Warning! Are you experiencing pain from your C-section?

Warning! Are you experiencing pain from your C-section?

Let me guess.  You thought a C-section would be easier on your body, right?

Have you ever noticed pain in your groin, inner thighs or with sex?

It may be because of your scar tissue.

The scar tissue formed from C-sections, episiotomies, surgeries, and perineal tearing can cause numbness and an inability for the adhesions to lay down in a proper pattern, creating tension in your groin and inner thigh area.

Crazy thought, isn’t it?

Furthermore, if you have scar tissue internally, it may be affecting your organs.

(Here’s a nice image to demonstrate the pull of scar tissue)

Imagine what it would be like to be pain-free.  To enjoy sex again.  To have no trouble with your bladder or incontinence.

Ask yourself these questions…

9 Out Of 10 Moms Have These Symptoms From A C-section Scar

  1. pain during sex
  2. clitoral and/or labial pain
  3. feeling like you need to go to PEE a lot
  4. numbness around the scar
  5. lumpy or hard spots over the scar
  6. pelvic, low back and pain in the groin
  7. digestive troubles
  8. can’t feel your abdominals doing work

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3 Symptoms You May Be Experiencing From An Episiotomy

    • difficulty going to the bathroom
    • pain/tension in your pelvis
    • pain or discomfort with sex

So, What can you do about your pain? In this post I”ll share how a scar massage can reduce your pain and improve your incontinence.

Step #1 Massage your scar. {keep in mind, I am not a massage therapist}

The scar tissue formed after an incision may not lay down as “neatly” and is less pliable and flexible. A gentle scar massage can “break-up” this tissue creating more freedom in the area and in your overall body and may reduce the tension you are feeling.

How soon can you practice a scar massage?

You want to wait for at least 6-weeks after any abdominal surgery and consult with your doctor before adding this in. Do not massage the scar if there is any oozing or redness. Please see your doctor!

How do you practice a scar massage?

There are 4 ways to do a scar massage

  1. massage gentle circles over the scar {and any area of tension}
  2. press and wiggle- press down and shift forward and back slightly
  3. go over the scar left to right and right to left
  4. use a SOFT massage ball/foam roller and gently sit on it and breathe for your perineal area

You can use coconut oil or any other oil to help the fingers skim over the skin.

Practice this for 1 minute most days of the week. Be gentle and over time increase your pressure.


Take your time and realize healing takes time. The best types of exercise for you are breathing, walking, core restoration and light bodyweight exercises until the scar tissue heals. Possibly 9-12 months.

Diet is also VERY important to heal the scar tissue. Make sure you are getting enough healthy protein at each meal to aid in your healing. 

Conclusion

In short, your scars from childbirth could be creating tension, pain, and in turn, affect your bladder control.  When the scar tissue is released, you will unwind years of tightness and be able to connect to your core AND pelvic floor with ease.

The first step is the hardest.  Have you tried massaging your scars from childbirth? I want to hear from you.  Tell me below in the comment section. 
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6 Steps To Reduce PMS

6 Steps To Reduce PMS

What if you never had PMS?

What would change in your life?

What does PMS mean?

PMS or pre-menstrual syndrome refers to the physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the one to two weeks before your period – days 14-28. Symptoms are cyclical and vary between women and often end 1-2 days after your period begins. Common symptoms include acne, tender breasts, bloating, feeling tired, irritability, and mood changes.

And, PMS can be worse after having children due to hormonal changes.

When PMS hits you

First, it’s important to note, there is a wide range of variations of women’s cycles including timing, bleeding, and symptoms. It’s essential you discover what is “normal” for YOU.  {I LOVE the app My Flo, created by Alisa Vitti, to help you chart your cycle and get to the root of your symptoms.}

What is a ‘normal’ cycle?

Menstruation occurs between the ages of 12 and 50 years and lasts 3-6 days for most women,  arising once in a 25-28 day cycle.  More extended periods (>8days) are associated with anovulation or no ovulation.

The most substantial flow tends to be day 2 of the sequence; loosing about 30-80 ml of blood total.

And, If you are between 30-40 years of age…..

