Bladder care throughout the childbearing continuum is one of the essential components of midwifery care, as health of the urinary tract affects both short-term and long-term maternal wellbeing. Throughout antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care, midwives have the opportunity to safeguard bladder function and to promote normality. As frontline practitioners during pregnancy and childbirth, midwives are ideally placed to facilitate sensitive discussions about bladder function, considering an individualised baseline for each woman's wellbeing and recognising when deviations from the normal process occur (Strahle and Stainton, 2006). With a sound understanding of the physiology and anatomy underpinning bladder care, midwives can educate women about changes during pregnancy, providing reassurance and gold-standard care. A holistic midwifery consideration of both the physiological and psychosocial wellbeing of all women is paramount (Fritel et al, 2016), especially when considering invasive procedures such as catheterisation and the long-term sequelae associated with bladder dysfunction.
- urinary tract infection
- postnatal urinary retention