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Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after Childbirth

Top 5 Tips on Managing Incontinence after ChildbirthChildbirth is an exciting time and there are many news skills to master – and for some women, managing incontinence may be one of them.

It is a common problem that many women suffer from, mainly in the short term. In rare cases, it may be a long-term issue that requires further medical help to alleviate the systems. Being informed means being prepared and so check out these five top tips for managing incontinence after childbirth.

Tip 1 – Use appropriate pads and products

There is a range of incontinence pads in various absorbency levels that make managing incontinence on a daily basis much easier. Unlike sanitary towels, they trap odour as well as urine. They absorb the urine away from the skin, preventing soreness a common complaint alongside urinary incontinence.

They can be worn day and night, and are the ideal solution for catching accidental leaks of urine post childbirth. They allow you a sense of confidence in that embarrassing leaks are stopped in their tracks, great for when you go to post-natal exercises class or enjoy activities with your family.

Tip 2 – Pelvic floor exercises

Alongside incontinence pads, performing pelvic floor exercises several times a day help to combat a weak bladder. These exercises are discreet but incredibly powerful as they tone the pelvic floor muscles, meaning you gain control of your bladder.

The great news is that you can do these exercises anywhere, they are free and require no complicated or expensive equipment.

The pelvic muscle runs from the front of your pubic, across your body to the base of your spine. It is a sling like muscle and during pregnancy, is under pressure not only from the weight of your growing baby but also from a cascade of pregnancy hormones. It is under further pressure during labour and clearly, all that pushing during childbirth also impact on it.

To strengthen it, you need to tighten and hold the muscle for a few seconds and then perform a controlled release. Some people also suggest ‘forcing’ the muscle to relax as the final step. Doing this means that the muscles go through its full movement.

Not sure where your pelvic muscle is or which part to clench? Find out more here.

Tip 3 – Yoga

Incontinence pads and pelvic floor muscles are fantastic just after giving birth mainly because the pelvic floor exercises help you heal and the pads make incontinence much easier to manage.

Now that you have fully recovered you may decide you want to try something that strengthens your pelvic floor in the longer-term. Yoga is having some great results for people who suffered from stress incontinence – in other words, an accidental leak of urine when they cough, sneeze, exercise and so on.

Yoga strengthens and tones a variety of muscles groups, including those in the abdomen, the lower back and the pelvic floor muscle itself. There are various yoga poses that can help manage incontinence better and your qualified yoga instructor will be able to help.

Tip 4 – Train your bladder

Some people find that bladder training helps them too. This works with stress incontinence but with urge incontinence too. The latter is when the bladder has a sudden urge to empty, making it difficult to get to the toilet in time. If you can’t make it to the bathroom in time, an embarrassing leak could ensue.

Training your bladder means holding on between toilet breaks for a certain length of time. For example, when you get the urge to visit the toilet, override this urge by clenching your pelvic floor muscles and resist visiting the bathroom for a length of time, such as 10 minutes. Over time, you increase this amount of time from 10 to 20 minutes and so on. If you need help with this, your doctor may be able to refer you to an incontinence specialist.

Tip 5 – See your doctor

Incontinence can be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) and so if it continues, becomes worse or you are in pain when you pass urine, seeing your doctor is essential. It is common for women to suffer from incontinence immediately after birth. For some women, it soon disappears but for others, it can carry on for some weeks. However, if you are still struggling to control your bladder several months after birth, see your GP or have a chat with your health visitor.

Incontinence, on one hand, is to be expected after birth but it should right itself within a few weeks. If not, follow these tips – which ones worked for you.

HARTMANN Direct stock a range of incontinence products, ideal for use during and after pregnancy, helping you to manage accidental leaks.

MARIJUANA AND BREAST CANCER

cannabis breast cancerMore than one in ten of all the cases of cancer in females is breast cancer. Breast cancer is nowadays the fifth most popular cause of death by cancer and the second most popular type of non-skin cancer.