Due to a decline in ovarian function, women between the ages of 30-40 will experience a change in their irregularity, frequency, duration and amount of blood loss during their cycle.  Women in their 30s experience a shortening of their cycle due to increased production of FSH.¹

Then 2-8 years before menopause, the period lengthens again in preparation for the change, the average age of menopause in the US is age 51.

Factors that affect your menstrual cycle

Stress, changes in light exposure, sleep patterns, diet, travel, amount of exercise and illness can all affect the endocrine glands (these glands include the pineal gland, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries, thyroid gland, parathyroid gland, hypothalamus, and adrenal glands) which determines our cycle.

Other factors affecting our cycle include; a woman’s nutritional status, body weight, attitudes and beliefs about menstruation and environmental and workplace exposures.

PMS is real, here is how you can reduce your symptoms

#1 Track your cycle

Use a new app or the calendar on your phone to chart your period.  The first day of bleeding is considered Day 1, Day 14 you may notice some cramping and change of cervical fluid during ovulation, Day 25-28 you may experience some premenstrual symptoms before your period arrives.

Your cycle is unique to you and by tracking it; you can see any changes that may occur and encourage some self-nurturing practices before your period to get back on track. This also can provide valuable detailed information for when you would like to explore a health consultation. 

#2 Eat Whole Foods

Overall you want to consume fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains, and cold water fish.  Add a good quality oil (like olive oil or walnuts) and essential fatty acids (think flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds to name a few) to each meal.

Stabilize your blood sugar throughout the day by eating often and adding good fats and proteins to each meal.

If you struggle with constipation, add 1 tbs. of flaxseeds daily from day 14-28.  Also, consider removing dairy and meat during the last half of your cycle; especially if you struggle with breast pain as well.

I like to add mung beans to week 3 of my cycle, filled with B vitamins, they can decrease bloating and PMS symptoms. Alisa Vitti, creator of the Myflo app does a fantastic job of breaking down the foods we need each week during the month to reduce unwanted symptoms.

#3 Exercise

Moving your body most days of the week can improve your mood, reduce stress and encourage bone mineralization which supports a healthy cycle. As your mood changes weekly, your exercise should change too.

Day 14-28 you may have more energy and want to run, hike and bike.

Day 1-14 you may wish to do more yoga, dance or Pilates. Listening to your body will result in a healthy cycle.

#4 Reduce Stress

Reducing your stress can be very powerful and useful for women with irregular cycles.  Cutting out caffeine, adequate rest, learning to say “no” to events on Day 1 and Day 2 of your period can encourage a positive experience each month.

Herbal adaptogens and botanicals that soothe the nervous system can improve your stress response, promote relaxation, reduce cramps, PMS and bloat each month.  Say bye bye to Advil and hello to herbs to aid digestion, reduce pains and ease PMS anxiety.

#5 Your Attitudes & Beliefs

Our bodies pain creates unhealthy thoughts and poor self-image. By cultivating a sense of nourishment each month, you can begin to enjoy the rest that our cycle allows.  On day one make yourself a cup of tea, journal, go for a walk or curl up in bed with a good book. One of the first books my mother gave me and I still own is; “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by Christine Northrup, M.D. She says

“We can reclaim the wisdom of the menstrual cycle by tuning in to our cyclic nature and celebrating it as a source of our female power.”-Christine Northrup, M.D.

#6 Reduce Environmental Exposures

Chemicals in our environment can mimic as estrogen in our bodies, and they are known as exogenous estrogens. Many of these compounds are endocrine disruptors which affect our cycle and also may contribute to reproductive problems and cancers.

To reduce your exposure to these toxins avoid foods that readily absorb the leached material from plastics like dairy foods. By removing plastic from our foods (think plastic wrapped cheese) and reducing the number of water bottles that touch our lips; we reduce our overall exposure to these harmful chemicals.

You can also reduce your exposure to chemicals by purchasing organic tampons, pads, condoms and vaginal lube from companies like; organique or sustain.

Conclusion

PMS is common but not normal.  You don’t have to suffer every month and suppress the pain.  Getting to the root of your discomfort will help alleviate your monthly stress and possibly improve fertility.

