The 4th of July is right around the corner. While you’re eating a grilled feast and spending time with your loved ones, you don’t want to have to worry about that uninvited guest showing up when you least expect it. And yes, I’m talking about bladder leaks and incontinence. It’s already bad enough bladder leaks can interfere with daily life, but now we can’t even get holidays off?
You want to get lost in the rush of that one epic fireworks show without the added rush of that pesky urine leak. So what is there to do when dealing with bladder leaks on a holiday? Don’t throw in the towel just yet. Here are six of our best tips for celebrating the 4th of July free of bladder leaks.
#1 Schedule 4th Of July Pee Breaks
This isn’t exactly like penciling in your next work meeting. Bladder leaks can happen like clockwork. Very tedious clockwork. However, you might be able to prevent bladder leaks from happening when you work around their timing. Consider scheduling bathroom breaks so you can beat the bladder leaks before they even begin.
#2 Train Your Bladder
You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can begin to train your bladder to stick to a tighter pee schedule. This is an activity you’ll want to start getting the hang of a bit before you actually need it. There is evidence that you can put off the need to pee and some bladder spasms by stretching out the time in between your bathroom pit stops. So, as soon as you start to feel the need to pee, don’t go rushing to the bathroom just yet. Try waiting just 5 minutes. Then maybe the next time put it off for 10 minutes. Soon this will let you space out your trips to the bathroom from one hour to an hour and a half, for example.
#3 Prepare Your Ammo Like a True Bladder Warrior
Much like a warrior going into battle, you want to arm yourself with bladder leak products that can avoid uninvited bladder leaks from showing up to your 4th of July celebrations. We recommend a strong, discreet-fitting pad that is armed with odor-blocking technology or maybe even a pair of anti-bladder leak underwear (those exist? Yep.).
If you want to work on reducing your number of bathroom trips* way before the holiday, then we recommend our Lily Bird supplement, armed with cranberry, pumpkin, and vitamin D.^ Boosting your nutritional benefits and showing your bladder who’s boss? We honestly can’t think of anything better.
#4 Avoid Bladder Irritants On The 4th Of July
As you navigate the treats table at the 4th of July barbecue, it’s important you note some of the foods and drinks that may actually irritate your bladder and contribute to bladder leaks. Though it may feel a bit tough to go without your favorite caffeinated soda this time around, it’ll be worth it when you catch the fireworks show with your friends and family leak-free.
Some other bladder irritants to avoid when you are loading up your plate include chocolate, spicy foods (like curries or chiles), caffeinated foods, acidic fruits (like oranges and lemons), and cocktails. Aim for a couple of mocktails or tasty iced herbal teas this time around. This way you can spend time with your loved ones without having to rush to the bathroom.
#5 Avoid Heavy Lifting
If you’re at the barbecue with your friends and family, and someone needs to move tables or stack the chairs, you may want to sit this one out. Heavy lifting can strain your pelvic floor muscles and cause the very leaks we want to avoid. If someone asks you to lift some chairs or help carry a table, ask if you can help another way. If you have to absolutely lift something, make sure to tighten the pelvic floor muscles before and after lifting. This helps to not completely leave your bladder loose and prone to leaks from the exertion.
Not sure of how to tighten the pelvic floor muscles? Well, this is perfect because tip number 6 is…
#6 Kegel It Up
Kegels are the true heroes when it comes to an exercise that specifically targets bladder leaks. Kegels help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which is the bottom of the pelvis, and helps to support organs, such as the bladder, bowels, and uterus. They work to stop pesky bladder leaks, and the best part is you can do them literally at any time! Here’s a quick how-to on how to do the perfect Kegel:
- Still unsure of where the pelvic floor muscles are? Stop peeing mid-stream. The tightening muscles that help in this are the pelvic floor.
- When doing Kegels, imagine you are stopping the urine flow. Flex those muscles.
- We recommend three sets of 10 Kegels per day. However, don’t do Kegels when peeing, as this can actually be counterproductive and not allow your bladder to empty properly.
Now, Go Have Some Fun On The 4th Of July!
The 4th of July is that perfect time to kick back with family and friends: celebrate with loved ones, throw a party, grill up some food, and watch a dazzling fireworks show. Bladder leaks are not invited to these festivities! So, give ‘em the boot with the tips mentioned above. Now instead of worrying about making a run to the nearest bathroom, all you have to worry about is putting on your SPF.
If you’re still a little concerned about a little spritz or drip making an appearance, look into bladder leak products that’ll keep your leaks discreet. Lily Bird offers pads and underwear to keep your little secret hidden during the holidays.
By Jessica Thomas, MPH
* Shim et al. 2014. A randomized double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial of product containing pumpkin seed extract and soy germ extract to improve OAB related voiding dysfunction and quality of life. J Functional Foods 8(1) 111-117
^ This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.