Pelvic Prolapse And The Working Mother

Postpartum, the period of time, after giving birth (one year), can be tough for any mother with sleep deprivation, pain, hormonal shifts, the risk of depression, not to mention the tiny new life to care for.  What happens when a mother returns to the work place and is still suffering from issues?  A very common complaint and a potentially embarrassing health problem is pelvic prolapse. 


The pelvic floor is something possibly not even considered, unless partaking in a Pilates class, until pregnancy, and these words float around as common as womb and vagina.  What is the pelvic floor and why is it so important?  The pelvic floor is a maze of integrated muscles, tissues, and ligaments that stretch over the pelvic muscles and support the nearby organs.


The supported organs are:


  • Vagina
  • Womb/uterus
  • Bowel
  • Bladder


Like a large trampoline supporting a mass on top, if there is a weakness or a tear, then any physical stress could lead to a potential health issue.

There are specific gaps in the pelvic floor for the vagina, anal passage, and urethra to pass through, and these may overly stretch whilst pregnant.  The weight of the baby puts extra pressure on these muscles, and the muscles are slackened due to hormones.  Child birth strains this area of the body, which could lead to a pelvic prolapse.  Common causes of a pelvic prolapse include:  a long labor, the use of instruments during the birth like forceps, vacuum extraction, and giving birth to large babies or multiples.  Due to many pressures on the pelvic floor, there are a number of side affects.


Side Affects Include:


  • Gas
  • Stress incontinence (leaking urine)
  • Fecal incontinence (this is not common but can happen)
  • Wrenching feeling due to the bowel, bladder, vagina and womb pushing against the wall of the vagina.
  • Back ache
  • Incomplete emptying of the bladder, leading to bladder and urinary infections.
  • Sexual intercourse issues due to penetration discomfort and decreased sensation



Many women return to work after childbirth and need to know their health is in check and an embarrassing scenario does not catch them off guard.  Depending on how bad a pelvic prolapse is depends on the individual.  If the case is milder, a doctor may suggest certain exercises, also known as Kegels, to do throughout the day, to strengthen the pelvic floor.  These exercises involve strengthening the pelvic floor openings by lifting and squeezing them.  It is essential to get advice from a professional in order to have the correct technique with these particular exercises.  These maneuvers will help improve bladder and bowel control and decrease the prolapse symptoms.  These exercises will not work instantly and will require consistent repetition.


Steps to prevent an embarrassing situation may include:


  • Visit the bathroom every two hours
  • Wear a sanitary pad and change often
  • Underwear for pelvic prolapse
  • Limit lifting heavy weights
  • A heavy patient must lose the extra pounds
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol, which are both irritants to the bladder
  • Drink water often
  • Wear flat shoes (wearing high heels may put pressure on your core and therefore the pelvic floor, increasing the need to use the bathroom)
  • Wear dark colored pants



If the urinary leakage is persistent, a doctor may suggest a pessary, which is a small silicone ring, placed in the vagina in the morning and removed at night.  This ring supports the areas which are affected by the prolapse.  Working mothers may find this particularly helpful during a busy day when getting to the bathroom often is not always feasible.  The pessary is not for everyone so discussing this with a doctor is important.  It may take up to a year to recover from a milder version of a pelvic prolapse, but having a more severe case will not heal without help.



Returning to work after child birth can be exhausting and with the added stress of a pelvic prolapse, it may leave some mothers anxious too.  There are of course all the positives of returning to work:  financial independence, socialization, and career development.   However, what happens if the pelvic prolapse is so severe, it limits activity at work?  Having a desk job with restricted movement is an easier way to control this health issue, but not all women have a desk job.  What if the job demands constant meetings, running errands, or even physical activity?  Many people consider having an operation to support and realign the pelvic organs.  The operation depends on:  which organs have been affected in the prolapse, the age of the woman, whether she wishes to have more children, and if she desires to keep her uterus.  There are numerous risks involved in these operations and research is still being carried out into limiting them.


