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Bladder Leaks and what you can do about them

  Bladder Leaks & What You Can Do About It  The holiday season often brings together extended family- and, well, it also means that incontinence jokes tend to join the festivities as well! In case you haven’t heard, many mothers of the world have unwittingly joined a secret pelvic floor dysfunction club, often courtesy of childbirth. I was admitted seven years ago, even though I don't personally experience bladder leaks. Apparently, membership is assumed for us all .  This secret club is where the moms, aunts, older cousins  and grandmothers make private jokes and eye rolls about leaks, “oops moments” and not being able to jump on trampolines. Glamorous, right? And occasionally the whole family joins in on the joke whenever cousin Johnny breaks out his comedy routine and mom has to make a sprint to the bathroom.    Why is this happening, you ask? First, a bit of science.  Bladder leaks, medically known as urinary incontinence, affect millions of individuals worldwide. Despite i

Pregnancy and Postpartum Life Hacks: Simplifying Nutrition, Movement, and Mental Health

Being a busy career professional and mom during pregnancy and postpartum can be overwhelming. We have been conditioned by society to think we “can have it all”.  I’m not here to burst your bubble but I often find that “having it all” means that our personal health and wellness tends to suffer.  To the world, we look like we are all put together but secretly suffering inside.  Juggling multiple responsibilities often leaves little time for self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I don’t have a magic fix for you, but I do have a few #lifehacks that my clients and I have picked up along the way. To simply sum it up, it’s all about simplifying your daily routine and reducing stress (note the bold highlight on that one). 

Let’s start with one of my favs…NUTRITION

Nutrition Tip #1: Plan 5 meals

I know what you are thinking, “Joanie, please don’t tell me I have to make a meal plan.”  I’m sorry to say it, but streamlining your grocery shopping and meal prep by planning your meals in advance is going to save you a ton of time and stress. 

Here’s my trick: Every weekend, I pick 5 dinners for the upcoming week.  I find the recipes on the internet and drop the links into my online calendar.  From there, I browse through the recipes and make a shopping list accordingly.

The benefits: I know it seems like an hour of your precious weekend upfront but I promise, this saves time and reduces decision fatigue during the week.  It also ensures you always have nutritious options on hand. I try to double the recipes so each of those dinners becomes lunch the next day. 

Nutrition Tip #2: Stock up

Keep your pantry stocked with essentials: whole grains, canned beans, frozen vegetables, and healthy snacks. It never fails that even with my meal planning, I’m sure to be missing something I need to make a recipe during the week.  (Usually because my family has already eaten it).  Having these items on hand allows you to easily substitute a similar ingredient in a pinch and save dinner. 

Nutrition Tip #3: Healthy Delivery

I love meal making kits like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Purple Carrot.  They aren’t always the most interesting meals, and I find there is a learning curve to each one’s specific prep, but once you use it a couple of times, you kind of learn their prep style and start to whip meals out in no time. For those of you that don’t have time to chop, saute, and overcome the learning curve, there are services like Sakara, and Daily Harvest.  If you are looking for something more customized for fertility, pregnancy and postpartum Chiyo or Square Fare are great options to consider. 

Next up: FITNESS

Fitness Tip #1: Corrective Exercise

During pregnancy and postpartum, it's essential to focus on exercises that support your changing body. Consult with a qualified fitness professional to design a customized corrective exercise program that targets your specific needs, such as strengthening the pelvic floor and core muscles. 

Try a 7-day Free Trial of Transformation Nation or book a 15-min no cost consultation to talk through what you need. 

Fitness Tip #2: Sneak Movement Into Your Day

Find ways to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. You know the drill.  Take a walk during your lunch break, opt for the stairs when you can, do mini-workouts while listening on a call or while your baby naps. Every little bit of movement counts toward staying active and improving your mobility and overall fitness.  Humans were made to MOVE.  I once had a mentor tell me that your best posture is your next posture, meaning, we start to fall apart when we are stationary for too long.  Keep things moving! 

Fitness Tip #3:  Prioritize quality over quantity 

Focus on short, effective workouts that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. I love picking 3-5 curated exercises to do 3x through for circuit training.  When picking these exercises, think through the 6 basic human primal movements: Push, Pull, Squat, Lunge, Twist and Bend.  Find exercises that train your body to do those things and you are training for all the movements you do in your daily life.  (The Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Programs within the Transformation Nation online studio guide you through all of these!)

MENTAL HEALTH/STRESS REDUCTION (The one many of us struggle with) 

Stress Reduction Tip #1: Breathe

Incorporate simple breathing techniques into your daily routine. Diaphragmatic breathing, where you inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your belly to rise, and exhale slowly through your mouth, can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm.  It’s also the foundation for strengthening your core through pregnancy and postpartum.  Many of us are chest breathers and don’t realize how essential the diaphragm is for maintaining proper movement mechanics.  

Stress Reduction Tip #2: Meditate

This one tends to get me some eye rolls.  Who has time to meditate, right?  I’m not asking you to meditate for an hour, or even half an hour.  Aim for 5-10min.  Set aside a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness meditation, I like to do 10 min when I get up and 10 more before I go to bed for the night.  Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and simply start by focusing on your breath.  Personally, I love finding quick meditations to listen to as I find being guided helps.  Mindful in Minutes is my current favorite and feels like it easily fits into my day.   

Stress Reduction Tip #3: Prioritize Sleep

This is easier said than done, especially if you are experiencing any pregnancy insomnia  or are postpartum with a newborn at home.  But as you know, adequate sleep is crucial for managing stress and maintaining good health. If you can’t get all the hours you need at the moment, establish a relaxing bedtime routine instead.  No matter how tired you are, find the things that will relax you and turn on your parasympathetic nervous system (There's an 8-min workshop packed with all the essential information on Transformation Nation) before bed. Try to create a soothing sleep environment and aim to get to bed at the same time every night.  You may not be getting the 6-8 hrs you need but do what you can to make sure the hours that you are getting are restful.  

To Wrap It Up

Pregnancy and postpartum life is demanding, but incorporating a few hacks to simplify your daily routine and reduce stress can make this a much smoother journey. By doing just one thing from each of these categories of: nutrition, movement, and mental health,  you'll not only be supporting your well-being but also making all your challenges easier to navigate when it comes to being a busy mom and career professional. Remember to listen to your body, seek support when needed, and celebrate the small victories along the way.  Wishing you a joyful and stress-free pregnancy and postpartum experience! 

And at the end of the day, these are just a few tips that have worked for myself and some of my clients.  You have to find what works for you.  If you are looking for some help or guidance, schedule a 15 min no cost, no obligation consultation to talk through your health, wellness and fitness goals and get moving in the right direction!


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