blog it up!

By Ashley Devonish | Category: From the Experts | Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I know that many of you have a blog of your own.  It would be fun to take a peek at it.  If you would like to share, please leave a comment with a link to your blog along with a little description of what you typically write about.  I’d also love to know what you enjoy most and least about having a blog.

In addition, if you would enjoy partnering up with us from time to time to review products in exchange for special discounts please fill out the sort survey here.  Feel free to share the link with any friends you have that may also be interested.

Ashley Devonish

I have a passion for helping moms and encouraging them in their journey through motherhood. I invite you to journey along with me!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestYouTube

Share Your Thoughts

C-Section Recovery – Tips for Recovering Quicker & Easier (part 2)

By Ashley Devonish | Category: From the Experts, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thank you to Elizabeth McGee (who is the author of the Worry Free C-Section Recovery guide and C-Section recovery blog) for her guest post on the topic of C-Section recovery.  This is part 2 of a 2 part post on this topic.  Part 1 was covered this last Monday.

Recovering from a C-Section can be tough, although there are women will tell you that recovering from their c-section was fairly easy.

Having had c-sections myself and studied women who have had both difficult and easy recoveries, there are a few things I’ve discovered that can help women recover quicker and easier.

They are:

•           Being Prepared

•           Maintaining a positive attitude

•           Maintaining Good Health & Fitness

•           Keeping communications open with family members and your doctor

The first two areas were covered in my last post.  I would now like to focus on the last two.

Maintain Good Health & Fitness

There are lots of things that happen to your body when you become pregnant.  Hormone levels change, eating habits can change and even your mental outlook can change.  For all these reasons it’s important to adopt and maintain good eating and exercise habits.

Of course this is not a time to think about weight loss diets or starting a strict exercise program if that’s not something you normally do but moderate daily exercise like walking or muscle toning is a good thing.

Eating a healthy diet fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water and avoiding heavy desserts will give you and your baby the essential nutrients you both need without gaining too much weight that can be unhealthy.

Keeping Communications Open with Family Members and Your Doctor

Keeping up good communications can release stresses and tension.  Not letting go of those things can cause muscle tension and hormonal responses and that can have a negative effect on your overall health and healing.

But as you begin to express your feelings you can heal the tension and learn to relax and find peace.

Don’t get into the habit of holding your feelings inside.  If you are feeling sad or angry, talk with your spouse, get it out in the open.  If you are having pain or concerns with your health, speak to your doctor.

Maintain good communications will make a big difference in your attitude and how quickly you recover.

If it’s difficult for you to communicate verbally, use a journal. This method can help release sources of tension; it’s also a way to help you realize that you may be putting burdens on yourself that are unnecessary.

Elizabeth McGee is the author of the Worry Free C-Section Recovery guide and C-Section recovery blog.  Having had struggles with her own C-Section surgeries and painful recoveries, Elizabeth has dedicated the last ten years to researching and finding ways to help other women have a positive C-Section experience and recover quicker with less pain and anxiety.

Ashley Devonish

I have a passion for helping moms and encouraging them in their journey through motherhood. I invite you to journey along with me!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestYouTube

Share Your Thoughts

C-Section Recovery – Tips for Recovering Quicker & Easier (part 1)

By Ashley Devonish | Category: From the Experts, The Journey of Motherhood | Posted Monday, July 11, 2011

Thank you to Elizabeth McGee (who is the author of the Worry Free C-Section Recovery guide and C-Section recovery blog) for her guest post on the topic of C-Section recovery.  This will be a 2 part post with the second part following up this Wednesday.

Recovering from a C-Section can be tough, although there are women will tell you that recovering from their c-section was fairly easy.

Having had c-sections myself and studied women who have had both difficult and easy recoveries, there are a few things I’ve discovered that can help women recover quicker and easier.

