Blog Category: Labour Support

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.

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.