A friend sent me a meme today that said "athletes eat and train, they don't diet and exercise" and it struck me how words that are so similar can have a very different emphasis and the power to change our perspective.
I also want you to know you ARE an athlete. Don't laugh this off. I am dead set serious. Your sport is mummying. It involves repeated heavy lifting, constant bending and lunging, holding awkward positions for long periods and you rarely get a day off, all while experiencing unpredictable sleep patterns. If that isn't the definition of an athlete, I don't know what is!
With social and mainstream media pressures to 'bounce back' and 'lose the baby weight' (I hate those terms soooo much) it is no wonder mums lose sight of making sure their nutrition and exercise choices are fit for purpose. What food and exercise choices are going to have mums back functioning at the capacity they need in order to heal their postnatal bodies and 'mummy' day-in-day-out? This is where you need to build your support team.
If an athlete was injured they would have a specific plan for rehabilitation to get them back to their peak performance. Mums deserve that too! Depending on your situation, you might need to seek professional advice from a variety of experts such as dieticians, physiotherapists, massage therapists, exercise physiologists and postnatal trainers to truly create a recovery plan that is specific to you. But don't let that long list scare you. Every mum is different and we are here to help you navigate your postnatal recovery journey with referrals to local practitioners and resources.
If you would like help with your postnatal recovery plan (no matter how old your kids are) give Go Mum! a call.
Our Go Mum trainers love connecting with women's health physiotherapists both in Brisbane and around the world. One of our favourite local physios has written this article on one of our biggest pet peeves. Thanks Bronwyn!
I have a small confession to make.
I tear pages out of magazines in waiting rooms. And it’s not because they are articles about how to look 30 when you’re 55 or the latest on Angelina or even 101 recipes with quinoa.
I rip out advertisements about continence pads for ‘Light Bladder Leakage’ or ‘LBL’!
You know the ones: ‘It’s okay women – leaking is fine – just wear a pad’. And the models in these ads have been getting younger and sexier - no longer is it only the ‘senior’ looking lady! Now it’s younger women in tight dresses. Disclaimer: I have nothing against continence aids. It’s the normalisation of incontinence that makes my blood pressure rise.
Have you noticed how subtly in the feminine hygiene aisles at the supermarkets, products progress from tampons and menstrual pads to continence pads? LBL is being used to normalise a very real problem.
Here is my advertisement: leaking urine is never fine, never okay, never normal. It is a sign that something is not quite working to its full potential in the pelvic area of the body. That wonderful hidden part that contributes so much to our quality of life. It is often a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction.
As a physiotherapist with a special interest in pelvic health, I care a great deal about those bits ‘down there’ and their impact on women’s health.
How should a normal bladder behave?
Well we should have the ability to control the functions of our bladder and bowel throughout all stages of life. This is continence. Incontinence is any loss of bladder and bowel control, irrespective of amount or frequency.
Here is a breakdown of the facts: normal bladders should hold approximately 500 mls. Each emptying of the bladder is 350-700 mls of urine. We wee four to seven times a day and may wake to go once at night.
Going to the toilet should not be urgent – rushing off, feeling you can’t hold on – nor frequent (going to the toilet more often than outlined above). The bladder should fully empty with a strong, continuous stream and no strain. And there should no urinary leakage. Yes, that’s right, you should be able to jump on the trampoline with the kids!
Your bladder should be functioning efficiently in the background. So if you have read the above paragraph and can’t recognise your bladder, you may have a problem.
What should you do?
Well consulting with a physiotherapist experienced in pelvic health is a great starting point. This involves detailed history taking and assessment of what exactly is happening for you. Treatment is based on your individual needs and may take three to four appointments over several months. And there is good research to prove it works!
Now, while I’m not advocating carte blanche magazine destruction I am suggesting that next time you are in a waiting room, spend some time thinking about your bits ‘down there’.
About the Author
Bronwyn Jest is a physiotherapist with a special interest in Women's, Men's and Pelvic Health.
Bronwyn has a positive approach to pelvic health concerns and is passionate about getting the message out that these issues can be treated effectively and people should not have to suffer in silence.
