You might not know much or maybe nothing at all about your pelvic floor but we can help you with that. The pelvic floor is made up of muscles that support important organs such as the uterus, rectum, vagina and bladder. Pelvic floor exercises (called Kegel exercises), are done to strengthen these muscles which can be strained during giving birth and with other medical conditions. Medical issues such as prolapse and incontinence can benefit from a Kegel exercise program. To increase the opportunity of seeing results faster, toning balls, which are comprised of small weights, are used along with pelvic floor exercises. Pelvic Floor Issues that Can Result After Childbirth The most common pelvic floor issues that arise after giving birth vaginally are pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Pelvic organ prolapse is when one or more of the organs in the pelvis move from their normal position and push into the vagina. This is not life threatening but it is uncomfortable and can be painful. You should know prolapse may not occur until years after birth and can cause numerous issues including sexual disfunction. Stress urinary incontinence is when you can’t hold your urine. Why it happens is because the supportive pelvic muscles, tissue and even nerves can weaken during pregnancy and are strained while giving birth vaginally. Some estimates have as many as 35% of new mothers with some urinary incontinence following childbirth and 20% have severe pelvic floor injuries after a normal pregnancy and birth. But most women get the strength back in their pelvic floor muscles within two months. This is why pelvic floor exercises are so important, they are muscles that needs work just like any other muscle in your body! How to do Kegel Exercises The Mayo Clinic explains how to do Kegel Exercises: “Find the right muscles. To identify your pelvic floor muscles, stop urination in midstream. Once you’ve identified your pelvic floor muscles you can do the exercises in any position, although you might find it easiest to do them lying down at first. To do Kegels, imagine you are sitting on a marble and tighten your pelvic muscles as if you’re lifting the marble. Try it for three seconds at a time, then relax for a count of three. For best results, focus on tightening only your pelvic floor muscles and try to do a full relax of the muscles. The relaxation is just as important as the contraction. Be careful not to flex the muscles in your abdomen, thighs or buttocks. Avoid holding your breath. Instead, breathe freely during the exercises. Repeat three times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions a day. Don’t make a habit of using Kegel exercises to start and stop your urine stream. Doing Kegel exercises while emptying your bladder can actually lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder — which increases the risk of a urinary tract infection.” Using the Fleur Pelvic Toning Balls for Better Results So now you know how to do your Kegel’s – it is time to add the Fleur Toning Balls to take it to the next level. The weights are often useful to help beginners better identify their pelvic floor muscles. Because you can’t see your pelvic floor muscles move, it can be hard to focus properly and the weights can help you improve your body awareness. When the weights are inserted properly, your pelvic floor muscles will activate naturally through normal body movement. Sometimes gravity and normal movement might make the weight begin to slip out, if so, engage your pelvic floor muscles to keep the weight inside. The more you engage these muscles, the stronger they get! Your results will depend on the extent of the damage to the muscles and how old the injury is. How to insert the Fleur Toning Balls The first thing you should know about inserting toning balls is that you should wash both your hands and the toning balls with warm water and antibacterial soap. Then dry them off. What can really help with inserting them is to use a good amount of water-based lubricant, and try to stay relaxed The easiest way to insert them is to lie down comfortably with your legs open. Take the lube and apply as much as you need to the opening of your vagina. Slowly insert the first ball and push them both as far as you are comfortable with. It’s okay if it takes you a few tries before you can insert them confidently. The string section at the end should remain outside the body. They should feel comfortable and secure. If it feels like they’re about to fall out, they need to be pushed further into the vagina. Most people report feeling a slight tingly sensation which is more noticeable when moving. The TensCare Fleur Toning Balls are made of medical grade, phthalates-free, silicone. Their sleek shape measure 33mm in diameter and 180mm long, with the perfect weight of 75 grams. The proper use of toning balls involves using them for short periods of time. Using them for too long can have the opposite effect you’re looking for with the weakening of the pelvic floor muscles. And remember, always consult your doctor before using toning balls during pregnancy. There are a few places you can easily get your own set of Fleur Pelvic Floor Toning Balls LeakyBladder Amazon Mama Bear Club