Marijuana has been widely recognized as an efficient means of treating various types of cancer. It has been known to stop or reverse the progress of cancer. It has also been used to treat various symptoms that cause cancer. There are over a hundred different types of cancer that people suffer from. They include cancers of the skin, lung, prostate, colon, breast, brain etc. Breast cancer is one of the most common of all. It is estimated that 12.5% of women will suffer breast cancer. Breast cancer accounts for at least 10.4% of cancer cases in women worldwide.

In the year 2004, 519,000 people died from breast cancer in the world. This is about 7% of all deaths by cancer. And it is about 1% of total deaths worldwide. The scientific research the last years has proven that cannabidiol (a chemical compound of Cannabis) has the ability to stop the gene that causes metastasis in a kind of breast cancer. The breast cancer is called triple-negative.

The hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 also known as HER-2, estrogen receptors and some progesterone receptors are the facilitators of most breast cancers.

Progesterone receptor positive (PR+) and estrogen receptor positive (ER+) are common and they could be present in 66% of breast cancer cases especially in older women. The receptors are sensitive to at least one of these hormones.

Triple-Negative breast cancers do not show these receptors so the ways to fight them are less than normal. This kind affects about 15% of cancer patients and it does not have the 3 hormone receptors that most successful cancer therapies focus on.

CBD and THC can work in conjunction with the endocannabinoid system of the body to prevent cancer cell growth, prevent the spread of cancer cells and cause the death of cancer cells. There are several medical marijuana strains that could help fighting the symptoms of cancer.

THC and CBD can also stop healthy cells from being affected by cancer cells. Marijuana has no side effects unlike chemotherapy, opiates and most pharmaceutical therapies available.

A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology and conducted in 2014 at the California Pacific Medical Research Center showed that CBD the non-psychoactive cannabinoid can be efficient at curbing the growth of breast cancer cells. The researchers revealed that CBD could be a more harmless and efficient treatment for cancer. It avoids the negative effects of chemotherapy and it works for many patients unlike chemotherapy that works for just a certain percentage of cancer patients.

One of the major health concerns for women worldwide is breast cancer. The means available for treating breast cancer are painful, costly and come with side effects. It is hoped that the ongoing research will bring us new evidence will show the effectiveness of marijuana in fighting cancer and saving more lives.

Seeds Pack the Ultimate Punch (Giveaway)

Any parent of young children will be familiar with those times when you grab for something – anything – that will give you the energy to get through the next few hours without falling asleep on your laundry pile or sink full of dishes. A tablespoon of peanut butter at 9pm; half a baguette at 5am; handfuls of dry cereal as the older kids eat breakfast and you look for your keys, and shoes.

While pregnant we are endlessly mindful about what we eat, drink and breathe. We look after our bodies for the sake of our precious, unborn child and are glowing, buoyant gatekeepers – eating well, taking our vitamins and drinking our litres of water. But once baby is born we all-too-often become janitors – shuffling through the day on just enough empty calories to keep us upright and putting all the focus on keeping the children healthy. Actually the truth is that eating a healthy, nutritious diet while breastfeeding, or through days of little sleep, or while balancing households full to the brim with dependents, is just as important as during those serene, pregnant days. And prioritizing a balanced diet of healthy, whole foods for mum – plate-spinner and family-pivot – is crucial for our health, energy, happiness and mental health.

And here’s where we come to the star of the show – seeds – which really do pack a punch for such a small player. Seeds provide us with a wide range of essential oils and nutrients and fall within the guidelines of most dietary restrictions. Snacking on seeds not only offers fantastic health benefits, providing much-needed nutrients, they are full of slow-release energy, so perfect for long days (and nights) as parents of young children.

Share the Love

And let’s not stop there. Seeds are great for kids too. With so many nut allergies around, seeds are a safe go-to gap-filler. And their slow-release energy is a winner when it comes to being focused. Unlike the peak and crash of a high sugar snack, it’s well documented that eating whole foods result in better application, concentration and stamina for the classroom, pitch and playground.

