#LiveWithoutLeaks with Poise

Disclaimer the first: this is not a sponsored post. I was invited to attend a chat where an Urologic Surgeon and a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist gave us information and answered questions. I'm not obligated to write this post, nor am I being compensated. I think the information I was given is vitally important to a lot of women and I want to start a conversation.

Disclaimer the second: I'm going to talk about lady bits. If you're uncomfortable talking about lady bits, or have no interest in lady bits, you're welcome to use the little x right up there in the corner of your screen. I'll be back to posting about food and chaos soon.

Right! We good? Good.

Earlier this week I attended an event hosted by Urban Mommies and Poise focusing on women's health. Specifically, pelvic floor issues.

Truth time: *deep breath*...I have been seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist since shortly after Poppy's birth. While I was still pregnant, I saw a naturopath who noticed my belly "tenting" when I got up off his table. When I engaged my core to lift myself up (let's be real - I hoisted myself off his table, grunting gracefully) my belly would no longer be round, it was pointed. He told me this indicated a separation that would require help to fix and I should see a pelvic floor specialist after I gave birth.

Fast forward a few months. Poppy was fashionably late and weighed in at (a hefty) 9lbs 6oz. It was not a smooth birthing experience and I was rushed into surgery shortly after she was born. There was a lot of action at my nether regions is what I'm saying. For weeks after giving birth, I suffered from back pain, hip pain, and significant core weakness. I researched and found a pelvic floor specialist near me and booked an appointment.

I am a damn grownup but I had no idea what my pelvic floor was. I'd heard the term but it felt like a buzzword that would disappear from our vernacular sooner or later. I had no idea how integral the pelvic floor is to our overall core strength, or how many women experience issues.

The pelvic floor is kind of like a 3-layer trampoline that spans the area between the tailbone and pubis (disclaimer the third: not a doctor; this is information I took away from the chat and should not be considered medically accurate). Pregnancy and childbirth can damage the muscles and nerves of the pelvic floor. It doesn't matter if you deliver vaginally or via C-section; you can have issues with your pelvic floor either way. Pelvic floor issues can lead to pain, core weakness, pelvic organ prolapse (which is where your organs aren't being supported correctly by your pelvic floor so they start to fall out), and incontinence.

I didn't know I should be concerned about my pelvic floor health after Grady was born in 2011 and I didn't know it wasn't normal to pee a little when I sneezed or did jumping jacks or laughed too hard. I bought into the "kids ruin your body, har har har" line of thinking and figured I'd just wear a panty liner whenever I exercised. I didn't experience drastic leaks, and I didn't leak every day, so I didn't think it was a problem that could be fixed. I just thought childbirth had done a number on my body and I'd have to live with it.

And then I started seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist after Poppy was born and she was all "why should you have to live with pain and leaks?" And I didn't have a good answer.

So! I was extremely interested to attend the event. I'd heard of Poise before but I thought they only made absorbency products. I was surprised to learn about their newest product, Poise Impressa Bladder Supports. (Just a reminder, this is not a sponsored post, I just think these are really flipping cool.) The bladder supports are exactly what they sound like. They're a small, non-absorbent, temporary (up to 8 hour) product that gently lifts and supports the urethra to prevent urine leakage.

Dr. Elterman, the Urologic Surgeon, gave us a great way to visualize it. Think of a garden hose. If the garden hose is resting on soggy, wet grass and you step on it to stop the flow of water, you're going to have a tough time fully stopping it. Your foot is going to sink into the mush a bit and there will be some leakage. If the garden hose is resting on concrete and you step on it, you're much more likely to be able to cut off the flow of water and prevent leaks.

Impressa bladder supports are kind of like the concrete (without actually being concrete. Heavens. They're made of silicone and a gauzy mesh material.). They provide support and allow you to stop the flow of urine so you can live without leaks. They're not a plug, and they don't absorb urine, they're a support.