Your diet, particularly removing dairy and meat, may decrease cramps and breast pain.  By improving elimination with an increase in fiber, you can reduce bloating and constipation and help your body eliminate excessive estrogens.

Tired of suffering every month? Book a health consultation with Tara to learn how diet and natural remedies can change your monthly PMS. 


References

¹Romm, A. Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. Churchill Livingstone, 2010

Don’t trust botanicals, here are 7 companies to love

Don’t trust botanicals, here are 7 companies to love

Do you want to trust and believe herbs will work for you, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking “is this going to harm me?”

Do you feel like your practitioner is selling you snake oil? That cure-all elixir with false claims.

Or do you have bottles of supplements, you’ve never used for fear of what is in them?

It’s hard to believe some supplements may work for you when you’re not sure what to look for.

One concern is the increase in lead or mercury in our herbal products.

A study published in the August 27, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), demonstrated that one-fifth of U.S.-manufactured and Indian-manufactured Ayurvedic products bought on the Internet contained detectable lead, mercury, or arsenic.¹

Purchasing online from a reputable company is important to your health. You want to know exactly what is in the ingredients you are ingesting and if you can trust the company from which you are purchasing.

How to trust your herbal products

The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) was created in 1982 and is the voice for the herbal product industry.

When purchasing herbal products look for products that have full labeling. Look for the following on the label:

  • The company notes the full name of botanical on the product.
  • They have an expiration date. Keep in mind, herbal tinctures or tonics that have alcohol can be preserved for years beyond their expiration date. If your product smells bad or you have a gut feeling it is not good, throw it away.
  • The company offers dosing suggestions on the bottle. Herb Pharm has a whole line of products dedicated to children’s health and has the dosing on the bottle.
  • Watch for any ‘red flags’, companies claiming for weight loss or extreme health declarations that seem impossible.
  • Even if they have perfect labeling, you want to look for these additional concerns when consuming botanicals.

Concerns when using herbal medicine

The company you purchase from:

  • Ensures quality control in each product
  • Three companies I love: Herb Pharm, Herbalist & Alchemist and Moutain Rose Herbs offer this information online to their consumers.
  • They use certified organic or pesticide-free plant products that are sustainably harvested.
  • The plant is vibrant, tasty, potent, and consistent
  • The product is proven safe through laboratory analysis.
  • Tests each product to ensure there are no molds or contamination
  • Does not practice product substitution – using another botanical as a substitution
  • Is considerate of temperature control, freshness, and monitor’s quality.
  • Can provide you with an organic certificate, kosher certificate, certificates of analysis, pesticide residue tests, GCMS printouts, and MSDS forms documents to ensure your safety.

Consumer concerns when using herbal medicine:

  • Watch for potential allergic or idiosyncratic reactions, this is an abnormal sensitivity to a drug which may result in:
    • severe skin reactions – look for skin rashes, itching, or hives
    • anaphylaxis – along with skin rashes, the throat will feel like it is closing up and you have trouble breathing. Take a deep breath, this rarely happens.
    • blood dyscrasias – a disease or disorder of the blood.
    • hepatotoxicity – liver damage.
    • fever or joint pain

Who is at risk for idiosyncratic reactions?

  • Women who are 50 or older
  • Those who are currently using medications
  • If you have:
    • hepatic disease
    • renal ideas
    • If you are malnourished and/or decreased weight
    • If you consume alcohol regularly
    • If you have possible enzyme deficiencies

The most prevalent source of adverse effects is with clients who are currently taking medication. If you are taking the following medication, please check with your doctor and community herbalist before ingesting a new herbal product.

Are you taking these medications?

  • anticoagulants
  • barbiturates
  • insulin
  • cardiac medications
  • NSAIDs
  • oral contraceptives
  • anti-depressants

Please check with your doctor before consuming a new herbal product.

Idiosyncratic reactions occur very infrequently and are independent of dose, and are highly unpredictable. Herb/drug interactions present a higher risk than allergic reactions.  But, if you or your child’s partner has an allergy to the Asteraceae family, it would be important for you to keep this plant away from your child until they are older.

