Blog Category: Breastfeeding support and Information

Chronic Pain Chronic pain is a common, complex, and distressing problem that has a profound impact on individuals and society. It frequently presents as a result of a disease or an injury; however, it is not merely an accompanying symptom, but rather a separate condition in its own right. Worldwide, the burden caused by chronic pain represented by conditions such as low back pain and osteoarthritis is escalating. Measuring years lived with disability, lower back and neck pain have consistently been the leading causes of disability internationally, with other chronic pain conditions featuring prominently in the top 10 causes of disability. It affects between one-third and one-half of the population of the UK, that’s just under 28 million adults. The overall cost to the UK economy of back pain alone was estimated to be £10,668 million in 2000. Chronic pain reduces your ability to take part in daily life activities and can create many difficulties in your professional and personal life. Quality of life and mental wellbeing are heavily impacted and can lead to sleeping problems and disorders, anxiety, depression, and deterioration of close relationships. Treatments For Pain Over the past few decades there has been a dramatic increase in use of prescription opioids for chronic pain, despite concerns about their adverse effects and potential for addiction. Many healthcare professionals and researchers have expressed the need for non-pharmacological treatment options. TENS therapy is a safe option that comes without any serious side effects and/or complications. It is widely accessible, affordable, and allows you to take control of your treatment in your own home. The Evidence For TENS TENS provides relief for pain from a wide variety of causes. Clinical research over the past 20 years has provided support that it works by intercepting pain signals travelling to the brain and promoting the release of endorphins. In addition, TENS therapy can often be used in addition to other treatments if desired. Through our clinical evaluations for our TENS machines, our quality and regulatory team has assessed over 100 clinical research papers on TENS and its ability to provide pain relief. The following are short extracts and conclusions from these papers that have inspired us and confirm the effective of TENS. Using TENS As First Line Of Pain Relief May Reduce The Need For Postoperative Opioids. In Addition, TENS Appears Preferable As The First Line Of Treatment Due To Its Association With A Shorter Time Spent In The Post Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU) If The Patient Responds To The Treatment. Effect Of TENS On Patients With Acute Low Back Pain Is Beneficial. The Addition Of TENS To The Physical Therapy Program Was Seen To Make A Significant Contribution To Clinical Recovery In CRPS Type 1. TENS Can Reduce Postoperative Pain In The Early Hours After Inguinal Hernia Repair Surgery. TENS Is A Valuable Strategy To Alleviate Post-Thoracotomy Pain. TENS Is A Safe, Non-Invasive, Easy-To-Administer Therapy To Use For Chronic Facial Myalgia. Pain And Fatigue Were Further Improved When Two Active Devices Were Simultaneously Applied At The Low Back And Cervical Area, Reflecting Its Usefulness As Adjuvant For Fibromyalgia Pain. TENS Has Shown A Significant Improvement On Neuropathic Pain In Diabetic Neuropathy. TENS Is An Effective, Easy To Use And With Minimal Side Effects In Patients Suffering From Trigeminal Neuralgia Not Responding To Conventional Therapy. TENS Promoted Significant Postoperative Pain Relief. Our Study Results Suggest That TENS Is An Effective And Safe Non-Invasive, Non-Pharmacological Treatment Modality. It May Be Preferred As An Alternative Method In Pain Control In Postpartum Women After C-Section Delivery. In summary, TENS is a simple, safe, and effective pain relief method for those suffering from various pain conditions. Blog sourced from TensCare UK.

