Can Holding Your Pee While Pregnant Hurt Your Baby?

Sometimes no matter how bad you have to go, you’ve just got to hold it. We’ve all had moments where we had to deny our bladder, no matter how inconvenient. For pregnant women, holding your pee can be a tricky situation. One of the hallmarks of pregnancy is frequent urination. While your body may be trying to urge you to the bathroom, it isn’t always the best time to excuse yourself from your busy life. But you may have to give in to your body’s prompting to go to the restroom, as frequent urination helps keep you and your baby safe.

Are you wondering if holding your pee during pregnancy can hurt your baby?

While you may be trying your best to hold out a bit longer, you may be surprised to learn that holding your pee is doing yourself and your baby more harm than good and can even be dangerous in some cases.

Here are a few details explaining why you’ve been dashing the restroom so often and why holding your pee during pregnancy isn’t a good idea.

Table of Contents

Causes of Frequent Urination During Pregnancy

As your baby grows, your body has to make room in your uterus for your baby. As your baby grows and takes up more space, it causes your uterus to expand and press down on your bladder. As the uterus puts pressure on your bladder, it can send you running to the bathroom repeatedly throughout the day and night.

Another reason you’re going to the bathroom around the clock may be attributed to the hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy. Some hormone levels see spikes in production and can play a role in you having to go to the bathroom multiple times. For instance, the hormone hCG puts your kidneys into high gear and increases blood flow to your pelvic region. The combination of heightened kidney activity and increased blood flow can make you feel the need to keep tabs on where the bathroom is.

Some women long for the day when they no longer need to sprint to the restroom, but frequent urination can last for the duration of your pregnancy. So, staying close to a bathroom is best until your baby comes.

How Holding Your Urine Can Affect You and Your Baby

While we all try to hold out as long as possible for a bathroom break, it isn’t good for pregnant women to do so. It may seem harmless initially, but holding your urine exposes you and your baby to myriad issues. One complication holding your urine makes you vulnerable to urinary tract infections. Your urinating serves as a filtration system that your body uses to rid itself of toxins, bacteria, and other troublemakers. 

By holding your urine, you can inadvertently deny your body the opportunity to eliminate toxins and put it in harm’s way. Urinary tract infections are bad news for expecting mothers because they can cause kidney infections, cause you to give birth too early, and cause your baby to have low birth weight.

Also, holding your urine can cause fetal failure, A condition where the fetus can experience breathing problems and slow growth in the uterus. 

Early intervention can help reduce the risk of complications that a urinary tract infection can cause, but you can avoid the risk of urinary tract infections by going to the restroom when your body prompts you to do so.

Are Urine Leaks Common During Pregnancy?

Even if you don’t hold your urine and make regular trips to the restroom, sometimes, urine can still leak past the bladder. If you’ve noticed that you’ve leaked urine during your pregnancy, don’t be alarmed. Leaking urine is a common trait of pregnancy due to extra pressure on your bladder from your uterus.

As your pregnancy progresses, you can experience urine leaks from

  • Laughter
  • Exercise
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing

Preventing Complications of Holding Urine

Although holding your urine may sound like a harmless act that everyone does, it can have dangerous consequences on your pregnancy. But, there are ways to help keep complications at bay. 

First, it’s crucial to go to the bathroom and relieve yourself when you feel the urge to do so. 

Pregnancy limits your body’s ability to hold urine, and you may not be able to hold as much urine in your body as you used to, which can contribute to the increased frequency of your bathroom trips. When you feel the urge to go to the bathroom, don’t wait, because waiting can cause issues down the road.

You can also prevent complications of urine retention by limiting liquid consumption before bed. Consuming fluids before bed leads to night wakings to go to the restroom. While this solves the problem of holding urine, it creates the issue of insomnia, ruining your sleep. As a result of interrupted sleep, your energy levels can be depleted and cause you to be irritable and groggy the next day. To ensure you get the best sleep possible, avoid consuming liquids close to bedtime.

Another way to avoid complications related to holding urine is to avoid diuretic liquids. Drinks like coffee, tea and soda can make you need to go to the bathroom more often. Opting for decaffeinated substitutes for these options can help cut down on bathroom trips, but avoiding these beverages altogether is your safest bet to eliminate the issue.

The Final Word

Holding urine is something that we all do from time to time for many reasons. But expecting mothers must avoid holding their urine for the sake of their long term health and for their babies’ wellbeing. While you may find it to be inconvenient to go to the bathroom constantly, it’s crucial that you do so to avoid unforeseen issues that can wreak havok on your pregnancy.

You must make many changes to get ready for parenthood. As your body prepares to bring your baby into the world, adhering to the smallest details in your care plan can make all the difference in having a healthy experience during and after your pregnancy.

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