Archives For On Us!

picmonkey-collage2In a few days, March 8, 2017, women around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day.  According to their website, the day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  And the day marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

In 2017, the achievements our gender has made in society are more visible than ever. We can vote, true, and we’re nearing on the 100th anniversary of suffrage. And the strides have been even greater than that. We’ve seen women holding high office.  Madeleine Albright became the first woman to hold the office of Secretary of State in 1997, and since then 3 of the last 6 have been women.  We’ve seen a female Attorney General, four different women on the U.S. Supreme Court, and many other cabinet positions.  The first woman elected to the U.S. House happened in 1917 and the first U.S. Senator a handful of years later in 1932.  And most recently, we’ve seen the first woman to run for President for a major political party.  We see women owning companies and heading corporations.  They are doctors, lawyers, scientists, astronauts.  Our gender has cracked the glass ceiling, but there is still work to do.

Attention for women’s achievements ebbs and flows in news cycles, but seems to be at the forefront of late.  Women, as a whole, are still not paid equally to their male counterparts.  Women are still not present in equal numbers in business and politics.  And globally, many improvements are still needed for women’s education and health, as well as the disproportionate numbers of violence against women.

The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange.  Change is still needed.  At our current rate of speed, the gender gap won’t close entirely until the year 2186, according to the World Economic Forum.  But, if we are bold for change, we can make that happen faster.

Change can be big or small.  What kinds of things can we, as women, change as individuals?  Below are 5 things we can work on to better ourselves and to help leave our mark on the world.

Perspective

Have you ever heard of the phrase “mind over matter”?  I’ll bet you have.  That’s what I mean by perspective.  The first step to making change in our lives is changing our perspective of things.  I hate getting groceries every week or doing laundry.  But, since they are necessary chores to the well-being of my family, I do them.  I can look at them with dread, or I can be thankful that I have the funds to buy food for my family.  I can clothe my children and keep their clothes clean.  Maybe, I have a family member or co-worker that is difficult to be around.  I can choose to avoid them or be unkind to them.  Or, I can change my perception and look at things from their perspective.  Looking at things from their perspective will give me a better understanding of why they are difficult, and possibly I can help them.  Changing perspective can apply to almost anything in our lives.

Career

I think this is area that is most reflective of the #BeBoldForChange theme. Most of us spend 8 – 10 of our waking hours per day at our jobs.  This is time not spent with family or friends or doing things we love.  With so many hours spent doing a job, it had better be something you enjoy doing.  If not, make a change.  Get a new job or go back to school.  But, be happy in your career.  Maybe you love your job, but feel that a raise or promotion is overdue.  It’s time to make a change.  Be bold and ask for what you feel you deserve.  You may not get it, but as long as you are courteous and professional, you’ll go a long way in making cracks in that glass ceiling.

Relationships

This is such a tough one for us women, but is an area of such importance.  Evaluate your relationships, including friendships and family relationships.  Nurture the good relationships – the ones that are good for your well-being; the ones that bring you joy; the ones you learn from and who show you kindness.  Repair the fragile ones that are worth saving.  And cut ties with the toxic ones.  Life is too short to let others bring you down.

Health

There are so many things we can do to change the state of our health.  The obvious one is diet and exercise, but be careful in that.  There are so many harmful ones out there.  If you diet, choose one that includes healthy foods and doesn’t make you feel bad or lacking.  Choose an active lifestyle, but know your limitations.  Don’t participate in exercise that is harmful to any condition you are living with. Chose exercise that makes you feel good and something you like to do.  You’re more apt to keep up with it if you do.  Other things you can do to become healthier or to maintain good health include brushing and flossing your teeth, getting plenty of good sleep and avoiding or limiting things like tobacco, caffeine or alcohol.  Drink plenty of water.  Most doctors and nutritionists recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.  Finally, follow your doctor’s suggestions to improve your health.  This includes wearing your compression! 😉

Legacy

Most people want to leave a legacy on this world, but your legacy can be whatever you want it to be.  Many women leave their legacy with meaningful careers – doctors, teachers, politicians, businesswomen, police officers, etc.  Or your legacy may be motherhood.  Parents are the first teachers of every child and raising well-adjusted and contributing members of society is such a huge legacy in itself.  Or perhaps your legacy is the mark you leave on the world in other ways – volunteering with veterans or the homeless, fostering a child, cleaning up a local park, or even just spreading simple kindnesses to strangers.

Whatever you do, don’t be afraid to make changes happen in your life.  Have faith and courage and be bold.  And from all of us at Knit-Rite/Therafirm, Happy International Women’s Day!