The potential dangers are:


  • Infection in the operation site
  • Bleeding from the large blood vessels around the uterus. This may require additional surgery to control the bleeding.
  • Organs around the pelvis may be damaged such as the bladder, bowel, uterus.
  • Pain is common after the operation
  • Difficulty emptying bladder, which is usually resolved after a few weeks.



It is imperative to discuss and plan the operation with a specialist.  Make sure the surgeon is not just treating the symptoms, but also the actual cause.  If requiring a sacrocolpopexy (attaching a synthetic mesh to the top of the vagina and fastening it to the sacrum, pulling the vagina into its normal position), be educated, this particular procedure has been banned in places like Scotland, due to the synthetic mesh possibly breaking away from the structure, resulting in foreign material in the body.  According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, this procedure fails for every one in three women.  Before rushing into surgery, look at the options, ask questions, and be aware.  Armed with knowledge and choices, returning to work without the anxiety or embarrassing health issues may soon become a reality.



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4 Practical Steps To Maximize Productivity

For centuries, actually millenia, one of mankind’s greatest struggles has been finding the motivation to get up and do something that matters. To this day, I can still recall my father reminding me to “do something constructive today” when he would be away from home and I had the benefit of idle time on my hands.

It wasn’t an overbearing admonition, but a simple reminder to invest rather than spend the minutes and hours made available to me. Of course, I didn’t always listen.

In 2017, squandering our time is easier than ever. If Netflix and chill was the only pastime competing for our attention, that “lifestyle” could stand effectively on its own merit. But, alas, it is not.

We have smartphones…with apps! I mean, have you seen these things?!? If iPhones had existed in the 90s, I would’ve never left the house as a teenager. Because I’d be Too Busy…

Setting records on Candy Crush.

Reviewing the latest selfies on Snapchat.

FaceTiming with my people.

Honestly, I’m not sure how today’s generation manages their time at all. The other day, I was watching my seven-year-old play a game on the iPad. I mentioned that there were no cell phones or tablets when I was his age. His response: Were there cars?

And suddenly, I felt very old, very quickly.

With the resources available nowadays, it is possible to be as efficient as ever. However, in order to do so, it requires focus and commitment to your craft—whatever that may be.

There are no shortage of sources with tips offering insight on how to be more productive, less lazy, and, in turn, happier. Thankfully, I’ve taken the time to distill the never-ending supply of information into a handful of trusted resources for your consideration.

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

You’ve heard it before—failure to plan is planning to fail. It’s a maxim that was true then and it’s a maxim that is true now. Cal Newport is a Georgetown professor, author, and dedicated family man.

Despite the incredible demands on his time, he still manages to finish his day by 5:30pm and rarely works on the weekends. Impossible, you say? A closer look at Cal’s habits reveals just how he maintains such a productive schedule.

2. Working Moms of the World Unite

I may not be a mother, but I can see the unrealistic expectations clear as day. The unwritten rules of motherhood require that you raise 2.4 beautiful children, design your home with the flair of a Pottery Barn catalog, maintain a visible volunteer role at the school, shape and tone your body to look as you did in college, and, in your remaining time, grow a successful professional career if you so choose.

Seriously, just writing that wore me out. Now, to be clear, those thoughts were both embellished and FAR from my own views. But, you get the point. It’s not easy being an American mother in the 21st Century.

Some additional thought courtesy of SkinnyMom provide a little more insight on better ways to approach motherhood.

3. Exercise, No Seriously

When you think of laziness, exercise usually does not come to mind. That’s no coincidence. Keeping a regular workout routine can be both invigorating and therapeutic. It goes without saying that exercise comes more naturally to some than others.

But, moving your body does not have to come in a one size fits all routine. If the idea of CrossFit or Boot Camp makes you want to run and hide under the covers with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, there are other options. Take a walk. Go for a hike. Try a yoga class.

Staying active does not mean you have to train for the upcoming Olympics. Find what works for you and develop a routine. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the reserves of energy you forgot existed.

4. Eliminate Those Distractions

We’ve already established the very real obstacles that can prevent us from being productive. If you count yourself among the many who are easily distracted by technology, try the Pomodoro Timer.

