Health · Kids · labour

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.

Politics

How Much Will Your School Lose Under the Current Government?

Anyone who follows this blog or my social media accounts will know that I am a socialist, through and through. Somehow, that seems to have become a dirty word to the uneducated masses who think that socialism revolves around lots of people on benefits, scroungers who don’t “pay their way” and take more from society than they contribute, but I’d like to hope that my readers know that isn’t the case. Socialism means “a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

One of the biggest concerns I have during this General Election campaign are the absolutely savage cuts that are going on in the most nonsensical of places. Old people, poor people and the disabled are being hit the hardest and things we’ve taken for granted such as universal healthcare and free education are under threat. Watch this video from the National Union of Teachers:

I used the calculator myself and discovered that Sausage’s school is set to lose a, quite frankly FRIGHTENING, £331,000 by 2022. HOW the Tories can justify taking money from the educations of children rather than calling in the taxes which are OWED by massive companies such as Amazon and Vodafone is appalling.

School Cuts

There are so many issues on which I am diametrically opposed to the Tory view, however health, social care and education are the ones about which I feel MOST strongly and I appeal to you, as a human being with empathy; PLEASE do not use your vote to help our Government to turn it’s back on the most vulnerable and needy in society. The children of MY kids generations are the ones who are going to have to work against climate change, against all of the wrongs done by the previous generations, and I for one would like them to all have access to a good enough education to be able to do this.

This year, I restart my English degree in the hope that I can go on to get my PGCE and eventually become a teacher. Having spoken to lots of people who work in this profession, the resounding opinion has been to tell me not to bother. Teaching used to be a well-respected profession and here in the UK, we prided ourselves on the education that we offered to our kids. Now, more and more people are dropping out of teaching and retraining because of the terrible conditions they’re working in, or simply being made redundant because schools cannot afford a full staff to cover lessons.

The UK is currently the 27th richest country in the WHOLE WORLD. Do you really think we should be worrying if our kids schools can afford pencils and glue? I think the most poignant thing I’ve seen all week is a tweet (and I can’t find the original or I’d link to it here!) which said something along the lines of “Why are we talking about 30 year old pictures of Jeremy with the IRA. I’m a teacher and my school can’t afford glue. Let’s talk about EDUCATION”.

Do we really need to say any more than that?

Politics

Jeremy Corbyn – A New Hope

Yeah, okay, so the title of this post seems rather Star Wars related and I won’t deny that this meme had more than a little bit to do with it:

Obi Wan Corbyn

Aside from mildly amusing internet memes though, there does seem to be an air of jubilance and hope surrounding Jeremy Corbyn’s appointment as the leader of the Labour Party. In fact, whilst sitting here on Saturday morning with my daughters, waiting for the announcement to come in, I must admit that I shed a tear when the results were finally revealed. I had to explain to Sausage that my tears were tears of joy (BB was mostly okay…she gave me a hug and then carried on bombing around shouting “CHIPS” at the top of her voice). For the first time in years, I feel hopeful.

I have to admit, I was an Ed Milliband supporter when he was leader. I felt that he was the closest thing to socialism that we’d seen in years and felt that his values matched mine…almost. However, when I first started reading about Corbyn, back when he was struggling to get enough nominations to even run for leader of the Labour party, I felt like my eyes were opened. Ed may have had his heart in the right place, but his version of socialism was down-right wishy-washy compared to Our Jez.

Many of my friends, people I respect greatly, after the general election commented that there was no point voting either way because there was so little difference between what the big parties were offering. Now, that is no longer the case and it feels like we genuinely have a CHOICE. We can choose austerity, big business, decimation of public services.

OR.

Or we can choose ‘Corbynomics’. (God, I hate that phrase. I hate how the Tory rags are STILL using it to denigrate Corbyn despite the fact that the vast majority of those in the know agree that it’s sound economic policy and that, actually, AUSTERITY DOESN’T WORK.)

We can choose to have an NHS which doesn’t want to charge us at the point of delivery.

