Prolapsed WHAT?!

It is a subject no one wants to talk about, but when it comes to feeling so uncomfortable, awkward, and embarrassed, there has to be an answer to living normally with a Pelvic organ prolapse.

What is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP), also known as female genital prolapse, can occur among some women who have gone through pelvic surgery or labor and delivery and can happen as women age. Prolapse refers to organs that have shifted out of their normal positions and moved down into the vaginal canal.  The two different types we will talk about here are uterine prolapse and cystocele or bladder prolapse.

What causes uterine or bladder prolapse?

Uterine and bladder prolapse occur when vaginal and pelvic floor muscles that hold organs in place become damaged or strained. When these muscles are no longer strong enough to uphold the uterus or bladder, the organs can fall into the vaginal canal.

A history of childbirth can put a woman at risk for uterine or bladder prolapse. Births with complications that cause more damage to pelvic ligaments are more likely to result in POP. Other risk factors include pelvic surgery, aging, low estrogen levels, heavy lifting, straining during bowel movements, and obesity.

What are the symptoms of POP?

Common symptoms of uterine and bladder prolapse include fullness, pressure or pulling sensation in the pelvis/vagina, difficulty emptying bladder or frequent urges to go, constipation, bleeding, increased vaginal discharge, the sensation that things are falling out the bottom, like sitting on something, or feeling tissue protruding from the vaginal opening. For women who experience these symptoms, it is very traumatic.   It is good for health professionals to be aware that going through this can lead to depression.

Where can women dealing with POP find support?

If you are experiencing symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse, consult with your doctor or health provider for diagnosis and treatment options. Click here for a POP brochure to learn more.

For non-surgical therapy to support your pelvic floor and relieve symptoms of POP go to PF Press pelvic floor support.

You can also browse our collection of therapeutic back supports and belly bands designed and Handcrafted with pride in the USA with women’s health at heart.

Help Me, It’s Falling!

It is not only scary but very embarrassing to discover one’s uterus slipping down and falling out.  The medical term is “uterine prolapse” and it is classified under the umbrella of pelvic organ prolapse (POP). It happens when organs “POP” or drop out of their normal positions. In uterine prolapse, the ligaments that hold the uterus in place become too weak or damaged to do their job allowing the uterus to slip into or out of the vaginal canal.

Childbirth is the leading cause of uterine prolapse. Births with complications can damage the pelvic floor making prolapse a greater risk. Other risk factors include anything that stresses vaginal or pelvic muscles. A chronic cough, heavy lifting, constipation, obesity and low levels of estrogen can all contribute to pelvic organ prolapse.

Symptoms of uterine prolapse can worsen when standing or sitting for long periods (or while exercising), and often include :

Increased vaginal discharge
Urine leakage or sudden urges to urinate
Feeling of fullness, heaviness, pulling or pressure in pelvis
Low back pain
Bladder infections
Like sitting on a ball
Seeing or feeling the uterus or cervix coming out of the vagina

Unfortunately, many women are embarrassed and uncomfortable discussing symptoms with their doctors. If you are experiencing symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse or are concerned that you may be at risk, it’s important to remember that this is a common condition. Half of all women who have one or more natural childbirths will likely encounter some degree of POP in their lifetime. There is a community of support available and with help from your health provider the issue can be treated and corrected.

For women who are pregnant or menopausal the pelvic floor support provided by It’s You Babe’s PF Press and their other products can help to prevent or relieve symptoms of uterine prolapse, bladder prolapse, and vulvar varicosities. If you are experiencing these symptoms, be sure to talk with your health provider about the PF Press and discuss with them which treatment may be best for you.

Why Did My Bladder Drop?

For us women, when it comes to our own indoor plumbing, a bulging, leaky, protruding bladder can be quite embarrassing, humiliating, inconvenient, extremely awkward and downright uncomfortable!

When a bladder drops it is medically referred to as an anterior prolapse, prolapsed bladder, or “cyctocele” and is among a group of conditions collectively referred to as pelvic organ prolapse (POP).  A POP is characterized by the movement of an organ from its normal positions in the pelvis. As many as half of all women who give birth may experience some level of pelvic organ prolapse within their lifetime.

Cystoceles occur when the network of ligaments holding the bladder in place become damaged or weakened allowing the organ to drop and bulge into the vagina.  If it is a grade three cystocele, the bladder has dropped to below and outside the opening of the vagina.

A common cause of prolapsed bladder is childbirth, especially difficult births. Hysterectomy, heavy lifting, straining due to constipation, chronic coughing, low estrogen levels and obesity can also contribute to bladder prolapse.