 

 

 

On November 7, 2015, 36-year-old Moninda Marube won the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon in Santa Barbara, California for the fourth time with a time of one hour, eight minutes and 41 seconds.  The event was the culmination of Moninda’s 3,700-mile journey that began last July in Auburn, Maine.

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Moninda grew up in Kenya.  A lack of steady money and political violence contributed to a difficult life as a youth.  But, his talent for running allowed him a way out, and his journey landed him in the United States.

In the U.S., Moninda began training, but ran into financial difficulties.  To help out, he began training with other Kenyan runners under a manager.  It was with this manager that Moninda fell victim to human trafficking.  The manager would keep winnings from the races the Kenyans ran, leaving little for living expenses.  Moninda lived in a house infested with bedbugs with no air conditioning and very little food.  Finally in 2012, Moninda met Dan Campbell, the technical director of the Santa Barbara Half Marathon.  He ran the Marathon and broke the course record.  Campbell helped him get out of his situation and relocate to Auburn, Maine, where life is finally good.

Becoming involved with the Auburn, Maine Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) and motivated to help others, he began The Moninda Movement to help bring awareness of human trafficking.  The Moninda Movement consisted of Moninda’s one-man goal of running 3,700 miles in four months and finishing with the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon. This amounted to running roughly 30 miles per day, 6 days a week.

Early into his journey, The Moninda Movement gained two sponsors – Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies located in central Maine, and Therafirm, a compression hosiery manufacturer based in Hamlet, North Carolina with corporate offices in Kansas City, Kansas.

Bedard Pharmacy and Medical Supplies has a long history of serving its local community.  As a small, family-owned and operated business headquartered in Auburn, Maine, they are a company that cares about their customers like family. Providing the community with the best quality medical supplies and equipment available is how they strive to inspire and empower individuals to take life’s challenges as they come, and to live life on their terms. They are also proud to be one of the last independent pharmacies in the state of Maine.

Moninda’s mission was a perfect fit for Therafirm.  The U.S. manufacturer produces true gradient compression socks and hosiery including a line of athletic compression socks and leg and arm sleeves.  Gradient compression in athletic socks and sleeves feature compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases toward the top of the stocking to help increase energy for endurance, better performance and reduces muscle fatigue and recovery times.  But, equally important, Therafirm, as well as parent company Knit-Rite, Inc., holds improving lives as its mission, not only in the products it makes, but also in the many causes it supports locally and beyond.

The co-sponsorship included Therafirm-branded compression socks and sleeves and Moninda’s athletic apparel.  Custom screen printing on Moninda’s apparel advertised The Moninda Movement’s message.  Bedard and Therafirm also donated a portion of the proceeds from retail sales of Therafirm’s athletic compression products over an eight-month period to Moninda’s foundation in support of ending human trafficking.

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Originally, The Moninda Movement’s 3,700 miles was to be a cross-country journey where Moninda would run from Auburn, Maine to Santa Barbara, California stopping in several cities along the way.  Unfortunately, the logistics of getting his team of supporters through each leg of the journey proved difficult and the cross-country run had to be scrapped.  Moninda did not let the setback discourage him from his goals, however.  He continued to run his 30 miles each day from his home in Auburn, Maine making sure he reached the 3,700 miles it would have taken him to run from Maine to California.

Moninda finished his 3,700 mile run in time to catch a flight to Santa Barbara to run in the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Half Marathon – a race that he won for the record-breaking 4th straight year.

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Breastfeeding Mamas

 

Image courtesy of Jomphong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

August is National Breastfeeding Month, and there is no shortage of controversy attached to this subject.  Some of the many include: Is breast really best, or is formula okay?  Can you breastfeed in public?  If you do, should you cover up?  How long is it okay to breastfeed?  Should employers provide a room for employees to pump?  Should women publish or post breastfeeding photos?  How old of a child is too old?  Should you use surrogate breastfeeders or use milk from a milk bank?

There are so many opinions on this subject that it seems best to leave them all at the door.  Breastfeeding and everything involved with it is a personal choice and one best made by each mama in hers and her child’s best interests.  That said, the team at Preggers thought that the National Awareness Month deserved a little recognition, as well as a few tips to help out those mamas that choose this route.