We can choose the possibility of an education for our children which won’t leave them in crippling debt.

We can choose the chance to live in housing which won’t be astronomically expensive.

We can choose to say “NO” to exorbitant energy prices.

We can choose to live in a country where mental health is taken seriously.

We can choose to say “NO” to prioritising nuclear weapons above education, health and housing.

We can choose to tell the likes of Amazon and other wealthy global companies that they MUST pay their taxes.

We can choose a leader who will put a halt to what can only be described as “economic cleansing” by making rents and house prices in London so high.

We can choose to tell our kids that The Arts aren’t only the privilege of the wealthy.

We can choose a leader who won’t take us blindly into wars-for-profit which will benefit no-one but his mates.

Above all else, we can choose to make a move towards a kinder society.

So that’s why I shed a tear. Because the thought of a future like that for my kids, my family and my friends is something worthy of tears of joy. The Tories are running scared, that much is obvious from the horrible smear tactics that they’ve employed in the past few days. The right-wing press seems to have lost its damn mind, printing stories and headlines which look like they’ve been copied and pasted straight from The Onion. It seems obvious to me that they’re pooing their pants.

There may be 5 years until the next election, but those are 5 years in which we can feel hopeful about a brighter future.

Since the General Election, I’ve been feeling pretty disillusioned by what I perceived as a societal move towards cruelty. However, this has buoyed me immeasurably. I’m going to leave you with a quote which says it far more succinctly than I can:

 

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Politics

In The Wake of the General Election. #GE2015

It’s been a funny old weekend. I woke up on Friday morning before 5, feeling like I’d had concrete poured into my stomach and couldn’t get back to sleep again because my brain was racing. HOW could this have happened? How could the country have voted the Conservatives in again for another 5 years? Over the course of the morning, my fear turned to anger. I couldn’t see how a vote for Blue was anything other than self-serving and utterly lacking compassion and social conscience and so I made a declaration. I took to Facebook and wrote this:

Capture12

Yeah. I know. Pretty divisive.

My reasoning behind such a statement was that I genuinely cannot see how I have a single thing in common with someone who would willingly vote the Conservatives back into government. I can’t get my head around real, actual people thinking that the Tories can do anything but serious harm to this country. Anyone who can look at how ill and disabled people have been forced back into work, how the NHS is desperately over stretched, how the rich have been given tax cuts while the poorest of us are being fined for having too many bedrooms in our homes, are not people I’m happy to call my friends.

In the following hours, I had a lot of backlash. I had people calling me names, suggesting that I was ‘pathetic’ and ‘small-minded’, I had people outright challenging me to stand by my statement and then having tantrums when I did. I had another blogger (who, I must say, I really barely know) start a whole new thread on her own Facebook page, inviting people to agree with her on how despicable I was for removing her as a friend because of our conflicting views.

All in all, I’ve now got 20 less friends through Facebook than I had this time on Thursday. I know because before I posted the status above I took a note of my numbers, just for the sake of science. Many of them are people I’ve known since school, girls who’ve known me since I was 11 years old, and some are other bloggers. People were really quick to tell me that I was wrong and a few tried to defend their reasons for voting Tory, saying that they thought the Tories represented what was best for them and their families. Hardly anyone tried to engage me in a reasonable debate, rather choosing to call me a bigot and an idiot.

I’ve got to say, I don’t think I’ve ever been more disillusioned than I am now. For me, the Conservatives represent everything that is wrong with this country. I simply cannot get my head and my heart to reconcile the fact that so many people are willing to see the death of the NHS, the repeal of the Human Rights Act and so many other key tenets of what makes this country great. All I can see is that the people who have voted Tory have happily taken from the state, in the form of healthcare, emergency services, education and cushy Government funded jobs, and then pulled the ladder up behind them. What’s that old phrase? Oh yeah…”I’m alright, Jack”.

