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International Women’s Day and Motherhood (guest blog)

Keira is a 30 year old married mum of one from Leicester. Keira has a blog and is an active ‘insta mum’ – little Thea is two! (Links below)

Motherhood, Me and My Mum

As it was international women’s day. I decided to look at the main woman in my life and what Motherhood was like for her. Without her I wouldn’t be who I am today, I asked my lovely mum Jo about what it was like raising me and my brother, and what Motherhood means to her. I wanted to compare it to what motherhood is like for me and if there are any similarities.

Here is the list of questions I asked and both of our answers:

Did you see yourself being a mother when you were young? 

Jo: No, because I didn’t have the best upbringing and I thought this was the same for all children.

Keira: Yes, I always knew I wanted children. I grew up with lots of children and I was one of the oldest.

How old were you when you found out you were pregnant? 

Jo: With Alan I was 23 and with Keira 28.

Keira: I was 27.

Describe your parenting style? 

Jo: Kind, Calm and very patient. I didn’t have any patience before having children.

Keira: I would say I’m firm but fair, I think I’m a firmer than my mum was. We were never spoilt but I think we could get away with more.

Did your upbringing reflect on the way you were a parent? 

Jo: It made me a better parent; I was determined not to emulate the past.

Keira: definitely, I had an incredible childhood, if I can do half the things my parents did and still do for me, I know that I’m doing good.

Did you have any discussions about starting a family? 

Jo: Yes, we knew we wanted children after we were married but didn’t want to wait too long, so we started trying straight away.

Keira: Yes, I think we spoke about it quite early on. we both wanted to wait until we were married as that was our preference and it came up in conversation quite a lot.

How were your pregnancies? What was the best and worst thing about them? Any cravings? 

Jo: With Alan I was big, I had morning sickness and sciatica, I craved my husband’s homemade curry sauce. we didn’t find out his gender at the scan (I had 1 scan). With Keira I had a tiny bump, Extreme sickness and was sensitive to smells. no particular cravings. I also didn’t find out her gender at the scan (also 1 scan)

Keira: My pregnancy with Thea was actually very good at the beginning. I wasn’t really sick, I just had quite bad nausea. Everything went really smooth. I had quite a large bump with Thea and around the 7 month mark I was diagnosed with SPD. It was very painful and I struggled to do day to day tasks. It was so bad I was signed off work and basically spent the last few months in the bath. I didn’t really have any cravings. I absolutely loved feeling her kick, we also didn’t find out her gender and had around 5 scans.

What was your decision when it came to breastfeeding or bottle feeding and why did you choose this? 

Jo: I bottle fed both of mine, there wasn’t a lot of information when I was pregnant and bottle feeding was the done thing then. I didn’t feel the compulsion to breastfeed.

Keira: I always wanted to give breastfeeding a try, I had bought bottles and a steriliser just in case, but Thea latched straight away and have managed to breastfeed for 2 years.

Nap or Shower? 

Jo: Nap!

Keira: Definitely Nap

What advice would you give the next generation?

Jo: Put your phones down and spend time with your little ones as they are learning and growing. Remember every day with your child is a new day for both of you so enjoy every moment. Don’t forget to tell your children you love them.

Keira: Go outside and play! Get wet and muddy. Do what you think is right for you and your children. If you need help ask for it.

Favourite part of motherhood? 

Jo: Watching my daughter go through motherhood herself.

Keira: Every day Thea calling me mummy and giving me great big hugs and kisses.

So, there it is, it was actually really eye-opening sitting down and having a chat with my mum about being a mum. Before I was pregnant the word Motherhood was just another word that got thrown around, I didn’t really understand it. It wasn’t until I had Thea that I realised that Motherhood was so much more, for example: 

I didn’t realise that I would have a whole new identity, I would be called mummy from now on and I would be wiping up sick, snot, poop… you name it I have wiped it! 

My priorities changed. As soon as I found out I was pregnant my old priorities changed, in fact I can’t even remember what they were?

I have a whole new group of friends that I haven’t known for long, but I went through some tough times with, and are fully there to support me. I think this is generally true for most. You could also lose friends because you just don’t have time now that you have a tiny baby.

Also, you form opinions on parenting and all the different things that come with it like breastfeeding, bottle feeding, disposable nappies, washable nappies. The list goes on.

To me, Motherhood is unconditional love. It’s about putting someone else before myself. It’s about two mums looking at each other and not even having to speak, but just knowing what the other is going through. It’s about messy hair and sleepless nights, tea and coffee going cold and constant worry. 

Motherhood has been kind to me, I’m so blessed to have Thea, I have made some amazing friends through my journey and I would agree that it takes a village to raise a child.

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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.

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

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