They are:

•           Being Prepared

•           Maintaining a positive attitude

•           Maintaining Good Health & Fitness

•           Keeping communications open with family members and your doctor

Being Prepared

Not all women are prepared to have a c-section.  In fact most first time moms that have a c-section are generally caught off guard and unprepared for the event.

This isn’t so unusual, especially if you’ve had an ideal pregnancy, are healthy and have no complications during pregnancy.

So how do you prepare to have a c-section when you don’t expect one?

With about one in three births resulting in a c-section today, I always preach that it’s a good idea to be prepared for the possibility.  I get some raised eyebrows when I say that but then again, I’m the kind of person that likes to be prepared for anything.

As part of planning for your baby’s birth, do some preliminary research on what a c-section is, why it might occur and how to plan and recover.  Chances are if you don’t expect to have a c-section, you’re not likely to have one but in the event the situation arises wouldn’t you want to know what to expect and understand how to recover as quickly as possible?

Before your due date, create a birth plan and let your doctor review it. If your doctor is not on board with your wishes or your birth plan consider shopping around for a doctor that does understand your wishes.

If you do expect to have a c-section prepare wisely. Understand exactly what a c-section is, how to prepare and discuss the risks with your doctor, but most importantly plan every step of your c-section birth before hand.

Things to think about should include your wishes inside the operating room, for example, holding your baby immediate after birth, and types of anesthesia.  Next, how do you wish to care for your baby following the procedure, this includes breastfeeding and bonding.

Additionally have all preparations ready for arrival home.  Prepare carefully for the care of older children if necessary, have meals, errands and chores well planned out in advance.

Understand all possible complications that can occur and have ideas on how to remedy them. Your recovery at home should be a time to relax, recover and bond with your baby and anything you can do to effectively prepare for that time is a wise move.

I thought it was interesting to note that research has shown us that women who are mentally and physically prepared for surgery have fewer complications, less pain, and recover more quickly than those who don’t prepare. This is also particularly important with regard to anxiety and stress control.

No one is saying that you should expect to have a C-Section, but in the event that you need one, you have a much better chance of having a more positive experience the better prepared you are.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

When I had my first C-Section my initial reaction was fear, but later that fear turned to excitement.  However, after I got home and began to recover from my C-Section it was easy for me to let fatigue and frustration with pain get me down.

That’s where your attitude can make a difference in your life.  Your attitude in any situation can influence the outcome so it’s important to stay positive.

The power of positive thinking goes a long way in reducing stress and anxiety.  Never look at having a surgical birth as a problem or as a failure.   This is a time to reflect on what you have, not on what you don’t have.  Stay focused on the future, not the past and always keep solutions in mind.

We will cover the last two areas (maintaining good health and fitness and keeping communications open) this Wednesday!

Elizabeth McGee is the author of the Worry Free C-Section Recovery guide and C-Section recovery blog.  Having had struggles with her own C-Section surgeries and painful recoveries, Elizabeth has dedicated the last ten years to researching and finding ways to help other women have a positive C-Section experience and recover quicker with less pain and anxiety.

Ashley Devonish

I have a passion for helping moms and encouraging them in their journey through motherhood. I invite you to journey along with me!

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookPinterestYouTube

Share Your Thoughts

Top 5 Questions Received at C-Panty

By catherinebrooks | Category: From the Experts, Meet the mom inventor | Posted Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We hope you have enjoyed the 5 part series on the topic of cesarian deliveries.  If you missed out on the last one called “Ok C-Section moms, what’s the big deal?” you should definitely catch up, it is worth the read:)!  Below is the final post in our 5 part series, thank you so much Catherine for writing for us, we have learned a lot!

Being pregnant and delivering a baby comes with a lot of questions and new experiences. Some are tales some are true. Here are the top questions we get at www.cpanty.com. Most are c-section related but not all!

During a c-section to they really take my uterus out?!

Ouch that almost sounds worse than it is…and it’s bad enough! First “taking the uterus out” does not mean removing the uterus and not putting it back. But yes, the uterus is what is commonly called exteriorized or brought outside the body.  “What?!”, you say, “take the whole thing out?” Yup, the whole thing and the fallopian tubes as well since they are attached.

