Women’s Health

Mamas on Bedrest: “Shedding Pounds After Gaining a Baby!”

June 29th, 2015

Hello Mamas!

The tagline for this business is “It’s all about mamas!” I am as interested in your success as mamas as I am in you having a successful pregnancy. I am always happy to hear of mamas using what they learned during their pregnancies, what they know for sure as a result of having been pregnant, and what they want to share with the world now that they are “seasoned” mamas.

Emmi WilesToday I share with you an interview that I had with a good friend of mine and new mama, Emmi Wiles. Emmi and I met in a woman’s program offered at Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, and I have had the great pleasure to witness Emmi’s journey from loving daughter who graciously loved her father through his passage from this life, to newlywed and now to mama (FYI Emmi was not on bedrest!!).

Emmi is also a talented artisan and creates all manner of art that she will be sharing on her etsy page. (Stay tuned and stay in touch with her for more art adventures!!) But for now, she is a full time, hands on mama to a little 6 month old boy who is her inspiration for her latest blog, “Shedding Pounds After Gaining a Baby”. The blog is Emmi’s chronicle of her motherhood journey and how she is doing her best to weave motherhood into womanhood. It’s a delightful read and I hope you will all take some time to stop by and give Emmi encouragement. For now, listen to how
“Shedding Pounds After Gaining a Baby” was birthed and share you comments in the comments section below.


Mamas, Have you created something new as a result of your pregnancy? Would you like to share it with other mamas? Please share details of your new venture/adventure with Info@mamasonbedrest.com and tell is what’s up. We’d love to hear and support you!

Mamas on Bedrest: I Ditched the Diaper Bag!

September 5th, 2011

Those of you who know me know that I had a rocky road to motherhood. In the years from 2001 to 2006 I had 3 abdominal surgeries, 4 pregnancies 2 miscarriages and, thankfully, 2 healthy children. I was pregnant every year for at least a few weeks-with the exception of 2003.

But as much of a roller coaster ride as it was to have my children, it actually pales compared to my menstrual history. From the time I started getting my periods at age 11, I had unpredictable and later debilitating menstrual periods. As a teenager, they weren’t all that bad because I had my period so infrequently. As a competitive gymnast and cheerleader, I’d sometimes go as long as 6 months without menstruating. In my twenties, once I stopped competing, I had regular monthly periods, but the cramping, nausea and heavy bleeding often incapacitated me for at least a day each month. I tried several different treatments; hormones, herbs, acupuncture, supplements…but in the end, I sucked it up and dealt with the heavy bleeding and cramping, and paid what equated to stock options in the Always Feminine pad and OB Tampon Companies. I rarely knew from one day to the next when I’d get my period, but one thing was for sure-when it came, it usually came with a vengeance, “super soakers” I used to call them and I was always at the ready with a full supply of feminine products in my very large hand bag.

When I finally got around to having children at age 35, I silently uttered, “Bring it on!” The thought of being period free for at least a year, maybe even 2 (I planned on nursing for at least a year) was exhilarating! And not having to carry around a huge purse was one of my greatest anticipations. Unfortunately, my excitement was short-lived. With each of my children, despite nursing them exclusively for months, I began menstruating by 3 months post partum. The only good thing was that since I was carrying all of their gear in a diaper bag, I didn’t have to look like a vagabond with my own additional satchel. Soon, as children do, my children grew up. They were each potty trained by age 2 ½. By the time my son was three, he ate well enough and neatly enough that I didn’t need to bring a bib, wipes or extra clothes. The only one who needed the diaper bag was me! Now what’s wrong with that picture???

I was sick of the bags, sick of the uncertainty, sick of my periods dictating my life! I wanted to hang out with my kids, go for bike rides and swims and not have to take “additional baggage”.  You know it’s bad when your 3 yr old son pipes up, “Don’t worry mama, I’ve got your bag!” and nearly falls over from the load. That was it! I was sick of the heavy bleeding, the cramping and generally feeling like a limp dishrag! I was sick of lugging around “luggage”, maxi pads, super tampons, underwear and sometimes even extra pants! I made up my mind-I was ditching the diaper bag!

I scheduled a consultation with my OB/GYN and I told her that I wanted an endometrial ablation. She was hardly surprised that I came in with a specific treatment in mind. As a physician assistant, I usually approached her with my treatment plan, she presented me with hers and we typically met somewhere in the middle. After reviewing my history and all of my options, she agreed that an endometrial ablation was a reasonable treatment for me to try to put an end to my heavy bleeding. So on a lovely Friday morning in July of 2009, I spent exactly 45 minutes in my doctor’s office having the NovaSure procedure. And with one quick flip of a switch and some skillful use of gynecological tools, my bleeding problems became a thing of the past.

I wish I had had the NovaSure endometrial ablation sooner. Having the NovaSure procedure put an end to my heavy bleeding once and for all. I still have nominal periods each month; spotting enough to stain 1 or 2 panty shields. But the rest of it-the heavy bleeding, the cramping, the fatigue, the nausea and/or vomiting-gone! And more than that, I ditched the diaper bag! Some days I go out with only my cell phone and keys. It’s such a liberating feeling!

About this blog carnival: “I Ditched the Diaper Bag” is an effort to spread awareness about heavy periods and to encourage women to not only talk about their health issue but seek treatment. Are you bothered by the amount of bleeding or the pain that you have during your period? Does your period make you feel depressed, tired or moody? Do you change your pad or tampon more often than every one or two hours? Does your period last more than a full week? If so, you may have heavy periods, also known as menorrhagia, a condition that affects 1 out of every 5 women. For more information about symptoms and treatment options visit www.aboutheavyperiods.com.