For the uninitiated, the Pomodoro Timer is a productivity tool that breaks down tasks into manageable chunks of time. The idea being, if you can work in small bursts punctuated by short breaks, your projects won’t seem as insurmountable.

For every 25 minutes of uninterrupted work (this includes avoiding multi-tasking), a five minute break is the reward. Following four such cycles, a longer 15 minute break is given. I’ve begun using the Pomodoro strategy recently with positive results.

Admittedly, it takes some time getting used to. I found myself wanting to reach for my phone 10–15 minutes into the initial 25 minute cycles, but over time, things have improved. There are a variety of free Pomodoro apps available as well. Give it a try.

We have only one chance in this life. And what we do with our time is completely up to us. I am not a fan of the breakneck pace that some wish to keep. Going non-stop is unhealthy in its own kind of way.

Laziness is far removed on the other end of the spectrum with a healthy work-life balance found somewhere in between. If you struggle with apathy or finding motivation in general, think about how you can employ some of the aforementioned strategies. Maybe it’s time to take a personality inventory or meet with a career counselor to explore a new pathway.

Not looking for a career? Well, volunteerism may be for you. Give some thought to what you value and find opportunities to plug into things that matter to you. Laziness as you know it will become a thing of the past in no time.



Mental and Physical Health and Effective Working Relationships

Effective working relationships are paramount to business and personal success. So, what makes for building, achieving, and maintaining effectual working interactions and partnerships? After analyzing published material from professionals, experts, and authorities on the topic, we discovered that mental and physical health is the primary factor.

The Marriage of Mental and Physical Health

If anyone claims that mental health does not affect physical health (and vice versa), it would certainly require serious challenging. Basically, it’s impossible to separate the body from the mind. When mental health suffers, so does the body. Conversely, the good news is that when we nurture physical or mental health, the other improves and thrives as well.

Mental and physical health go hand-in-hand. In their mission, the World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing. For the purpose of our case study, we can consider the marriage of mental and physical health as one entity—one factor. It is one factor and the primary factor that helps create and establish effective working relationships.

Characteristics of an Effective Working Relationship

In this analysis, we are focusing on the crucial presence of positive mental and physical health in order for relationships at work to be their most effective. While we’re examining these important factors, it would also behoove us to understand that these are essential elements for any well-functioning relationship. This would include relationships with coworkers, bosses, clients, and customers, but also family, friends, and romantic partners.

Here is a compilation of several characteristics necessary to an effective relationship:

  • Trust is essential for honesty and quality. Each individual needs to be able to openly discuss strengths and weaknesses. Everyone needs to be receptive to information in order to learn and grow.
  • First and foremost, respect yourself. Coworkers need to respect one another. Entrepreneur mentor, Martin Zwilling, remarks that in business, there needs to be “respect for every customer, investor, and employee.”
  • Exchange ideas. Ask for feedback on your work or ideas. Employ trust and respect and be willing to change how tasks are handled. Offer constructive criticism.
  • Again, this is taking verbal or physical action keeping in mind others with whom you are working. It also requires that you tend to specific tasks at hand with presence; take care not to run on autopilot.
  • Task-related and social-oriented relationships do not need to be mutually exclusive. Finding enjoyable common ground (aside from work at hand) can enhance the overall relationship.
  • Effective Communication. Knowing when and how to communicate is imperative. Some discussions can be brief messages, while others should be face-to-face. Choosing an appropriate time and venue is important to healthy communication and interactions.

These characteristics, when utilized in the workplace, allow for efficient working relationships. However, achieving success utilizing these traits requires one more element. That key element is mental and physical health.

Up for the Mental Challenge?

Working relationships cannot be fully effective if one’s mental state is compromised. Once more, we need to revisit the natural connection between the body and the mind. If one is faltering, the other is sure to be negatively impacted as well.

