, the squeezing exercise (see page 101)
sometimes helps to make the muscles around the
bladder stronger. For more information on urine
problems, see pages 105 to 106.
Difficulty Passing Stool (Constipation)
Many pregnant women have trouble passing hard stools. Pregnancy can make the
bowels work more slowly, and this can make the stool more difficult to pass. See
page 108 for information on how to reduce and prevent constipation.
Women who use a ‘bowel program’ (see page 107) to pass stool may need
to remove the stool more often while they are pregnant. Hard stool that is not
removed can cause dysreflexia (see pages 117 to 119), which is very dangerous.
WARNING! Pregnant women should not take medicines called
laxatives or purgatives for constipation. These work by making the
bowels tighten or contract—and they may cause labor to start too soon.
Some can harm the baby.
Also, pregnant women should not wash out the bowels with water
(enema). This could also start labor too soon.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007