Other concerns when using botanicals:

  • Watch for the timing of use – stop taking botanicals two weeks before surgery for fear of too much bleeding or a bad reaction.
  • Dosage – always check for correct dosing when using any medication.
  • Duration of use

Herbs to avoid with your children (and ages)

  • Basil herb <2
  • Coffee seeds <12
  • Coltsfoot leaves <2
  • Comfrey leaves and roots (externally)<2
  • Eucalyptus <2
  • Jamaica dogwood
  • Lobelia plant
  • Mate leaves <2
  • Oregano leaf <2
  • Peppermint leaves & E.O. <2
  • Senna leaves <12 {ok for kids 2+ for 1x use}
  • Tea leaves <6
  • Uva ursi <12
  • Valerian root <3

For a complete list see: Herbal Contradictions and drug interaction

Who are the 7 herbal companies you can know and trust?

To search for a company you love, head over to the American Herbal Products Association directory of members.

Who is your favorite company to use? Let us know in the comments below.


References:

¹ https://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm050798.htm

Additional resources:

4 Steps To Stop A Sinus Infection Naturally

4 Steps To Stop A Sinus Infection Naturally

Be honest.  You’re sick of using antibiotics for your sinus infection.

What if you could stop this inflammation naturally.

You’ve tried natural remedies before but they haven’t work for you.

I get it.

For years, I would call up the doctor and request medications for my sinus pressure.  I knew I needed drugs to get rid of the pain. Little did I know overusing antibiotics would bite me in the butt years later.

I struggled with acne, digestive problems and then food sensitivities to gluten and dairy all due to using antibiotics frequently.

The truth?

When you learn how to reduce medications, heal your gut, and integrate natural remedies, you won’t have to worry about sinus infections anymore.

But don’t forget.  Your diet is always first.  The first food I would remove would be dairy if you struggle with consistent sinus infections.

What are the symptoms of a sinus infection?

  •  A headache or heavy feeling in the head (sometimes with difficulty concentrating)
  •  Nasal congestion or nasal discharge
  •  Post-nasal drip (mucus dripping down back of the throat)
  •  A sore throat (mucus dripping down can cause chronic irritation)
  •  A cough – wet or dry and usually all day
  •  Fatigue
  •  Bad breath
  •  Moderate to high fever

So what’s the answer?

In this post, I’ll share the 4 steps I use to stop a sinus infection in its tracts!

#1 Diet & Inflammation

  • Gluten, dairy, and sugar are common allergens that cause sinus infections.
  • Eliminate these foods from your diet if you experience frequent sinus infections. If I was to choose just one, I’d get rid of dairy ASAP.
  • Encourage lots of green vegetables & soups when you are under the weather.
  • Drink clear liquids and caffeine free tea.
  • Consider adding a probiotic to your diet and healing your gut with The 4R approach. 

heal your gut

  • Put to action>>>Make garlic toast!
    • Toast some gluten-free bread and top with Organic Olive oil and sliced raw garlic.
    • Fresh garlic is known as an antimicrobial to aid with infections.
    • Eat daily until you are better.
    • Garlic is a great anti-microbial and can fight viral and bacterial infections.  Eat garlic raw if able, or mix with hot water and lemon for a garlic lemonade

#2 Tinctures For A Sinus Infection

  • Take Echinacea tincture For 7-10days. Take 30-40 drops 3-4x day in a little bit of water.
  • Echinacea acts as an anti-microbial.

#3 Essential Oils For A Sinus Infection

  • Add one drop of Thyme Essential Oil to a facecloth (for adults only), place in the shower and let the steam help open your sinuses.
  • Alternatively, try herbal steam.
    • Boil water and place one drop of Lavender or Thyme Essential oil in the bowl, cover your head and steam for 20 min.  You can also use lavender dried buds or dried Thyme for less potent steam.

 Apply Lavender Essential Oil topically

  • Dab diluted Lavender Essential oil on your cheeks and under ears.  Dilute when using with children.  ONLY 1 drop of essential oil to 1 tbs. of carrier oil. Don’t use with children under 2 years of age.