When she started Mother’s Choice Products 25 years ago, nurse Sandra Hass was looking for a new way to help support her busy husband and three young children while at the same time, giving herself the time to actually take care of them. She certainly never expected to become one of the province’s top CEOs. But that is exactly what happened. Sandra Hass is on BIV’s Latest List of Largest Female Led Businesses Recently Business in Vancouver (BIV) released their annual list of Biggest B.C. Businesses Owned by Women and once again Sandra Hass of Mothers Choice Products is on it. Sandra is modest and often attributes her success to the talents of others but once you begin to hear her story you learn that Sandra is a resilient and resourceful businessperson who knows the value of relationships. From the first day when Sandra picked up the phone at her kitchen table through economic crashes, market changes and COVID-19, Sandra has focused on quality and integrity, growing her home-based business to a large office and warehouse facility and a major supplier to both independent retailers and major chains including Walmart, Toys R Us, Save On Foods, Buy Buy Baby, and London Drugs. Mothers Choice Products Begins Sandra started out as a nurse, specializing in maternal and child health. One day, just after the birth of her third child, she realized returning to twelve-hour nursing shifts with young children and a husband busy building his career wasn’t a viable option. Sitting at her kitchen table she thought about her training in maternal health and the lack of availability of some needed quality products like Ameda breast pumps. She decided to pick up the phone and call Ameda right then, asking to be able to sell their product in her area. They agreed and sent her $617.02 of products and six weeks to sell them. She had them all sold in two. Her First Mentor Her original goal was to be able to take care of the kids and make enough money to contribute by paying the Hydro bill. But her father, a retired entrepreneur, saw what she was doing and decided to help. Offering to fly to Toronto to talk to Ameda’s head office, (if Sandra covered the flight); he was able to secure Mothers Choice Products the rights to the province of BC. Her Dad was her mentor, teaching her about sales and business and coming over to help fill orders out of the upstairs room of her house. Sadly, Sandra’s father passed away after her first year in business, leaving her to figure out the rest without him. Without her dad, Sandra relied on networking, relationships she built and nurtured, and her gut instinct. From hiring to products, she has let her intuition guide her and though it doesn’t always work out, she has always learned from the experiences. As her children grew older Sandra had the opportunity to expand her business and has fond memories of the excitement and downright craziness that came with it. Growing Pains Sandra taught herself how to import, how to create UPCs, and much more through picking up the phone and calling people she knew might have the answers. She joined the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, where she gained confidence and bounced ideas off members. There was the mouse infested first warehouse, then the one with the hidden grow-op (which was also a porn studio), and a moment of serendipity where a product producer made a choice that ended up saving her business amidst the 2008 financial crash. But there was also the sexism. Though Sandra’s husband was never part of the business, he was often requested to be present. From pitching companies to dealing with banks and financial transactions, it was expected and sometimes, (even more maddeningly), required, for her husband to be involved. Even as recently as 2007 to open a bank account and get a loan, her husband’s signature was needed. So Sandra is acutely aware of some of the barriers that still exist for women in business and says “it’s wonderful helping other women.” Looking Back As she looks back on her almost 25 years in business Sandra isn’t sure she could do what she did in today’s environment. Sandra says “I did it out of necessity and I enjoyed every minute of it!”, but she doesn’t think she’d have the same opportunities now. Where she once could just pick up the phone and reach the people she needed to talk to, now you have to make appointments to talk to people, everything is more organized, and there’s a lot more competition. She was able to do what she did because she took the initiative to reach out and create opportunities and because she took the time to develop those relationships. Relationships, initiative and intuition built her business and will keep it in the Biggest B.C. Businesses Owned by Women List for a long time to come.
Plastic surgeries, lasers, chemical peels – there are millions of procedures people undergo to hide the signs of aging. As a rule, they are pretty costly and, unfortunately, only lessen the appearance of the problem rather than solving it. But don’t worry! Nature has its way of aiding us, and our own body is our ally – as long as we know how to address them, wrinkle reduction can be a surgery-free process. As we get older, the skin gradually loses the protein that gives the tight, smooth surface – collagen. No one is immune to that, and as time goes by, we all end up getting wrinkly. With continuous loss of collagen and thinning dermal layer it may seem that wrinkle reduction is a losing battle, but don’t give up just yet. While the process of aging cannot be stopped, there is a list of things that can be done to slow its speed and level of damage. And trust us, they are much more cost-effective than surgery, injections and other short-term solutions. Vitamin C Growing up you would have most likely heard that vitamin C is essential to boost one’s immunity against colds. This isn’t its only benefit. In fact, vitamin C is crucial for your skin too, according to the National Institutes of Health. Keeping yourself replenished with vitamin C will help you with fine lines and discoloration caused by sun damage – all you need to do is either take some oral supplement or use an exfoliating topical vitamin C face mask. Or, simply rub some fresh lemon juice into your face – be mindful of the amount, though: too much of it can cause dryness or flaking. If that happens, a daily moisturizer will help you. Silky Dreams You would be surprised to learn that quite a few of our wrinkles come from sleep – a process we think of as the time our body regenerates. According to American Academy of Dermatology, sleeping on your