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

Click here to subscribe

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. 
Click here to subscribe

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. 
Click here to subscribe

#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
Click here to subscribe

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.

Running & 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.
Click here to subscribe

Here are some reasons you may be experiencing incontinence:

  • 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?

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)
Click here to subscribe

6 Ways To Fix Diastasis Recti

6 Ways To Fix Diastasis Recti

I pulled up my shirt and peeked in the mirror. Twelve months after birthing twins, I still looked three months pregnant. My six-week postpartum visit with the doctor had not been reassuring. I came in worried about the pressure in my pelvic floor and expanding belly, but she just said, “Everything looks fine.”

I thought I’d feel normal again before too long, but here we were a year later. I was still struggling with toning my core, pelvic pressure, insomnia, and anxiety. I did not feel like myself.

And the worst part was, I felt like I ought to know better. I had been teaching Pilates and fitness classes for thirteen years, and training other instructors in how to teach postnatal clients for almost as long. I knew the mechanics of the pelvic floor and abdominals, but I still had no clue how to heal my postpartum body.

I knew I needed more than Pilates, yoga and strength training, suggested by a friend; I reached out to a physiotherapist Jessie Mundell, creator of Core & Floor Restore. I also signed up for The Prenatal Client with Debbie Goodman, MSPT. They both opened my eyes to postpartum physical therapy.

When I finally became brave enough to touch my stomach, I realized I had a gaping two fingers-width separation. The tissue was soft, and sit-ups and my poor diet made my stomach stick out more. Honestly, I was disgusted and determined to fix it.

What is diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti: A musculoskeletal injury, where the rectus abdominis stretches at the connective tissue, {the linea alba – a collagen cord that runs from the bottom of your sternum to the front of your pelvis} leaving a weakness in your core.

This superficial stomach muscle {rectus abdominis} has always been separated into right and left halves, but with a diastasis recti diagnosis, it is based on a 2.7 cm distance between the rectus abdmonis halves.

If your space is less than this and still feels unnatural to you, no worries, you can still benefit and decrease the area with my suggestions below.

Diastasis recti occur because of undo pressure and poor body alignment.

It wasn’t just about what I saw in the mirror. Repairing my diastasis recti, I knew, would help me stand stronger, tone my core and reduce my bloating. Here’s how I did it — and how you can too.

How to heal diastasis recti

1. Support Your Core

I began wearing a diastasis rehab splint, which is like a big Ace bandage for your tummy. (Here’s the one I used, from the Tupler Technique.) A friend suggested it to me, and although it can be uncomfortable, it supported my core and reminded me to draw in my abdominals when I was caring for the twins and jumping out of bed when they cried in the middle of the night.

I wore it day and night for six weeks. Keep in mind>>> The splint does not replace the necessary exercises you need to do to heal your connective tissue, but it helps bring support when you are caring for your family. 
Click here to subscribe

2. Roll Over.

The brace helps to close the gap between your abdominal muscles, but it also made me more mindful of how I moved — especially how I got out of bed. For most of that first year, the cries of my babies startled me so much that I jack-knifed myself up and out of bed when they needed me. But that movement pushes your core out, which can weaken your pelvic floor and make diastasis rectus worse.

With the brace on, I began rolling to one side and gently pushing myself up. This movement protects your core because you are not putting undue pressure on your rectus abdominus, which is already weakened due to the separation. This rolling to the side is how I recommend all moms get out of bed and off the floor. Forever.

3. Alignment- Untuck Your Tush

I first noticed I was gripping my tush when I was doing dishes for hours on end. The pain was excruciating; I now know the piriformis tightens to support a weakened pelvic floor. By rolling the piriformis with the Franklin Massage balls, I was able to release the hip tension I was experiencing and reduce my pain.

Lots of moms tuck or squeeze their glute muscles when they hold their kids; you might not even realize you do it but pay attention the next time you pick up a little one. Tucking the glutes brings your pelvis into a posterior tilt, which tightens your hip muscles and weakens your pelvic floor. This posture is very common with diastasis recti.