7 Breastfeeding Tips for Mamas

  1. Lactation Consultants – For some mamas, breastfeeding is easy and natural. But, that doesn’t mean it is for all mamas.  And that’s okay.  There are a number of things that can make breastfeeding challenging for mom and baby.  Lactation Consultants are great resources to help moms work through their challenges.
  2. Water – Drinking water is ALWAYS important, but most especially for nursing mamas. You can become dehydrated, which could affect your ability to produce milk.
  3. Food – You’re focused on making sure that your baby gets the nutrition and calories he needs, but it’s important to get enough for you both. Your baby will receive all the calories he needs from your breast milk.  If you do not consume enough for you both, you will be lacking in the nutrients and calories needed for your body to function.
  4. Create a Breastfeeding On-the-Go Plan – It is not realistic to think it will always be quiet and private unless you’re planning to park it at home for the next several months. Decide what will be your breastfeeding plan when you’re on the go.  Will you be comfortable with public breastfeeding?  Will you always be searching for a private place to go?  Will you use a cover?  Don’t be afraid to do what makes you most comfortable.  But, be aware that others may disagree.
  5. Pumps – You will probably want to invest in some sort of pump. Most likely you will be away from your child at some point before you’ve weaned him.  You’ll need a pump to prevent yourself from becoming engorged, as well as to ensure your baby will be fed while you’re away.  If you’ll be using it a lot – like a working mom – you’ll want a really good one.  Don’t skimp, as it will become very necessary when you return to the workforce.  If your moments away from baby will be few and far between, you can settle for a cheaper model or even a hand pump.
  6. Moisturize – It’s inevitable that your nipples will become dry and chapped at some point. Painful on its own, it’s even more so when trying to nurse an infant.  Make sure you have nipple cream on hand for these moment.  In a pinch, you can use olive oil or even your own breast milk.
  7. Nursing Bras and Tanks – You’ll pretty much live in these until you’re done nursing, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a few that meet all your needs. Fortunately, Preggers has options to match most needs.  Comfort and good support are key features for the perfect daytime bra.  Many women choose to wear a sleep bra through the night as well, opting for something with optimal comfort, but some support.  A fantastic third option is the nursing tank.  The right tank will provide good core support for a body that is gradually returning to its pre-pregnancy shape.  The easy access straps mean you won’t have to practically undress at each feeding.  A tank will also make a comfortable and nursing supportive “shirt” to wear under a zip-up sweatshirt, hoodie or cardigan sweater.

Preggers Comfort Nursing Bra – This everyday daytime bra is made from super soft and comfortable material.  Better yet, it’s seamless, so you’ll have no uncomfortable seams to rub and irritate.  A three-position back clasp and adjustable straps allow for a better fit.  A front clip makes opening and closing the cup effortless, even with only one hand.

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Preggers Sleep Nursing Bra – Look high and low and you won’t find a more comfortable sleeping option.  The Sleep Bra offers light support and is made of super soft and seamless material for the optimum comfort.  The smooth wide straps and high back help to keep it in place throughout the night.  Instead of clasps or clips, the Sleep Bra offers easy front access simply by pulling the cup down.

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Preggers Nursing Support Tank Top – This tank has so many great features.  It’s made of the same super soft and seamless material, but also offers great elasticity and compression for your torso.  It supports the abdomen and back to aid in recovering from pregnancy.  Nursing access is by an easy pull down front.  Classic black color is perfect for layering under a zip-up sweatshirt or cardigan.

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Post pregnancy belly wrapping seems to be quite trend in the pregnancy and postpartum communities.  While the trend may be relatively new in the Western world, it has actually been known in other cultures for a long time.

Long pieces of fabric have been traditionally used to wrap around the belly multiple times to provide abdominal compression.  These wraps have gone by many different names in each part of the world, but the goal is the same – to assist in weight loss and toning of the abdominal muscles after birth.

As the western world has grabbed onto this concept and altered it for the modern mama, many women have adopted the claim that belly wrapping will give them a slim and toned belly much quicker.  But, does it really work?

The jury is definitely still out on this one.  Some physicians and other experts say that, without a doubt, belly wrapping will give a postpartum mother back her pre-pregnancy shape much quicker, claiming that the abdominal compression reshapes the abdomen, returns a uterus to normal size, promotes skin healing and even returns a woman back to her normal routine all in a faster amount of time than a traditional postpartum recovery.

But, as with every debate, there are other physicians and experts that disagree.  Their argument is that the only true way to return to your pre-baby body is with a healthy diet and regular exercise.  Most experts on this side of the debate say that although the wraps don’t really help, they also do not really hurt, saying that wearing a belly wrap can help you fit better into some clothing, as well as making you feel more comfortable and therefore more likely to move or exercise.  However, there are some that claim that the wraps can be counterproductive in that belly wraps prevent a mother from strengthening her core abdominal muscles.

While the debate continues on, there is one thing that almost everyone can agree on – that gentle abdominal support and compression does help a postpartum woman feel more comfortable (especially after a c-section) and promote recovery.

The Postpartum Support Band from Preggers is the perfect bridge to this debate.  Our Postpartum Support Band gives new mamas gentle support and compression to the back and abdomen promoting a quicker and more comfortable recovery.  The seamless and super soft material is comfortable against the skin and not irritating.  The support band can easily adapt to most body shapes due to its super elasticity.  It gently clings to your body allowing it to be worn discretely under clothing.