Why do I love this product? Pelvic floor issues plague 1 in 4 Canadian women. That's a lot of women. Canadian women don't see pelvic floor specialists as part of their general health care or prenatal care (fun fact: in France, women who give birth are sent to pelvic floor specialists as part of their standard care). Some pelvic floor issues can be treated with physiotherapy and exercises but some need surgery to be corrected. A lot of women don't have the resources for either, or simply aren't ready to talk about the issue (because it's kind of squicky, right? Not everyone is ready to announce to the world that sometimes they pee when they sneeze. Hashtag: blog life. Hashtag: tmi. Hashtag: I'm terrible.). Impressa is a tool that women can decide to use themselves (you don't need a prescription) when and where they want to. For example: I don't have a big problem with leaks (I'm in physio mainly for pain) but I can't get through an entire workout video leak-free. I avoid workout classes and the yoga studio because I'm embarrassed. I plan on using Impressa to give me the confidence to workout publicly. 

Pregnancy and childbirth do take their toll on women's body. But most pelvic floor issues are fixable; we just need to be comfortable enough to talk about what's going on with our doctors. I'm lucky; I have a doctor (not everyone is so lucky) and I feel comfortable talking about anything with her. If you don't have a doctor you can speak to and you're experiencing stress urinary incontinence, I highly recommend you check out Impressa. It's not a permanent fix but it's a product that may give you a bit of your life back.


Tortellini Sausage Soup

This soup is hearty and full of veggies. Serve it with crusty bread and it's a full meal soup. The tortellini and sausage make it satisfying and flavourful, while the veggies add a boost of nutrients so no salad is needed (I become firmly Team No Salad once the lovely summer veg is gone).


2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups assorted diced vegetables (I did 1 onion, 3 stalks celery, 3 carrots, and a large handful of green beans)
300g smoked turkey sausage, sliced (I cut mine in half and then did 1/4" slices for half moons)
1 - 796mL can crushed tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups water
1 - 350g package tortellini (I used rainbow four cheese)
2 (packed) cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
grated parmesan cheese for serving (optional)


Heat olive oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat.

Add assorted diced vegetables and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and onion is translucent (approximately 7 - 10 minutes).

Add sausage and cook for another minute or two until it starts to brown slightly.

Add tomatoes, stock, oregano, and water and bring to a boil.

Add tortellini, and cook, stirring occasionally, per directions on package (usually 6- 8 minutes). In last minute of cooking, add spinach and parsley.

Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread.

Serves 8.


Meal Plan 10/17/2016 - 10/21/2016

I was spoiled last week and spent next to no time in the kitchen. My success in getting Grady to try the tomato orange soup has made me a little drunk with possibility to I've made it my goal to get him to accept one new food this week. No trickery or cajoling permitted; I want him to willingly try one new food.

Monday: Tortellini Sausage Soup

Tuesday: Creamy Chicken, Broccoli, and Rice Bake

Wednesday: leftovers!

Thursday: Baked salmon served with green salad and cauliflower gratin.

Friday: Arugula and Goat Cheese Flatbread for me and Shawn. Pepperoni pizza for Grady. Served with fresh fruit.

What's on your meal plan this week?

How to Make Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Saturday (and, uh, Sunday) morning pancakes are a staple in our house. Grady loves to help mix the batter and is eagerly awaiting the day I let him do the flipping. For now I make him stand out of arm's reach from the hot grill but he waits, spatula in hand, hoping one day I throw him in the game.


3 Tbsp butter, melted
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt


Efficiency is the name of the game and I refuse to dirty more than one bowl for a weekend breakfast. I use my Pampered Chef batter bowl because I can melt the butter in the microwave, measure the buttermilk, and then add the remaining ingredients. A large liquid measuring cup / bowl also works.  

Whisk together melted butter, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently whisk just until moistened (overmixing will make your pancakes tough and rubbery).

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. I use a non-stick grill but if you're using stainless steel, grease with a little butter.  

Scoop batter onto grill in desired size/shape. Cook for approximately 3 minutes until bubbles form on the surface and begin to pop. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes or so until desired doneness is reached. 

Serve with toppings of choice. Grady is a purist - he likes his pancakes naked. Shawn reaches for real butter and Quebec maple syrup. My favourite (occasional!) treat topping is fresh berries and whipped cream.  

What do you like on your pancakes?