Try to release your tush muscles and draw your ribs over your hips when standing. Use a massage ball to loosen the piriformis, so the pelvic floor muscles can do their job of supporting your core and pelvic floor. This rolling is a great thing to do when you’re watching TV in the evening — you’ll release all the tension that builds up in those muscles when you’re chasing after kids all day long. See how here. 

4. Engage Your Pelvic Floor

I’ve taught pelvic floor engagement for over thirteen years, but what I didn’t realize is how vital the pelvic area is and how important it is to lengthen and strengthen your pelvic floor with many different types of contractions.

Your pelvic floor, an intricate web of over twenty-two muscles supporting your internal organs and your low back and is the foundation of a healthy core. It’s important to strengthen it when healing Diastasis recti because the pelvic floor brings your pelvis into better pelvic alignment, reducing the tension placed on the linea alba.

How do you engage your pelvic floor? {Listen to this audio}

A student once said; “It’s like closing both exits.” Lift and squeeze the pelvic muscles surrounding the vaginal and anal opening; It’s a figure 8 shape, and you should feel a tightening from front to back. Contract the pelvic floor 10x quick {known as quick flicks} and then lift and hold the pelvic floor for a count of 10. Repeat daily.

5. Skip the Sit-Ups

Whenever I did crunches in the first year after my twins were born, I noticed my ab muscles bulging out instead of curling in — the exact opposite of what I wanted them to do! Crunches and sit-ups place too much pressure on your core and pelvic floor muscles when they are weak. This undo stress, causes poor posture when your standing and sitting for long periods of time.

This poor alignment is the reason diastasis recti occurred in the first place.

Each pregnancy is different and your recovery can be different from everyone else.  When you can engage your pelvic floor and transversus, you may be able to do crunches and planks again!

6. Diet and diastasis recti

Barely sleeping for two years and living on Guinness for dinner was not one of my best moments in life. The sleep deprivation led to a poor diet and had me reaching for coffee and sweets throughout the day for energy.

I was practicing the right exercises, but my stomach was still bloated, and digestion was slow. A healthy gut and easy digestion are imperative to healing the linea alba, and constipation creates increased pressure in the abdomen, weakening this area causing a “pooching” of the core.

Eliminating inflammatory foods like gluten, alcohol, and dairy can help to speed the recovery by reducing inflammation and easing digestion. Whool-foods, healthy proteins and lots of water, along with a daily multi-vitamin and a probiotic can help repair digestive dysfunction from childbirth.

“The diastasis recti is just a symptom- a sign of poor mechanical nutrition.” -Katy Bowen

My twins are five years old now, and while I still have a slight separation of my abdominal muscles, the connective tissue is healthy, and I no longer have pressure in my pelvic floor or core.

Conclusion

These six steps; supporting your core, rolling over, untuck your tush, engage your pelvic floor, skip sit-ups and diet can help close the gap and help you gain valuable inner strength to last a lifetime!

Have questions? Comment below.

Warmly, Tara

Click here to subscribe

Incontinence: How to fix it with exercise.

Incontinence: How to fix it with exercise.

It’s frustrating, I know.

The Icon suggests 1 in 3 women experience incontinence. From spring chickens to silver foxes.

Incontinence is a devastating occurrence happening to women all over the world.  Often, you deal with it silently, suffering alone not knowing there is something you can do about it.

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to deal with this?

Think about this for a moment.  What if this wasn’t a problem for you? What would change in your life?

Let’s see how this works.

First, What is incontinence?

You may not even realize you have it.  Ask yourself, do you have any of these symptoms?

