Suzie, 40

'Take control – pelvic floor exercises and an odor-controlled bladder weakness pad will make the difference.'

When my daughter was born, no one told me I’d experience bladder weakness. To be honest the thing I was most worried about was whether other people might smell it! As a new mother, the last year has been exhilarating and exhausting. Before giving birth, I felt really prepared – reading up on healthy eating for pregnancy and going for regular check-ups.

Then, after my beautiful daughter arrived, I just felt tired and overwhelmed, so I decided to join a gym. And that’s when it all came to a head. I’d occasionally leaked when coughing or sneezing, so I wore a panty liner to catch the drops, but the gym was different.

It started on the tread mill – this huge leak. I just ran to the changing room and then home. No one noticed, but it’s weird, I felt so ashamed. I started wearing maxi pads every day, but the problem didn’t go away. The towels would feel damp and uncomfortable if I couldn’t change them right away and there was that smell of pee... So I guess I did what loads of people probably do: avoiding elevators and supermarket lines, spraying myself all over with heavy perfume. I even made excuses to avoid sex with my husband, telling him every few weeks that the doctor had said it would take "just a few more weeks".

Finally I took charge of the situation. At my six-month check-up, the doctor asked how I was. She could tell I was holding something back and asked me, “If you had a broken leg, would you hop around as though nothing was wrong?” She said bladder weakness was among the top 20 conditions affecting new moms, and that loads of women have ‘light bladder weakness’ after birth. She recommended Pelvic Floor Exercises and an ‘odor-controlled bladder weakness pad’. Sounded like a big, adult diaper to me but I promise you they are not. They are pretty discreet. But my paranoia was really that I smelled and now I’m confident that I don’t, which is a huge relief. And, at least now I don’t go through half a bottle of perfume a day!

So, to anyone else experiencing it, I’d say there’s really no need to worry yourself. Take control, and get back in the swing of things!