Before wearing the Preggers Postpartum Support Band, or any other type of post pregnancy product, check with your healthcare provider to make sure it is the right product for you.

Made in the USA

Once upon a time in America, manufacturing was king.  American manufacturing intensified in the early 20th century, become the driving force behind the US economy and effectively carved out the American middle class.  We rose to global economic super power status on the backs of American manufacturing workers that produced things like cars, refrigerators and televisions.  Manufacturing gave Americans an alternative opportunity to farming, and raised the average income and standard of living.

After decades of trade surplus, things began to change in the 1970s.  Floating exchange rates and new trade agreements increased the value of imported goods.  In 1960, only 8% of Americans’ purchases came from foreign goods.  Today, 60% of our purchases come from overseas.  This drastic change has created a trade deficit totaling $40.9 billion (US Dept. of Commerce and reported by ABC News).

The United States has fewer manufacturing jobs now than we did in 1941.  This is why investing in the American economy and the American manufacturing sector is so important to Knit-Rite, Inc, the makers of Preggers.  In 2013, Knit-Rite opened a newly renovated, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Hamlet, North Carolina.  The North Carolina facility is in addition to our first manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Kansas.

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Knit-Rite products are manufactured right here in America.  “We are proud of our 90 years in the medical textile business and our continued commitment to producing American made textiles,” says our President and CEO, Mark Smith.  “Along with that, we are grateful for the opportunities we have to contribute to innovative solutions for our customers and good jobs for our people and the US economy.”

When you buy our products, you can be assured that your money is going to American workers and the American economy effectively improving things for us all.  This Independence Day we encourage you to buy American.

Happy Independence Day from your friends at Knit-Rite and Preggers and Happy 239th Birthday, America!

This Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, Preggers wants to recognize mothers – all mothers – for all the love, encouragement, kindness, snuggles, kisses, care and support you give your children every day.  We know your job never ends – not when you tuck your kids in at night, not when you send them off to college, not when they have children of their own.  For all the support you’ve always given – thank you!

We want to hear from all the mothers out there.  Tell us your ideal Mother’s Day or your favorite Mother’s Day.  You can leave a comment below, post on our Facebook page or Twitter.  We’ll post a collection of Mother’s Day favorites next week!

Happy Mother’s Day, Moms!  Lots of Love from Preggers!

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As mamas we all wear a lot of hats – chef, chauffer, coach, referee, entertainer – just to name a few.  And many of us also have workplace hats.  Some mamas have jobs where they are on their feet all day – like nurses, teachers, hairstylists and waitresses.  And when these hard-working mamas are pregnant, they need all the support they can get – literally.

Preggers mamas know how great their legs feel in maternity compression socks and hosiery – especially those hard-working mamas that are always on their feet.  When the Preggers team decided that we needed to salute these awesome mamas, we took a look at the calendar to find out when.  That’s when we realized that the stars were totally in line for a giant Hard-Working Preggers Mamas Salute.  According to our calendar Hair Stylist Appreciation Day (April 30), Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8), Nurse Appreciation Week (May 6-12), and Waiters and Waitresses Appreciation Day (May 21) all fall within a three week period.  Not to mention Mother’s Day on May 10.  We think the calendar must be saluting you, too!

So, what can Preggers Maternity Compression socks and hosiery do for our hard-working mamas? Lots! But, we like to say that it’s threefold.

  1. Preggers products features graduated compression, which is recommended for use during pregnancy to help energize tired, achy legs and to help reduce and prevent swelling.  That’s right, Sisters, we know you’re excited!  True gradient compression delivers a controlled amount of pressure greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases towards the top of the stocking to promote better blood flow, improve circulation and prevent swelling.
  2. And maybe better yet, Preggers hosiery is fashionable. Ugly compression hosiery is a thing of the past.  Our styles and colors are on-trend with today’s most fashionable mamas.
  3. Finally, Preggers socks and hosiery are made using our Micro-Cool® process. Micro-Cool® creates a wicking effect so moisture evaporates from the skin quickly, keeping our mamas comfortably cool.

What’s not to love!?!  Visit Preggers.com for all our Preggers Maternity Compression socks and hosiery – as well as our new Preggers Support Products!  Our brand new Maternity Support products (Maternity Panties, Maternity Support Tank and Maternity Support Band) and Postpartum and Nursing Support products (Comfort Nursing Bra, Sleep Nursing Bra, Nursing Tank and Postpartum Support Band) are great compliments to our hosiery.  They’re just the comfortable and supportive products that all pregnant and non-so-pregnant mamas can use!

So, here’s to you Hard-Working Mamas! We support you . . . with Preggers and everything else!