One person, someone I’d previously liked and respected, told me she’d voted Tory because if Labour had got in, the proposed Mansion Tax would have prevented her and her Husband from buying the lavish new property they’d had their eye on, while another said that, because her Husband was a Letting Agent, the Labour proposal to cap letting agent fees (fees which have got so high as to be utterly prohibitive in recent years, forcing families into unregulated slum housing) would mean they could no longer afford their lifestyle. If that’s not a massive “FUCK YOU” to the rest of our country, I don’t know what is.

Being willing to watch families stand in queues at food banks because they can’t afford to eat and old ladies dying of hypothermia because they can’t afford to heat their homes, for the sake of your own prosperity, shows a complete lack of humanity.

I’ve done a lot of soul-searching over the past few days to try to work out how seemingly decent people can so happily drop the axe on everyone else for their own gain. My poor Husband (a paid-up member of The Green Party) has been a sounding board for most of it, and although his politics are in line with my own, he’s able to be a little less ‘black and white’ about things than I am. He’s of the opinion that good people can still vote Tory and that there’s been too much misinformation by the press, manipulating the moderate middle to believe that the Tories have their best interests at heart. Hard working people who don’t have time to research policies, people who come home and read the Murdoch-poisoned rags and believe what they’re seeing.

I can’t say that I’m entirely buoyed by the thought that, of the people who voted Tory, half of them did so out of selfishness and greed and the other half did so because of their utter lack of research. I’ve only been on this planet for 30 short years, but I think it’s safe to say that this has been the most information-rich General Election to ever have been run. There have been websites inviting people to test their opinions against policies to see where their actual values should lead their affiliations and yet people are still voting blindly. I’ve heard untold people say that they voted for the Tories because their parents did, or because their Husbands did. Sister Suffragette, I think not…Mrs. Banks

I’m not suggesting that every single person who voted Tory did so out of either stupidity or selfishness, but not one person yet has managed to give me a reason for their vote which I’ve been able to get my head around, or reconcile with them also being a good person.

The one good thing that’s come of this is that I’ve sorted my own political affiliations in my head. In the run up, I was wavering between Labour and Green, but ultimately went for Labour as I had strong faith in Milliband and his genuine socialist views. In the wake of him leaving the party, I’ve come to the conclusion that New Labour isn’t quite the socialist party across the board that I had hoped it was, and as of this week will be a paid up member of the Green Party. There’s a meeting in a coffee shop locally next week which Husband and I are hoping to attend as I’m done with being an keyboard warrior, I want to get out and actually act. I’m also now part of a few online groups of women who are banding together as a sisterhood against Conservative rule. I genuinely think we’ve got the power to make a huge change.

I was also hugely relieved to see the protests in London, despite ALL of the major news sources refusing to give it coverage. In the run-up to the election, I actually said to Husband “there’ll be riots if the Tories get in”, and then had to face the sinking realisation that if they DID get in it would be because the majority of people wanted them in power and therefore probably wouldn’t be unhappy about it. So to see that there were plenty of others as unhappy as me has given me hope, albeit small in the face of another 5 years of right-wing oppression.

To the 20 friends I’ve lost in the wake of this election: I’m sorry that things had to be this way. I’m sure you did what you thought was right for YOU. Unfortunately, I’m more interested in what’s right for everybody and I just cannot carry on pretending that it’s okay to screw everyone else over for your own gain.

If you’re interested, there’s a list below of posts and articles that I’ve found really interesting and informative over the past few days. Please also link me to anything you’ve found useful in the comments below:

Chrisopher Everard: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200525108166139&set=a.1179223136677.19518.1711111543&type=1

Dissapointed Idealist: https://disidealist.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/that-wasnt-an-election-result-it-was-a-5-year-prison-sentence/

Douglas Hine: http://dougald.nu/the-only-way-is-down-18-notes-on-the-uk-election/

Green Party Women: http://greenpartywomen.org.uk/news/2015/04/10/green-party-candidates-campaign-to-lift-ban-on-job-share-mps-begins/

The Independant: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/every-major-british-political-party–except-the-conservatives–currently-led-by-a-woman-10238390.html

