If you or someone you love has incontinence, it can be challenging to find a swimming method that will work. But the good news is that there are seven different options out there! Whether you have an impacted bowel or bladder, want to swim laps for exercise, or want to spend some time in the water with family and friends, this post will show you how to do it.
Swimming with incontinence is a widespread swimming technique. The act of holding in the urine will not cause your swimsuit to become soiled because the suit is waterproof. So, if you have an accident, no one will know what happened. That's great news for you and your family, who can still join you on your next trip to the pool.
I would recommend seven different methods for someone who has incontinence issues. They are:
1) Swim Trunks with an absorbent pad or panty liner
2) Swim Trunks with a nappy style liner
3) One-piece swimsuit (trunks or one-piece suit. This will probably be your best choice.)
4) Swim Trunks with a nappy style liner
5) Swim Trunks with a pinhole nappy style incontinence device (see below for more detail on this type of device)
6) One-piece swimsuit
7) A bathing suit That's a lot of different choices! I know it can be challenging to choose, but hopefully, this information will help. Oh, and one more thing: if you are swimming with an extra piece of clothing underneath the regular outfit and have to urinate while in the water, make sure it is not on the same side as your swimsuit. If so, you could potentially leak urine all over your clothing. If you have an incontinence device, you can use it to urinate while in the water. You can purchase a clean urine collection bag and place it directly in front of the device, which is just attached to your swimming suit. If you are worried about whether your swimsuit will work with one of these devices, you could ask your doctor. They might be able to help you choose the best method for you!
We will try to include at least two swim methods per day for as long as possible. I've also been practising lots of water exercises, trying to strengthen my core muscles as well as my breathing pattern.
How to nappy your swim trunks
Many of you who read Swimming with Incontinence may wonder how one can "nappy" their swimsuit to become waterproof so that the nappy style incontinence device won't leak. Nappying a bathing suit can add a lot of privacy to swimming practice. The problem is that most people don't realize that the bathing suits in department stores are not actually "nappy proof." You can usually tell by looking at the back of some bathing suits. If you find a case that has mesh on the back, you can make it "nappy proof" by sewing a waterproof nappy pad (you may want to cut this pad into smaller pieces) onto the mesh. Then, sew the mesh back onto the bathing suit to prevent leaks.
Another option is to buy an adult swimming nappy. These nappys are made especially for swimming and are approved by PFDs. The swim nappy has an elastic waistband around the crotch area. They also come with adjustable ties on either side of the bottom of your swimsuit (these ties allow you to adjust how tight or loose your adult nappy is).
I've been practising lots of water exercises and breathing techniques. I almost feel like I have "swam legs" now! You can learn a lot about swimming with incontinence by watching your swimmer's technique (i.e., whether they are holding their breath, how often they are rebreathing, etc.). Usually, you can tell that someone is nervous while swimming by observing how their strokes look--whether they are short and choppy or long and smooth.
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