There are two good reasons for having the uterus outside the body. The amazing uterus is contracting whether the delivery is by cesarean or not. You can imagine trying to sew a moving object in a paper bag without seeing it would be a challenge. The same is true for a contracting and shrinking uterus inside the abdominal cavity. Being able to see the incision in the uterus and sew it closed while seeing it is preferred by many surgeons. One other good reason is to examine the uterus and fallopian tubes. The physician can do a visual inspection of the uterus to make sure the surgical technique was perfect as well as to do a quick visual exam of any other problems. Call it the most thorough Ob/Gyn exam you’ll ever get!

So, that sore tummy after your c-section? Not so much from pushing if you pushed before delivery or from weak abdominals.  It is largely from the disruption, aka separation, movement and handling of the tissues between the uterus and abdomen during surgery. The soreness and recovery curve in the area can last a bit, getting better daily but still recovering for up to 3 months. So, speaking of tissue disruption, on to question #2.

Do they really go through 7 tissue layers during a c-section?

Yes, they do…depending on how you count! The seven “layers” are the skin, fat (don’t remind me!), rectus sheath (fancy word for the coating over the abs), the rectus (abs, which are split along the grain so somewhat more separated than cut apart), the parietal peritoneum (first layer surrounding the organs), the loose peritoneum and then the uterus, which is a very thick muscular layer.

So, again, sore in the belly? Feeling bad you don’t feel back to normal in three weeks? Lots of work went on in there. Tissue healing is aggressive for three months but persists actively for 6 months and then slowly for up to a year.  Rest when you need it, get permission for heavy activities and enjoy baby while giving yourself a mental break for not feeling like a million bucks everyday.

Is it true your uterus increases 500x during pregnancy?

Lets just start with the uterus expands a lot! As far as the 500%, it depends on what the 500x means. Think back to high school math with length vs area vs volume. In general, the uterus is about 6cm x 5cm x 2cm and when at full term it is 30cm x 23cm x 22cm.  So for length, it increases 5x, for area, it increases about 250x (that is the L x W x H answer). For volume, however, if you consider the uterus as a sphere (4/3 pi r3 anyone?), it increases about 500x. (Brookside’s Obstetric and Newborn Care, Emedicine.com)

Another chance to forgive yourself, stretch anything 500x and think how fast it’ll go back. I cant think of anything except silly putty that would do that! No more hard knocks for less than flat abs right away!

Why do I still bleed vaginally if I had a c-section?

The uterus still has remaining vascular activity after delivery. Once the incision is closed up, the only way for remaining blood and discharge to get out is the old fashioned natural way, through the vaginal opening. Just a word of caution, bleeding may be a little inconsistent, but if it is increasing over time (whether you had vaginal or cesarean delivery), see your doctor.

At least I wont #2, right? Does everyone really poop during labor?

Ok, finally something that c-section moms get the better deal on! No pooping during delivery. (For those of you that pushed, pooped, then c’d, two jewels in your crown!) Not that it is that bad, but lets face it, most of us rather have a constitutional in private. We surveyed 5 obs/delivery nurses. Some of the answers…

“90%”,  “I stopped noticing by the time I was a resident” and our favorite “They lied when they said you didn’t poop”. Bottom line, they don’t care so moms shouldn’t either!

This is the last in the installment of blogs for Mom 4 Life from C-Panty, The After Cesarean Underwear. We are proud to be part of the Mom 4 Life community and are grateful for the opportunity to spread our mission of providing great c-section and post-partum recovery products while also working to educate and empower moms. Thanks for listening in!

Warm regards, Catherine Brooks OTR, MPH
M. Meunier MD,

C-Panty CEO and Consultant: 18 years of experience in post-surgical rehabilitation in New York City and San Diego and five even more challenging and exciting years of experience as a mom of a three. (All by cesarean, of course!)