Symptoms of bladder prolapse include:

* Difficulty urinating or moving bowels
* Trouble emptying bladder
* Urine leakage
* A feeling of fullness in the pelvis
* Low back pain
* Painful intercourse
* Tissue protruding from vaginal opening

If you experience these symptoms don’t hesitate to speak to your health provider. While it may be uncomfortable to talk about, your clinician can help you find relief and treatments to correct the issue.

Some treatments are self-care initiatives which include a regimen of pelvic muscle exercises called Kegels to strengthen the pelvic floor. Kegel exercises can be beneficial in tightening the ligaments which hold pelvic organs in place. Other interventions should be considered for more severe conditions.

If you are experiencing symptoms of a prolapsed bladder, remember that you are not alone. Talk to your health provider about your concerns.  Be sure to ask your doctor about our non-surgical adjustable therapeutic pelvic floor support: the It’s You Babe’s PF Press along with a clean, absorbent sanitary pad for supporting a grade three cystocele.

Tips for Relieving Edema During Pregnancy

At some point during pregnancy, practically every woman will experience edema. Edema is a scary-sounding word that, simply defined, means swelling. A pregnant woman’s body creates extra blood to nourish the baby, and as added fluid accumulates in her blood vessels, it makes sense that some would seep into the tissues causing her legs and ankles to become puffy. Gravity pulls those excess fluids down inside the body to the lower extremities, as the forward weight of pregnancy can bear down, slowing the flow of circulation back to her heart.

There are some simple, effective ways to help reduce the ache and discomfort of edema.

  • Prop your feet up — You can fight the effects of gravity on edema by placing your feet and legs at an incline. This forces those extra fluids back into circulation.
  • Move around — Extended periods of inaction can cause excess fluids to “pool up” in the feet. Exercise regularly and safely, as recommended by your health professional.
  • Drink water — Water helps flush out your body and carries nutrients to your baby.
  • Watch your caffeine — A high level of caffeine consumption can be dangerous.
  • Wear a maternity support belt — Pregnancy belly bands, sold by It’s You Babe, gently lift the weight of the baby without pulling down on the shoulders. This takes some of the pressure off the legs, helping to ease swelling.
  • If you have puffiness in your face and hands that does not go away, check it out with your health professional.

Edema usually disappears after birth, as the body rids itself of the fluid it no longer needs. But there’s no need to suffer needlessly. Use these tips to make you feel better.

Relief in Sight for Swelling During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it’s normal to experience puffy feet and ankles. The body retains extra blood and fluids required to nourish her growing baby.. Up to twenty-five percent of weight gained during pregnancy consists of this extra fluid.

The medical term for this swelling is edema. It tends to begin around the fifth month of pregnancy, but can occur during the third trimester. This can be an uncomfortable condition, sometimes even restricting movement in the affected areas and should be reported to one’s health provider.

Sometimes the ache and discomfort of edema in the ankles and feet can be reduced by wearing a maternity belt from It’s You Babe. Recommended by health professionals, these support devices gently lift the belly off returning veins, redistribute the added weight, and promote better circulation while providing comfort and relief.

The Best Cradle is perfect for women carrying twins or triplets. Soft elastics lift the belly, relieve pelvic strain, and reduce swelling in the legs and ankles.

The Prenatal Cradle provides orthotic support for the belly and the back. This belt also helps ease the discomfort of edema by taking the weight off the legs and redistributing that baby weight bearing down in front.

The Embracing Belly Boostier fits high nesting into the lumbar region of the back, without any kind of shoulder straps. This provides maximum lift for the abdomen and excellent respite from the effects of swelling in the ankles, legs, and feet.

The It’s You Babe selection of maternity support belts incorporates an open abdomen design, which allows the stomach area to remain cool and comfortable. Since they lie flat, they can be worn under any clothing or lingerie. It’s You Babe maternity support belts allow wearers to finally get comfort back into their lives, even during the third trimester of pregnancy!

Pregnancy Back Pain: Tips and Remedies

If you are expecting and pregnancy back pain, you are in good company for back pain is a common side effect.  As your body goes through many changes and your baby grows, your center of gravity shifts, placing more strain on the back muscles. This usually begins during the latter half of pregnancy. Reasons for this discomfort include weight gain, hormonal changes, and stress.