Don’t know your linseed from your birdseed? Don’t worry. Allow us to shepherd you through the seeds currently topping the pops, how best to use them and their various life-bettering properties.Chia means ‘strength’ and as far as fuel goes, it doesn’t get much better than this. Chia seeds are full of nutrients and, unlike some seeds, come with very few calories. Harvested from a flowering plant in the mint family, these seeds can absorb a lot of liquid – they expand to hold about ten times their dry weight. Chia is a real all-rounder; it’s used in puddings and porridge, added to smoothies and sprinkled on salads.

Flaxseed (also called linseed) is packed full of good things including dietary fiber, omega-3 and vitamin B1 – you can see why it is often referred to as wonder food. You have to grind flaxseed before using it but once you’ve done that labour of love, you can add it to anything from morning porridge to homemade bread.

Pumpkin seeds have long been a favourite for healthy snackers, and they haven’t lost their appeal. Bringing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and essential acids with every handful, these seeds are seriously versatile. They can be eaten raw or cooked in sweet or savoury dishes – or simply roasted for a super on-the-go snack.

Sunflower seeds are crunchy and nutty and usually eaten plain as a snack or simply sprinkled on salads. Filled with antioxidants, magnesium, copper and Vitamin E, they are top of their game and are even said to bring a glow to tired skin! Filled with goodness that’s drawn straight from the sun, they become the star of the show in recipes such as sunflower seed pesto and homemade bread.

Seeds really do deserve the hype. And there’s family fun to be had growing them too. Summer is around the corner, the sun will be shinning and kids love planting and getting their hands dirty so grab a paper cup, pop a few sunflower seeds and soil into it and get kids growing their own in your own home. And for those of us who don’t have the time to brush our hair let alone grow seeds, there’s 9NINE.

9NINE products celebrate super seeds and are the perfect snack for people who care about their well-being but don’t always have time to prepare snacks from scratch. Seeds provide big tastes for even the smallest occasions – if you aren’t already, it’s time to take seeds seriously!

Nutrients in 9NINE:

Magnesium restores mindfulness with good energy
Fibre boosts your body with good digestion
Copper activates your immune system
Phosphorous looks after your mental energy
Vitamin E gets your skin glowing
Thiamin gets the best energy out of your food

Potassium gives your heart the love it deserves
Manganese maintains strength through healthy bones
Calcium keeps the balance with happy hormones
Zinc gives a natural immune boost
Protein is an essential building block for a balanced life
Iron keeps oxygen moving around the body

To win a collection of goodies from 9NINE, leave me a comment below telling me which of the ingredients you need the most at the moment, be it calcium for the happy hormones, zinc for your immune system or something else!

Winners will be drawn at random on 4th July 2017, no cash alternative will be offered.

Creativity for a Happier Life

Whether you’ve always been a bit creative or think that creativity isnt for you at all, it wouldn’t harm to have some creativity in today’s world. Thinking outside the box has always been a desirable skill and can even be gained after practice. You not have to be a natural at it, you can even start bit by bit to experience how creativity can positively affect your life:

1. More energy: If you are in the creative flow, you feel like everything is easier. It is easier to get out of the bed in the morning and easier to work for long periods of time with complete focus. Creative pursuit will also provide you with better moods and will make you happier.

2. Better work life: Your career will only prosper if you get a little creative at it. New innovation has created some major changes in every industry today and it will continue doing so. Even if you don’t own a business, creativity can still help you have a better home and work life as it can provide you with balance.

3. Ability to see opportunities: If you feel like there are no opportunities for you, try getting a bit creative. Creative people can do a number of things and make opportunities out of thin air. The ability to think of possibilities where there seem to be none will only help you in life.

4. Persistence: Any creative activity, whether it is writing, painting or anything else, will require a lot of persistence. And if you are good at it this will also show in other areas of your life.

So why don’t you pick up a creative pursuit today and let it transform your life? Creativity in itself is a reward, but you can also make sure that you follow through by rewarding yourself with things like playing a bingo game with bingo promotions at GameVillage or a copy of a favorite book!