The Ramblings of a Formerly Rock and Roll Mum:  http://www.rocknrollmum.com/2015/05/general-election-outcome-my-dads-thoughts.html

Bright Green: http://bright-green.org/2015/05/09/ge2015-left-you-feeling-1-dejected-and-disappointed-2-exhausted-3-relieved-read-on/

Another Angry Voice: http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/asset-stripping-bankrupt-britain.html and http://anotherangryvoice.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/austerity-is-con.html

Dear So and So... · Politics

Dear So and So…The Political Edition

General-Election-2015My friend Mich over at Mummy From the Heart has recently taken over the Dear So and So linky, where people write open letters on their blogs and link them up with everyone else who’s joined in. Obviously, this is a big week in terms of British politics and although I’ve been refraining from blogging about it too much up until now, I’ve got a few things I’d like to say…

Dear Voting Public, 

It’s been 5 years since we all had the opportunity to have a say in who’d be running the country and I think the majority of us, if we’re being honest, can all agree that we made a mistake. Against my better judgement, I voted Lib Dem last time, sick of the Blair “New Labour” agenda. There was no way I’d be voting Conservative, but I thought I’d try the other lot for a change. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I, in part, was responsible for the terrible cock-up that has been the last 5 years.

The NHS is in a worse state than ever. More publicly run companies have been privatized. The poorest and most underprivileged amongst us have been hit the hardest, which is absolutely typical of a Tory government and they’re absolutely unapologetic about it, planning even deeper cuts if they get in for a further term.

We have a chance to do something about it. I don’t care if you vote for Labour, Green…The Monster Raving Loony Party if needs be, but I don’t think I can cope with another 5 years of right-wing rule. Do me a favour; do the right thing.

Thanks,

Jayne

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Dear Non-Voters,

GET YOUR ARSES TO A POLLING STATION. There is absolutely NO excuse for you to not vote and your apathy is what left us with the wishy-washy coalition last time. People have LITERALLY died for your right to vote and for you ignore your obligation just because you “can’t be bothered” is disgusting. Not knowing who to vote for is also not an excuse – if you can read, you can have a look at the manifestos. Decide which one speaks to you the most and VOTE FOR THAT PERSON.

Yours,

Annoyed of Southend

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Dear Ed Milliband, 

Please don’t let me down. I have great faith in you, I respect your policies and feel that you’d be the best thing for our country at the moment. I know your hands will be tied and that not everything you’ve pledged to do will be possible within five years. I know there’s red tape to get through. I know there’s a room full of ancient, out of touch Lords who have to have their say before things get done. 

You have a huge opportunity to change the way this country is run and to undo all of the damage that’s been done by The Coalition. You have the opportunity to reduce the burden on the millions of families who are overstretched and underpaid. You have the opportunity to restore some dignity and peace of mind to the disabled people of Britain who’ve been forced back into work despite obvious unsuitability. You have the opportunity to make Britain great again by restoring the socialist values which have underpinned much of our society and stop us from rolling headlong into the consumer, capitalist driven heartlessness which has reared its ugly head. 

I have faith in you. Don’t let me down. 

Yours Faithfully, 

Hopeful of Southend.

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Dear UKIP voters,

I have to admit, you’ve unsettled me. I’m genuinely scared of the momentum that UKIP has gained in recent years and feel hugely disheartened by the thought of raising my daughters in a country which is being governed by a party who bases its policies on fear and hatred. If you’ve a modicum of intelligence and the ability to Google, you can quite easily see that the vast majority of the statistics they use for their scare tactics are highly manipulated and inaccurate.

I know that many of you felt that a vote for UKIP was a protest vote against the “main three”, but please, consider a vote for Green or someone else as your protest, if you’re that way inclined. Even spoiling your ballot would be better, just make sure you get yourself to a polling station and refuse to be manipulated into thinking that “immigrants are the enemy”.

Yours in hope,

Concerned of Southend.

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Do you have an open letter you’d like to write? Please link up with Dear So and So… over at Mummy From the Heart and also read the rest of the posts over there.