  1. Leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, run, exercise, step or jump- at any age.
  2. Not being able to hold in urine in for two hours.
  3. The flow of your urine seems different, choppy.
  4. Dribbling
  5. Uncontrollable gas and urges to go
  6. Unable to sleep through the night seven hours without toileting {During pregnancy and after 65 years of age it is normal to get up once or twice a night.}

And, What is ‘normal’ bladder function anyway?²

  • Toileting every 2-4 hrs
  • Awareness of the need to toilet 2-4 hrs
  • A robust and continuous flow of urine for 10-20 seconds in duration
  • Urine is a light yellow color without a strong odor
  • Easy initiation and automatic completion without dribbling
  • The absence of any leakage with physical activities, coughing, sneezing, bending, lifting, exercises, getting up from sitting and reclining.
  • The absence of frequent, uncontrollable urges to go.
  • Sleeping through the night; 7-8 hours without toileting.

But don’t forget, you can have stress or urge incontinence or a mix of both!

What is Stress Incontinence?

Stress Incontinence is leaking caused by increased intra-abdominal pressure, such as while coughing, sneezing, heavy lifting, running or jumping.  The leak is usually a small amount of urine.  (Multiple leaks increase the total loss of urine.)

What can you do for stress incontinence?

#1 Practice breathing techniques and contract your pelvic floor BEFORE you cough, sneeze, or jump {if possible} to instantly train your pelvic floor muscles for the event.

#2 Ask yourself “why is this happening?” Are you yelling at your children? Is it when you hit the hills with your run or mile 2? When does this happen? Then you can train for the event.

What is Urge Incontinence?

Urge Incontinence is leaking in connection with a sudden uncontrollable need to toilet.  A relatively large amount of urine is lost, without control.  Urge incontinence may occur with running water, stepping into a shower or going out into cold weather.

What can you do about urge incontinence?

#1 Practice diaphragmatic breathing.  Deep belly breaths stretch your pelvic floor, making room for the increased size of your bladder.

#2 Seek out a pelvic floor PT to help with “retraining” your bladder.

Also, You can also have a combination of the two.
Click here to subscribe

Why does incontinence happen in women?

Pregnancies, surgeries, and menopause affect our pelvic floor with time and with each event that occurs. The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, uterus, and bowel in our body.  When the pelvic floor weakens or tightens, it affects the support of the bladder and therefore leaking.

  • Physical tears or trauma during childbirth
  • Excessive jumping, running or lifting weights with a weak pelvic floor
  • Surgical repairs
  • Excessive constipation or diarrhea
  • Pelvic muscle dysfunction
  • Stress
  • Food irritants like coffee or gluten
  • Imbalance of the autonomic nervous system
  • Special populations; vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, pregnancy and menopause

Therefore if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, know that they can change.  A change of diet, exercise and practicing relaxation techniques can work wonders.

“What surprised me the most about the pelvic pow-HER class is that the exercises were so much more than doing Kegels.  Tara shared her knowledge of how our pelvic floor supports so much in our bodies.   I continued to do some of the exercises at home; to my amazement, it started making a difference.  I felt stronger and was having less leakage.  It wasn’t long after taking pelvic pow-HER I stopped wearing incontinence pads.”

 

So, what’s the secret to ‘fixing’ incontinence?

#1 Add Diaphragmatic breathing

Not only will the diaphragm help stretch the pelvic floor but it also relaxes your nervous system.

As you inhale, release your abdominal area and notice if you are holding any tension.

Exhale, relax your jaw, relax your shoulders.  Practice 4-5 breaths every hour if you have an overactive bladder or pelvic pain.

Practice 3-4x day if you experience stress incontinence or constipation.

#2 Stretch your pelvic floor

Your pelvic floor may be too tight or hypertonic.  By stretching your pelvic floor you release the tension and allow the pelvic floor muscles to hold your bladder up when it is full.

In this audio, I bring you through how to stretch your pelvic floor.  Put on your headphones! (Listen to the audio) You want to practice this 30-40 breaths each hour or at least 3x/day with incontinence.

#3 Engage your pelvic floor.

After you learn how to stretch your pelvic floor, you want to learn how to strengthen it.  More than just kegals, your pelvic floor can contract in many different directions! Please skip this step if your pelvic floor muscles are tight.