What’s Your Excuse?

I’ve been thinking long and hard about writing this post because I don’t want it to seem like I’m attacking anyone. My friend Kate bestowed a mantra upon me a while back – “You Do You” – and I really strongly believe that everyone is free to do whatever the hell they want when it comes to their own body, but I’m not addressing people who CAN’T exercise here, or even those who don’t want to. If you’re happy the way you are or have physical difficulties, this post is not for you.

Now I’ve cleared that up, I want to talk about EXCUSES.

Last week, I saw an article about how “fat shamers” were on the wrong side of science and cited 7 different studies which apparently proved that some people were fat for reasons completely beyond their control and how people who “shame” others into exercising are bad. It gave reasons such as an “obesity gene”, poor sleep and how being overweight can make it harder to lose weight. In fairness to the people who wrote the article, each point was based on an academic study which proved the points they were making in a roundabout way. But here’s the thing:

They aren’t REASONS. THEY ARE EXCUSES.

I feel really well qualified to talk about these things because up until January of this year, I made a lot of excuses, including but not limited to:

  1. I have a range of conditions which make it hard to lose weight
  2. I don’t have time to go to the gym
  3. I can’t justify the money I spend on a gym membership
  4. I don’t want to be left with a lot of loose skin
  5. I can’t ask someone to look after the kids every time I go to the gym

There are SO many more that I could list, but we’d be here all day. Back in January, I decided to get real with myself and start being brutally fucking honest. I’d spent the majority of my twenties being overweight and I was damned if I was going to be unhappy with my body for the whole of my thirties too, so I decided to do something about it. And when your state of mind shifts, it’s amazing how those EXCUSES that you’ve made in the past become irrelevant.

Yes, I have diabetes and an under-active thyroid and endometriosis, but those things don’t stop me from exercising or moderating what I eat. Yes, I have a busy life, but so does everyone and if I can make time to binge-watch whole series of shows in a week, then I can definitely find time to exercise. My current gym membership costs £9.99 a month – I used to spend more than that in a week just on sushi! Loose skin wont kill me. High body fat will. I’m lucky that my MIL is an absolute gem and looks after BB when Husband and I work out, but even if she didn’t there are PLENTY of forms of exercise which can be done for free and with a toddler in toe.

As I said above, if you’re happy with yourself and don’t WANT to diet or exercise, then all power to you. But, if you fall into the HUGE percentage of people I see who give excuse after excuse for why you can’t eat better or move more, can I suggest taking a really long, hard look at those reasons? If you look and come up with solutions, that’s awesome. If you look and realise that it’s actually more to do with the fact that you don’t WANT to exercise, go from there.

I usually hate motivational bullshit which assumes that a one-size-fits all approach works for everyone, but there’s a poster up in my gym which really speaks to me;

If you want to make a change…I mean REALLY WANT IT, you’ll do it. Start small, install MyFitnessPal and track your food. Walk a little bit further than you normally would. Join a gym and try ONE class. You have nothing to lose except the weight and it will happen if you make the effort. Don’t allow the part of your brain which wants to sit at home eating ice cream and watching Netflix to overpower the part of your brain which wants to be healthier. Articles like the one which prompted this post are really not helpful because they just nurture unhealthy excuses for you to remain overweight or unfit. I’m all for love and support and being happy with yourself, but kidding people into thinking that their weight is completely out of their control is damaging and dangerous.

As I said, I’m not attacking anyone, just hoping to make you think a little differently about things in the hope that it might help you a little bit. What excuses are you making to yourself? Leave me a comment below.

Don’t Let Anything Stop You from Getting Back to Your Normal

Have you not been feeling yourself as of late? Have you, for whatever reason, felt a bit different to how you normally feel? Whether it’s a mental or a physical plight that is making you feel a bit off you can rest assured that there is help out there. There are services that willing and waiting to help you. All you have to do is accept their help.