One example of the link between mental and physical states was observed in a study conducted at Bangor University in Wales. Researchers discovered that a mentally tiring task actually affected the participants’ physical performance. It wasn’t that their bodies were actually fatigued; it was that their brains automatically perceived the physical activity to be tiring.

We’ve been pretty versed on how our physical behavior can affect our overall health. For example, lack of proper diet and/or exercise increases one’s risk of:

  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease or incidence
  • High blood pressure
  • Some types of cancer
  • Depression
  • Mood disorders
  • Fatigue

These are only a few cases in point. Many people who struggle with health problems can also struggle with social situations. claims that many with mental health illnesses are twice as likely to avoid social interaction. With this type of statistic, it would seem that an effective working relationship would be difficult to achieve.

Taking care of our bodies can help improve the strength of our minds.

Mind Over Chatter

Our emotional lives play a tremendous role in our mental health as well. If we are upbeat and positive, we can motivate others to feel good and perform well. Creating and practicing healthy daily habits can help keep our minds happy and clear. This would certainly facilitate obtaining a productive working relationship.

On the flip side, poor mental health can lead to:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Addictive behaviors
  • Weakened immune system
  • Asthma
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Premature death

Other symptoms of waning mental health can be: chest pain, heart palpitations, extreme tiredness, loss of libido, noticeable weight gain or loss, and trouble sleeping

None of the above symptoms seem conducive to forging any type of healthy relationship. But, fret not. There are tried and true ways to improve mental health. Some of them are:

  • Acknowledge your feelings. Recognize the emotions you are experiencing and try to figure out why they are with you. Are you able to understand the source?
  • Talk to someone. Express your thoughts about your feelings to a friend, family member, counselor, or other trustworthy, supportive ear. It’s important to seek help sometimes; there is no shame—it is brave.
  • Practice gratitude. Think about the things in life you feel grateful for, no matter the size or quantity. Relinquish worrisome thoughts and focus on more positive ones.
  • Make time for yourself. Create more balance. Replace one stressful thing with something else that relaxes you—something you enjoy.
  • Practice coping skills. Explore new strategies on how to feel better when you become emotionally stressed and strained. Find a group, a therapist, a new hobby, and adopt a promise to choose a positive perspective.
  • Calm your mind. You can achieve this usually doing something creative. Perhaps try: writing, drawing, painting, playing music, or imagining yourself in a fabulous, relaxing setting. There’s also always meditation.

Working a Health Plan

In order to achieve the status of an effective working relationship, there are practical steps everyone involved must take. As we are continuing to discover, the primary concentration is on getting mental and physical health in its best shape. Psychiatrist Anne Marie Oberheu explains that this process requires more than just taking care of the mind.

Your mind and body both require attention and care in order to improve physical and mental health. Suggestions from many experts include:

Eating a Healthy Diet. Anxiety and depression have been linked to a poor diet. Some unhealthy foods include: processed meats, sugar, corn syrup, and bad fats. These foods cause inflammation in the body (joints, muscles, and organs) and in the brain. One cannot expect to think clearly when his/her brain is inflamed and foggy.

Foods rich in Omega-3s, good fats, whole grains, organic lean meats, fruits, and vegetables nourish the body without adding toxins. Some examples of these foods are: fresh berries, avocados, coconut oil, quinoa, salmon, broccoli, spinach, walnuts, almonds, and sunflower seeds.

Exercising Regularly. Try and think of exercise as something you build naturally into your day. Aerobic exercise certainly has its benefits on your heart. Weight training is great for your bones. Yoga is amazing for your focus, calm mind, and flexibility.

Regardless of the exercise you choose, it will come with benefits that keep giving. Your metabolism will boost from any type of cardiovascular movement you engage in—whether it be running, cycling, dancing, or even having sex. Your mood will improve from chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that release with a bit of a workout. Look at the world like a big playground or gym. There’s always a way and a place to move your body.

Dr. Felipe Barreto Schuch, an exercise scientist and co-author on a publication in Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews, had this to say: “People need to be active to improve their mental health.”

