4 Tips Every Breastfeeding Mom Needs to Know

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In light of World Breastfeeding Month, we are giving out 4 Tips every mom who is breastfeeding needs to know.  A lot of moms out there are trying to make a big decision on whether or not to breastfeed, or maybe struggle with continuing breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be tough on a mom and we would like to give some quick tips on how to make it just a little easier on you. 

What most people don’t realize is how important posture is while breastfeeding. Since breastfeeding is such a repetitive activity, it can lead to serious injury and dysfunction. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen to our mommas! So to all the moms out there that are breastfeeding on the couch, in the car, in the kitchen or anywhere else, please remember the following: 

  1. · Keep your spine as neutral as possible, use pillows for support and comfort

  2. · Keep your wrist in a neutral position, use a wrist splint if experiencing pain or tingling

  3. · Always bring the baby to your breast, avoid bending forward to bring your breast to the baby

  4. · Avoid sustained neck positions, great opportunity to perform general neck stretches

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Breastfeeding is a difficult job! We hope that this will help all our moms remember to take care of themselves as well as they care for their baby. 

And for all of our first time mommas out there that have decided to breastfeed, don’t be alarmed if you feel as if you are having contractions when you first start breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can help your uterus heal and return to its pre-pregnancy size. And remember to drink plenty of water not only to keep you hydrated, but to also help with milk supply production! 

If you are interested in learning more about products to help with your posture while breastfeeding, here are some great products to help! 

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If you are in pain, or are unsure of different posturing techniques to use when breastfeeding, please schedule a free consultation with Dr. Jennifer Lavin with one of our Discovery Visits. We would love to answer any questions or concerns you may have!

Day 1 of Wellness

Let me start out by saying I used to HATE running.  But during graduate school I found myself dabbling here and there with my exercise nemesis.  I ran my first 5K, then my first half marathon which challenged me in a way I had ever been challenged before.  

The more I started hitting the trails, the easier it seemed to be to run faster, longer, and before I knew it I was running 12 miles and enjoying it.  What I hated had turned into a form of movement meditation, and I was grateful to have it in my life.

Now rewind to over a year ago.  I had two half marathons on the books both within a six month period, when I happen to step hard onto a sharp rock right under the ball of my toe. Afterwards I noticed a lingering aching every now and then but being a Physical Therapist I thought with a little ice, rest, and massage I would be fine.

Then I began to train for my second half marathon and BAM! I again landed directly on a sharp rock under the ball of my foot.  Except this time the pain was no longer just achy, it hurt bad.  At this point I should have listened to by body (I know this!!!!) but I didn't.  I ran my half marathon and thought okay now I'll rest for the next three months, that will give it enough time to heal.

Except it didn't.

Instead it was getting worse but not just running, but Pilates, yoga, weight lifting, walking and even when I wasn't doing anything.

So after 9 months I finally went to get imaging done. At my appointment the Ortho I went to explained that he believed I had seasmoiditis and flexor hallicus longus tendonitis (which I had guessed but was hoping wasn't the case).

In layman's terms one of the bones underneath my big toe and the tendon/muscle that is used every time you go up on your toes or pushed off of to talk a step forward was inflamed. 

It was at this point that he told me I could continuing doing any activity I wanted and would just have to deal with the pain.  BUT, if I wanted I could get a cortisone shot to help the inflammation. Well after injecting cortisone directly through the bottom of my foot (let me tell you OUCH!) I knew as a physical therapist that this was just temporary relief and not a cure.

I knew on top of my injuries I must have had kinetic chain issues that arouse from this now chronic injury.  The injection wasn't going to help the muscle imbalances that  had formed, wasn't going to completely get ride of the inflammation and I also knew there would be no way to rest my foot without additional support.

So with a second opinion for a Foot and Ankle specialist that's when I started wearing a CAM Boot.  A Cam boot is like a removable cast that comes up below the knee joint and not only takes the pressure off the toes, but stabilizes the ankle.  This then allowed my foot ankle the true rest it needed to heal.  

I wore this boot for a month before switching to a rocker shoe.  A shoe that relieves pressure from the toes but still allows for ankle moblity.  I work the rocker shoe for an additional month.  After which I solely wore gym shoes with a J Pad insert.  This is a cushioned pad that sticks to the bottom of your boot but has a cut out underneath the big toe joint to relieve pressure under the sesamoid.  

While I rested the foot and ankle I began to focus on the rest of my kinetic chain building up strengthen in my core and hips. I worked with a personal trainer 3 times a week while being extremely careful of body mechanics. 

I myself also went to a physical therapist for Dry Needling.  Dry Needling is a modality used in Physical Therapy to release muscular trigger points and improve muscle efficiency, blood flow and referred pain, just to name a few things.  Although this modality is more invasive than other forms of manual therapy due to the use of filament needles piercing the skin it can provide faster results.

Throughout this whole process I had to be extremely careful reintroducing activity back into my life, as if it caused any pain then I knew I would have to back off. I therefore SLOWLY began progressing walking, Pilates, Yoga and adding safe challenges to my weight lifting exercises with my personal trainer.

