Guest Blogs, Life of a Mum, Other fabulous ladies

Cross Your Legs When You Sneeze? There is a Solution (guest blog)

Hello, my name is Julie, and I am the founder and campaigner behind the Multi Award Nominated and Commendation Awarded Secret Whispers Brand. I am mummy to two gorgeous sons and wife to a very patient husband. 

Approaching the big 40 and after 2 pregnancies I was starting to think more seriously about my pelvic floor muscles. I knew that with falling oestrogen levels, my pelvic floor strengthcould start to become an issue. I was not going to let that happen. Kegel exercises are not a new concept to me. I have been doing my exercises for years. But it did shock me just how few products were on the market for women to help them improve their pelvic floors and how there is such a big taboo about the subject. Many of the mums I spoke with told me that they wore pads, no longer took part in sports and that leakage was normal after childbirth. I decided there and then that I had to do something. Most women saw Kegel exercise’s as a ‘rescue’ option when things go wrong, rather than a preventative measure. 

I was astounded that most women had no idea they could do something about this before it became an issue. 

I then decided to design my own Kegel Weight Kit. It is a 6 Step progressive weight programme to safely and gradually strengthen your pelvic floor. They are made with medically graded 100% body safe silicone. It’s like a weighted tampon for your pelvic floor.

Too many women around the world are suffering in silence, crossing their legs when they laugh or sneeze. It’s time to give women back control. I am now on a mission to stop women having to prematurely resort to pads to stop leakage – let’s takedown Tena Lady!

Now ladies, all you need to do is just be committed and take ACTION! Just get started!!

Weight Lifting (…for your vagina)

Let’s talk about something embarrassing shall we? Does a little wee escape when you laugh, sneeze, cough, jump, or run? Is this now your new ‘normal’? 

Did You Know That 50% of women suffer with pelvic floor issues?

Unfortunately this figure could be much higher because women are too embarrassed to even speak to their doctor about it, let alone family or friends. Due to the associated taboo many women are suffering in silence.  The physical, psychological and social wellbeing impact for women and their families who suffer with weak pelvic floor conditions is heart-breaking and could be avoided. This is an issue that spans generations. This has to change.

Did You Know That It Is NOT Normal To Leak After Childbirth?

I was horrified to learn that women are led to believe it is ‘normal’ to cross their legs when they laugh or sneeze. That urine incontinence after childbirth is almost expected, thanks to the large advertising budgets of companies selling these pads. Secret Whispers exists to present a very different reality and give a very different message.

What Are Kegel Exercises?

Kegel exercises consist of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor. They are essential because your pelvic floor is a muscle like any other and it needs to be exercised. Think of your pelvic floor as your Lady Hammock. It has a very important job to do. It consists of muscles and ligaments holding up your bowel, uterus and bladder. The muscles that surround these organs can no longer fully support these organs when weakened, resulting in the lack of control you have over passing urine, wind or faeces. In severe cases, called a prolapse, there is a dropping down of the internal organs into the vagina. Don’t use it and you may well lose it! So prevention is better than cure ladies!


“I have tried doing pelvic floor exercises and they didn’t work” 

Most women do not know where their pelvic floor muscles are and how to engage them correctly. When you use Secret Whispers ™ Kegel weights your pelvic muscles are contracted, which in turn lifts the internal organs and the muscles also tighten the openings of your vagina, anus and urethra. Thus, improving your pelvic muscle tone and reducing the need for future corrective surgery! They correctly engage the correct pelvic floor muscles to contract, taking away the guess work.

When Can I Fit Kegel Exercises Into My Already Busy Life?
There really are so many ways for your Kegels to fit easily into your lifestyle that there are NO excuses. Incorporate your Kegel exercises with an activity you do most days. 

 Showering, gym work out, exercise class, walking, school run, yoga, housework, swimming, walking the dog, 

 or even cleaning the oven (honestly:-).

 You just need to be active for them to be effective

 

“I’ve given birth and the damage is already done”

Doing Kegel exercises before childbirth helps in the recovery of the pelvic floor and reduces the likelihood of bladder incontinence after birth. However, if you start suffering from a loss of bladder control after childbirth, you can still improve the strength of your pelvic floor by doing Kegel exercises. If in doubt please always speak to a pelvic floor physiotherapist.

Will Kegel exercises improve my sex life? 

If you have noticed that it is more difficult to reach orgasm or that your other half has noticed it is more difficult to climax; your pelvic floor may have weakened. An orgasm happens when the muscles in your vagina, anus, and uterus involuntarily contract and then relax. This is the amazing feeling of “release.” Orgasms are bigger and stronger with a strong pelvic floor.

Special Discount Code for 30% Off

https://www.secretwhispers.co.uk/discount/ivfninja

Contact Information:

Website address: https://www.secretwhispers.co.uk/products/pelvic-floor-toner

Facebook: @SecretWhispersUK

Instagram: @secretwhispersuk

Twitter: @secretwhisperss

Email: support@secretwhispers.co.uk

Life of a Mum

Post natal lows!

This is me.….Married, Mum to a fab little lady, sarcastic, tired, matron to an awesome team of nurses.

I look happy right???

I am; I have an awesome life- my dream family, an amazing job and some fab friends. I’m also on anti depressants, I know my head isn’t entirely organised, often paranoid and over emotional.

