Posts Tagged ‘muscles’

Healing Lower Back Pain After Pregnancy

Monday, April 25th, 2016

low back pain

Lower back pain is a really common issue, no matter your age or gender. I started having an achy lower back at a young age, largely due to my posture and spinal curvature, and it was exacerbated by certain activities (longer distance running is one, and sitting at a computer for long periods is another).

As many pregnant or once-pregnant women can attest to, pregnancy is not kind to the low back. Even women with zero prior history can experience this as their tummies grow. Like many pregnancy-related ailments though, it’s supposed to go away when you’re done being pregnant. Except, for many women it doesn’t.

Babies don’t sit at eye level with you, and now you have a gorgeous little creature that needs 24/7 care, and you are constantly bending and lifting while changing diapers, bathing the baby, etc. Nursing mothers in particular can experience back (and neck) pain.

If you’ve experienced lower back pain, you probably know some of the causes. A lot of sitting, poor posture and/or poor muscle tone and core strength are often the issue. How can you fix it? Well, for starters, use common sense. If you think you need to see a medical doctor, please do so. Not all back problems are ones that can be fixed at home.

For starters, try to stay mindful of your posture. When you’re standing, think about your shoulders. Are they squared back? Is your butt in line with and directly underneath your shoulders? Are you holding a lot of tension in your shoulders and hunching them (nursing moms in particular can get knotty here)? Back up against a wall and see how straight you’re standing. A mirror or a selfie can also help you adjust, and if you feel you need, you can set reminders in your phone to do a self-check through the day. Likewise, when your baby is hungry, it’s easy to breastfeed wherever you happen to be. It may be in your back’s best interest, however, to try and get to a glider chair or other supportive seat and be mindful of your posture while your baby nurses as well.

Core strength is the root of many lower back issues. The pelvic floor muscles, which act as the inner core (versus your outer core, which are the muscles you see when you see a six-pack), take a major beating during pregnancy and delivery. When they are weak or dysfunctional, your whole body suffers (this is true for everybody, from sedentary people all the way to athletes). YouTube has a lot of content like this set of exercises that can help you get those muscles back into shape. Planks are also a great total core workout, and can be done literally anywhere, even with your kids crawling around. Different sports are also good for building core strength; paddling and rowing are terrific for your core, and there are tons of dragon boat, outrigger and crew clubs across the U.S. and Canada for adults, no experience necessary.

Before starting any abdominal strengthening exercises though, you need to be aware of diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles that is caused by pregnancy. If you think you have this condition, you should not be doing abdominal work without consulting a doctor and probably a physical therapist as well. This is a tough condition to heal and will take some time and effort to do so.

Meaghan Howard is currently a stay-at-home mom and enjoying living overseas with her husband and two young children. She enjoys traveling, running, and the most excellent sport of all time, dragon boat.




5 Signs Your Toddler Might Be Ready For Potty Learning

Friday, May 10th, 2013

As cute as fluffy bums can be, the thought of your child being done with diapers is usually pretty alluring. Although as most experienced mamas will tell you, potty learning goes much smoother if your child is ready for the process. So rather than relying on a magical age to begin potty training, look for signs of readiness in your child (as opposed for parent/caregiver readiness 😉 )

What exactly are signs of child readiness when it comes to potty learning? Here are 5 main signs:

1. Diaper stays dry for long(er) periods of time – And when they do urinate, it is a lot at once.  This demonstrates your child’s bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine. I knew my oldest son was ready to be done with diapers when he consistently woke up with a dry diaper each morning.

2. Can follow simple directions – If your child is able to follow simple directions such as “get your shoes” or “put the book away”, he/she demonstrates the necessary cognitive and language skills to begin potty learning.

3. Indicates awareness of wet/dirty diapers – Often kids enter a stage where being in a wet/dirty diaper starts to bother them. They may indicate this by taking their diaper off or requesting a diaper change when their diaper is soiled. Generally this is a good time to start introducing them to the potty. For example when you change them you can sit them on the toilet for a minute or two.

4. Shows interest in other’s use of the bathroom– Children are naturally curious and like to mimic others. When a child starts to show interest in your use of the bathroom or an older sibling’s use of the bathroom, it can be a great time to talk with them about the potty and/or read one of the many available children’s books about using the potty (Once Upon A Potty is a cute one).

5. Starts to show interest in dressing and/or undressing – An awareness and ability to dress/undress is a good indication your child has the desire for more independence in self care routines, including potty learning.

General tips for potty learning:

  • If you start potty learning and get to a place of frustration (either you or your child), don’t hesitate to put the process on hold and try again in a month or so.
  • Try to introduce potty learning when your child is going through a (generally) cooperative phase
  • Try to avoid introducing potty learning during periods of time when they are undergoing big developmental changes in other areas.
  • Do not use any type of punishment or consequences for “accidents”.  Keep in mind there is a learning curve to the process which is likely to result in accidents along the way. Treat accidents as no big deal, gently remind your child they can tell you when they have to go potty, and move on. If potty learning becomes a stressful process for the child, it is likely to be prolonged.
  • Make it as fun and positive as possible. Show enthusiasm when they use the potty. For example we sign a silly potty song when our child uses the potty during potty learning.

If you are looking for some eco-friendly products to assist with potty learning check out Mom’s Milk Boutique for cloth trainers and a biodegradable potty chair.

Happy Potty Learning All!


5 Simple Postpartum Exercises

Monday, June 25th, 2012

A woman’s core muscles are deeply effected by pregnancy and childbirth. However by incorporating some rather simple exercises you can easily strengthen and tone your core muscles. The idea is to start with what you can do and slowly build up to more repititions. Before beginning this or any exercise regime, please read the disclaimer below.

The information provided on this web site and video is for informational purposes and is not intended to replace the advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations of a doctor. Mom’s Milk Boutique disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription and to avoid the potential harm of doing any inappropriate exercises for a particular problem. Please read this entire disclaimer before commencing with your exercise program.

The following disclaimer applies to all information and pages presented on,, and Mom’s Milk Boutique’s channel.

Check out this video for 5 Simple Postpartum Exercises!