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.
The pain experienced during labour is different for every woman and can vary pregnancy to pregnancy. Preferences on how to manage that pain also differ, and each expecting mom will have her own ideal plan. Researching the available options is an important step in preparing for your labour. What is TENS for Labour? If you would prefer to avoid drugs or other medical interventions and are opting for natural labour pain relief, a TENS machine may be just the thing for you. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. The machine itself is a small box with a clip on the back that you can attach to your clothing. It releases little pulses of electrical energy. How does a TENS machine work? Leading out of the box are four wires connected to sticky pads. Ideally, your birth partner will place the pads on your back for you. Put one pad on each side of your spine, at about bra-strap level. The remaining two pads should be placed further down your back, near the base of your spine. The pads are covered in a gel to help the electrical pulses pass through your skin more easily. There are dials that allow you to adjust and control the frequency and strength of the pulses. There’s also a boost button for you to hold in your hand and press when you want maximum output from the machine to help you with a difficult contraction. Always follow the instructions that come with your TENS machine. How does a TENS machine reduce pain? There are several theories on what makes a TENS machine effective. One is that the electrical pulses prevent pain signals from reaching your brain. Another is that the pulses stimulate your body to release its own natural, feel-good substances, called endorphins. It’s most likely that various factors interact to make TENS work. It may give you a feeling of control over your contractions, it may help you to feel less anxious, and it also may provide a distraction from your contractions. When and how should I use TENS? TENS seems to work best and give you the most effective pain relief when you start using it at the very beginning of your labour. TENS machines are available to rent or buy, so will be able to use it at home before you transition to the hospital (if you’re having a hospital birth). It generally takes about an hour for your body to respond to the electrical impulses by releasing endorphins, so start using it when you’re getting regular contractions or backache. You may find your machine works better at relieving your back pain rather than abdominal pain. Start with the controls at their lowest settings and gradually turn them up as your contractions or back pain gets more intense. You can use the boost button at the peak of your contractions for a little extra relief. What are the advantages? It’s portable and non-invasive. It’s under your control. It’s easy to use. You can keep moving while using it. You can use it for as long as you want and then take it off. There are no lasting side-effects. It’s safe for your baby. You don’t need an anesthesiologist, doctor or midwife to administer it, so you can start using it as soon as you want to. It can be used for a home birth. What are the disadvantages? You will need someone to help you put the pads on. It may only help in the early stages of labour. It may be difficult to find a TENS machine in your area. (http://www.motherschoiceproducts.com/) you can purchase or find a store. It may have to be removed if your baby’s heart has to be monitored electronically. If you want to use a birthing pool or have a bath, you can use TENS before you get in the water, but not when you are in the water. It can make it more difficult for your birth partner to massage your back, which can be an effective form of pain relief. Useful tips · Don’t give up right away if you think your TENS isn’t doing anything. It usually takes at least an hour of using it for your body to build up endorphins in response to the stimulation. · Take the pads off every three hours and reapply the gel to ensure good contact with your skin. · Keep mobile. Moving around during labour helps women feel more in control and should, therefore, enhance the effect of TENS. · If you don’t feel like it’s helping you, take it off and don’t feel bad. You’ve lost nothing. All other forms of pain relief, both medical and non-medical, are still open to you. Where do I find a TENS machine? You may need to call a midwife clinic to track a TENS machine down. Or if you are lucky enough to have an obstetrical physiotherapist in your town, try calling her office. Your doctor or midwife should be able to help you track one down; ask for their help during a prenatal appointment. Once you find a TENS machine, the midwife will show you how to use it during your labour. Prices will vary but generally hang around $100. You can usually find TENS machines at midwife clinics, select pharmacies, or online.
Bridgeport Hospital Increases Breastfeeding Rates and Prevents Infant Falls with Joeyband Hospital also sees an increase in patient satisfaction TORONTO (PRWEB) JUNE 20, 2018 Bridgeport Hospital, part of the Yale New Haven Health network, and Joeyband by S2S Innovations, have joined forces to improve breastfeeding rates, patient satisfaction, and eliminate infant falls; Joeyband, an easy-to-use skin-to-skin support system, aims to improve both quality and safety for new mothers and their infants in hospital and at home. Following the Plan, Study, Do, Act quality improvement protocol, Bridgeport Hospital was able to track data related to the implementation, which took place over a 5-month period. Over the course of the study, Bridgeport saw an improvement of 8.2% in exclusive breastfeeding rates, a 7% increase in the number of babies breastfed within the first 60 minutes of birth, and zero infant falls during the course of the study. In addition, Bridgeport’s Press Ganey Satisfaction score, a metric system to measure patient satisfaction, rose 2.1 points, resulting in a 26% increase in Press Ganey percentage rank, as compared to the large Press Ganey database. “Joeyband helps facilitate safe skin-to-skin contact during the most precious golden hour after birth – for our C-Section and Vaginal delivery Moms. All of our Moms may use the Joeyband in their postpartum room to facilitate that bond necessary for breastfeeding success, with the added benefit of infant fall prevention.”, says Kelley Reddington, MSN, RN, RNC-EFM-OB, CNML, Nurse Manager for Bridgeport Hospital, “We provide support to all our Moms to meet their needs and expectations, and the Joeyband has shown to help us achieve that goal.” “Bridgeport is helping to elevate the standard of care for newborns,“ said Hayley Mullins, Inventor of Joeyband. “Not only are they (Bridgeport) educating Moms on the safest option for skin-to-skin, but they are encouraging continued skin-to-skin upon discharge by sending Joeyband home with patients and their families.” ABOUT JOEYBAND, a product of S2S INNOVATIONS, INC. Joeyband, the patented, clinical product of S2S Innovations Inc, is the exclusive skin-to-skin product of La Leche League International, a 2017 AWHONN (Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nurses) “Trusted Leader,” and the premier product designed to support skin-to-skin and prevent infant falls across the continuum of care – in the Operating Room, Labor/Delivery, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and at home. Joeyband will be exhibiting at AWHONN 2018 in Tampa, FL, June 24-26 – come visit us at booth #301. ABOUT BRIDGEPORT HOSPITAL Bridgeport Hospital is a private, not-for-profit acute care hospital located in Connecticut’s most populous city, primarily serving patients from Fairfield and New Haven Counties. Bridgeport Hospital is a member of the Yale New Haven Health System.