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Total Pelvic Revolution Programme Review

As some of you may know from following my blog, I’ve had a lot of issues with my pelvic floor. It started when I was 12 weeks pregnant with Finn. I suffered with SPD and PGP the entire way through my pregnancy and beyond and if it wasn’t for me maintaining it with hours of physio then I wouldn’t have been able to walk towards the end of those long 9 months.
When I was pregnant with Juno things weren’t quite so bad. I knew how to hold my body properly, I was conscious of my posture as my belly grew bigger and I also knew what release work and stretches to do to relieve the pains and loosen up the muscles in my thighs, hips and lower back. But I also knew how to exercise my pelvic floor properly. It’s one of the most valuable things any woman, or indeed man, can learn.

Following my 6 week post partum check up with both babies I attended my physio for internal release work on my pelvic floor. One problem I had after Finn was that I was over compensating whilst doing my kegals and I wasn’t releasing properly so my muscles were getting more and more tense and the tightness from my episiotomy scar didn’t help matters. After having Juno I found that a lot of my issues again were coming from the external pelvic floor muscles especially around the scar area.
It was causing issues in my lower back, my thighs and my hips.

What is your pelvic floor and why is it so important?

Your pelvic floor supports all of your pelvic organs- bladder, bowel and uterus.
It stretches from your pubic bone right back to your coccyx and it’s responsible for preventing incontinence and flatulence and also supporting you uterus before, during and after pregnancy. Your pelvic floor also works with the abdominal and back muscles to stabilise and support the spine. (Source)

Why I wanted to do the Total Pelvic Revolution Programme.

When Dagmar Khan approached me to tell me a little more about her course I jumped at the chance to get involved.

The Total Pelvic Revolution Programme is a four week course and through using meditation, massage techniques and the jade egg it’s designed to help strengthen your pelvic floor, aid incontinence and prolapse and help you to feel stronger, more confident and sexier.

I thought that Dagmar’s course would perfectly compliment the work I’ve been doing to maintain my pelvic floor and hopefully help strengthen my abdominal and back muscles. I’ve also wanted to try meditation for quite a while now so I figured this would be as good a time as any to start.

Read below to find out how I got on!

img_3641The Jade Egg…

Total Pelvic Revolution Review:

There’s essentially 6 practices. Two within each module 2,3 &4.

Module 1
Module 1 consisted of utilising massage techniques, deep breathing exercises and meditation to help get you brain and body prepared for working with the jade egg in Module 2. It’s essential to prepare yourself mentally, physically and emotionally before using the Jade egg.
Module 2
Starting off module 2 I decided to go with some deep breathing by following the Inner Smile and the Loop Practices from Module 1. They’re designed to prepare you mentally and physically for working with the egg. I skipped the breast massage because as I’m breast feeding, go figure!

I started off with the Basic Practice which is easing you into getting started. Although I was doing the exercises, I couldn’t quite feel the egg, which is perfectly normal after having a baby and although I’ve been doing my pelvic floor exercises for the past 6 months since having Juno, it’s interesting to see that my deep pelvic floor muscles still need A LOT of work.
The basic practice incorporates a bit of bridge work with some pelvic tilts. I honestly couldn’t feel any difference after the practice was completed so I went about my day. That night when I was getting into bed I realised I had no pain at all. No little twinges in my pelvis, or in my butt cheeks, no aches in and around my inner thigh and not as much tightness in my groin. Apart from a bit of lower back pain, which is pretty normal with two babies, I had no aches or pains.

The morning after the practice and I woke up, again, with no pain. I didn’t do any other pelvic floor release work or kegals in the two days, so this result was just from using the jade egg alone.

A few days later, after a day of walking around Dublin whilst carrying Juno in the sling and trying to maneuver a buggy I was in so much pain!
I didn’t get to do another practice before heading out that day and as a result my legs, hips and lower back were aching! Before I got into bed that night I decided to try a bit of the resistance practice. It didn’t get rid of the pain completely, but it did ease it enough for me to get some sleep. When I woke up the next morning I had very little pain.

I was pleasantly surprised to be experiencing instantaneous results from having just started the course. Roll on modules three and four!

Module 3
Consists mainly of sexual healing. It includes the fresh start jade egg practice and the sexual healing jade egg practice and it’s aim is to help you understand the different ways our body and our sexuality can become traumatized and the processes and jade egg practices that allow your body to heal -Dagmar Khan

I started with the fresh start practice which incorporates healing and forgiveness. It’s about forgiving yourself and those who may have wronged you in the past, which helps you to release past anger and frustration and pain thus unlocking blockages within you psyche when it comes to enjoying sex and making love again.