#4 Homeopathic Remedy For A Sinus Infection 

sinus infectionTake 30 C Kali Carbonicum if you have the following symptoms:

    • Pressure, fullness, and pain at root of the nose.  Discharge is thick, ropy green-ish yellow, post-nasal drip, violent sneezing; mucus tastes sticky, aching and fullness in global, worse with cold, 2-3am, suppressed catarrh.
  • Take 2-3x day if symptoms are improving.
  • STOP taking homeopathy if your symptoms get worse, you should feel your symptoms improving with each dose of homeopathy.  For a sinus infection, you may have to take for 2 or 3 days, along with the tinctures and change of diet.  Be patient and rest.
Read how Dr. Aviva Romm, Dr. Axe, and Dr. Jocker’s stop sinus infections naturally.
Conclusion

Even if you’ve struggled with sinus infections your whole life, you can stop a sinus infection in its track with diet, herbs, and homeopathy.  I’m proof.  It’s been 10 years since I’ve needed antibiotics for a sinus infection.  A simple change in your diet, healing your gut and integrating natural remedies can reduce the number of antibiotics you need due to sinus infections.

There may be a time you’ll need antibiotics, but overall if you strive to improve your diet, you can stop the use of antibiotics for sinus infections.

Could this work for you? Comment below.

10 Things I would have done differently postpartum

10 Things I would have done differently postpartum

I cried when we left the hospital.

I was so afraid to go home with two babies and get back to real life where I had to cook, clean and care for two little ones. I was right to be afraid.

Our postpartum time was filled with so much chaos, crying and sleep deprivation.

We opened two businesses and had twins in the same year. I wouldn’t suggest it to anyone.

Five years later, we survived the fevers, the crying, the sleep training, the potty training and feeding them with only one experience of Mario choking on ice.

So, I’d love to share with you what I would do differently if I were to raise twins all over again.

#1 Ask for Help

I found it very hard to ask for help. I was a strong, independent woman and didn’t realize it’s ok to ask for help. Although friends and family are very busy, they want to help. I’m forever grateful to those who made us meals, held a baby for just a moment and ran after baby a, while I ran in the other direction for baby b. Thank you.

#2 Take supplements

I was so against supplements before giving birth. I wanted everything natural and thought I could get my vitamins and minerals from my food. I suffered from digestion problems, so taking anything scared me as I didn’t know enough. I feared taking anything at all that it may disrupt my digestion more. What I know now, is I lost a lot of blood giving birth, and it’s a traumatic, stressful event, the body needs more support. Postpartum women need iron, vitamins, digestive enzymes, EFA’s and probiotics to restore their gastrointestinal flora. Next time I would take supplements, especially magnesium to release the stress and tension!

Essential fatty acid supplementation (1-3 g/day combined EPA and DHA) and adequate cold water fish consumption during pregnancy and during the postpartum period may prevent or alleviate postpartum depression. ¹

#3 Improve my diet

The first six weeks were all about survival. Whatever you made me, I ate it. I woke up to coffee and had wine to wind down at night. The excessive caffeine contributed to my insomnia and created a terrible daily routine of anxiety. Next time, I would wake up with hot water and lemon and eat oatmeal to aid my digestion. I’d skip the caffeine, chocolate, and coffee.

#4 Skip the wine & beer

I found myself drinking Guinness as it was supposed to increase my milk supply. I would have a glass of wine or a drink to take the pain away in the evening. My body ached from sleeping just two hours most nights, and I was numbing the pain with alcohol. It didn’t help. It created anxiety and insomnia that lasted months. I’d skip the alcohol and drink herbal teas of chamomile, lavender, and stinging nettles.

#5 Take adaptogens sooner

Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help you adapt to stress. At the time of my children’s birth in 2013, I studied herbs for over six years but what I was not taking was adaptogens; like Ashwagandha or Reishi mushrooms. These herbs help the body modulate stress, reduce anxiety and ease insomnia. Ashwagandha, motherwort, and nettles are considered a L1 in the risk category for lactation risk.² For a list of herbs to avoid while breastfeeding see Kelly Mom’s website. 
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#6 Meet with a pelvic floor physical therapist

My six-week postpartum visit to the doctor was a disappointment. I asked her if I had a diastasis recti or a prolapse. She insisted everything was “fine.” I didn’t feel fine. It turns out I did have both. Meeting with a pelvic floor physiotherapist would have confirmed my biggest worries and eased some anxiety about my body. Locally, we love Dr. Ashely Hocutt. See her website here.

