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  • Welcome to the More Than A Mother Blog!

    Welcome to Reliable Maternity's very own blog! We are so happy to have you. Although we are primarily a durable medical equipment (DME) company, our overall goal is to empower, educate and support our patients, their families, and beyond. We have always wanted to provide a safe space for parents to share, grow, and connect with one another. We are a team of women who wholeheartedly believe that there is “no shame in the feeding game.” However you decide to feed your baby whether that is breastfeeding, formula, bottle feeding, we are judgement-free. We think that it is important that every family makes the choice that is best for them and their baby. We want to be helpful in providing resources and insight for any situation! So, what will you find here? The #MoreThanAMotherBlog will be a place with articles and posts on topical information (the stuff we think you should be aware of!), tips & tricks, personal stories, resources from our certified lactation counselors, other experts, and more! Expect this to be a place that covers more than just what it means to be a mother. Want to take this IRL? We engage in community events all around New England and provide solutions for all types of lifestyles. Please visit our community events page to learn more about past and upcoming events. We hope to meet you soon!

  • What is the Pelvic Floor, and Why Should We Care About It?

    Pelvic health has become a hot topic in the past decade, and for good reason. Women experience significant changes to their pelvic floors throughout their lifespans, and we have historically received minimal education about this part of our bodies. Perhaps you have birthed children vaginally and forever sworn off trampolines with your kids. Perhaps you leak urine when you sneeze, but you cross your legs and hope for the best. Perhaps you hit menopause, and have just accepted that you have symptoms of prolapse at the end of each day. These examples are extremely common, but far from normal. There are treatment options available and even ways to prevent many of these issues before they start. They are not something that women have to live with due to childbirth or aging as was believed by previous generations. The pelvic floor is a critical group of muscles at the bottom of the pelvis. They play important roles in sexual health, bowel and bladder function, organ support, core stability, circulation and posture. These muscles are small but mighty, and deserve more awareness and education. In females, the pelvic floor undergoes significant changes across the lifespan with injuries, exercise, pregnancy, childbirth (even Cesarean section), and menopause. Understanding what signs or symptoms to look for, and how to go about addressing or preventing them, can help avoid long-term issues and improve your quality of life. During childbearing years, the pelvic floor is a key player. It is quite literally responsible for supporting the growing uterus during pregnancy, which may lead to weakness or spasming of the muscles trying to support these changes in posture. Following childbirth, weakness, tearing, stitches, muscle spasm or trigger points can cause persisting issues with postpartum pelvic floor function. The pelvic floor also works closely with your abdominal muscles and breathing diaphragm, and the coordination between these structures can be altered after delivery. Women who have c-section births often still have changes to the pelvic floor from pregnancy, and scar tissue from c-sections can also directly affect how the pelvic floor works. The pelvic floor undergoes significant changes at menopause when hormone levels shift drastically. This group of muscles and the tissue at the perineum is particularly susceptible to the drop in estrogen in the body. These changes can lead to increased muscle atrophy, tissue laxity and tissue sensitivity. This often presents as symptoms such as organ prolapse, pain with sexual activity, or urinary urgency or incontinence, to name a few. Sometimes, these pelvic floor changes may be present (though asymptomatic) prior to menopause, but the hormonal shift can bring symptoms to the forefront and impact function. While the pelvic floor is a small group of muscles, it is an important puzzle piece that works closely with the rest of the body. Other factors that may affect your pelvic floor health include back and hip injuries, chronic pain, diastasis recti, core weakness, abdominal pain or surgeries, gynecological conditions or procedures, constipation, PCOS, endometriosis, stress/anxiety, or poor postural habits. Some types of exercise can also contribute to pelvic floor stress if not done properly or if you have underlying pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvic floor is susceptible to many changes, stressors, and challenges throughout the female lifespan, which is really no different than any other group of muscles in the body. The difference, however, is that this small group of muscles is responsible for such critical roles, that when they are not functioning optimally, significant inconveniences can result. The great news is that there are treatment options available, and you do not have to live with these concerns indefinitely. Finding an excellent pelvic floor therapist as part of your women’s health team can be life-changing from reproductive years to post-menopause. After many years in this profession, I can tell you that it is almost never as simple as the blanket recommendation to “Do Kegels,” but a skilled physical therapist will assess your concerns and get you back on track to improve your pelvic health. You can find more information from Dr. Kaitlyn Labberton and ReclaimHER Physical Therapy at

