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No need for compression, right?  If you have a good pair of support hose, that’s all you need?  Because compression and support hose are the same thing?

Wrong!

There are actually some very big differences between support hose and compression hose.   In fact, there is even a difference between compression and gradient compression.  Let’s break each one down.

Support Hose

In the world of hosiery, support and control mean the same thing.  An example of this would be like control top pantyhose.  Basically, you have a garment that smooths out abdominal bulges and bumps for a more flattering look.  But the difference is only cosmetic.  The garments don’t actually provide any of the health benefits of compression, nor do they provide support to the legs or feet.

What about items beyond hosiery – like support garments and shapewear.  There are some significant differences here, too.

Compression

Support garments, shapewear and athletic compression are all examples of what is known as all-over compression, or compression that has the same amount of “squeeze” throughout the whole garment.

Support Garments

Here’s where things get a little confusing.  Although support hose generally refer to hosiery like control top pantyhose, support garments are a little different still.  Support garments, or garments that typically cover the abdomen or torso area of the body, actually offer much-needed support for the wearer, as well as gentle shaping.  Preggers Maternity and Postpartum Support Garments are great examples of these.

 

 

Shapewear

You’ve surely seen these items from time to time.  Shapewear, like control-top pantyhose, are meant to slim and shape the waist and body by squeezing bulges and bumps.  They’re like the modern version of a corset or perhaps a bodysuit.

Athletic Compression

Athletic compression is another good example of all-over compression.  A popular trend among professional and amateur athletes alike, athletic compression helps to give athletes extra stability and support.  The types of garments can really be anything, including socks, pants, shirts or sleeves.

Gradient Compression

A gradient compression garment takes the cake, as these items provide the most health benefits – especially for pregnant mamas.  Gradient or graduated compression is tightest at the ankle and the pressure decreases gradually as it moves up the leg of the garment.  The graduated element is what makes gradient compression so healthy, because it promotes circulation, energizes tired, achy legs and helps to prevent and reduce swelling.  Pregnant mamas know how beneficial that can be!  All Preggers legwear products offer a level of gradient compression.

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Compression Levels

Our products are available in four different compression levels – known as mmHg or millimeters of mercury.  The levels are aptly named Light (10-15 mmHg), Mild (15-20 mmHg), Moderate (20-30 mmHg) and Firm (30-40 mmHg).  Most people, including pregnant women, can wear Light compression to promote better blood flow and to energize tired achy legs and feet, without the direction of a doctor.  Anything higher than that, however, should be at the advice and direction of a physician.  A physician who knows your individual condition and history can correctly diagnose issues that may benefit from higher compression levels.  Your doctor will also know best as to which compression level is right for you, as well as to ensure you are properly sized.

 

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be informational.  Always follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor.  Consult your doctor before doing anything that you feel might be risky.

 

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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Myths About Things to Avoid While Pregnant

Myth: You Should Not Get a Flu Shot
Fact: Quite the opposite, actually.  The flu shot is very important for pregnant women because if one was to become infected with the flu, they have a much higher risk of becoming very ill and a higher risk of dying from the flu than those who are not pregnant.  The immunities are also transferred to the baby which will help protect its delicate immune system during the first months after birth.  Some pregnant women worry that preservatives in the flu vaccine will hurt their unborn child, but studies show there is no evidence that the flu vaccine harms fetuses.

Myth: You Can’t Have Your Hair Colored While Pregnant
Fact: Chemicals from hair dyes are absorbed through the skin, but only in very minimal amounts, which are not harmful.  Play it safe by making sure you are having any chemical hair treatments done in a well-ventilated space with a fan.  And for those that are really worried, you can save all your hair treatments for the second and third trimesters.

Myth: You Shouldn’t Fly While Pregnant
Fact: Many pregnant women worry that radiation from airport body scanners and x-ray machines will harm their unborn babies.  But, have no fear.  The amount of radiation is very small will not harm unborn babies.  We are actually exposed to small amounts of radiation on the ground all the time.  So, go ahead and plan that babymoon.  Just make sure that you are safe and sound at home by 34 weeks, as that is usually when most doctors advice you cease travel.  Many airlines will also not allow you to board without a doctor’s note after 34 weeks.  You may run into some leg/ankle swelling while in-flight so make sure to pack some super-comfortable compression socks.