Here are some ways to deal with pregnancy back pain:

  • Standing — One of the best ways to alleviate this back pain is improving posture. Since the center of gravity has shifted forward with the pregnancy, the natural reaction is to lean back to help maintain balance. Remember to keep your chest high and shoulders back.
  • Sitting — When sitting, use a chair that supports your back or a small pillow to fortify your lower back.
  • Sleeping — New guidelines recommend that pregnant women sleep on their sides instead of their backs. Propping with pillows and one placed between your legs with knees bent will help keep your spine in proper alignment.
  • Complementary therapies — Ask your medical provider before beginning any exercise program or complementary therapy. Prenatal yoga is popular for it strengthens muscles, improves flexibility, and relieves stress while focusing on mindful breathing. Acupuncture and acupressure both stimulate pressure points in the body that correspond to pain centers. The same can be said for prenatal massage. Studies show that regular prenatal massage relieves pain and helps with depression and anxiety.
  • Maternity beltsWorn during pregnancy, maternity belts redistribute the weight around the body, relieving pain in the lower back. Belly bands also reduce discomfort during physical activity and help correct posture. Even postpartum, wearing a maternity belt like the Embracing Belly Boostier with the wide section in front can help bring together and strengthen abdominal muscles weakened during pregnancy. Remember to always consult your physician before wearing any compression devices.



pregnancy back pain - image shows an expecting mother suffering from back pain

Sibling Tips: Adding a Sibling to the Family

Sibling Tips – Young Children May Need Special Transition Help From You

It’s exciting to bring a new addition home to the family! But if you already have a young child at home, there’s going to be a period of transition. Here are some sibling tips to help make that adaptation period easier, both before and after you bring the baby home.

sibling tips - picture shows a toddler helping a pregnant mother with yard work
Choose the timing of announcing your pregnancy to your older child carefully. Toddlers have little understanding of linear time. Months can seem like years. Give them a milestone to attach your due date to, such as, “The baby will be here the week after your birthday.”

Give your older child age-appropriate information about the pregnancy. You can expect them to ask questions, but an overdose of facts will confuse them.

Here’s one of our favorite sibling tips: involve the older sibling in preparing for the baby. Let them pick items for the nursery. Encourage them to draw pictures for their new sibling, and place it in an focal point in the room. Having them play a part of the process will help them feel grounded.

sibling tips - image shows a pregnant mother playing with a toddler
Mentally prepare your child for the arrival of a baby. Show them pictures of themselves when they were babies. Let them know that everyone was a baby at some point, and how fortunate the baby is to have them as an older brother (or sister). Read them books about being a big brother or sister. You can find a great list of helpful books here.

Set expectations for your older child about the baby’s arrival. Help them understand that there will be lots of crying and sleeping before the baby will be ready to play with them.

Affirm to your older child the important role they will play in the baby’s life. Your older child may be nervous about their role in the family after the baby arrives.

The more you can do to assure your older child that they are still loved, the smoother the transition will be. That’s at the heart of all our sibling tips today.

While you are looking over these tips aimed at supporting your family when older siblings are involved, take a look at our support page to make sure your back has the right support, too!

Click here to see our maternity support belts!

Running During Pregnancy

I like to stay fit and eat right most of the time but I found pregnancy to be a great reason to be a little lazy and eat whatever I wanted. Every once in a while, however, we have woman call us and ask where they can get our Best Cradle now! No time to order… they have a race in a couple days. And not just a 5K, these women are running marathons and ½ marathons and desperately needed something to support their tummy!

These moms-to-be have my complete and utter admiration!

So what does the doctor say about running during pregnancy?

Whether running is safe during pregnancy is hotly debated among healthcare providers but new evidence is showing that if you’re having an uncomplicated pregnancy and have been a runner when you get pregnant then it’s most likely safe to continue running, however, at a less strenuous level. You need to stay in tune with your body and talk to your healthcare provider. You need to decide together what’s going to be best for you and your baby. If any unfamiliar symptoms or aches and pains present themselves while pregnant and running, talk to your doctor immediately.

Keep these things in mind if you choose to run while pregnant:

Amanda Race Picture

  • Listen to your heart, you don’t want it to beat out of control
  • Make sure you can continue to talk while running
  • Stay off uneven trails and ice to reduce risk of falling
  • Don’t let yourself overheat
  • Stay hydrated with lots of water
  • Wear a maternity support

For Amanda, running got a lot easier once she started wearing our Best Cradle:

My race today went great, I had a lot less discomfort than I have been having on training runs with no support. The Best Cradle alleviated most of the pressure I was feeling, and miraculously, my hemorrhoids didn’t bother me at all…just wearing the cradle for a couple days before the race really helped those heal too!! – Amanda, Ohio

It’s You Babe wants you to have a safe and comfortable pregnancy! Talk to your Healthcare Provider before continuing or starting any strenuous exercise during pregnancy.