Dimpleskins Naturals products were started from the kitchen of Jen Casey (CNP, Holistic Nutritionist), in 2001. After the birth of her first child, Jen noticed that chemical-free products were not readily available in the marketplace at the time. So, with her background in Make-Up Artistry, Aromatherapy, and Holistic Nutrition, she began to develop her own balms and salves. Originally Jen just intended them for her own use. But as she began to share them with friends, word spread. Soon moms everywhere were starting to make Dimpleskins Naturals their go-to product and it was featured in magazines and winning awards. Still today the original formulas have not changed. They continue to use natural, chemical-free and organic ingredients and Dimpleskins Naturals has signed the PETA pledge, promising that their raw ingredients and finished products are cruelty-free. All of Dimpleskins Naturals products are manufactured in British Columbia and distributed across Canada. Bum Bum Balm Diapering Salve Pure, unbleached, Canadian beeswax provides a nice barrier on the skin, helping to keep moisture away, while organic calendula oil provides natural healing properties for rashes. All you need to do is apply it to diaper area as needed. It’s zinc-free and won’t ruin your cloth diapers. It’s made of: coconut oil, pure unbleached beeswax, organic jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, organic calendula oil (infused in sunflower oil), cocoa butter, vitamin E oil (derived from pure soybean oil), and pure lavender essential oil. Basically Bare Everywhere Balm Finally, an unscented balm to use all over the body, from lips to tiny toes! It’s not just for baby, this balm is for those who prefer no scent and like one product for the entire body. Contains all natural and organic ingredients, including organic calendula oil to help soothe roughness and itching due to dry skin. The ingredients are: pure beeswax, coconut oil, Apricot kernel oil, organic jojoba oil, organic calendula infused sunflower oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E (tocopherol) Sweet Cheeks Body Balm A delicious blend of pure lavender and vanilla oils make this balm an essential for dry skin, chapped cheeks, and hands. Also works perfectly as an after-bath massage balm on baby. It’s 100% natural and cruelty free like all Dimpleskins Naturals products. Ingredients: coconut oil, pure beeswax, organic jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, pure lavender and vanilla essential oils. Boo Boo Goo Soothing Salve Great on bug bites, eczema, scrapes and boo-boos of all kinds. A combination of pure and organic essential oils that are recommended for use on children aged 1 year and up. What’s in it? Coconut oil, pure beeswax, organic jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, organic calendula oil (infused in sunflower oil), cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, pure lavender, geranium and tea tree essential oils. Get your Dimpleskins Natruals from the Mama Bear Shop today.

Prenatal Ease is a line of products that help mothers from pre-conception through breastfeeding. Offering supplements, nourishing creams and oils for stretch marks, Prenatal Ease takes care of you and your baby’s bodies. These carefully formulated vitamins and high-quality, plant-based skin care use both science and traditional herbal remedies. Want to know more? Here we do a roundup of their products and what they are made of. The Prenatal Ease Vitamins Prenatal Ease Preconception Prenatal Ease Preconception is a multivitamin specially formulated for women trying to get pregnant. The scientifically-based formula contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals to prepare your body for conception. It’s a good idea for you to try to build up nutritional stores before getting pregnant as certain nutrients are important in helping to support women’s reproductive health. Prenatal Ease Preconception contains zinc, selenium, choline, inositol, iron, and vitamin D; all which contribute to fertility and the regulation of hormones. The formulation also has powerful antioxidants such as beta-carotene, E, and C, to help neutralize free radicals that are generated from normal processes like ovulation, oocyte maturation, implantation, and embryogenesis. It also has beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A and is difficult to take too much of, unlike pure vitamin A. Prenatal Ease Preconception also has the full suite of vitamin B complexes. Studies show that vitamin B12 can help the chances of ovulating while vitamin B6 has a role in helping with implantation and early placental development. Each capsule also contains 800 mcg of folate to help prevent neural tube defect. It has everything you need for a pre-conception vitamin. Prenatal Ease Stage 1 Prenatal Ease Stage 1 is a prenatal multivitamin specially formulated for pregnant women in their first trimester (weeks 0-13). It contains 20 essential vitamins and minerals to support your developing baby, including vitamin B6 and ginger to help alleviate morning sickness and provide digestive comfort. It’s also recognized by The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC). During the first trimester all the baby’s major organs take shape and your body will also undergo significant hormonal changes to accommodate the new baby. As a result, this is when you will start to notice common symptoms of pregnancy such as breast tenderness, fatigue, increased vaginal discharge, and morning sickness. Prenatal Ease Stage 1 does not use any drugs to help with the morning sickness but uses premium grade ginger. Ginger has been used for thousands of years by many cultures and is known to be effective in treating motion sickness, postoperative nausea and morning sickness. Ginger is also recommended by The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) in managing morning sickness. Some studies have suggested that the high levels of iron in many “one-size-fits-all” prenatal multivitamins might be another cause of morning sickness. With the biggest demand for iron being in the second or third trimester where your blood volume increases dramatically; having vitamins tailored to your pregnancy stage can be helpful. Prenatal Ease