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Real Life

MAFS star Jules Robinson gets real about her struggles with incontinence during pregnancy

''Pregnancy opened my eyes to issues affecting women!''

By Courtney GReatrex

Jules Robinson, 38, from Sydney, NSW, shares her real life story with Take 5;

My heart thumped excitedly as I looked down at the pregnancy test.
"I don't believe it," I cried to my husband Cam.
"Take another," he encouraged. "Just to be sure."
For the past few months, we'd been trying for a baby.
Every morning, I'd take my folic acid and multivitamins, and hope for the best.
After two nerve-wracking minutes, we checked the second test, and it was the same result - I was pregnant.
"We're going to be parents!" I beamed, enveloping him in a hug.
Cam and I met in an unconventional way - on the reality TV series Married at First Sight.
Looking back, I couldn't believe how far we'd come.
From meeting him for the first time at the altar, to later making our marriage official, I couldn't wait for this new chapter in our lives.
Friends, family, and even the public were delighted when we shared the news that we were expecting.
My phone constantly pinged with messages of congratulations.
As my belly grew, I marvelled at my body.
Some days, it felt like I was on cloud nine and my skin was absolutely glowing.
"Pregnancy suits you," my mates told me.
Other days, I experienced more unwelcome side effects, including bladder leakage.
Oddly, as I neared my front door, or even heard a set of keys jangling, I'd become overwhelmed by the urge to use the loo.
Like many women I'd experienced this before, and was never embarrassed by it, but as my pregnancy progressed it became more and more unpredictable.
A cough, sneeze or even a laugh was enough to set me off.
But I never let it get in the way of living my life.
Cam and I even decided to renovate our house to make space for our bundle of joy.
"It was magic when Cam and I first met on Married At First Sight." (Image: Supplied)
One day, I was standing chatting away to my builder as he showed me some of his handiwork.
We'd been mates for years, and I even knew his wife, so knew the house was in safe hands.
"Looks amazing," I beamed.
Suddenly, I was overcome with the urge to pee.
Looking around, there was nowhere to go.
Before I knew it, I looked down and my brand-new pair of white jeans were damp.
It all happened right in front of my mate.
"I'm so sorry," I laughed. "It's the pregnancy."
"Don't worry," he assured me. "My wife had twins, so I've seen it all!"
I headed off to clean myself up, and couldn't help but laugh at the situation.
Later that night, I confided in Cam.
Having such an emotionally intelligent man by my side, there wasn't much that was off limits for us, so I knew he'd understand.
"You won't believe what happened today," I said, telling him all about the incident.
We had a good chuckle about it, which made me feel better.
Researching incontinence, I learned that there were three main types; stress, urge, and overflow.
They can happen for a range of reasons, including age, pregnancy, menopause and many more.
"We renovated the house to get ready for our new arrival!" (Image: Instagram)
I read that one in three Aussie women experience bladder leaks and one in five are too embarrassed to speak out about it.
Having never been one to filter myself, I set up a WhatsApp group of 17 women in my life to start a discussion on the topic.
Hi ladies, I wrote, I want to have a conversation about bladder leakage! Who's experienced this?
When my pals started replying, I was astounded. I can't jump on the trampoline with my kids without leakage, said one.
I had a prolapse bladder, said another.
Watching so many messages flow in and see my friends being open was encouraging and reassuring.
It was nice to know that I certainly wasn't alone.
I was sure there'd be many more people out there, so I shared my experiences on social media.
Thank you for opening up the conversation about this, a stranger commented on my post.
"Watching my belly grow has been incredible." (Image: @diamages.com.au)
Now, I know it's so important to raise awareness about this topic and break the taboo.
Although I always felt comfortable in my body, I know there are ladies out there who are less confident.
I believe that educating women, and not letting them be restricted by anything is the best way forward.
Now, I have been working on my pelvic floor as well as making sure I'm wearing Always Discreet products which have special technology to keep me - and my jeans - protected!
As women, all we can do is be our best, and it's great to know that if we open up, we'll can find support in each other.

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