Have you ever considered going to pelvic floor physiotherapy? You'll be surprised to find out who can benefit from going!

Do you need pelvic floor physiotherapy?

There are a few things that don’t get talked about enough when it comes to birth and motherhood:

hemherroids

– -fundal massage

postpartum mood disorders

-isolation

-pooping while giving birth

-post-breastfeeding breasts

-the feeling of a bowling ball coming out of your vagina as a result of your child destroying your body during pregnancy and birth

That last one, though.

If your pelvic floor was weakened during your childbearing process you know exactly what I’m talking about. If your pelvic floor stayed entirely intact throughout the whole thing you may not be able to sympathize, however, you still need to be aware for future reference and to pass along the following information to fellow mamas.

Who needs pelvic floor physiotherapy?

In short, the answer to this question is: EVERYONE!

Regardless of if you have a vagina or not, you can benefit from pelvic floor physiotherapy. Just as we keep our biceps and quads toned and defined we need to do the same for our pelvic muscles.

I’ve been pretty open about the impact that birth has had on my pelvic floor. I’m not shy about admitting that I’ve peed my pants a time or two when I haven’t been able to cross my legs in time before a sneeze, or when I try to do a physical activity like run or jump on a trampoline.

While it’s fun to make jokes about it it can actually be a lot more detrimental than one would think. Not only was I unable to do….a lot….without my two-year-old pointing out that I had an accident, but as time went on the pressure in my pelvis was causing pain on a daily basis.

I saw my doctor who told me that my high activity level was actually keeping my pelvic floor stronger, but if it got much worse I would need surgery. I decided then that the trip to the pelvic floor physiotherapist that I’d been procrastinating needed to happen NOW!

What is an appointment like?

I went to my first pelvic floor physiotherapy appointment at Kinetic Physiotherapy with Erin in Maple Ridge.

The appointment started with some questions-a lot of super personal ones that I love talking about!

After the fun questions, she did an internal exam to see where my level of pelvic floor dysfunction was. Without getting into nitty-gritty details about things that I don’t understand enough to pretend to be an authority on, she told me a lot about the vagina and co. that I had no idea about (like bladder placement and sensitive points in the vaginal opening).

Once she was done the exam, Erin gave me some super simple exercises (yep, including PROPER kegels-which she explained) as homework to do every day until our next appointment.

I’m certain that many of you reading this are experiencing some symptom/s of pelvic floor issues (frequent urination, pressure in the pelvis, incontinence, bowel issues). I’ve felt that even just from making my first appointment for pelvic floor physiotherapy that my quality of life has improved. Simply knowing that I’m getting some professional help and am on way to having a pee free run or bounce on the trampoline has encouraged me immensely.

I urge you to do the same so that you can get your life back to normal, as well!

You've been waiting a long time to have sex after giving birth, but there are a few things you need to know before you get back to it!

Things you need to know before having sex after giving birth

So, you’ve been given the ol’ go-ahead from your doctor or midwife to resume sex after giving birth.

Yay! Or not…

You’ve probably realized by now that the fun act of having sex was what got you into this predicament in the first place, and now you can’t get past that massively significant detail.

Your new realization, combined with the mild burning sensation you still experience in your perineum when you poop has made your enthusiasm towards a once carefree activity a little less so.

Your partner is rearing to go. It’s been a while, let’s face it. The last month of pregnancy was essentially a no-go in the sex department, understandably. You were beautifully very pregnant, overheated, overhormoned, and overwhelmed. Sex could have been a consideration if sitting on the couch eating an entire watermelon wasn’t the other option. (Don’t even tell me I’m the only pregnant woman to ever eat an entire watermelon in one sitting…)

After a long month of hearing “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I CAN’T EVEN SEE THE VAGINA YOU WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH” topped with approximately 6 weeks of strict orders to avoid sexual relations your partner, and perhaps you are ready to get back in the saddle again.

Bow chicka wow wow.

Or not…

So far, you’ve experienced change in every aspect of your life since welcoming your little person to the world. Don’t expect a change in sex after giving birth to be any less drastic.

There are a few things you should know before having sex after giving birth:

You've been waiting a long time to have sex after giving birth, but there are a few things you need to know before you get back to it!

-Just because you’ve been given the go-ahead from your medical health professional doesn’t mean you have to have sex. It’s a personal thing and when you feel ready you’ll know. There are loads of variables that contribute to a person wanting to, or not wanting to have sex. Just because your friend is resuming her vivacious sex life (for now…wait until that kid is a bit older) doesn’t mean that you have to follow suit. Live vicariously through her for now and you do you (literally) when you’re ready.

-Your partner may be into being sprayed by your let down, but if not keep it contained by wearing a bra with breast pads.