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Myth: Skip the Gym While Pregnant
Fact: If you’ve been a gym regular, there’s no reason to give it up.  It can actually be quite healthy for you and baby.  Just be sure to keep your workouts low-impact and avoid contact sports or any exercises done on your back.  Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure your routine is still safe.  You can help support your belly with the help of support garments or legwear.

Myth: Avoid Sleeping On Your Back
Fact: Doctor’s suggest that it is best to sleep on your left side since this sleep position is known to help increase blood flow to the uterus.  But, if sleeping on your back is more comfortable, there is no harm for your baby.

Myths About Eating While Pregnant

Myth: Double Up On Your Servings Because You’re Eating For Two
Fact: Not so fast!  Even though you are eating for two, you are not eating for two adults!  The average pregnant woman only needs an additional 300 calories per day to adequately nourish both mom and baby.  Normal weight gain should average around 25 to 35 pounds during the whole pregnancy.  Gaining too much can have lasting negative effects on the baby.

Myth: Don’t Eat Fish or Seafood While Pregnant
Fact: Fish is actually very healthy for both mom and baby, as fish contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help with baby’s brain development.  Just make sure to stick with coldwater fish, salmon, shrimp or canned tuna, and avoid fish that are high in mercury, such as swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel.

Myth: Eat Three Healthy Meals A Day
Fact: It is actually better for a pregnant woman to eat 6 or 7 small meals per day.  Eating small amounts of healthy food frequently will help keep your blood sugar in normal ranges.

Myth: It’s Okay To Have a Small Drink
Fact: Nope!  Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that pregnant women completely avoid drinking alcohol.  There is no amount of alcohol that is safe during pregnancy.

Myth: Avoid Caffeine While Pregnant
Fact: Just say no to alcohol, but a little bit of caffeine is okay.  You will definitely want to limit the amount of caffeine that you consume, but most doctors say that 200 milligrams or less a day is perfectly safe.  This amounts to roughly one 12-ounce cup of coffee.

Myth: Avoid Cheese While Pregnant
Fact: No need to cut out all cheeses, but do avoid the soft, unpasteurized cheeses like Brie, feta and goat cheese, as these can carry food-borne illnesses.  Other cheeses are perfectly safe.

Myths About Baby’s Gender or Appearance

Myth: How High or Low You Are Carrying Determines the Baby’s Gender
Fact: There is no scientific fact behind gender playing a role in the shape and position of a pregnant belly.  The look of your bump is determined by the woman’s muscle structure and abdominal fat, as well as the baby’s position and size.

Myth: Craving Certain Foods Reveals What Gender You Are Carrying
Fact: Scientific fact is lacking in this one, too.  Every woman, baby and pregnancy is different.  Different food cravings have no bearing on the baby’s gender.

Myth: Heartburn Means Baby Will Have a Lot of Hair
Fact: This one is certainly one of the more common myths, but heartburn and hair do not actually go hand in hand.  Many women who had heartburn have bald babies, while those who sailed through pregnancy without the hand on the Tums bottle have had babies with a full head of hair.

Myths About Labor and Delivery

Myth: Your Water Breaks When You Are In Labor
Fact: Sometimes a woman’s water breaks at that start of labor, but more than likely it is a further point through labor before it breaks.  Some doctors will even break your water to help labor progress further.  The bottom line is don’t wait for your water to break.  If your contractions are strong, regular and frequent, don’t wait.  Make your way to your hospital or birthing center.

Myth: Having an Epidural Increases Your Chances of Needing a C-Section
Fact: Studies show that getting an epidural to help relieve some of the pain of labor does not actually increase the risk of a c-section.  Every labor, childbirth, woman and baby is different.  Some may even find that the epidural help move things along.

Myth: First Babies Always Arrive Late
Fact: While there is a greater percentage of first time moms that deliver late, this is certainly not the rule.  Your menstrual cycle is actually a more accurate way to determine when your baby will arrive.  If your cycles are shorter, you’re more likely to deliver early.  Longer cycles might indicate a later baby.  But, even this is not an exact science.

