Most women have an increased urge to urinate during pregnancy. Find out how to reduce the discomfort of frequent urination.
Most women have an increased urge to urinate during their first weeks of pregnancy. But what’s sending you running to the bathroom?
You feel the need to urinate more often during pregnancy because your uterus is exerting pressure on your bladder and your kidneys are producing more fluid due to the increased amount of blood in your body.
Frequent urination tends to disappear in the second trimester and reappear at the end of the third trimester, when the baby moves down into the pelvis and presses on the bladder. An increased urge to urinate near the end of your pregnancy may signal that you’re approaching labour.
Tips to reduce discomfort
Urinate as soon as you feel the need.
Drink more fluids during the day and less in the evening to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom at night.
Limit your intake of caffeine. Common sources include coffee, tea, chocolate, and soft drinks. Caffeine is also found in many energy drinks, which should be avoided during pregnancy.
Continue to do your Kegel exercises.
Don’t drink less to reduce your trips to the bathroom. Make sure you stay hydrated to prevent constipation and urinary tract infections. Even though your body derives about 1 litre of water from food per day, it’s recommended that you drink at least an additional 1.5 litres.
Recognizing the signs of a urinary tract infection
A frequent urge to urinate during pregnancy is normal and does not necessarily signal a urinary tract infection. However, it’s important to consult your health care provider if you have any of the following symptoms:
Difficulty starting to pee
A burning sensation when peeing
Peeing a few drops instead of a stream
An urge to pass urine right after peeing
Pain in your lower abdomen, especially after peeing
Blood in your urine
Scientific review: Roxanne Piché, nursing adviser, Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic, CHU Sainte-Justine
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: June 2019
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Doré, Nicole, and Danielle Le Hénaff. From Tiny Tot to Toddler: A practical guide for parents from pregnancy to age two. Quebec City, Institut national de santé publique du Québec. www.inspq.qc.ca
Ladewig, Patricia W., et al. Soins infirmiers en périnatalité. 4th ed., Montreal, ERPI, 2010.
Santé publique France. Le guide nutrition pendant et après la grossesse : livret d’accompagnement destiné aux professionnels de santé, 2007. www.mangerbouger.fr/pro/IMG/pdf/Livret_accompagnement_grossesse.pdf