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4 Simple Pelvic Floor Exercises for New Moms & All Moms

Hey Mamas,

Pregnancy f—, I mean, messes, your body.

One thing many of us don’t hear enough about, until it’s too late, is the importance of pelvic floor exercises.

The pelvic floor muscles hold the pelvic organs in place, we’re talking bladder, rectum and uterus. You can feel the pelvic floor muscles in action if you squeeze as if your preventing yourself from urinating. Click here for a good visual.

Now, that you know what they are, you’re next thoughts might be, is a weak pelvic floor causing:

  • pain during sexual activity
  • week bladder, aka urinary incontinence
  • constipation
  • lower back pain

At one point or another, I could have checked off all of the above. After countless visits to gastroenterologist, rheumatologist, chiropractor and a slew of tests, I finally found salvation with a pelvic floor specialized physical therapist at Duffy & Bracken.

If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor about pelvic floor exercises you can do during your pregnancy. The more you do while you are pregnant, the better off you’ll be once the baby is out. (Did you know in France physical therapy is part of post-natal care?!!

now, here are some pelvic floor exercises I do, that have greatly improves all – ALL – of my symptoms.

Pelvic Floor Exercises: BRIDEPelvic Floor Exercises bridgePelvic Floor Exercises bridge

While lying on your back, tighten your lower abdominal (as if you are about to poop or the feeling of bringing your belly button into floor below you), squeeze your buttocks and then raise your buttocks off the floor to create a bridge with your body.

Hold for 2 seconds and release. Repeat 20 times.

Pelvic Floor Exercises: BRIDGE WITH LEG EXTENSIONPelvic Floor Exercises bridgePelvic Floor Exercises bridge

Stay in raised bridge, as explained above, continue to squeeze your buttocks. The, press your left heel firming into the floor and extend your right leg fully. Make sure to continue squeezing your butt, so that you’re not engaging your lower back.

Hold for 2-seconds. Return your leg to the ground and repeat with the opposite leg. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

If you’re just starting out, you should fully lower the bridge and rest. Work up to a point where you can do a few leg extensions without lowering the bridge or sacrificing form and that good squeeze.

Pelvic Floor Exercises: MODIFIED PLANK ON ELBOWS

Pelvic Floor Exercises modified plankLay face down on the mat and push yourself into a plank. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulder blades. Keep your pelvis tucked in. You should feel mostly glutes, core and upper shoulders working.

Neutralize the neck and spine by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond the hands. Your head should be in line with your back.

Hold the position for 20 seconds. As you get more comfortable with the move, hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising form or breath.

Pelvic Floor Exercises: BIRD DOG

Pelvic Floor Exercises Bird DogPelvic Floor Exercises Bird DogBegin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Pull your abs in to your spine. (Imagine someone pulling your belly button from the inside.)

Keeping your back and pelvis stable, reach your right arm forward and left leg back. Don’t allow the pelvis to rock side to side as you move your leg behind you. Focus on not letting the rib cage sag toward the floor.

Reach through your left heel to engage the muscles in the back of the leg and your butt. Return to the starting position, placing your hand and knee on the floor.

Do the same movement on the other side. Repeat 10 times on each side.

Pamela Pekerman signautre

Premature Birth Breakthrough PreTRM blood test

Premature Birth Blood Test: One Less Pregnancy Stress

Hey Mamas,

Pregnancy is the stressful, pre-game to being a juggle-as-much-as-you-can, without dropping ANY ball, mom.

Who Should Worry About Premature Birth?

Ball 1 – Your Health

Ball 2 – The Fetus’ Health

Ball 3 – Your Looks

Ball 4 – Home Prep

Ball 5 – Work

Ball 6 – Your Fitness Routine

Ball 7 – Your Nutrition

Ball 8 – What’s the New Norm? What’s the Happy Formula?

…. And so on.

Who Should Worry About Premature Birth?

With regards to Ball 1 and Ball 2 – i.e. the health of mommy and baby – there’s a new blood test called PreTRM that aims to relieve stress in the health department.

PreTRM is a prenatal blood test a woman can take during the 19th or 20th week of pregnancy, that determines her individualized risk for delivering a baby prematurely.

Having gone through two pregnancies, I truly never considered myself at risk of delivering prematurely, which is defined as delivery before 37 weeks. Boy, was I naïve.

PREMATURE BIRTH SHOCKING FACTS

The March of Dimes estimates that the preterm birth rate in the U.S. is approximately 1 in 10 pregnancies, one of the highest rates in the developing world.