Myth: Your Second Childbirth Will Be Easier
Fact: Although your first childbirth experience is usually the longest, it isn’t always.  And the second and subsequent births may not always be easier.  Everything will depend on the baby’s position and condition, as well as anything that might be affecting your health.

Myth: You Will Feel An Instant Bond With Your Baby
Fact: Although many moms do feel the bond right away, others may be feeling too exhausted or overwhelmed.  If you don’t feel that bond right away, don’t worry because your bond will grow stronger before you know it.

Myth: Your Delivery Will Be Like Your Mother’s
Fact: Although you may have a similar body structure as your mother, this is not the only factor in determining what type of labor and delivery you will have.  The size and position of the baby is the main contributing factor, as well as your health, lifestyle and any number of complications that you may be experiencing.

Disclaimer: This article is meant to be informational.  Always follow the advice and recommendations of your doctor.  Consult your doctor before doing anything that you feel might be risky.

St. Patrick’s Day is Thursday.  Many people due around certain holidays like to choose names that are inspired by the holiday.  Is anyone due this week and still looking for a name for baby?  How about an Irish name or a St. Patrick’s Day-inspired name?  Here are a few to help you along in your search:

Top Irish Names for Girls

Aoife – Pronounced ee-fa, Aoife is another popular name in Ireland that means “beautiful, radiant and joyful”.  In Irish legend, Aoife is known as the greatest woman warrior in the world.

Caoimhe – Having the same root and origin as the male name Kevin, Caoimhe means “gentle, beautiful and precious”.  It is pronounced kee-va.

Ciara – This one means “dark”.  It is pronounced kee-ra in the traditional Irish pronunciation, however see-ara is a pretty alternative.  It has held a spot in the top 5 of Irish baby girl names since 2003.

Maeve – Another one inspired from Irish legend, Maeve was a great warrior queen of Ireland.  The name means “the cause of great joy” and is pronounced may-vee.

Saoirse – Pronounced seer-sha, this one means “freedom and liberty”.  It has seen a rise in Ireland due to its patriotic feel.

Siobhan – Siobhan is the Irish version of Joan and means “God is gracious.”  It’s pronounced Shiv-awn and is a very popular name in Ireland.

Top Irish Names for Boys

Aiden – A very popular one in the US, it’s also popular in Ireland as well.  Aiden means “born of fire”.  In Ireland, it is usually given as a nod to St. Aidan of Iona.

Darragh – Darragh means “fruitful” or “fertile”. It is pronounced di-re.  This name is very popular in Ireland for boys and girl, however the girls’ version is usually spelled Daire or Dara.

 Liam – The Irish version of William is equally popular in Ireland as it is in America.  It means “strong protector”.

 Niall – This name means “passionate” and comes from another Irish legend.  It is pronounced nye-al and is similar to Neal or Neil.

 Sean – This is the Irish version of John and means “God’s gracious gift”.

St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Girls Names

Clover – An adorable reminder of the 4-leaf clover.  This name will give your baby girl a little bit of Irish luck.

Erin – This name means “peace” and is a poetic name for the country of Ireland.

Ireland – After St. Patrick’s adopted country, this one is a beautiful reminder of her birthday.

Patricia – The female form of Patrick.  This name means “noble”.

St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Boys Names

Anthony – Anthony means “highly praiseworthy”.

Celtic – Pronounced kel-tic.  The Celts were the ancient people of Ireland and Celtic was their culture and language.

James – A popular name associated with Irish culture and St. Patrick’s Day.  Jamie is a very Irish-sounding nickname.

Patrick – After the saint who brought Christianity to Ireland.  The legend regarding St. Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland is probably just that – a legend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Any moms out there due around Valentine’s Day or President’s Day?  If you’re still looking for the perfect name, try these Valentine’s and President’s Day inspired baby names!

Baby Girl Names

Abigail – This one is a perfect way to add a Presidential and Valentine’s twist to a name.  Abigail Adams was the wife of 2nd President John Adams.  She and her husband exchanged more than 1100 letters over their lifetimes.