Stage 1 contains just enough iron for a healthy pregnancy, but not high enough to cause morning sickness, and constipation. Prenatal Ease Stage 1 follows all the latest recommendations by The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada for supporting prenatal health and helping to alleviate morning sickness. Prenatal Ease Stage 2 Prenatal Ease Stage 2 is specially formulated for pregnant women in their second trimester (Weeks 13-26). This advanced formula is scientifically based and contains 19 essential vitamins and minerals to support and nourish both mom and the growing baby. It contains important vitamins like A, B, C, D & E to support your immune system and that healthy pregnancy glow. During the second trimester, all the baby’s major body systems are in place and will continue to grow. Their skeletal system will begin to strengthen, creating a greater need for calcium. Prenatal Ease Stage 2 provides significantly more calcium and vitamin D than Stage 1 to help both of you get the calcium you need. Luckily it is during the second trimester when morning sickness and fatigue start to settle down. As the baby matures, there is an increase in blood volume and blood flow to the womb to nourish the baby. Prenatal Ease Stage 2 provides just the right balance of iron to support increased blood production, but not enough to cause side effects like constipation. Stage 2 contains powerful antioxidants such as vitamin A, E, and C, carefully balanced for the second trimester. These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and are also critical for the formation of many different systems. Prenatal Ease Stage 3 Prenatal Ease Stage 3 is a comprehensive multivitamin formulated for pregnant women in their third trimester (Weeks 26-40). This scientifically-based formula contains 21 essential vitamins and nutrients with a special herbal blend to help prepare your body for giving birth. It contains important nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin B, D and K to maintain your vitality and keep you healthy. During this phase, your baby begins to gain weight rapidly by storing fat and other minerals like iron, and calcium. Blood flow to your womb increases significantly to accommodate your baby’s growth spurt. Prenatal Ease Stage 3 ensures that you get the right levels of iron and calcium to support your baby’s growth. Some mothers may experience abnormal blood sugar levels during the third trimester. Prenatal Ease Stage 3 contains essential minerals like chromium to help your body maintain normal blood sugar levels and glucose metabolism. Many moms suffer from indigestion, bloating and constipation during this time due to the extra progesterone being created by your body. Progesterone helps to relax your muscles, but it can also relax the muscles in your gastrointestinal tract. Prenatal Ease Stage 3 contains peppermint to help relieve indigestion and bloating and it contains just the right amount of iron so that it doesn’t aggravate constipation, but still satisfy your body’s needs Prenatal Ease Nursing Prenatal Ease Nursing is a comprehensive multivitamin specially formulated for new moms who are breastfeeding. Containing […]

by Claire Smith After hearing so many positive birth stories with using TENS, from mums and midwives, I felt reassured knowing I had my perfect mamaTens machine ready and waiting. I was hoping for a natural birth following an emergency caesarean with my first baby. Two days before my due date, I was sitting with my friend, late in the evening, chatting and feeling really relaxed, when I felt my water break. My friends face made me laugh when I told her, “I think my waters have gone”, her eyes went really wide and she said, “shall I make you a cup of tea?!” Knowing its best to start using TENS as early as possible during labour we stuck the pads on my back, and I started using the machine on the first programme, A, increasing the intensity so I could feel a gentle pulsing. We called the hospital and they asked us to visit, in order to monitor my progress for a little while, to make sure all was well with me and the baby. After an hour I was relieved that the midwife was happy for us to continue with my labour at home. It was around midnight, and I was only getting a few small twinges, so my husband took himself off to bed. But I really did not feel like sleeping and wanted to keep upright and moving around, so with my TENS machine attached to the neck cord, I slowly walked around, packing and repacking my hospital bag several times. I felt so calm and relaxed and with it being the middle of the night it was lovely and peaceful. As my labour progressed, I increased the intensity of the TENS machine and used the boost button to help me through the contractions. When you press the boost button, the stimulation changes from a pulsing feeling to a more constant buzzing, then when the contraction has passed you turn the boost button off to return back to the pulsing. Having this to focus on really helped me when my contractions became stronger. I switched the TENS to programme B, which is similar to A, as it works by building your endorphins, but the feeling of the stimulation is slightly different. Having the back-lit screen was also helpful, so I could see what I was doing with the machine when pottering about in our dark bedroom. At Around 6.30am my contractions became strong and frequent; it was definitely time to make our way to the hospital. When we arrived at around 7am I was so happy to hear I was 9.5cm dilated! Still using the TENS machine, now along with gas and air, our beautiful Chloe arrived at 8.16am! I was so happy I could enjoy those first cuddles and spend time skin to skin with my precious new baby, and able to hold my little one straight away. With no side effects from the pain relief, I could really enjoy the moment. It was an amazing birth experience, very different from my first and the recovery time was very different too. We were able to go home the same day. My tips for using TENS, practice with the machine first and start using the machine as soon as you can during labour. And remember you can also use it for general back pain from 37 weeks and to help ease any after pains. Blog provided by TensTalk with TensCare.