Sleeping Regularly. Sleep is a necessity, but good, regular sleep is a health luxury not worth cheating yourself out of. Many adults brag about how well they can function on six or less hours of sleep per night. They may seem functional, but internal damage is being done, and they are not delivering their best performance.

Adults are recommended seven or more hours of continuous sleep per night. Dr. Brandon Peters writes, “Sleep deprivation may result in decreased alertness, excessive daytime sleepiness, compromised daytime abilities…” How can a person do his/her share in a working relationship if he/she is experiencing any of those symptoms?

Setting a strict bedtime is the number one suggestion. Make your bed and the environment a comfortable place to fall asleep. Peaceful lighting, music, and pleasurable reading before bed can help relax the mind. Meditation and clearing your head of worries and woes of yesterday and tomorrow can help you get the sweet rest your mind and body needs.

Socializing. Surround yourself or visit with those who lift your spirits. Become part of a like-minded or personal support group. Being active with others can create a mutual sense of motivation of encouragement.

Psychologist and author, Angela Troyer explains that there is accumulating evidence that socializing is advantageous to brain health. Combining physical activities with mental stimulation can be a bonus. Some suggestions are:

  • Visiting a museum with a friend
  • Gardening or garage cleaning with a neighbor or friend
  • Joining a local walking/hiking/biking group
  • Join or organize a card or board game night
  • Walk, swim, or go to the gym with a friend

Participating in any of these activities with a coworker or anyone in the circle of your working realm can be a positive relationship builder as well.

Physical and Mental Health: The Essential Puzzle Piece

If creating and maintaining effective working relationships is the goal, then, again, prime physical and mental health (as a united entity) is a primary factor.

Ultimately, we all want positive and productive experiences and results from our working relationships. Our jobs are far more enjoyable when we have good relationships with others with whom we interact. A Gallup study of the American workplace revealed that close work friendships boost satisfaction by 50%. “Those with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.”

The experts at, a management and leadership training program, offers some valuable insights as well as tips for applying some of the positive elements we’ve covered in this case study. We are reminded that good relationships allow us time to focus on opportunities. Instead of spending energy on overcoming factors in negative relationships, we have the freedom to progress forward in a positive fashion.

Also, as mentioned in the characteristics of effective working relationships, trust and collaboration are essential. In a healthy relationship, with these elements present, individuals are more creative and innovative. They are also more likely to go along with changes.

Developing people skills are possible when good mental and physical health are in order. Getting along with others is a learned skill. It’s a fact that not everyone is for everyone. If there’s someone who you don’t get along with, find a way to maintain a pleasant working experience. Make an effort to get to know the person—and try not to be too guarded. Let trust enter the relationship.

Last, but certainly not least, let positivity reign. Positive people and energy are contagious. With a healthy mind and body, positivity can rule. And with those in place, effective working relationships can be created and thrive.



Epic Formula to Stay Healthy While Working Too Much

Do you worry that your hectic work schedule will take a toll on your health? You’re concerns are certainly founded, especially if each day rolls into the next without thought to the effects on your body and mind. There is, however, a simple formula that you can incorporate, which can help keep you strong and healthy when you feel work is eating you alive.

What’s at the Core of the Formula?

Staying healthy while working too much is essential for your overall wellbeing. In the short term, getting sick can mean loss of wages and a breakdown in home management. In the long term, overtaxing your body and mind can leave you vulnerable to disease, cellular degeneration, and a host of other negative physical and mental ramifications.

We all experience stress. But, the key to staying healthy is learning how to manage and reduce it. Chronic stress from working too much can impact your immune system, which leads you more open to getting colds, the flu, digestive disorders, headaches, and can increase your chance of heart attack and/or stroke.

A formula is a method or mixture comprised of various elements to achieve a result or goal. At the core of this epic formula to maintain your health while experiencing super-busy days is stress reduction.

Don’t Worry, Be Healthy

Applying this stress-reduction formula requires no extra work. So, don’t worry. In fact, it’s possible that in no time, you’ll actually feel healthier—and happier.

Instead of adding more to your plate, this epic formula simply suggests you replace what you’re already doing—only with something better and more advantageous to good health.