If your physical wellbeing is in fact bringing you down, and causing you a great discomfort at that, then why stand for it any longer? There are host of professional services out there just waiting to right any wrongs in your body, so use them! You don’t have to spend all of your hard earned cash on bills, food and treats for your family, you know. It is absolutely not a waste of money to spend your cash on a bout of treatment for YOUR aches and pains. Whether this be in the form of a local chiropractor in order to ease your back and neck troubles or a professional massage parlour to relax your muscles, you do it. There’s no point continuing with your everyday life if you feel any discomfort, and there’s no need to do so either. No matter how big you think your problem is you should get it sorted in order to retain the standard of living that you deserve. Even the slightest of pains can be treated, and they really should be before they escalate any further.

Massage

There’s also no shame in taking care of your appearance if that does indeed ever make you feel anything less than normal. Now, you can’t hide your face away at all times which means you do have to subject it to things that will damage it. But you can still take care of your skin, you know. Similarly, you can’t realistically protect your mind from being stretched or frazzled at some points in the day if you live a hectic life. Sometimes life will throw stressful situations your way which will leave you feeling less than normal. But what’s stopping you from getting back to normal once the ordeal is over? If you are feeling nowhere near 100% in your own mind you should never be tentative to tell others. You should never be afraid to say ‘I won’t be coming out tonight’ if you don’t feel mentally up to it. Mental health is sometimes not given the care it deserves, so why don’t you buck the trend by bettering your mental wellbeing.

Mental health

Everybody deserves to feel brilliant every single day. Granted, there are a load of everyday plights that seemingly try their best to stop this. But it’s not about stopping with these plights it’s about managing them to suit you. For example, you can’t stop taking your kids to school in the winter and subjecting your face to the blistering winds. You can, however, fight the effects caused by these winds and keep your skin ‘normal’. Whatever ‘normal’ is for you, you should never let anything stop you from getting back to it!

 

4 Steps to a Healthier Life

With spring in full effect, everyone seems to have woken from their winter slumbers. Suddenly everyone is out and about, making plans and brushing the dust off those summer clothes. The breeze is warm, the blossom is bright and it’s a good time of year for a bit of a shake-up. So try these tips for making your life that little bit healthier. It’s not about dieting or weight loss; it’s about feeling good and enjoying yourself!

Cooking from Scratch

I love cooking from scratch — when I get the time, that is! Sometimes I’m surprised at what can be achieved in just an hour (let’s be honest: Jamie’s 30-minute meals always take longer than he claims…). We all tell ourselves we should do this more often. Well, you should!

We all remember the news story about how much sugar there is in off-the-shelf pasta sauce, right? If you make your own, you’re reducing the amount of fat, sugar and salt that you consume. Why not just make a bigger batch and freeze most of it? Or you can keep tomato sauce in the fridge for a couple of weeks if it’s in an airtight container. When heating it back through, maybe throw in some capers, basil, or cheese and you’ve got a quick and easy meal for the kids.

P.S: Cook the onions for your tomato sauce for as long as possible before you add the tins of tomatoes. This makes the sauce sweeter and tastier…

Vitamin D

This next one comes straight from the horse’s mouth. The NHS recommends vitamin D, as it is “needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy”. While you can acquire vitamin D from some foods, it’s most commonly absorbed through sunlight, so get out in the sun as much as possible this summer and keep your bones and bodies healthy. Don’t forget your suncream!

Some people even suggest that vitamin D is “a natural way to make you shine”. If you’re feeling down in the winter months, maybe it’s due to a lack of it. Try and be outdoors as much as possible while it’s still light. You could even get some vitamin D tablets from the pharmacy — some people swear by them.

Eliminate Vices — Cigarettes and Alcohol

I know, I know: it’s the same story as always here. We all know these vices are bad for your health and, in excess, could be life-threatening, but they really do have a negative impact on your body. While drinking alcohol responsibly can help you live a little longer (my dentist even suggested drinking ale to keep my teeth healthy), the sugary drinks you mix it with add to its high-calorie content. This can cause all kinds of damage to your teeth and body.

