Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain is very common during pregnancy, but it is usually not a reason to worry. However, it can definitely interfere with sleep, mobility, and general discomfort during daily activities.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, back pain can be caused by a few different factors, including:

  • Hormones
  • Weight gain
  • Posture, and/or
  • Stress

Fortunately, there are some ways to manage your back pain to make it less severe and occur less frequently:

  • Exercise can help strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine and pelvis, helping to improve posture and reduce the stress put on those joints and muscles. Exercises generally safe during pregnancy include swimming, walking, and most other forms of exercise you did before pregnancy, as approved by your doctor.
  • Wearing a support belt can help improve posture, as well as placing a pillow behind your back when sitting or between your knees when sleeping.
  • Pregnancy massage may help alleviate pain, so schedule yourself a prenatal massage or have your partner learn some safe techniques to help you relax.
  • Heat or cold applied to the pain could help alleviate the pain, but make sure to protect your skin during application.
  • Chiropractic care could also help alleviate your pain and reduce the occurrence, so find a reputable chiropractor if it’s in the budget.

Although back pain is not usually a cause for concern, you should monitor your body closely and not hesitate to contact your doctor with any concerns. If your back pain lasts for several weeks, worsens, or is accompanied by a fever, vaginal bleeding, or numbness it could be more serious. Back pain could also be a sign of preterm labor, so pay close attention to the severity, location, and associated symptoms and call your doctor with any concerns. Your doctor can help determine if your back pain is being caused by something more serious, and suggest a management plan if it is not.

Did you have back pain during pregnancy? What relief techniques worked for you?

Continue Reading

7 Ways New Moms Can Decompress and Find Peace of Mind After Baby

Having a baby changes everything. You transition from being more self-oriented to being fully engaged in the care of a tiny human. And that transition can be difficult. Today, we’re sharing seven ways new moms can decompress and find peace of mind after baby.

1. Schedule some “me” time.

Whether it’s five minutes, or an hour, actually writing down a timeframe for some “me” time can be really effective. Give yourself permission to nap while the baby naps, or to let your significant other take a shift while you relax. You’ll be amazed by how much setting a concrete schedule will help you establish a routine, and give you something to look forward to. Plus, you need to rest and recover too.

2. Practice yoga and/or meditation.

The great thing about technology is you have a wealth of it at your fingertips. Therefore, you don’t even have to leave your house to find some amazing yoga videos and meditation practices. Some are as short as five minutes long, but can really help reset your stress levels and provide a calming influence throughout the day. Find what works for you, and enjoy the positive effects.

3. Go outside.

Never underestimate the power of a breath of fresh air and a little bit of sunshine. And, if it’s not currently sunshiny where you live, a change of scenery is always a good thing. Especially if nature is involved. So whether it’s a little walk around the neighborhood or a short trip to a local park, get outside.

4. Ask for help.

Never be afraid to ask your loved ones for help. Maybe it’s your significant other or maybe your mom, a close friend or a trusted neighbor. Regardless of who it is, you will have people in your life who are more than willing to help. And they’ll ask you what they can do. So, tell them, and allow them to help you out when you need a break.

5. Treat yourself.

I feel like all of the world’s problems could be solved by a good massage, but maybe that’s just me. In all seriousness, a massage or other spa treatment can be restorative and help you decompress. If something like that is out of your budget, grab your favorite nail polish and have your own little mani/pedi session. Or buy your favorite treat from your local bakery. Or go see a movie all by yourself. Maybe you can just binge watch all of this show again. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself, even if it’s just a tiny bit.

6. Call a friend.

Sometimes you just need one (or more) of your ladies. Never underestimate the empowerment that can come from communing with your friends. It’s an important way to process stress and handle it accordingly. Plus, it’s always nice to chat.