One of the problems I struggled with was tightness throughout my right ankle and hip, so once I could practice yoga painfree, I began going to Hot Yoga to help relax the muscles further with the external heat.  It allowed my muscles to warming up faster throughout the practice and helped me tremendously with gaining range of motion.  Even with this though I still had to work on stabilizing the joints in their new ranges motion. 

They story now brings us to this week.  As a trail runner I have never enjoyed running indoors on a treadmill, but no way was I going to risk stepping on a rock again just as I started running again. So in order to progress myself I accepted that form and short distances need to be my focus. Therefore treadmill interval training is the route I am taking.

Although it may not seem like much to some, if you have ever struggled with a chronic injury being able to even participate in an activity you love pain free is a reason to jump up and down for joy. So what was my first interval training session like?

  • 3 minutes of walking (3.0 mph)
  • 1 min of Jogging (6.0 mph) followed by 30 sec jump off treadmill (repeated 4 more times)
  • 6 minutes of walking (3.0 mph)
  • 1 min of Jogging (6.0 mph) followed by 30 sec jump off treadmill (repeated 4 more times)
  • 3 minutes of walking (3.0 mph)

Why is it important for me to train this way?  

For starters, I'm back to being a beginner.  I have to relearn how to breath, rebuild up my strength, rebuild my endurance.  I have to relearn how to manage by posture in a body that I don't have 100% confidence in.  I am still fearful that the pain will return, that I will do something wrong.  But it's the little victories that matter, because as they add up over time that confidence will return.

My relationship with running isn't over, but it is evolving.  I look forward to shortening my rest periods, increasing my speed and learning how to set a solid foundation in the 2-5 mile range.

If any anyone else is struggling with a chronic injury affecting their hobby feel free to contact me for a free discovery visit.  Or check out the free injury reports I now have available for neck pain, back pain and knee pain, as well as keep an eye out for my upcoming ankle report.

You don't have to be alone in your quest to wellness. Yes, it takes patience, time, and dedication to adapt to the ever changing human body, but support is always here at Mindful Matters Wellness.

28 Days of Wellness

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Navigating the world of wellness can lead you down many paths. Deciding which path to stay on can be daunting.  So how do we determine our wellness journey when we find our selves lost?

I challenge those who may be struggling with this question to join me during a 28 Day exploration of wellness.  Each day I will examine a topic of wellness that I feel strong about in order to share, learn and grow from.  

Although I will be covering topics I may be dealing with personally, I encourage everyone who reads these, or participates to take the time to reflect on their own trials, tribulations and triumphs in regard to their personal wellness.  

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I ask this of you, as my intent is to travel not just within my comforts but through the unknown,  unaware of where it will lead. I know this plan is without a clear and concise path but I hope those who follow my journey can embrace the twists, turns, circle arounds, fear and excitement that will unfold, just as I have and am willing to do.

Throughout the 28 days I will be sharing images and captions on Mindful Matters Wellness instagram to help capture each days varying topics.  I will then posts blogs here and at times videos on our youtube page to further divulge into the understanding of that day's path.  

May the road less traveled reveal new insights just as the worn path can reaffirm direction

During the next 28 Days if you have any questions regarding how we at Mindful Matters Wellness can help you with your wellness journey feel free to reach out to me or schedule a Free Discovery Visit.

I hope my 28 Days of Wellness will educate, enlighten, bring laughter or maybe tears not just for myself but for those reading as well, and look forward to the journey ahead.

Free Discovery Visits

Clear Path

The best path to staying active, healthy, mobile or fit is anything but clear.  In fact, it is down right daunting and littered with information, opinions and options that may or may not be right for you.

That is why at Mindful Matters Wellness, we offer free confidential Discovery Visits.  A Discovery Visit gives you access to a highly educated member of our staff and provides you with the opportunity to discuss what is going on with your body in an unbiased, safe, and nonjudgmental space.

Doctor Working

The Discovery Visit is a discussion between you and a Doctor of Physical Therapy where you talk about your past and current health concerns and discuss your goals for future health, mobility and overall wellness.  There are no forms to sign and no obligation to move forward with treatment. It is just a chance to explore different treatment options and to create a plan that will help you meet your goals.

Discovery Visits are perfect for those who have had an injury for so long that they fear it will have to become apart of their life. Or for those who would like to perform better but aren’t sure how to maximize their potential.  It is also for those who have had a bad experience with a health care professional and want a second opinion or new approach.  Or for people who want to try a new form of exercise but might be intimidated by learning something new.  Whatever the reason, we’re here to provide support, solutions and a clear path to success. 

Schedule your Discovery Visit and let us help you down the right path to success

-The Mindful Matters Team

Back, Neck or Knee Pain? What's Bothering You?

Mindful Matters Wellness wants to help you feel better.  We've been working hard to create reports that address the types of pain we commonly treat at Mindful Matters Wellness.  7 Easy Tips to Prevent Knee Pain, 8 Effective Strategies to Ease Back Pain, and 8 Quick Easy Ways to End Neck Pain.

Each report contains tips and advice on easy ways you can help reduce the pain that is bothering you.  They are all written by a Doctor of Physical Therapy and are a great place to start if you feel you want relief but maybe aren't quite ready to commit to physical therapy.

We're extremely excited to share these reports with you. At Mindful Matters Wellness it is our mission to help you live life with less pain.  So let us know, what is hurting you and we'll send you the report, for free.