side will increase the number of wrinkles on your cheeks and chin, and sleeping face-down results in a furrowed brow. In other words, the only way to reduce wrinkles is to sleep on your back, right? Unfortunately, we do not control our position when we sleep. However, the way our skin resists or creates wrinkles can be influenced not by just our sleeping position but also on what we sleep on. Invest in pillowcases with high thread counts such as satin – they are known to aid wrinkle reduction. Banana Mask Bananas are rich in potassium when eaten, but they also work miracles on your face when you put them on it! Mash up a banana with a teaspoon of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of orange juice, apply it to your face and keep it on for 15-20 minutes. The potassium will hydrate and moisturize skin cells, while the vitamin A will fight dark spots and blemishes. Vitamin B is the one to prevent aging, and vitamin E will boost your skin’s resistance to UV damage. Face Massage Working in a similar way to the micro-current procedure, you can give yourself a face massage using nothing but your finger. With your index and middle finger massage 20 rotations between your brows, then apply light pressure to each temple and jaw joints for 10 seconds while clenching your teeth. This will relax your muscles, stopping them from making the micro-movements that cause tension and stress and result in wrinkles. Superfoods There are plenty of foods that provide great replenishment to your skin by giving it water, fats and proteins. These foods are so rich in useful nutrients that they have been labeled as ‘superfoods’ and they mostly include berries, nuts and veggies. For example, blueberries are full of collagen-protecting vitamin C and high concentrations of antioxidants. Tomatoes contain lycopene that improves the vascular system, in turn giving your skin a natural glow through extra blood circulation. And almonds are packed with skin-plumping and hydrating fats – what’s not to love? Micro-current Treatment The human body is full of electric signals – from blood flow to nerve signals that are responsible for us feeling sensations. Adding gentle stimulation to your skin can aid in wrinkle reduction as well as lift and tighten your soft tissues. TensCare went an extra mile here and developed a device that helps with not just wrinkle reduction but also other signs of aging using this method. The muscle stimulator Perfect BEAUTY is a Health Canada approved device that can help you to reduce the signs of aging. Aging is a natural process everyone goes through. There is no way of stopping it, but there are ways of slowing it down. Surgery and injections are likely to remove visible effects for a short term but they won’t address the underlying issue. Wrinkle reduction can be done from the comfort of your house – and it is less pricy than you would assume. You can buy it on Amazon here
Taking your first vacation away from your little one? You may have questions about how to keep up your milk supply while you are away. Here are some tips: 1. Bring a portable, light, effective breast pump & extra pumping parts with you 2. Bring a hand pump as back up, especially if traveling on a long trip or to a place with limited electricity 3. Use storage bags – easier to travel with! 4. Make sure you have the right electrical adapter if you are traveling outside of the country 5. Pump when your baby would normally breastfeed 6. Store your milk safely, ask ahead of time if you’ll have access to a fridge or freezer & bring a cooler bag for transport– here are storage guidelines for your reference, https://www.ameda.com/milk-101-article/how-to-store-breast-milk-safely/ 7. Know your airline’s rules about bringing milk back on the plane or plan to ship it back with a reputable milk shipping company 8. And, have fun & relax! Written by: Pamela K. Murphy, PhD, MS, APRN, CNM, IBCLCCertified nurse-midwife, lactation consultant, OB nurse, educator, healthcare administrator, mother & wife
As we all continue to navigate the current global COVID-19 pandemic, Mothers Choice Products would like to share and re-confirm to all of our clients that our supply chains have been maintained and we are able to provide readily accessible products throughout Canada. We continue to maintain stable inventory levels and do not foresee any disruption, delay or limited access of any of our products due to our frequent and focused communications, with our partners. Our team has also evaluated and confirmed with Ameda that there is a full supply of pump kits on-hand. This was critical information to share as we wanted to ensure that all of our clients could confidently encourage utilization of their pump kits with Ameda pumps. This is strongly recommended as it will maintain warranty status and ensure optimum pump performance and safety. Mothers Choice also has healthy inventory on hand to provide stable supply of kits. If you come across material sharing news counter to this, please let us know right away to ensure that we are all dealing with accurate and up to date information. To re-confirm, Mothers Choice Products has all Ameda pumps, HygieniKits, consumables as well as our Sterifeed bottles well stocked in our Canadian warehouse. Mothers Choice Products team is set up and working remotely, including our customer service and product experts that are available to ensure that you have the resources and support needed. Our communication and support may be mostly digital at this time but be assured we will continue to strive to provide the exceptional service Mothers Choice Products is known for. If you have questions, concerns or support related inquiries, please keep the following contact information handy: Phone: 604.275.9221 1.800.604.6225 Hours: 8:30AM – 4:30PM PST Email: email@example.com Thank you from the entire Mothers Choice Products Team. We will get through this together.