 

Elizabeth/Eliza/Betty/Bess – A beautiful classic with so many nickname choices.  Several of our first ladies have carried a version of this name including Bess Truman, Betty Ford, Eliza Johnson and Elizabeth Monroe.

 

Edith – This classic was given some life with the adorable Despicable Me movies, but it was also the name of two presidential wives – Edith Roosevelt and Edith Wilson.

 

Eleanor/Ellen/Helen – So many first ladies have had a version of this name which means bright, shining light.  How appropriately some of them were named.  Ellen Arthur was a very talented soprano who performed at many New York benefits.  It’s hard to imagine FDR’s presidency without Eleanor Roosevelt, who redefined the role of First Lady.  Others were Helen Taft, Ellen Wilson, and Eleanor Rosalynn Carter.

 

Jacqueline – Every time I see this one, I think of the poise and grace of Jacqueline Kennedy.

 

Jewel – We loved this Valentine’s inspired name.  It’s sweet and feminine.

 

Kennedy – The Kennedys inspired their generation with hope and courage for the future.

 

Laura – One of our more recent first ladies, Laura Bush carries a name that is truly a classic with a modern feel.

 

Lily/Rose/Violet – Flower names are classic and beautiful, but also becoming very popular, but unless you’re looking for something very unique, ones of these might be a great fit.

 

Lucretia/Lucy – Lucretia may be a bit dated, but Lucy is adorably sweet.  Lucretia Garfield and Lucy Hayes were two first ladies during the 1800s.  Lucy Hayes was a supporter of the temperance movement and was nicknamed Lemonade Lucy when her husband banned alcohol from the White House!

 

Madison – Want to name your little daughter after the father of the U.S. Constitution?  Madison is currently a very popular name, but naming your child such would be an homage to our 4th President, James Madison.

 

Rachel – This beautiful name was held by Rachel Jackson, the wife of President Andrew Jackson.  When the future president and Rachel were married, she was actually married to someone else.  Her previous marriage had been unhappy and the two separated.  Assuming that her husband had finalized the divorce, she unknowingly married Jackson.  After it was printed in the newspaper that she was still married to her previous husband, Rachel finalized the divorce and quietly remarried Jackson.  Can you imagine if that happened today?

 

Roma – This one isn’t as obvious as a Valentine’s Day name, but comes from St. Valentine of Rome.  It’s a more subtle way of naming your little one after the holiday.

 

Ruby – This name from the beautiful red stone is a classic that seems to be gaining in popularity.

 

Valentine/Valentina – Go for the obvious!  Val and Tina make great nicknames.

 

Baby Boy Names

Andrew – Two of our presidents have been named Andrew – Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson.  Andrew Johnson was the Vice President under Abraham Lincoln and became President when Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in 1865.

 

Christian – Did you know that it’s actually called St. Valentine’s Day and that it’s a Christian saint day?  Legend has it that St. Valentine was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldier who were forbidden to marry.  How romantic!

 

Ford – We like this one!  Simple and strong.  Gerald Ford became President after Richard Nixon resigned into the 1970s.

 

Franklin – Franklin Pierce and Franklin Roosevelt were two presidents that held this name.  It might seem a little old fashioned, but provides an adorable nickname in Frankie.

 

Grant – Grant is a popular classic for boy’s names.  It never seems to get old.  President Grant served from 1869-1877.

 

Harrison/Harry – William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison have been the only grandfather/grandson presidents so far.  And there’s also Harry Truman who shares a version of this great name.

 

Jackson – Jackson is a very popular name for little boys these days.  President Andrew Jackson was a military leader during several early American wars, including the Revolutionary War where he served as a courier at age 13 and was captured and held prisoner by the British.

 

James/Jimmy – More presidents (6) have carried a form of the name James than any other first name.  They include James Madison, James Monroe, James Polk, James Buchanan, James Garfield and Jimmy Carter.

 

Lincoln – You can’t go wrong with ever-favorite President Lincoln for your child’s name inspiration.  He made a lasting impact on this nation.

 

Pierce – We thought this one was a strong sounding name and very presidential.  Franklin Pierce served as president during the 1850s.

 

Roman/Rome – This one is more subtle, but comes from St. Valentine of Rome.