Cigarettes are a given; I won’t lecture you on them. However, unlike alcohol, cigarettes have a healthier alternative. You’ll have no doubt heard of the electronic cigarette: the NHS  actually recommends electronic cigarettes for people trying to quit smoking. There are plenty of studies that show how electronic cigarettes are healthier than traditional cigarettes. Here’s a list of some of the best e-liquids of 2017 to get you started.

Smiling

Perhaps the simplest piece of health advice ever given: just smile! While it might sound like an old wives tale, there are many reasons why smiling is good for you. You know what endorphins are, right? Not only do they reduce stress levels, but they are what’s responsible for making you feel happy. Well, movements in your facial muscles help release them.

Not only this, but it is thought that smiling can help develop your brain to think more positively and allow it to remain positive for longer periods of time. It can even affect the way your cells work, making them less rigid, helping us to relax. After all, I’ve never met someone who thinks being happy is unhealthy. So, keep smiling and embrace your healthier life!

Taking Care of Yourself this Spring

I don’t know about you but I’m SO ready for some warmer weather. The winter has really taken it out of all of us and I’m definitely looking forward to longer days and some sunshine on my face. I’ve been doing a lot more to take care of myself lately, eating properly and going to the gym, and I’ve been thinking about ways that I can expand on that in the coming days, so I thought I’d share with you my top five ways to take care of yourself this spring:

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is good for so many things and I’ve been looking at all of the different uses for the different oils, including anti-ageing properties and ways to soothe aching muscles. Neal’s Yard Remedies have an amazing range which are completely organic and have an oil for every ailment imaginable – I’m planning to mix a few of my own scents to use in the bath on gym days.

Massage

A few years back, I went for a massage at a local day spa and I enjoyed it SO much but it’s something I’ve never found the time or money to do again. Now that I’m running and weight lifting, I feel like I’d really benefit from a massage (or even regular massages) so I’m planning to make Spring the season in which I do it!

SLEEP!

Sleep is SO important to healing and mental health and as most parent knows it can also be an elusive thing! It becomes even more important when you’re exercising because the body needs time to heal and repair itself, so I’m planning on revamping the whole look of our bedroom and treating us to some new bed linen, to make our bedroom a palace of relaxation so that sinking in to bed at night feels like a proper treat! Many people struggle with nasal issues which interrupt sleep, so consulting a nose surgeon might really help.

Yoga

As well as the exercise that I’m already doing, I’m planning to throw in a weekly yoga class as well. Running and weight-lifting are both great ways to lose weight, increase strength and tone up but I’m hoping that yoga will help with my flexibility and also help to improve any muscle aches that I get after working out. Invest in a decent yoga mat if you plan to go to a class as the gym’s own ones usually smell of feet!

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a word that I’ve heard a lot of people use in the last couple of years and after looking into it, I think it’s something I could really stand to learn more about. The definition of mindfulness is “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” and it sounds like exactly what I need for my Springtime self-care.

What are you doing to take care of yourself this Spring?

The Good and the Bad of a Workout Buddy

Credit

Personal fitness is one of those things that we all care about in an abstract sense, without always following it through to reality. It may keep us walking (take a look at runner click for the best walking shoes) past the baked goods in a grocery store, it may make us pick out the “diet” soda rather than the full-fat solution. It’s harder, though, to make it stick to the point of actually hitting the gym regularly.

After all, it takes the same time and money to buy a different type of soda – for example. There is even a momentary feeling of reward by making such a choice, which you can pat yourself on the back for as you select the option that you figure is better for you (whether you are correct on that is another point entirely). But the principle is the same.

Where Things Get Rough

Yet when it comes to working out and actually living more healthily rather than just the easy options as above – well, that’s a lot more to deal with, isn’t it? It’s a far bigger change, a more substantial shift in the way you do things and the impact it has on your existence. That kind of change is a lot harder to maintain. So how do you keep going when such a regime begins to feel too tough to be worth bothering with?