7. Take up an old hobby.

Taking up an old hobby is a great way to connect to who you were before you had your baby. Because it’s really easy to forget, especially during those first few months. It’s important to remember that it’s healthy to have your own interests and pursue them. Maybe you’re a serious pianist or a decent watercolorist. Maybe you used to cross stitch when you were ten and have always wanted to take it up again. Whatever the activity is, reconnect with something you enjoyed and allow it to become a new way to relax and enjoy yourself.

New moms: what are some ways you like to decompress? 

 

Continue Reading

Labor Fears: 5 Real and 5 Not-real Worries about Labor and Delivery

Most women have at least some level of anxiety when it comes to childbirth. First-time moms are especially prone to worry about the unknown, and some even have a straight-up phobia of childbirth, called tokophobia, that goes far beyond normal levels of worry.

But just relax, mama. Humankind exists because of childbirth. You can do this! Information and education are your best defense against stress and worry.

Here are 5 things many women worry about but shouldn’t, and 5 things that are actually worth your concern regarding labor.

Not real

Pooping

The idea of pooping while laying with your legs wide open in front of a bunch of strangers is definitely embarrassing, but this will be the LEAST of your concerns during labor. In fact, a lot of women do poop during labor and don’t even notice. Nurses are so quick to clean it up and with everything else coming out of you, poop will be no big deal.

Being hairy

Many women worry about whether or not to shave before labor, considering how many people will be peeking down there. First of all, if you can even manage to shave your legs at 9 months pregnant, props to you. But shaving your va-jay-jay should not be high on your priority list. In fact, it might cause irritation and itching, which is much worse than hair. Your doctors and nurses don’t mind.

Not making it to the hospital in time

This is one of those fears that is most prevalent among first time moms who don’t realize how long labor takes from beginning to end. Most likely it will be hours, even a few days, between the beginning of real labor and actual delivery. Of course, you will hear the stories of the women who give birth in the car, but the odds of this happening are low. More often than not, women get to the hospital too early and get sent home.

Pain management

Modern medicine has provided pain management techniques that mean you will hardly have to feel anything during labor if you choose. However, if you want a pain-med-free childbirth and are worried about the pain, realize that labor pain is not constant. Contractions come and go, so you have time to breath and brace yourself. There are things you can do besides medication to manage the pain, also. Breathing techniques and trying different positions can help you manage pain.

Your vagina will never be the same

You will be surprised at how elastic you are down there, and how good your body is at bouncing back. The tiniest of women have given birth to 9 and 10 pound babies without tearing or episiotomies. Even with tearing or an episiotomy, your body is incredibly good at healing itself. Give it time, but don’t worry about this one.

Real

Premature labor

This fear is worth your focused time and attention. Pay attention to your body and don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor with any worries of premature labor. Learn the signs and how to differentiate between Braxton Hicks and true labor contractions.

Holding your breath

It’s natural to hold your breath during contractions and pushing, but it’s very important to keep breathing during labor and not hold your breath. Your doctor and nurses will keep reminding you to breathe, but pay attention to your breathing and even practice breathing techniques before labor so you are ready.

Feeling pressured into decisions

Having a birth plan is a good idea, but it’s important to be flexible. That said, it’s okay to ask for explanations and understanding of procedures before you agree to them. Most unplanned procedures are done for the safety and wellbeing of the baby or you, but it’s okay to ask questions and make sure you feel good about them before agreeing.

C-sections

Let me clarify – it’s okay to be worried about the possibility of a C-section, because it is a major surgery. However, it’s important to do your research into the reasons for a C-section. They are often done to save lives. If you don’t have any complications during pregnancy or previous pregnancies your chances of having a C-section are not big, but it’s still important to understand how they are performed so you are not wracked with fear if you must have a C-section.

Endurance

When you realize you’re in active labor, your adrenaline will be pumping and you’ll probably feel very eager. However, active labor can take hours or longer, so it’s important not to over-exert yourself, especially when you have a chance to rest. When you’re finally fully-dilated and it’s time to push you will need your strength, so try to conserve your energy for the end.

What were your fears about labor?

Continue Reading
Introducing Smart Sock 2! CLick here to learn more.
1 2 3 161