Replace Lousy Sleep with Good Rest

According to the National Institutes of Health, when you sleep, your brain actually forms new pathways to help you remember information and learn more. Sleep helps build and maintain your immune system. It also helps repair blood vessels in your heart. Additionally, it assists in balancing hunger hormones. These are some excellent reasons to habitually get a good night’s sleep.

“How do I get better sleep?” you may ask.

Here are a few suggestions:

-Assign your self a steady bedtime. There’s no shame in going to bed at 10pm when you have to awake at 6am. (In fact, 8 hours is the recommended optimum numbers of hours per night.)

-If you have children, assign them an earlier bedtime than your own. Also, if you have a partner, work with him/her to divvy up nights so that some nights you’re on call for the kids, and others he/she takes over and you rest soundly.

-Instead of watching TV, engaging in political debates over social media, or thinking about bills before going to bed, choose activities that are conducive to peaceful rest. Soak your feet in a bucket of warm water while painting your nails (or chopping carrots.) Play music you love and imagine beautiful places you’ve seen or would like to visit.

-Read in bed to yourself or aloud to another.

-As you drift off to sleep try to empty your mind of all worries. Worrying won’t solve any problems. You can figure out solutions in the daytime when your brain is functioning at it’s peak (after a good night’s sleep.)

Replace a Lousy Diet with Proper Nutrition

We’re all familiar with the reasons why eating well is beneficial to optimum physical and mental health. But, what’s expected when someone suggests proper nutrition? According to experts at the Harvard School of Public Health, it’s a simple guide on how to fill your meal plate.

Whether it’s in a bowl, on a dish, or from your blender, the portions go like this: ½ fruits and vegetables; ¼ whole grains; ¼ protein. The more colorful the fruit and veggies, the better. Organic rules in every category. Whole grains can be brown rice, quinoa, even whole wheat. Protein can include chicken, turkey, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Try to limit red meat, sugar, and avoid processed meats and cheeses.

Use olive, coconut, and flaxseed oils. These are good fats, along with avocados and nut butters.

So, instead of grabbing that frosted donut, spread some almond butter over whole-grain baked goods. Replace that bag of Doritos with bean chips dipped in guacamole or hummus. Your brain and your body will thank you.

Replace Sitting with Movement

For those of us on our feet all day at work, sure, sitting is a luxury. Although, when we find ourselves hovered over a desk for hours at a time, getting up intermittently is a necessity. And for all of us, moving our bodies is one of the most helpful, healthful activities for our overall health.

Along with sleep and nutrition, exercise is the third key to staying healthy while working too much. “How can I fit this into my hectic schedule?” you may ask.

Again, it’s not about adding more, it’s about replacing less healthy behaviors. Here are some suggestions:

  • Park your car far away from building entrances or get off an earlier bus stop, and use the opportunity to walk. Better yet, bike or walk to work, if possible.
  • Play ball, go for a walk or hike, or play Twister with your kids, friends, or coworkers. You’ll be modeling excellent life habits and bonding with others.
  • At your desk, you can use random items (stapler, water bottle, even your chair) and do arm lifts.
  • At the office, use breaks and lunchtime to get outdoors, if possible. Use the stairs. Walk around the block. (By the way, this shouldn’t be stressful. Use this time to clear your mind and breathe deeply.)
  • Work standing up or sitting on an exercise ball when possible. If you have a standing desk, every once in a while, do a few squats or leg lifts. No one will see you. (And if they do, they may be tempted to join you!)

This formula may seem simplistic—perhaps because essentially it is. Staying healthy shouldn’t be hard or complicated. Work and life can sometimes be all we can manage. Our health, however, should always take priority. So, if you can replace older habits with healthier newer ones, it will become second nature in a very short time. And before you know it, you will be smiling more, your body and mind will feel better, and “working too much” should become less stressful.

When you’re looking for tips on best health practices, a great source is ! And while you’re there, sign up for the newsletter where you’ll receive up-to-date news on healthy, happy living.