It’s quite a powerful little practice and although I don’t have a lot of anger or pain from past relationships (ok maybe some anger and a tiny bit of resentment, but that’s it!) I have had a lot of issues from a past friendship that broke down. A friendship with a man that I though valued me as a person and not just an object of affection. Because “friend-zoning” him meant that I deserved to be verbally abused and cut out of his life completely. I think these in turn affected my confidence and contributed to my anxiety and second guessing myself and my worth as a person. This rarely happens, but occasionally I get into a mindset where I’m very negative about myself. I think this practice will really help that.

I can see how the sexual healing practice can really help someone who’s experienced some kind of trauma or abuse, it’s very thorough and the meditation techniques within this practice can be invaluable when it comes to healing your mind, body and soul.

I did do both practices within this module, but as it’s not my main focus, I didn’t spend too much time on it. BUT make no mistake this is a very, very effective module and the meditation techniques alone are worth it.

Module 4
Building lasting pelvic health:
So trying to find 25/30 minutes to myself was quite challenging. But I managed it.
This was my favourite practice! I won’t waffle on too much, but the whole body integration is so worth it!
 Through meditation and deep breathing you’re essentially distributing your sexual energy throughout your entire body and it’s just amazing. I honestly don’t know what else I can say about it. You just have to try it.
The 5 senses jade egg activation uses meditation to help you envision where you want to be or the type of person you want to become. Whether it’s a more confident version of yourself or you want to be more successful at what you’re doing this practice is about imagining that and sensing what it would be like to be that person by imagining what you’re hearing, what you’re seeing, tasting.

I think this practice is by far the most useful. The brain is such a complex tool, even the most gifted neuroscientist can’t figure out how it works. Envisioning and imagination can be very useful to helping you to achieve your goals in life and get to where you want to be. This practice helps you do just that. I’ll definitely be doing this practice again and again to keep me focused on where I want to be in 3 years time.

In summary

Dagmar had created a very effective course. The meditation practices are something that I definitely want to try practicing regularly by introducing them into my every day routine and as for the exercises within the practices themselves, as I mentioned above, for the first time in three years, I’ve been pain free and the results were pretty much instantaneous, which is pretty remarkable. I’m not quite brave enough yet to try sleeping without the pillow between my legs for support, but hopefully I’ll get there soon.

Watch this Space!

-A x

 

Hospital Bag Essentials for the expectant mother

Lets face it, picking out those teeny tiny baby clothes, washing them and adding them to your hospital bag is one of the most exciting things about the nesting instinct kicking in. It certainly beats the overwhelming urge to clean the oven!
But the main question you end up asking yourself is, where do I start?

Pinterest is a great place to start, there’s countless checklists and posts out there. One thing I found was that there were loads of blog posts from the US, many of them were about packing enough for a 1-2 night stay.
Here in Ireland, if it’s your first baby, you’ll most likely be staying in for two to three days after the birth, if you’ve had a cesarean you could be in hospital for five to seven days. This post will be your one stop checklist on what you’ll need for your hospital stay.

Out of the countless checklists I found online I was still stumped as to what to bring, I had 3 bags packed, one for the labour ward, one for myself and one for the baby gear. As great as the internet is, I recommend asking someone who’s been through the whole process for a bit of advice. My friend Sophie got me down from three bags to just one with everything packed into it.

One thing I would do differently, is pack a separate bag for the labour ward. The items highlighted in Blue are what I’d add to it.