-Go slow. The last time your vagina was getting attention it was because there was a freakin’ baby coming out of it. Show the gal some love by making sure that you go slow until you’re fully comfortable with speeding up the pace.

-On the note of vaginal loving, make sure you stay lubricated, too. You’re probably a little nervous and the lovely array of hormones that are coursing through your body aren’t helping on the natural lubrication front.

-Figure out birth control before resuming sexual activity. Clearly, the one you were using last didn’t work;)

-I was kidding about the looking at your vagina thing. You do need to acknowledge the change that’s occurred in your body. It really is the only way you’re going to get back to being comfortable. Grab a mirror and get reacquainted with your beautiful body (p.s. scars from perineum stitches look super badass.)

-Maybe give the whole thing a whirl on your own before with a partner. Explore your changed body and see what feels right and what doesn’t. Share this information with your partner so that they can modify their actions to accommodate to what works for you.

-Your previous style of sex life may no longer be possible. May I suggest some Kama Sutra just for parents?

Acknowledge and accept that sex after childbirth is different than sex before childbirth-for a while, anyway.

There are different sensations, sounds, even smells. You may have a hard time focussing or getting in the mood. It’s normal to experience these changes. However, if you are finding that it’s been a great deal of time since giving birth and you still are uninterested in sexual activity you may want to discuss it with your healthcare provider to rule out things such as Postpartum Depression.

Sex after birth is a new experience, and it truly can be a great one. Explore. Communicate with your partner. Laugh (yeah, I’m serious).

Have fun, you sexy vixen!

There is a whole lot to know about nipples! Here are 9 fascinating facts that you should know before you start breastfeeding!

9 surprising facts about nipples

Most people have at least one or two nipples.

There’s a natural progression in the fascination with nipples as we grow:

Childhood: I’m going to play with these things on my chest and repeatedly say the word nipple.

Pre-Adolescence: Everyone gets a Purple Nurple!

Early Adolescence: Nipples rising!!

Late Adolescence: I’m going to let other people play with these things on my chest.

Adulthood: WTF is coming out of there?

Nipples are fascinating. They’re a lot more than a little (or big) protrusion on your chest/breast. There are a few things you’ll learn for yourself along the way (like the many, many sensory receptors in the nipple) but there are a few things you may not know yet.

Here are some fascinating facts about nipples (you need to know before breastfeeding)

  1. Nipples are erogenous zones for a lot of folks. This means that nipple stimulation can often trigger a sexual arousal response. In fact, scientists have shown that stimulation of the nipples transmits to the brain the same way as from stimulation from the clitoris, vagina, and cervix. Just be careful…a little nipple play can get you into more trouble than you can imagine.
  2. Your nipples can change colour and shape in pregnancy. As your breasts grow and change your nipples do, as well.
  3. Your areola (the area surrounding your nipple) will likely get larger and darker throughout your pregnancy. This is so, and get ready for this, your baby can find your nipple easier!!! How amazing is that!
  4. Remember that first fun fact? Nipple stimulation to induce labour has been an idea that’s been floating around for quite some time. While some folks swear by it, there are others who say that it’s ineffective or causes labour contractions that are stronger than normal. ALWAYS talk to your midwife or OBGYN/healthcare provider before doing anything to bring on labour (no matter how desperate you are or how many go-aheads you get in a Facebook group).
  5. There are lots of different types of nipples. They come in different shapes and sizes: flat, inverted, protruding, or unclassified. Some of these characteristics can make breastfeeding a little more challenging, so if you’re having difficulties it may be worthwhile to talk to your midwife or OBGYN/healthcare provider, or lactation consultant to find out the best way to breastfeed with your nipple type.
  6. Nipple pain is normal…to a point. Breastfeeding shouldn’t cause a whole ton of pain, so again, if you’re experiencing pain that is intolerable you may need to source out some help.
  7. The average height of a nipple is 0.9 cm….unless you’ve breastfed 4 kids. Then, you’re likely carrying around nipples that resemble AA batteries.
  8. Trying to find the perfect lipstick? Your ideal match of lipstick is the colour of your nipple! Now, if only there was a way of figuring that out in the makeup store without being too obvious…
  9. Nipples can leak breastmilk without any extra help. While some folks require hand expression or a breast pump to extract milk, others experience a “free pour”. Using some good quality breast pads can reduce circle stains on the front of your shirt!

Do you have any other fascinating facts about nipples you think should be shared?

Also, if anyone has found their perfect lipstick colour please share how you got it!

postpartum poo

The truth about the postpartum poo

Ask a 4 year old about postpartum poo and they’ll begin laughing hysterically and making farting sounds. (P.S. They don’t know what “postpartum poo” is and they don’t care. You said “poo”.)

Ask a woman who’s given birth about postpartum poo and her response will let you know that this shit ain’t funny.