 

Teddy – Here’s a great way to grab inspiration from Valentine’s Day and President’s Day.  Teddy Bears, a common Valentine’s Day gift, were so named because of President Teddy Roosevelt.

 

Thomas – Thomas Jefferson served as third president, but also wrote the Declaration of Independence.  Few presidents have been as insightful and eloquent as Jefferson.

 

Truman – Take a stroll through Independence, Missouri and you’ll fall in love with the simple grace with which President Harry Truman and his wife Bess lived.  It’s too bad more of today’s politicians are not more like the Trumans.

 

Valentino/Valentin – A very obvious nod to the holiday or St. Valentine himself.

 

Midwives Day

January 8, 2016 — Leave a comment

Today, January 8, 2016, is Midwives Day!  Are any of our Preggers mamas planning on delivering with the help of a midwife?  Or maybe you know someone who has or plans to use a midwife.  In the US, the rate of midwife deliveries is still pretty low compared to the numbers delivered by OB-GYNs, but the trend is definitely on the rise.  In honor of Midwives Day, we thought we’d explore midwifery and its rising trend and practice in the US.

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History

Midwifery has been around as long as childbirth itself.  Of course, midwifery in the ancient and medieval world was not the practice that it is today.  But, the idea was the same.  It was not until the last couple of centuries that women began to labor and deliver with the help of trained doctors, and even more recent that births were moved to hospitals.  Despite this transition in countries like the US, the art and practice of midwifery has always been in practice in undeveloped countries, as well as other developed countries around the world.

Trend

The percentages of midwife deliveries in the United States is still low compared to OB-GYN deliveries, but is definitely on the rise.  According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in a June 25, 2012 article in Time Magazine, roughly 1 in every 8 vaginal deliveries is assisted by a midwife.

Benefits

Why is this trend on the rise?  The reasons are different for every mother, but many of the reasons include the following:

  1. Interventions – Many women want to give birth without medical interventions. Using synthetic drugs like Pitocin to induce labor can lead to an increased risk of C-Sections, another thing many women want to avoid.  A lot of these mothers also look for a more natural method of pain relief rather than the standard epidural used in hospitals.
  2. Cost – Let’s face it. The cost of childbirth is very expensive.  Insurance will pick up a lot of it, but mothers must usually meet deductibles – sometimes very high ones.  And each intervention done also adds to the already high cost.  The cost of a midwife delivery can be drastically lower than a traditional delivery, especially when done outside of a hospital.  Before choosing this route, however, make sure your insurance will cover using a midwife.  Many plans will, but some may not.
  3. Hands-On Care – Pregnant mothers are not the only patients that OB-GYNs will see during a given day, making them very busy. Most midwives can spend more time with their patients, developing a stronger relationship.  When it comes time for delivery, the laboring mother will have the undivided attention of the midwife.
  4. Personalized Birth Plan – There are a number of things mothers can do during labor to help move things along, as well as manage pain. A growing number of mothers like to have a specific plan in place that may include use of a birthing ball or bar, a tub for water birth, or maybe your favorite music or candles.  These are all things that are more likely to be accommodated when delivering outside of a hospital.

Types of Midwives

There are two different types of midwives to choose from – Certified Nurse-Midwives and Direct-Entry Midwives.  According to the website whattoexpect.com the differences are:

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Midwives can be a great option for pregnant moms.  But, one thing that everyone agrees on: any high-risk pregnancy (high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid problems, etc.) should be handled in a hospital with an experienced OB-GYN.

If you like the sound of a midwife delivery, do your research and find out what is best for you and your baby in your area.  Make an informed decision based on your individual needs.  Happy Midwives Day and happy delivering, mamas!

November is Children’s Picture Book Month.  Do you know why picture books are so important?  Picture books are the first introduction that children have to literature.  Many children develop a love of reading and books very early with their favorite stories and picture books.  They awaken the imagination, help children to develop language and teach them to be better listeners.

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This November, we want to inspire you to develop life-long readers of your children, so we’ve teamed up with our friends at Indestructibles to offer two lucky winners an Indestructible prize!  Indestructibles are picture books that babies simply cannot destroy!  They are chew-proof, rip-proof and drool-proof and are printed on a non-toxic, paper-like material.

