health

Five things in your body that can't be found with a mirror.

Sleep deprivation – check. Baby brain – check. Swollen breasts – check. No libido – check.

By JOSEFA PETE

Sixteen hours of labour and weeks of newborn mummy fog and I could start ticking off the check-list. Sleep deprivation – check. Baby brain – check. Swollen breasts – check. No libido – check. Wait up, what?

In my state of being so prepared for my first baby, I perhaps was not prepared at all. Maybe nothing can really prepare you for parenthood and as a mother perhaps nothing can really prepare you for the changes that your body will go through.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Lights by Tena. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

Parenting books, baby forums, an endless stream of opinions and the conversation post-delivery tells us about a lot, but leaves just as many things in the dark. In a society so focused on looking in the mirror judging what we see and ticking the boxes: body image? expectation? fitting in? It is time we put the mirror aside and start focusing on what we can see without it, and to change the conversation.

Here are five things in your body that can’t be found with a mirror:

It’s important to check your breasts for lumps, and keep on checking.

1.  A lump in your breast: the conversation is well oiled for the absolute need to check our breasts. Whether it is in the shower, in between the sheets or even just getting ready in the morning, checking to see if there is anything we need to be concerned about. The conversation cannot fall silent, younger generations of women need to know how important this is and keep on checking.

2.  The elusive g-spot: yes, yes I know the g-spot. Yet another conversation that we need to shed the taboo of. Sexual intimacy and the pleasure that can and should be achieved through this intimacy is often something only spoken about in the dark, if at all. Goodness knows post-baby sexual intimacy is just another thing left out of the parenting books, when it deserves a whole chapter.

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3.  Your pelvic floor: while on the topic of parenting – do your pelvic floor exercise ladies. Sitting down in your office chair, watching television, reaching down to pick up baby, anytime is a good time to be strengthening that pelvic floor. Get back in control of your body and know that bladder weakness affects 1 in 4 females, being more common than hay fever. Obesity, exercise, age, pregnancy are all triggers and the last thing you need to feel is alone if this is something you do experience.

4.  Your diaphragm: you can’t see it, but we all know it is there. In a society driven by our busyness and our infinite schedules it is not only important but perhaps essential to get back to basics. To seek out balance: breathing, calm and being in control even on our most crazy of days. Yoga classes, meditation, time out are all ways to reconnect and let that diaphragm drive the slowed down tempo we all need.

5.  Self-esteem: no mirror can ever reflect confidence, beauty and self worth in a way that a positive self esteem can. The forces that work against our self-esteem are strong and resilient, yet we need to find a way to listen to our own inner voice again. I am ok, I am enough, I can do this, I am amazing. Whatever your mantra, keep chanting it.

Be inspired to make a little effort each day to strengthen your pelvic floor so that your light bladder leaks become less frequent, less serious or even stops completely. Be motivated to check your breasts, talk to your partner about that elusive g-spot and remember that we are in this together. Let’s take back control, empower that self-esteem and shift all conversations out of the dark. Or rewrite some of those parenting books. Either way, we need to start today.

How did your body change after you had a baby?

Australian females are highly reluctant to talk about the’ little problem they don’t have,’ so lights by TENA® have launched an educational campaign to help women understand the problem, and empower them with the tools to overcome it.

We want to inspire and encourage you to make a little effort each day to strengthen your pelvic floor so that your light bladder leaks become less frequent, less serious, or even stop completely.

We don’t really want you to be a customer for life, because we’ve seen the impact that it can have.

In the meantime, we’ll continue to make life easier with products that are more effective, less intrusive and more discreet. Products that are better solutions than ‘make do’ options, and that come in packaging you won’t be embarrassed to put in your supermarket basket. Because while you’re getting your light bladder leaks under control, you don’t want the whole world to know about it.

The lights by TENA range is specially designed for light bladder leaks. They are surprisingly thin, yet absorb faster than most period liners.

What makes lights by TENA special?

o    Fresh Fast Crystals which are ultra-absorbing, to quickly lock away moisture and neutralise odour.

o    Surprisingly thin, with contoured body shape for a better fit.

o    Quick dry top sheet that keeps you fresh.

Whether it’s a few drops here and there, or more than a little dribble, there’s a lights by TENA liner that’s right for you.

Available at Woolworths, Coles and IGA.

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