Solutions

One piece of advice you might hear is to start working out with a friend. On some levels, it makes a lot of sense – after all, it’s harder to do anything new in life if you’re going it alone. It’s also great to be able to share information with someone. You can swap exercise ideas, the exciting real AlgaeCal reviews that you found and talk the best way of using kinesiology tape with someone who’s in the same boat as you. (Bear in mind too that if you’re advising a friend on supplements, you should first take advice yourself from a doctor and advise them to do likewise).

The truth is, though, that nothing is without its challenges. So if you’re going to work out with a friend, it makes sense to be ready for the primary issue this can present:

One of You Will Always Be Doing A Little Better

When two people embark on something together, the likelihood is that one will find it easier (or get better results) than the other. This can lead to frustration and resentment on the part of the person left behind, if the situation is not addressed upfront.

If you’re the one who is finding a new routine easy, indicate to your workout buddy that it’s not a competition. You’re both aiming for goals and it’s not about defeating one another.

If you’re the one lagging behind, don’t resent your friend. It’s petty. Just try and bear in mind that different people react in different ways, at different paces. Sometimes you will be the one behind in the dust, but in other activities, you might streak ahead. It’s all about balance and perspective.

If you feel you must be in competition, then be in competition with other people at the gym – not the person you’re close with! 

When Cancer Strikes: Helping Kids Cope When Someone in Your Family Gets Sick

It can be difficult for kids to fully understand or handle the situation when someone in the family is sick and needs medical help to try and help them recover.

Unfortunately, cancer visits many families and aside from the emotional trauma of contending with such a serious condition, there is also the prospect of endless visits to the hospital and the need to help provide some peace and quiet, all of which can be difficult for kids to cope with.

Here is a look at some ways to help kids deal with someone in their family getting sick. There is an overview of how to talk to your kids about the situation, making allowances for their age and expected emotional reactions, plus some tips on getting support outside of the family network.

We need to talk

There are many distressing and difficult scenarios that you might have to contend with when a close relative is diagnosed with cancer, and one of those challenges is what to say to the children and when to have that conversation with them.

Rather than just come right out with it at some unplanned opportunity, it is often a much better idea to plan what you intend to say to your kids in advance.

Working through the conversation in your mind and even discussing how to relay such traumatic information to a child with a health professional who understands the situation, can help you to deliver the news in the best way possible, considering the circumstances.

Keep it simple

The age of your children will obviously make a difference to how you talk to them about cancer and what is happening with a loved one, but the general suggestion is always to use simple language and give them ample opportunity to absorb the information.

It is often the case that you will need to repeat what you are saying several times and be prepared to answer any questions they come up with during the conversation.

Emotional reaction

Children will normally experience slightly different emotional reactions and school age children who have yet to hit their teens, are sometimes likely to experience feelings of guilt if it is one of their parents who is sick.

You will have to work on reassuring them that clearly, they bear no responsibility for what is happening.

 Teenagers are more likely to experience some noticeable emotional highs and lows, which means that they can display moments of anger, sadness, and anxiety, as well as feeling depressed about the situation at certain points.

It is worth mentioning the mandala coloring app by Apalon Apps which is an adult coloring book to help reduce stress. Suggest downloading apps like this that encourage mindfulness, as it could be a useful tool they could relate to when they are struggling with their emotions.

Keep their school in the loop

Dealing with cancer in the family is a deeply personal situation but it is important that if you have a child at school who is trying to cope with this problem at home, they know what is going on.

Their school can often be very helpful and understanding as they will be aware of how a family crisis can affect a child. They can make allowances for their performance and behavior, plus offer some extra support as and when they need it.

It is never going to be easy coping with cancer, but there are things you can do to help your kids cope with the situation as well as they can be expected to.

Sophie Horton is a whizz when it comes to keeping kids occupied. She is Auntie to 5 kids who range in age from 1 to 15. Her articles discuss looking after kids when they are away from home and keeping everyone happy.