Your body has just experienced a majorly traumatic experience. Labour is traumatic. Delivery is traumatic. Hemorrhoids are traumatic. Breastfeeding is traumatic. Parenting is traumatic.

Having a kid is just one big trauma fest, really.

I mean, don’t get me wrong; there’s a lot of joy and happiness in having a baby, too, but holy Toledo can it be a massive pain in the ass.

Literally.

Okay, so I’m about to get nice and graphic for you here. If you don’t like talking about poo or you’re still recovering from your own postpartum poo and the thought alone triggers you to clench up so tight you have near buns of steel, then perhaps this blog post isn’t for you.

However, if you’re like the SO MANY women out there who are about to bring a child into the world and haven’t been informed of the truth about the postpartum poo you most definitely need to read on.

 If you're like so many women who have no idea what to expect with their postpartum poo then this article is a must read for you!

Ok, so you’ve delivered your beautiful little baby. Chances are your bowels were evacuated when you were splayed on the table in front of a team of doctors and nurses while your partner caught the whole thing on camera, so you may not feel the need to have a poo for a few days. This is a good thing. You need a few days to load up on soluble fiber, stool softeners, and so much water.

Understandably, when you do feel the urge to push you get a little anxious. After all, the last thing to come out of your body was a baby. While that’s not likely to happen again so immediately, you probably still feel a bit uneasy about the whole thing. However, holding it in WILL NOT do you any service. That shit will just build up, compacting as it does. You’ll be taking “shitting bricks” to a whole new level if you don’t take care of business as soon as the opportunity arises.

Just as birth is different for everybody, so is the postpartum poo. Some poor souls have a 40 hour labour, spend hours pushing, and wind up with first-degree tearing while others deliver their babies after a mild cramp and a sneeze. The same ridiculously unfair comparison applies to the postpartum poo. You may be spending a great deal of uncomfortable time on the toilet, or you may be simply pretending to do so behind a locked door while yelling “I’m almost done. *grunt*” and catching up on your Facebook gossip.

Once you’re finished not pooping out a baby (I mention this fact because I’m sure you considered that was a possibility at least once during this process) you need to give yourself a good, relieving cleaning. Remember that peri-bottle your beautiful midwife or doctor gave you? Yep-that thing will offer as a wonderful substitute for the toilet paper that will feel like sandpaper on your poor bits. It will also make you wonder why you don’t live in France, or at the very least, own a bidet.

You may experience a bit of residual discomfort once you’re all finished. Have you heard of a padsicle? Wet down maxi pad in witch hazel and throw it in the freezer for a bit. Once it’s nice and cooled down slap that baby into your super sexy mesh hospital panties or your super sexy granny panties. This will give some relief to your stretched out vagina (don’t look yet-I’m warning you), those hemorrhoids that are lurking, and your poor anus that truly doesn’t know what just hit it.

Rest assured that any poops subsequent to this first postpartum poo won’t be nearly as traumatizing. Well, not any of yours, anyway…

#newbornpoo #ewww #pooface #uptheback #poosplosion


mdhm pee

A Mom’s guide to peeing your pants

You think you’ve got it this time. You see the door and you’re sure you can make it. You carefully maneuver yourself-slowly and cautiously with legs tightly, yet inconspicuously together-to your destination. Suddenly, something stops  you in your tracks. You’ve felt this before and you know the outcome can be tragic. You cross your legs in a very obvious fashion now and wait for the urge to pass.

It doesn’t.

“AAAACHOOOOOOOFUCK”.

That’s the sound you make when you sneeze and pee a little.

At home it ain’t no thang. You ignore the confused look from your potty training two-year-old who just got that “we pee in the potty and not in our pants, please” and proceed to search for a clean pair of granny panties and yoga tights to put on.

Things are a little different when you’re in public and the dangerous combination of having to pee and having to sneeze presents itself,  reminding you of the awkward phase in your life where you’re too old for baby diapers and too young for adult diapers.

You have a few options for what to do with your soiled self when you’re in public:

Own it

Lady, your body did a bad-ass, but literally mother fucking thing. Your bladder was trampled on and likely destroyed by that small person that lived inside of you for 9 million months, and it won’t ever be the same again despite all the kegels you do.

Stretch marks are a badge of honor for some child-bearing women. Why can’t a little puddle of pee on occasion hold the same sentiment?

Pretend you’re in labor

Chances are you have a bit of residual baby belly-because that shit lasts a lifetime. If not, quickly grab a sweater under your shirt and grab your belly in a maternal way accompanied by an expression of surprise from your water just breaking. Play the irrational labouring woman to your advantage and insist you need expensive chocolate to calm your contractions just enough for you to get to the car and drive yourself to the hospital, thank you very much.

