Jacinta Crickmore

During the COVID-19 pandemic we've all had a taste of what life is like when you can't do the things you want to do. But for many Australians, this is their reality every day. 

A staggering 1 in 4 Australians live with incontinence. For women, particularly those who have had a baby, the statistics are even higher, climbing to 1 in 3 mums.

I am one of those women, as is my 27-year-old daughter and 81-year-old mother.

It really affects my life. I’ve got two grandchildren who would love for me to jump on the trampoline with them, and I can’t because I can’t jump without leaking. 

So many people think it is normal, particularly after you’ve had a baby or, as you get older. Leaking is NOT normal and can have serious long-term physical and mental health implications.

I'm sharing my story in the hope that other mothers, daughters and grandmothers will be inspired to talk about this taboo topic and seek help.

This World Continence Week, the Continence Foundation of Australia is encouraging Australians to invest time in healthy habits to prevent incontinence.  

These habits include a healthy diet and staying hydrated, 30 minutes of exercise every day and good toilet practice.  

I want to get the message out that it’s not normal to leak and if people start investing in their continence, doing pelvic floor exercises every day, problems can potentially be significantly reduced and, in many cases, even cured.

I am passionate about making sure people impacted by incontinence are heard.

Incontinence happens to people of any age, both male and female. It is one of the main reasons people enter aged care.

The good news is that you are never too old – or young - to start strengthening your pelvic floor with daily exercises to help prevent incontinence or regain control.

For further information, advice and support you can phone the National Continence Helpline on 1800 33 00 66. The National Continence Helpline is a confidential service that operates Monday - Friday, 8am - 8pm (AEST).

*Jacinta is a Continence Foundation of Australia Board Director and Chair of the Consumer Advisory Committee.