Three ways to engage your pelvic floor:

  • draw your vaginal area to your clitoral area and lift up
  • stop incontinencedraw your clitoral area to your urethral opening and lift
  • squeeze around the urethral opening

 

I’d love to know your thoughts.  Leave a note in the comments below.

Conclusion:

Incontinence is common but it doesn’t have to be.  With exercise, diet changes, and homeopathy you can stop the embarrassment of bladder leaking and feel amazing again.

 

Warmest, Tara

P.S. Pin the image and keep for practice.


References:

¹Rempfer-Kuncio, Mandy’ Pelvic Floor: Function, Dysfunction, and Exercise (Postnatal fitness Specialist Academy)

²References: Hulme, Janet A.; Beyond Kegals®; Phoenix core solutions
Click here to subscribe

How The 4R Approach Helped Me Heal & Allowed Me To Eat Gluten Again

How The 4R Approach Helped Me Heal & Allowed Me To Eat Gluten Again

As I sat down for lunch with my very hungry five-year-old twins, I noticed they accidentally put mayo on my son’s turkey sandwich.  I thought, “he is not going to eat this.” I kindly asked them to make another sandwich and I enjoyed the turkey sandwich with mayo on white bread.

I would have never imagined this would be me six years ago. 

I’ve struggled with diet my whole entire life.  When I was young, I would break out with acne on the back of my arms.  My stomach would bloat out and my digestion was terrible.

In college, I would turn bright red after a few drinks and would never know what foods would upset my stomach.

As I got older, I began avoiding foods.  I avoided meat, dairy, and then eventually discovered the gluten-free diet worked for me.

My stomach felt better, but I still never felt “right”, I was always confused with what are the best foods for me.

In 2009, I finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel.  I met an Ayurvedic doctor who helped guide me toward an Ayurvedic Vata diet which consisted of eating warm, cooked foods, along with teas to aid digestion and soothe anxiety.

During my pregnancy, I was able to eat anything I wanted.  I happily added gluten and dairy back into my life.  I fondly remember sitting down to eat two pieces of pizza-alone-when I was seven months pregnant.  I practically cried at how wonderful it tasted.

As the years passed and I was able to take care of my health again, I noticed I had to return to the gluten-free lifestyle I had before having children, but this time it was much harder to accommodate as I now had an instant family of four to feed.

When I began searching for courses to help me heal my postpartum depression, I found Dr. Aviva Romm’s Women’s Herbal Educator certification.  With shaking hands, I enrolled in her online course hoping she could guide me out of this fog I entered after having twins.

What I received was so much more than I ever imagined.

Dr. Aviva Romm taught me why I was experiencing so much pain and anxiety.  Too many doses of antibiotics as a child and young adult, along with my monthly Advil was taking a toll on my gut health and, in turn, my anxiety.

Antibiotics and medications change our gut microbiome, making it difficult to digest certain foods like dairy and gluten. When you heal your gut and reduce medications, you may be able to add gluten back into your life again.  Or you may choose to never eat it again.

Are you struggling with what foods to eat as well?

The root of your problem may not be the environment, your genetics or all in your head, it may, in fact, be in your gut.

If that rings true to you.  Read on.  

Our “second brain, the gut, contains some 100 million neurons; when this system is compromised or “inflamed” disease sets in. As a women’s herbal educator, I always ask you to send me your diet first.  What you are eating (or avoiding), can be an indication of what supplements you may need to heal your gut. 

10 Signs You May Have “Leaky Gut Syndrome”

  1. Digestion problems-bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea
  2. Food intolerance-avoid meat, dairy, and/or gluten
  3. Seasonal allergies
  4. Skin complaints; acne, skin rash etc.- your back, your tush, and the back of your arms included
  5. Autoimmune disorder
  6. Tired/ poor concentration
  7. Anxiety & depression
  8. Candida overgrowth
  9. Cannot lose weight
  10. Your joints ache

Click here to subscribe

What is the 4R approach?