Please help us raise awareness for this important health issue and encourage women to share their stories. What would you do if you didn’t have to worry about, manage and make provisions for your heavy periods? Would you swim more? Wear white more or simply “Ditch your diaper bag?” Write your post and share your link with us in the comments section below. Thanks.

Mamas on Bedrest: Why We ALL Need Planned Parenthood Funded

February 23rd, 2011

Last Friday February 18, 2011, The US House of Representatives voted to exclude Planned Parenthood from all federal funding.

When I first heard about the vote I was stunned and then my shock immediately turned to outrage. When Republicans regained control of the House after last fall’s election, they made it patently clear that many of the social services we currently enjoy they intended to dismantle and do away with. Their vote to overturn “ObamaCare” and now the vote to exclude federal funding of Planned Parenthood shows that they fully intend to make good on their claims. And while you mamas on bed rest may be thinking, “This really has nothing to do with me”, Let me share with you a few reasons why we ALL need Planned Parenthood funded.

1. Planned Parenthood Provides General Well Woman Care.

When many people think of Planned Parenthood, they immediately think of a birth control or abortion clinic. While Planned Parenthood does in fact provide these women’s reproductive services, they also provide general well woman care to thousands, if not millions, of women annually. Planned Parenthood clinicians perform routine Pap Smear and Pelvic examinations, Screening for and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, screening for HIV and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV, the virus that causes genital warts and cervical cancer), Breast cancer screenings and low cost referrals for mammograms. Planned Parenthood is the primary care provider for thousands of US women who are either uninsured, under-insured or have no other access to well woman gynecologic care. The vote to exclude Planned Parenthood from federally funding guarantees that there will be more unintended pregnancies in the coming years, the very thing that the allegedly are trying to stop.

The truth is that women will continue to have sex, as is their God given right, but without the affordable, available care that Planned Parenthood Clinics provide nationwide, they will be at increased risk for sexually transmitted infections, unwanted pregnancies and unsafe pregnancy terminations. More women will be at risk for developing life-threatening infections and death.

2. The Conservative Agenda is Against Human Rights

Unfortunately, this issue goes well beyond funding of Planned Parenthood. The votes in the House of Representatives demonstrate that conservatives are actively working to exclude anyone who doesn’t hold their beliefs  from any sort of human rights in this country. They campaigned vehemently against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the law that banned openly gay citizens from serving in the US Military. They are against Immigration reform and want to legalize racial profiling and deportation of anyone who cannot immediately produce citizenship validation on demand.

3. The Conservative Vote is a Vote against Women’s (Reproductive) Rights

Conservatives are actively working to repeal the human rights of one half of the US population, namely women. The conservative agenda is a war against women and women’s rights.

Case in point: Women still make only about $.77 for every $1 a man makes in the same job. The most impoverished people in this country are women and children. Women are disproportionately employed in low paying service jobs.

The United States is one of the only countries in the world that offers no paid maternity leave for working women. As many of you know, if you experience pregnancy complications and are out of work for more than 12 weeks, you may not have a job to return to after your pregnancy. Yet, you can have bypass surgery, hip replacement surgery or even a hysterectomy and have a job to come back to-and be paid while you are out! Such is not the case for  pregnancy and pregnancy related complications.

Antiabortionist brazenly stalk, intimidate and even kill providers of abortion services limiting a woman’s access to a safe, legal medical procedure and robbing her of her right to choose what to do with her pregnancy. And with this vote to exclude federal funds from Planned Parenthood, they well prevent thousands of American women from receiving health care-unless she’s covered by her father’s insurance or married and covered by her husband’s insurance. These votes are slowly whittling away at our human rights and turning back the clock to a day when we were merely someone else’s dependent.

We ALL Need Planned Parenthood

We ALL need Planned Parenthood. Sadly a few of you reading this post will lose your job and health insurance while on bed rest. Prior to this vote, you could have received high quality, low cost post partum and subsequent gynecologic care from Planned Parenthood clinicians. Now if you suffer such loss, you’ll have far fewer places to turn for your well woman care. (By the way, if you think you’re safe because you have Medicaid, they are trying to cut funds to that program as well!)

Young women, those just out of college and not yet employed or without insurance no longer have a place to have well woman examinations, STI screenings or to receive contraception.

And our most vulnerable women, young girls will have nowhere to turn to for sexual health counseling and care. I know, many of you are saying, “My daughter can come to me if she needs anything!” I’m right there with you. My daughter is 8.  It makes me dizzy to even contemplate the fact that she will one day be sexually active. I’d like to believe that being in my line of work, she”ll freely come to me with any and all questions. Yet, specifically because of what I do, she may be more inclined to avoid me entirely (gulp!). So if it can’t be me, I most certainly hope she’ll seek counseling and care from a safe alternative such as Planned Parenthood.

Many of you may be gawking at the fact that I am “encouraging” my daughter to utilize the services of Planned Parenthood. Again, I would prefer if my daughter come to me if she has questions, concerns or needs regarding her gynecologic health. However if when the time comes my daughter does not feel comfortable talking to me about her sexual health or sexuality, I’d rather she seek the counsel of other reproductive health professionals then the alternative, to go blindly into sex.

We ALL Need Planned Parenthood.

Please contact your House Representative and tell them to fund Planned Parenthood.