#7 Had my thyroid checked

Your thyroid can become hyperthyroid two to four months after birth and then hypothyroid for two to eight weeks. I treated my self for hyperthyroid with botanicals, but I would have loved to have a proper diagnosis. Dr. Aviva Romm discusses your postpartum thyroid here. 

#8 Waited to go back to work

In most cultures, the new mom is encouraged to rest for forty days. The family helps with food and caring for the newborn. The mom is invited to sleep and relax. Again, this was not my experience. The worries of the new business, the stress of not sleeping and the never-ending crying of babies were exhausting. If I were to do it again, I would have planned better to be able to step away from my business and ask for help.

#9 Moved in with my parents

I joke about this, but it’s the truth. Raising twins is hard. Very hard. Living with my family would have helped immensely. End of story.

#10 Hire a postpartum doula

Postpartum doulas are known as the “must have” accessory for new moms. They help new moms with the caring of the child so that would we can trust our inner momma instincts. They also may help with light housekeeping and meal preparation. I breastfed both of my kids for three weeks, and then I looked in the mirror and thought, I am never going to get out of the house if this doesn’t change. That night at 3:00 am I ordered formula and The Baby Whisperer on my phone. The next day Mario ate 5oz. of formula and slept seven hours! I would have loved for someone to tell me it’s ok to give your kids formula! Katherine Whiteside runs a free infant support group at the local libraries.  Sign up for Linda’s Ladies breastfeeding support group for postpartum questions and support.

If you are in the “thick of it” and your babies are young.  Don’t worry, it will get easier.

I hope some of these tips help you survive the chaos of raising little ones.

Warmly~

Tara

If you’re curious about integrating botanicals into your diet during the postpartum period, book a health consultation to get started. Book now. 


References:

¹Romm, Aiva; Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health

²Hale, Thomas; Medications and mothers milk 2017
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Are you still wasting money on pantyliners? 5 steps to stop incontinence.

Are you still wasting money on pantyliners? 5 steps to stop incontinence.

I know what you’re thinking.

Incontinence is just a part of aging.  Incontinence is because of your kids or menopause.

Are you sick and tired of the embarrassment of incontinence?

Picture this.  No more fear and frustration with running and jumping.

No more need to cross your legs when you cough or sneeze.

Saying YES to the things you love to do again.

Let’s dive in.

Which activities increase your leaking and which ones do not?

When does your leaking occur?

  • Is it during running? When you hit the hill?
  • Do you leak when you yell at your kids?
  • Does it happen when you step to the side?
  • Or stand up after going?

This all can change.  We need to re-train your body for the event in which leaking occurs.

Incontinence after birth

Running & Bladder Leaking

You’re going for a run and all of a sudden you feel it.  Take note.  What was happening in your run to cause the leaking?

  • Does it happen just when you reach the hill?
  • Did you think of something that caused you to stress?
  • Did your pelvic floor fatigue and you’re tired?

These are all reasons why you may experiencing leaking.

Your pelvic floor, the muscles that hold up your bladder, are part of a pressure system that runs from your the top of your mouth to your pelvis called your intra-abdominal pressure (IAP).

When one part of this system is compromised, say in childbirth when your pelvic floor may weaken, then the whole system is affected.

But don’t forget….

Women who’ve had a C-section, large tears, abdominal separations and episiotomies have increased pressure inside their body because their pressure system has been cut into.  Therefore, you may need more breath training then a friend who did not have these experiences. ¹

Similar, when you cough in excess, sneeze, run, or jump you increase the pressure and when the muscles are not activating correctly, the pressure moves out of the system; as in leaking.
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Incontinence causes:

  • your pelvic floor muscles are weak/long
  • your pelvic floor muscles are short
  • caffeine and your diet may be causing inflammation and constipation
  • you may be in a high-stress response all day long
  • you may have had surgery that has compromised your pelvic floor/bladder area {C-section, episiotomy, or a large tear}
  • your exercise routine may be too intense for you right now
  • you’re overweight and it’s too much pressure downward
  • you have a forward head
  • your upper back is stiff
  • you’ve had a cold and have coughed for days
  • your sleep
  • your posture is poor
  • you are carrying two kids and groceries all at once!