This method addresses the underlying causes of gut imbalances and restores harmony, helping to alleviate symptoms and maybe even disease.

The program suggests you: Remove> Reinoculate> Repair> Reintroduce

heal your gut

How do you heal your gut?

  • Remove all triggers: i.e. all allergens and cross reactors like gluten and dairy.
  • Get off medications (with Dr.’s approval and replace with natural remedies ).
  • Reduce your stress with meditation, exercise, and botanicals.
  • Heal your gut lining with the 4R approach below.

1. Remove

Take out what ails you.  The top allergens are wheat, corn, eggs, dairy, peanuts, and soybeans. Add in whole grains (like quinoa and rice), organic vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. Remove all allergens for 4-6 weeks or it may take up to a year to heal your gut with an auto-immune disease.

Encourage whole, organic foods if able and consider shopping the perimeter of the grocery store.

2. Replace

After 2-4 weeks on the Elimination diet, Introduce a good quality digestive enzyme containing protease, lipase, amylase, and pepsin.  This is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, too. I like Enzymedica, you can buy it here. 

Adding bitters, like  Urban Moonshine Bitters will trigger the digestive system to produce digestive enzymes, secrete bile and balance HCI levels in the stomach.  Take bitters 10-15 minutes before your meal.
If you have a lot of nausea with meals or when you take supplements, you might also need some additional stomach acid in the form of a supplement called Betaine HCl, or try 1 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar in water with your meals. 
{click on links above to see the companies I love}

3.  Reinoculate

Wait 2 weeks for the elimination diet or up to 6 weeks.  Adding in a probiotic can give you gas and bloating if you do not remove the allergens first.

Add a good quality probiotic to restore your gut flora.  I like Klair probiotics.

You want it to have a minimum of 5 billion CFU in each dose, and a good range of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacter species.
Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchee can also be a helpful advantage to your gut, add it into your diet 3-4x week. Although very delicious, kombucha can be high in sugar so consider using sparingly. 

4. Repair

Include the following supplement for 6-weeks or more to repair your gut. The following supplements can be taken for up to 6 months to help to heal the intestinal lining:

  • Tumeric- I personally like to take turmeric in a blended tincture like Adrena nourish
  • Aloe vera
  • Marshmallow root powder
  • DGL licorice (aloe and licorice are not for internal use during pregnancy; these are fine for children) are some of the most effective herbs for healing the gut lining.
    • They are best taken in capsule or extract form, though turmeric can also be added to foods.

Do you get heartburn?

  • DGL or diglyceride licorice is a great alternative to tums and does not raise your blood pressure. DGL licorice is available as chewable lozenges and thus may be the simplest one to give to kids. Klair labs has one here or Pure encapsulation combines aloe, slippery elm, and marshmallow root together!

Zinc.

  • 5-10 mg/day for children 4-7 years, 10-20 mg/day for children to age 12, 25-40 mg/day for older children and adults.

An antioxidant supplement

  • Look for one containing vitamins A and carotenoids, C, E, and selenium. 
  • These are often found in a multivitamin.
  • Pregnant women should get these from their prenatal vitamin only.

Fish oil:
I prefer Carlson’s Lemon fish oil.  

  • My kids like the Nordic Natural berries for kids.
    • Fish oil is important for general health in pregnancy and breastfeeding, too.
  • L-Glutamine Powder
    5-10 gm of powder twice daily for one month. (Much less for kids but talk with your child’s doctor before using and don’t supplement in pregnancy).

Here are examples of other practitioners using the 4R approach for healing

Conclusion

If your struggling with digestive concerns and find you’re avoiding foods, there is hope.  The 4R approach is more than an elimination diet.  It can heal your digestive tract and reduce bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation for years to come.

Warmly~

Tara

{Keep in mind, I am not a doctor.  Please consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.}


References:

{1} https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/digestive-diseases-statistics-for-the-united-states.aspx

Click here to subscribe

My title