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Our two lucky winners can choose 5 Indestructible books of their own.  And because we haven’t forgotten about mama, we’ll include a $30 gift card to Preggers.com.  Contest runs November 11 through November 16.

Enter to win!

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Labor Day is this Monday, September 7.  But, don’t worry mamas, it probably isn’t your “labor day”.  For most of us, Labor Day Weekend is the gateway to the fall.  Cooling temps, beautiful leaves, and pumpkin patches are just around the corner.  Which means it’s time to give your wardrobe a boost!

When you look at boosting your compression hosiery, you’ll want to include Preggers Maternity Tights.  Along with all the super benefits that Preggers Maternity hosiery usually offer, our Maternity Tights will also keep your legs warm during those crisp fall days.

As with all Preggers Maternity socks and hosiery, our Preggers Maternity Tights contain gradient compression, which is compression that is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases as it moves up the legs.  Important for all Preggers mamas, our tights are comfortable.  They are made with super soft yarns and smooth seams that won’t dig into your tummy.  The supportive top expands as your belly grows and can be folded under the belly or pulled over.  Our light compression (10-15mmHg) comes in fashionable everyday colors, as well as trendy seasonal colors.  And Preggers offers Maternity Tights in higher compression levels, too, in most of the fashionable everyday colors.

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Since we know all of you mamas that will be sporting a baby bump this fall will want to buy a pair of Preggers Maternity Tights in every color available, we thought we’d help you out with a little break in the price!!!  Between now and September 15, you can get any of our regularly priced Light Support Preggers Tights (or any other Light Support Preggers hosiery or support product) at 20% off.  Discount is reflected in the cart, no codes needed.

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And finally, for those mamas that will spend this Labor Day truly laboring, we wish you happy delivering!  Don’t forget to pick up a Preggers Nursing Bra or Postpartum Tank.  They’re included in the sale, too, and you’re going to need one!

Happy Labor Day to all our Preggers mamas and their babies.


Back Pain

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Chief among complaints of many pregnant women is the infamous back pain.  And it’s no wonder since there are several factors that can lead to pregnancy back pain.  Women typically gain between 25 and 35 pounds in a normal pregnancy.  The added weight that the spine must now support can lead to lower back pain.  Hormone changes can also contribute to increased back pain.  The hormone relaxin kicks into gear to help loosen joints in preparation for childbirth.  This includes the ligaments that support the spine.  The way your body moves also changes as your baby grows, due to an altered center of gravity, and can affect your posture leading to increased back pain.  Changes in abdominal muscles also play a role.

But, fortunately, most mamas can find various sources of relief for some or all of pregnancy-related back pain.  The following remedies are great doctor-approved ways to reduce back pain.

  1. Proper Shoes – Pregnancy is not the best time for high heels. High heels can shift your pregnancy weight directly to you lower spine and hips.  You will also want to avoid unsupported shoes.  Wear a low-heeled and comfortable shoe that includes arch support.
  2. Sleep Position – Sleeping on your side with your knees bent is the most comfortable position for pregnant mamas. Using support pillows (under abdomen, behind back and between knees) while you sleep is also a good idea.
  3. Physical Activity – Regular exercise can help keep your muscles strong, which can relieve some back pain. Swimming is one of the best exercises for pregnant women because of the reduction in pressure of the spine.
  4. Support Garments – The right supportive garment will hold your belly up taking some of the pressure off your lower back.

Preggers Maternity Support Tank is a great option for mamas.  Expanding to fit during a full pregnancy, the Maternity Support Tank has a unique design which helps you to maintain correct back posture, prevent lumbar pain AND support a growing belly.  Made with stretchy yarns and knitted into a super soft and seamless garment, this tank is the optimum in comfort.  The smooth, shaping support of the Maternity Support Tank is the perfect undergarment for expecting moms.

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The good news about pregnancy-related back pain is that it will likely ease and go away after your baby is born.  Ligaments that loosened up regain their rigidity and are able to better support normal weight.  But, until then we hope the tips above will help to make your pregnancy more comfortable.