If I’m totally honest I’ve probably experienced post natal depression; but it certainly took me more than the ‘post natal’ period to recognise that I was struggling.

I remember the midwife and health visitor doing the required mental health checklist; and telling me I was high risk. Apparently ‘older’ mums that are previously successful and career driven struggle with the transformation to ‘mum on maternity leave’.

I totally get it! You go from being a functioning and productive adult; to a tired Mum who finds it difficult to leave the house by midday.

Also the mental effect of IVF seems greatly underestimated. It has changed me forever! As a woman I feel my main role on this earth is to Mother; and I felt that was stolen from me. After going through years of fertility treatment, pregnancy then feels like a great pressure, and parenting an IVF miracle even more so.

Comments that I’m really lucky to be a Mum, that I should be grateful to have one child, and not be greedy in wanting more! No one says these things to the fertiles!! (more on this in a separate blog).

I remember feeling emotional, unable to cope, frustrated- I felt like a ‘beginner’! I felt I was crap at motherhood- from leaving work as a confident and skilled nursing sister- I felt that I was failing.

But …. I didn’t want to admit it.

Dorothea had some early weight loss- it took weeks and weeks of a tiresome breastfeeding, plus expressing and top up feed routine to get her weight up. I blamed myself – felt my milk wasn’t enough; luckily I had a great health visitor who supported me well.

Dorothea also suffered from reflux; if you’re a Mum of a reflux baby you’ll know the emotional effects of this. Reflux means everything takes more; more time, more patience, more washing, more packing, more understanding. Constant small feeds, followed by extended periods of sitting upright and winding, followed by a mess! Followed by numerous Muslins, outfit changes for both of us and daily loads of washing. Not to mention cleaning of carpets, furniture, the dog! Where spillages had also occurred- it felt endless.

Of course I blamed myself– also second guessed my choices and actions. Should she be going to the Drs, should she be on meds, were the meds making it worse, should I go dairy free, gluten free, spice free, should I stop breast feeding….. the list went on!

With both things I convinced myself they’d get better with time; and they both did. But in the meantime I judged myself- lots

I also had the return of my rheumatoid arthritis to deal with. Throughout pregnancy my condition went into expected remission- and I experience 9 wonderful months pain free. I actually felt more healthy when pregnant than I had for a few years prior to this. I struggled to deal with the pain and stiffness, on top of being a tired new mum.

I returned to work when Dorothea was 9 months- initially part time (using my holiday allowance to wean myself back on). I enjoyed this- felt it was a great balance! I loved being at work 2 days a week- I felt it gave me great purpose and helped me feel like a contributing adult again(being on Matty leave and heavily reliant on your partners wage makes you feel pretty shitty too). But it also made me realise and appreciate how much I loved being a mum! I missed my little lady when at work and always couldn’t wait to see her at the end of the day!

Three weeks after my return to work a tragedy struck; my friend and boss died suddenly! A major shock; a 31 week pregnant healthy mum to be, amazingly her angel daughter survived this. Obviously this was a emotional time; personally and also career wise. This meant increased pressure on me at work; both emotionally and workload wise, and I’d lost a friend and my biggest career cheerleader. Emma had great belief in me; and always supported me- she was a fabulous boss and made going to work much easier! This also made me look at life differently, as these things always do, wanting to live life to the fullest as you never know when that life can be taken.

When Dorothea was 15 months old I made the difficult decision to stop breastfeeding. Difficult; as I truly believe breast is best, and after my body failing me with infertility I actually felt feeding was something my body had succeeded with. But my body was failing me in other ways- my rheumatoid has returned with vengeance, and I felt my ability to be a ‘good mum’ was being affected. I therefore had to start on some new medications- medications that were not safe to breastfeed in. Again- this made me feel pretty shitty!

Let’s be honest at times I was bloody exhausted; Dorothea has never been a good sleeper, and pretty much woke 2 hourly until she was about 1. Even now ‘sleeping through’ is rare- and when it happens my body doesn’t adjust and I wake up anyway!

So to sum that all up! I struggled; I’m still struggling. I felt an enormous amount of pressure, that in reality I really only created myself. I judged myself, I felt inferior, I didn’t feel myself, I felt lost, I felt isolated, and I felt anxious.

It all came to a head last summer when myself and my partner (now husband) we’re having relationship difficulties. We were both having difficulties- and instead of opening up with each other and helping each other we fought. During one of the many arguments I admitted I was struggling.

I felt sad, not a bit down, but inherently sad and anxious everyday. And my biggest feeling was GUILT! I felt guilty, that although I finally had the family (and an awesome career) I’d always wanted, that I still felt sad. I knew I wasn’t right. So off I trotted to the GP (although in practise it felt a major accomplishment to admit I needed help- so not a ‘trot’ at all).

I’ve now been on antidepressants since August- upped doses and a drug change. I’m feeling better, I’m feeling okay, but still not feeling back to being ‘me’. And that’s okay- I’m still on a journey.

So the point of this blog? Quite selfish, a little therapeutic for me, helpful for me to get it on my head and on paper. But hopefully a message for you too- it’s okay to not be okay, it’s okay to admit you’re struggling, it’s good to ask for help, and it’s necessary to be honest with yourself and your support network.

TALK, ask for help don’t see it as a weakness but a strength.