Most of these things could be found in Penneys/Primark
Hospital Bag 1

1. Towels – Bath and hair towel. You’ll want to shower!
2. Flip Flops (for the shower)
3. Wash Bag:
– Travel Sized Shampoo, Conditioner and Shower gel (Boots have a great range of travel products)
– Toothbrush and Toothpaste
– Hand and Face Wipes – Super handy and saves loads of space, I picked up these tiny packets from Penneys.
– Moisturisers (Face & Body)
– Nipple cream
Distilled Witch Hazel – You’ll hear many things from the different midwives, but the veteran ones that have years of experience were all for the idea of adding some witch hazel to you Sanitary Pad. If you’ve had an Episiotomy it will soothe the stitches, help with any swelling and will speed up the healing process. There’s so many recipes online for ‘Padsicles’ (Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera Gel and Lavender Oil on the pad and stick them in the fridge/freezer) I’m sorry I didn’t try it!
Facecloth – Put this in your labour bag (Trust me) Some of the best advice I got was that a cold, wet facecloth against your forehead during labour will save your life. It’s true, and it helps your partner feel useful! 
4. Sanitary Pads- These are from Earthmother. They’re biodegradable, made from natural materials and super soft. There’s 10 pads in each box and you’ll need about 5 Boxes for the hospital and the weeks that follow.
5. Nursing Nightgowns x3 – I picked these up in Penneys in Waterford but they’ve since discontinued their maternity wear department to just a few stores in Dublin. They are however continuing the maternity underwear range- Nursing Bras, Nursing Tanks, Maternity Briefs and Belly Bands. The size 10/12 were quite big on top, if you’re on the smaller bust size then the 6/8 size are plenty loose but not gaping on top!
6. Nipple Shields– Do a bit of research on different brands. Another great website is: Once Born, the mamivac nipple shields were recommended to me in one of the breastfeeding groups on Facebook.
7. Dressing Gown
8. Button down nightshirt (For the labour ward) Pick up something cheap that you won’t mind throwing out after. Even if you’re not planning on breast feeding, skin to skin contact has some great benefits for you and baby.
9. Nursing Tanks x2 – I found these in Penneys, but you can pick up similar ones Here and Here  These ones are really good quality, they’re super comfy and they don’t break the bank, if you’re breast feeding you’ll be living in these for the next few weeks. If you’re usually a size 6/8 pick up the tanks in size 10-12, they’re quite a tight fit and the 10/12 size are longer and don’t ride up as much.
10. Mens Boxers- Pack of three. Soooo comfy!!!! Just pick up a pack, you won’t regret it.
11. Big Briefs – Pack of 5- super handy and comfy for after the birth and they’re way more practical than the disposable ones they give you in the hospital. Add one pair to your labour bag.
12. Slippers
13. Breast pads- This is a pack of 80 that I picked up in Tesco. You’re going to go through a lot of these especially if you’re breastfeeding. These are nice and soft but the boots brand are pretty good too. You can also get reusable breast pads and biodegradable ones for the eco- conscious.
14. Light, Cool & Comfy Pyjamas- The post labour ward is HOT and thanks to those PostPartum hot flushes you’ll feel SUPER HOT (and not in a sexy way) if you have guests, it’s nice to be able to cover up without feeling that you’re sweltering!
15. Socks– Pack these in your Labour bag. I can’t say I remember my feet getting cold or whether or not I was even wearing my socks. But it’s no harm to have them in there anyway.

Not Pictured above, but add a TENS machine to that list. I didn’t actually rent one, I borrowed one from the hospital and only for the fact that one lady didn’t want it, I would have had to do without, they have a very limited supply.  It saved my life! I swear, between that and Gas and Air, it’s a magical combination!
You can rent one from Boots or Mulligans.

What to pack for baby:
Hospital bag 2
1. Nappies– Pack a couple in your labour bag.
One pack contains 20 nappies which should be plenty for the 3 days, but it’d be no harm to have some on stand by at home if you run out. These are biodegradable ones, they have 30% less chemicals than any other nappy on the market. You can read a bit more about them in a recent blog post here
2. Nappy Sacks – Again these are biodegradable and lightly scented. They’re so handy for lots of things!
3. Biodegradable wipes– I used cotton wool and warm water for the first few weeks. The warm water is the best thing for getting that tar like substance (Meconium) off for the first few nappy changes. It’s so impossible with wipes, you end up using a ton! But yeah, these wipes are really gentle and contain zero chemicals! Also Water Wipes are a super alternative to cotton wool and water. You can buy them in bulk here which is much cheaper.
4. Cellular Blanket – These allow air to circulate and are recommended by the HSE, The Irish Sudden Infant Death Association and the National Paediatric Mortality Register . You can pick them up here.
5. This is the tricky part! I packed 4 baby grows and 4 vests. I thought four would be fine, It wasn’t. As it turns out, Finn was a pukey baby so the burp cloths, baby grows, bibs and vests that I packed lasted about 1 day! But you want to be able to fit everything else into your bag, yes? Pack another bag of baby stuff and leave it waiting at home. Just in case you need it.
6. Burp Cloths/Muslins pack about 6-8 of these, they’re light enough to fold up really small.
7. Mittens and Hat- A hat isn’t really necessary until you’re heading home. Some baby grows have mittens sown into the sleeve, but bring about 2-3 pairs if you have them, if not then that’s ok too, they’re not a necessity.
8. Bibs- Pack about four for starters but have more in the back-up bag!
9. Vest and babygrow for the labour ward. A friend of mine suggested bringing a resealable A4 sized bag to put the first outfit into, Vest, babygrow, mittens, as a keep sake for a memory box. They will hold the first scent of your baby and you can remind yourself of that memory. I didn’t do it, but I think it’s a sweet idea. 🙂 

The Storage bags that I packed the nappies and breast pads into are from IKEA. They’re super handy and come in 6 different sizes. They were perfect for saving space. But you can pick up similar ones anywhere.

Bag: H&M Similar here and here

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What special must have item did you pack in your hospital bag?