Stage an accident

Oh no! Your water bottle was faulty and spilled water all down your front when you went to take a drink!

*Please note: this is only a reasonable option if you have actual water in your water bottle. We don’t need to reveal any secrets now, do we?!

Find Adam Sandler

“You’re not cool unless you pee your pants”-Billy Madison.

Remember that movie? When Adam Sandler plays Billy Madison and splashes water on his crotch to show solidarity to a peer who peed his pants and was being ridiculed by the other kids?

Chances are you’re not actually going to find Adam Sandler in the middle of a Costco diaper section, but you might find someone who’s got your back. Catch the gaze of a fellow Mama. She’s probably dealt with this situation. She may not engage in an act of solidarity quite like Billy Madison did, but she may offer some empathetic assistance and you may find yourself a bestie!

 

You always have the option to wrap your sweater around your waist or put some shopping bags in front of unfortunate incident, Truly, though, the alternatives above seem like a fun way to lighten up the situation a bit.

In order to prevent these little incidents try making sure you don’t get to a point where you really have to go. You know how you tell your kids that holding in your pee is really bad for you and they shouldn’t do it? NEITHER SHOULD YOU! Take those few moments to relieve yourself. If you don’t, urine trouble.

 

 

This is why you should consider a home birth

This is why you should consider a home birth

All views expressed in this post are entirely my own opinions. Any reflection that I make on home birth is based on my own experiences. If you have questions please talk to your doctor or midwife. 

 

My first experience with birth was pretty terrifying. I was 20 years old and completely unknowing of what my body was about to endure. My baby had a congenital heart defect* that required many doctors to be present in the birthing room. I was induced by Pitocin drip because the medical staff wanted my baby born so her heart could be treated. I was basically strapped to the bed due to the monitors I was hooked up to. I was given options for pain relief but didn’t opt for them until it was too late (did you know you can’t get an epidural while you’re pushing??).

My first birth experience as sterile and clinical. I was disconnected but had no idea it could be any other way.

*My daughter was born with Double Outlet Right Ventricle, a ventricular septal defect, and a single coronary artery. She had two surgeries to correct it. You can read her story here!

When I was pregnant with my second daughter I knew I wanted something different. I did some research and planned out my birth. I was still a little shaken up by my oldest daughter and her condition and knew that I wanted this baby to be born in a hospital. My water broke a week after she was due but no labor progressed. Unfortunately, I had to be induced once again. My doctor, whom I adored during my pregnancy was there intermittently throughout the labor.  My nurse felt my birth plan was irrelevant and followed me around asking if I wanted pain medication for almost my entire labor. I ended up locking myself in the bathroom by myself until I was ready to push. My doctor missed the birth because my sweet girl came rather quickly. She was delivered by two nurses.

It wasn’t quite as scary as my first birth experience, but it certainly wasn’t the warm and fuzzy one I was hoping for.

this is why you should have a home birth

My third pregnancy is where things changed. We moved out of the town we were living in, which meant we left my doctor. Having a baby in our new town meant one of three things: 1. Get a new doctor, 2. Go to the maternity group based in the hospital in the next town over, or 3. Get a midwife. I’d had friends who had AMAZING births with their midwife so I thought I would give it a try.

As my pregnancy progressed so did my fear of hospitals. I dealt with significant prenatal anxiety and depression, and a fear of hospitals transpired from that. The idea of having a home birth was now not an option to entertain-it was the ONLY option in my mind.

My prenatal care was exemplary. The group of midwives that I had were the most caring, nurturing, compassionate women I could ask for. I felt at ease. I felt that my views surrounding birth really mattered.

My darling third daughter was two weeks overdue. Now, to the non-pregnant person that doesn’t seem like a lot, but to anyone who’s grown a child inside of their body- two weeks is an eternity! I decided to try out the “labor cocktail” to send a clear message to my little one that she was being evicted!

My midwife was by my side from the moment I said I needed her there. She calmly guided me through the birth in the comfort of my own bed. I had all the luxuries of home…because I was in my home! My birth was calm, gentle, and quick (although not as quick as my next one would be!!). My body responded to the low-stress environment and was able to act accordingly. There were no bright lights, no beeping, people talking in the hallway. I had full control of my surroundings. I got to sleep in my own bed that night and didn’t have to worry about packing all my stuff up the following morning. I ate all my own food and didn’t get any funny looks when I asked for my placenta to be put in the fridge until I was able to take it home with me. 

My fourth home birth was the most intensely wonderfully terrifying experience I could have asked for. Listen to this home birth story here (but don’t hate me too much-short labor wasn’t my fault!!):

The home births that I personally had were the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. It’s truly not an option for everyone, but if you and your caregiver decide that it could be an option for you I would highly recommend trying it out!

Did you have a home birth? Share your story in the comments!