Share Your Thoughts

Ok C-Section Moms, What’s the Big Deal?

By catherinebrooks | Category: From the Experts, Meet the mom inventor | Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Last month we talked about what is the deal with the belly after a c-section (and what can be done about it).  The month before that we talked about the stages of recovery after c-section surgery, and before that c-section scaring.  Finally, the month before that I introduced myself and explained that I was going to be writing a 5 part series (one post a month) on the topic of cesarean recovery.  Below is part 4 of 5, enjoy!

Ok C-Section Moms, What’s the Big Deal?

There is quite a bit of talk about c-sections lately.  What’s the big deal? Here are just a few thoughts on some psycho-social reason for the talk.

Expectations: Any vaginal delivery or pre-baby moms listening in out there, we hear you. We know there are bad parts of vaginal delivery. We missed the episiotomy and the dreaded..umm.. #2 on the table.   For many of us, besides the recovery from a fairly in-depth surgery, there is the fact of adjusting expectations.  Whether found out during pregnancy or at delivery, the news that the baby was coming via cesarean is, at some point, unexpected by many moms.  There can be part that feels like “I guess I won’t ever experience something that I was theoretically built for”.  This is easier for some moms to accept than others. The majority of us temper the change in expectation with, “Ok the baby is out and we are both ok. The priority is the baby not how the baby gets here”.  But still, not experiencing the relatively active birth of a baby and instead having a rather passive birth via c-section can be an adjustment on expectations. I can’t imagine that there were that many moms out there visualizing a c-section that first time they saw a pink line on a stick.  Three c-sections later, I still sometimes can’t believe that I ended up that way, although I am ok with it.

Language: The word vagina just isn’t one we use much.  That means that “vaginal delivery” becomes “natural delivery”. Ok, “natural” to me means squatting in the woods with a stick in your teeth, not amped up on an epidural. Most moms, however, do have a bit of pharmaceutical or medical help (nothing wrong with that either!) But, since we can’t say “vaginal” in the good ole USA where teens wear shorts cut up to there and people love Lady Gaga, we call it “natural”. Does that default to c-section as”unnatural”?

I can’t begin to count the number of people who either asked “Did you have natural delivery” or commented “Oh, I had natural delivery”.  And they weren’t talking about in a hot tub with a doula!!  They were talking bout a typical pharmaceutical assisted vaginal delivery. I wasn’t thrilled to have a c-section but I certainly didn’t have a hang up about it either. It did irritate me, however, to hear a birth experience contrasted as “natural”.

Media Influence: There is a lot in the news about c-sections. Sadly, most is in sound bite form with little supporting statistics. The stories stretch from the tisk-tisk “Too many c-sections” stories to the “Bad doctor lets mom labor too long and baby suffers”. They both inspire panic and leave moms little information for the moment when they need to decide what is best for them and the baby.

1.3 million moms deliver by c-section in the US. Not all can be because the MD wanted to go home and play golf as some reports make it seem. And I am also pretty sure at least some were decided too soon and a vaginal delivery would have been fine.  Bottom line, moms deserve objective information, respect from the care team and a presentation of their risks for their individual situation, not a judgment from the sideline based on attention getting media sound bites.

So, c-section deliveries, along with a significant surgical recovery, do seem to have a psychosocial component that is influenced not only by what moms expect but by how society discusses cesarean deliveries and how the media presents it.  So, it’s not really a “big deal” just a complex one, more so for some than others. I just chalk up my c-sections as sacrifice number one of motherhood….with about a million more to follow, and all of them worth it.

Catherine Brooks OTR, MPH
M. Meunier MD,

C-Panty CEO and Consultant: 18 years of experience in post-surgical rehabilitation in New York City and San Diego and five even more challenging and exciting years of experience as a mom of a three. (All by cesarean, of course!)

“Recover in Comfort” series will address all those things you ever ( or never!) ever wanted to know about c-section delivery.

Share Your Thoughts

Page 1 of 212