  • The Pump Act: What it is and What it Means For You

    Let's talk about the PUMP Act and why it's important for you to know about it. The Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers was signed into law on December 29, 2022. This means that although it went into effect immediately the enforcement won’t go into effect until April 28, 2023. So, if a company or organization fails to follow this new legislation there are no repercussions until April 28th. You may have heard of the Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law which was signed in 2010 and requires that requires employers to provide reasonable break time AND a private space for all lactating employees (bathrooms don't count). The PUMP Act is a different law, but it was created to address some of the loopholes in the Break Time law. How is it different? Let’s break it down! The PUMP act includes the following additions: Provides the right to break time and space to pump breast milk at work to millions more workers, including teachers and nurses, as well as other salaried workers Makes it possible for workers to file a lawsuit to seek financial compensation if their employer fails to comply Makes it clear that pumping time must be paid if the employee is still doing any work while pumping breast milk Why is the PUMP Act important? Well, first of all, this is huge news for all lactating individuals in general. Beyond that, this is big news when it comes to equity in the workplace. This law gives lactating individuals both proper support and protection. This act is another step towards gender equity in the workplace and allows for new moms who are wanting to come back to work feel that much more confident in being able to step into their role as a parent and not feel like they are jeopardizing their status as an employee. Secondly, if you are currently pumping breast milk you can feel confident in knowing that your employer is required to accommodate you. However, be mindful that employers who have yet to put this into effect in the workplace can't face repercussions until April 28, 2023. Happy pumping! Learn more:

  • The Period Talk Reimagined

    We're talking all things periods... everything the "video" never taught you. Recently I listened to a podcast "The period talk you never got" on NPR's Life Kit by Margaret Cirino who did a variation of the same podcast on NPR's Shortwave. As a young woman in my twenties taking control of my reproductive health has never been more important. Especially as I am getting older, my reproductive health has become more of a topic of conversation between my friends and I as we are approaching that next stage of life. For me, the period talk began with the aforementioned "video." The one with the techno brain-wave music playing in the background while a narrator explains puberty and the changing parts of a female and male body. Closely followed by the American Girl Doll book: The Care and Keeping of You that my mom gave to me with a note saying to talk to her whenever. While, we have come a long way since then, there are a lot of parts to the menstrual cycle that I had to discover on my own. As I've gotten older, I have begun to realize how much my body changes throughout the menstrual cycle. Each phase (which we will touch on below!) causes my body, mood, energy levels, etc. to change, which is all totally normal. There are many parts of women's health that often feel very taboo to talk about. If you're like me, it can often feel like we are expected to know these things and it can feel wrong or embarrassing to ask questions. But how else are we going to learn?! Whether we are talking about fertility, reproductive health, vaginal health, or the menstrual cycle women should feel confident in asking questions and taking initiative to learn more. There is no shame in wanting to better understand your own body. So, let's get into it! Most cisgender women go through a menstrual cycle each month that consists of four specific phases. The menstrual cycle is when the uterus prepares for a possible pregnancy by thickening the uterus lining and then shedding it at the start of the cycle. Most of this information was not necessarily new to me. However, it wasn't until recently that I learned that there are specific phases within the cycle. Let's break them down... Menstrual Phase This is the first phase of the cycle and the phase when you get your period. During this phase your uterus is shedding its lining because the egg from your previous cycle wasn't fertilized (aka you are not pregnant). The thicker lining helps support a pregnancy, which is why if you are not pregnant at the end of your previous cycle, your uterus will shed the lining and start again! Follicular Phase This is the second phase of the cycle when the level of estrogen rises which causes the lining in your uterus to begin to thicken again. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is also released to stimulate follicle growth in your ovaries. Follicles are small sacs that contain an egg. During the follicular phase one of these eggs will fully mature. Ovulation Phase This leads to the third phase, ovulation. The rising levels of estrogen from the follicular phase trigger the pituitary gland in your brain to release luteinizing hormone (LH) which starts the process of ovulation. The egg that matured in your ovaries during the follicular phase is released. This phase of the menstrual cycle is when you are at the highest chance of getting pregnant. Luteal Phase This is the final phase of the menstrual cycle. Your egg leaves the ovary causing progesterone and estrogen to release. These hormones help to keep your uterine lining thick and ready for an egg to implant. If the egg is fertilized by sperm (meaning you've become pregnant), it attaches to the lining on the uterine wall, which is referred to as implantation. If the egg is not fertilized (i.e. pregnancy has not occurred) the uterine lining will shed during the menstrual phase, restarting the cycle. If you do not become pregnant, then during the luteal phase you may experience symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) before the menstrual phase begins. Common symptoms of PMS: bloating trouble sleeping acne headache changes in libido (sex drive) mood changes food cravings breast swelling, pain, or tenderness When it comes to the menstrual cycle, I think there is one thing we have to get a lot more confident with: talking about it! I encourage you to start the conversation, because chances are, you and I aren't the only ones who are thinking about it. Learn more:

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