So what’s the secret to stopping incontinence?

Incontinence Care


5 Little Known Facts To Stop Incontinence

#1 Reduce Constipation

The pressure of constipation {and even excessive coughing} weakens the pelvic floor and decreases its ability to hold in urine. Try these tips to reduce constipation.

  • Increase your daily water consumption – up to 8 Glasses/day.  Even if you’re worried about leaking.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages as much as possible (as they can lead to dehydration)
  • Walk 30 minutes a day
  • Use the bathroom at the first urge to eliminate
  • Use the toilet at a consistent time every day
  • Minimizing consumption of constipating foods (like ice cream, meats, cheese, and high-fat foods
  • Increase adequate dietary fiber – 20-35g/day (i.e., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans)
  • Add Flaxseed to your diet: Grind a cup of flaxseed and store in the refrigerator.
  • Take 1 tbs. of ground flaxseed and add to your food daily.

#2 Engage & Stretch Your Pelvic Floor

In a woman’s body, the pelvic floor muscles surround the urethra, vaginal opening, and anus. In addition to keeping the pelvic organs in place and the pelvic bones stable, the pelvic floor muscles are also responsible for:

    • The pleasurable muscle contractions felt in the genitals during orgasm. Orgasms feel bigger and stronger when the pelvic floor muscles are strong.
    • Comfortable vaginal penetration. The flexibility of the pelvic floor muscles is important for comfortable penetration.
    • Keeping urine inside the bladder at moments of unexpected belly pressure (laughing, coughing, lifting, sneezing, jumping).
    • Keeping stool inside the rectum until you consciously relax your pelvic floor to allow it to pass.

#3 Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is a deeper breath with increased coastal expansion and it allows the abdominals to relax.  Think of breathing side by side like a bellow.  It regulates the pressure in the abdominal cavity and releases tension and tightness in the pelvic floor. 

Women say they feel tense or tight in their core and pelvic floor when they have incontinence. The diaphragmatic breathing releases this tension.

To do:

    1. Begin by sitting on a hard chair or bench and pull your “flesh away” so you feel your sitz bones.  If you are on the floor sit high on blocks or a firm cushion.
    2. Inhale-Envision the diaphragm moving downward, the abdomen contents are displaced outwards and the pelvic floor bulges slightly.
    3. Practice 3 ways: put both hands on your ribs and breathe into your hands 3-4x, place hands on your belly and allow it to push into your hands 3-4x, and last place hands on your collarbone and feel your breathe rise above your heart.

#4 Reduce Your Stress

As your bladder fills up it sends nerve messages to the brain to tell it when to empty your bladder.  When we “go to the bathroom, just in case”, we are actually decreasing the size of urine our bladder can hold therefore making the problem worse.  By relaxing your nervous system, you can change the response your brain triggers when your bladder is full.

Reducing stress is a multi-dimensional healing process.  Some steps you can take today are:

  • Incorporate meditation as often as possible to change your stress response
  • Drink caffeine-free teas
  • Add adaptogens to your diet
  • Exercise daily
  • Journal
  • Read this: 7 Natural Remedies For Everyday Stress

#5 Try Homeopathy

Homeopathy is safe, gentle and affordable and can be used with children and adults alike.  The key to homeopathy is finding the right remedy for your specific symptoms. The theory “like cures like” implies you are seeking the specific remedy for your unique symptoms.   Read about the remedies here.

In Conclusion

It’s easier than you think.  The first step in stopping incontinence is to tap into your breath.  Notice if you’re holding your breath during the day and when incontinence happens.  Breath holding, constipation, and your stress response increase your risk of leaking.  What’s stopping you from trying this?

Let me know in the comments below.


References

¹ Clint, Susan; The Whole Body Connect

² IAP with Functional Activities. Egger, et al. Reproducibility of Intra Abdominal Pressure Measured During Physical Activities Via a Wireless Vaginal Transducer. Female Pelvic Med Reconstr Surg 2015;00: 1

²  Lift and carry conditions; Int Urogynecol J (2015)
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