50% of women who go on to have a premature birth, have no risk factors

The best predictor of preterm birth is a previous spontaneous preterm birth. However, 40% of women who have a premature birth are first time moms.

Premature babies are at an increased risk of developing serious and sometimes long-term health issues including: neurological, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, vision and dental problems, and behavioral issues such as ADHD and anxiety.

PREMATURE BIRTH BLOOD TEST

As mentioned already, the PreTRM test is a breakthrough in helping reduce the problem of premature birth by simply taking a prenatal blood test at your doctor’s office. Your doctor shares your individualized risk assessment and determines the next steps for your pregnancy management.

The goal is to identify women, who are carrying one baby, show no signs of delivering prematurely, but still test at a higher risk of having a preterm birth, according to the blood results from the PreTRM test. Essentially, the PreTRM blood test now let’s doctors create the best plan so the mom-to-be is less likely to delivery before 37-weeks. The test doesn’t prevent preterm delivery, but it’s an awesome tool for your health care provider to do his/her job and hopefully keep the bun in the oven for a longer period of time. #StillCooking

PreTRM blood test deliver baby prematurely

PREMATURE BIRTH BLOOD TEST PreTRM LEARN MORE

Mamas, if you’re currently cooking a bun, or plan on getting pregnant, check out PreTRM.com. You’ll learn all about their clinically validated studies, as well as other useful peer-reviewed medical journal reports.

Since PreTRM is a new, first-of-its-kind test, your insurance may not cover the hefty $945 price tag. However, years ago, the genetic testing that today is covered by most insurance companies, was also not covered. Once the insurance companies understand the financial benefit of having less premature babies to take care of (sad but it always comes down to their numbers!) PreTRM will probably be covered. That, of course, is my hope!

If I’m blessed to have another baby, I certainly am going to ask my doctor to perform this test. I’d rather downgrade the cost of clothing and fancy strollers, for the peace-of-mind of a potentially healthier pregnancy and healthier baby.

Premature Birth PreTRM Blood Test

Pregnant Girls Cocktail, Plus Repurposing Glass Bottles

I’m indulging in a Pregnant Girls Cocktail.

Fine, no alcohol. But, I want a fabulous glass for my drink!

Ingredients:
– Pretty Glass
– Water
– Slice of fresh squeezed lime
– Dash of sparking pomegranate spritz (for added flavor and color)

Sometimes, you just need to have a pretty drink in a pretty glass to kick off the day. 

FYI This glass actually used to contain preserve. I love turning glass containers into unique cups an vases. This particular one contained Braswell’s All Natural Chocolate Raspberry Preserve. Yes, it tasted as good as it sounds! I got it at HomeGoods for about $4. 

Here are some other products that come in glass containers you can repurpose.  

Make the most of your food/beverage purchases, by giving them new life.

Reuse glass jars for drinking, making your own preserve with custom labels (here’s a fun idea from craft store MIchael’s), pencil holders or other office organizing, vases, etc. With the later, I love the idea of bunching mismatched glass containers and placing low cut flowers in them. Place three or four, with flowers, on a mirrored tray for added glamour in your bedroom or office. The littlest details can make the brightest impact on your day. Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

Bump Nest Body Pillow Cures Pregnancy Sleeping Woes

When I was pregnant with Ilana, last year, I slept with four to six different pillows. One pillow went under my belly, one or two went behind my back, and the rest were placed under my feet. I refused to get a body pillow because everything I saw was ugly and didn’t prevent me from rolling onto my back. This year, as I await the birth of my son, mama found a better way to sleep

Bump Nest body pillow in Peacock Blue.
Scraps caps from each pillow are made into soft baby beanies,
donated to The Hope Venture and Stitches From The Heart. 

Bump Nest is a body pillow I can actually mold and wrap around my body, so I no longer have to bug my husband to be my wall. The machine-washable case is very soft, which was a concern given that I’m obsessed with sleeping on my uber-lux, Sferra pillow cases. (Beauty sleep is so important; a gal needs all the help she can get to preserve her skin!) In the week since I’ve started using this pillow, I’ve had much better sleep and far less complaints about restless legs. Also, my husband, Steve, is VERY happy about being off of pile-on-the-pillows duty.

PS I thought this was also a great time to share my bedroom decor. More details to come later in the week including how you can replicate what I refer to as “modern, soothing, spa style” for the home.