Going into labour and having the perfect birthing plan takes a lot of time and preparation. There is tons of advice floating around over the web and undoubtedly friends and family will have advice to share with you as well, however, there is no one solution that fits all. All women are different and should be celebrated as such. We have compiled a list of 5 drug-free pain relief options during childbirth so you can decide how to feel better naturally. Hypnotherapy Often to numb out the pain we try to shift our focus somewhere else. This is the foundation of the hypnotherapy approach. In its essence, the practice is self-hypnosis that relies on finding distractions that provide support. In succeeding to do so, tension, pain and fright will be numbed by concentration. The thought behind this drug-free pain relief method is based on a study that proves correlation of fear and muscle tension. Entering labour being frightened will force your body raise adrenaline levels, which will in turn cause tension of the cervix and muscles. Unlike most drug-free pain relief in labour practices, hypnotherapy doesn’t rely on outside forces and gives you full control over its effectivity. Common practices to prepare women for childbirth such as breathing and visualisation classes are aimed at usage of hypnotherapy. TENS Machine TENS translates into Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation and is a medically proven drug-free pain relief measure, widely used in different stages of labour. A Maternity TENS machine is a small stimulator that runs on a battery. It sends barely noticeable electric impulses to override the pain signals to your brain through your skin, using self-adhesive pads. TENS machines are most effective when used in early labour; they not only help you manage your contractions but also give you support in maintaining mobility. TENS equipment can be used by virtually anybody, with an exception to those suffering from epilepsy, heart rhythm disorders or those using a pacemaker. Massage Humans generally find comfort in touch. And, of course, physical contact is just as important in labour. A touch of someone dear naturally makes us relax. Muscle tension is what stops production of endorphins, thus making contractions more painful than they should be. Studies and research shows that women that were massaged during childbirth had shorter labours and had a lower probability of developing postnatal depression. Additionally, they weren’t as anxious and had experienced less pain. Other findings showed that something as little as handholding or patting does miracles to one’s ability to cope. Water Birth When it comes to drug-free pain relief in labour, water birth is one of the oldest practices. Our affinity to water begins in the womb, where we spend 9 months in water, and thus babies can swim upon being born – and it is genetically ingrained in us to naturally relax when our body is submerged. Even in labour water is able to help you relax, and thus release more endorphins that contribute towards relaxation and taking the edge off of pain. Being relaxed means having more control over your pacing and reserving energy for when you actually need it. Reflexology Last but not the least on our list of drug-free pain relief methods is reflexology. It is an alternative medicine practice consisting of applying pressure on different spots of one’s feet to stimulate various body parts. It is usually done by a trained specialist that knows the right spots to stimulate which helps by releasing hormones that can speed up labour. This can be practised either as a one-off or continued in timed intervals, contributing towards a feeling of calm and helping ease the pain. It is important that all expectant mothers consult with their health care practitioners when deciding on the right pain-relief option for them, ultimately it is about selecting the right environment and solution that will help you feel better naturally and assist you in welcoming your new bundle of joy. Blog provided by TensTalk with TensCare.