She provides management for bladder issues: stress and urgency incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, bowel issues: constipation, urgency and incontinence ,sexual dysfunction and pelvic pain, guidance for pelvic floor safe exercising, problems during pregnancy and after childbirth, advice before and rehabilitation after gynaecological and other pelvic surgery including for the bowel.Bronwyn works in her own private practice at Chermside - www.bronwynjestphysiotherapy.com.au
When not working, she enjoys exercising, reading, music, admiring (and collecting!) pottery, swimming at the beach and spending time with her husband Martin and three adult offspring.
Should you go to the toilet “Just in Case”?
The answer = A BIG NO!!
A bladder, when functioning normally, gives us two signals to go to the toilet. The first is the “gentle warning” that gives us a vague sensation that we need to go and you can think of this as your “warning system” that within the next hour or so, you will need to find a toilet. We can resist this first urge if our bladder is healthy. The second signal is a stronger and urgent feeling low in the abdomen, that tells us we need to find the nearest toilet asap.
If you go to the toilet “just in case”, you are emptying the bladder before either of these signals have occurred. If you do this frequently, and over an extended period, the bladder becomes used to this lower threshold for capacity and the “I’m full” signal will be sent sooner and sooner. Hence, it becomes a vicious cycle of you emptying when you don’t actually need to, and your body telling you that you need to empty when the bladder is at low levels.
What you should do if you feel your bladder control is not what it should be:
Seek help: A physiotherapist with pelvic floor experience can give you the education you need and discuss your individual circumstances!
When you feel the urge to go….ask yourself if it is a “warning” and if you can, try to hold or distract yourself and the urge may pass. A legitimate “I’m full” signal will NOT pass. When you empty your bladder, always sit down and fully relax (close the door because the you know the kids are going to come in with a crisis the minute your pants are down!). No hovering in public toilets by the way! Ensure that you fully empty your bladder by relaxing your tummy and pelvic floor.
Caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks are all bladder irritants so you may want to cut back on these.
And please, let’s not teach the next generation of little girls to go to the toilet “just in case” before they leave the house. You will be doing them a huge favour!
About the Author
Kate Boucher is a physiotherapist with over 14 years’ experience and mother of 3. She is a strong believer in a comprehensive, integrated approach to health. Kate enjoys working with mothers both pre and postnatally – whether it be to treat back and pelvic pain and instability or in addressing pelvic floor and core strength. She also understands the desire some have to return to high level sport and exercise and has intricate knowledge in establishing safe pathways for these goals to be reached.
You can find Kate at Go2 Health at Everton Park.
At Go Mum! we are famous for having a friendly and supportive exercise environment. But don't take our word for it. We asked Rachel, a Go Mum mum about her experiences of motherhood and exercise.
1. How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two children. Caitlin is three and a half and Thomas is about to turn one.
2. What do you most like about being a Mum?
Watching them grow and develop their personalities. Caitlin is now at an age where she can come out with pretty funny comments and ideas. Yesterday when I was trying to get her to talk she told me that she had lost her voice and that her mouth was in her leg! I love sharing with them things that I enjoyed as a child with my parents, be that blowing bubbles from soapy water in the bath with Thomas, or craft adventures with Caitlin.
3. Were you nervous about getting back into exercise after having a baby? If so, why?
I don't remember being nervous about getting back into exercise but I was a bit apprehensive about how I would manage to exercise whilst looking after a baby. Thomas was two months old when I did my first class at Go Mum and I remember that when he got a bit unsettled I popped him in the carrier for a while until that no longer worked and then Christine gave him some cuddles and he was fine! I've not had to worry about juggling exercise and childcare since as Christine is wonderful at helping out.
4. How long have you been training with Go Mum! Group Fitness?
Since January 2016.
5.1. Before starting with Go Mum! what level of understanding did you have about the importance of core & pelvic floor strength for pre and post-natal women? (out of 1-10, 1 being no understanding, 10 being a guru!).
I'd say a 2. I had some idea it was important but didn't know why. I remember going for a walk on my first day home after getting out of hospital with Caitlin (she was born by c- section) and I felt like I'd run a marathon before I got to the end of the road! After having Thomas I eased back into it much more gradually and through Christine have learnt lots.
6. What do you enjoy most about training with Go Mum! Group Fitness?
The friendly nature of the classes - everyone is supportive of one another - and the fact that I know my children are happy whilst I am exercising.
7. What are your main fitness goals for 2016?
To fit exercise into my life each day be that a Go Mum class, a walk or a swim. I like to mix it up!
8. Tips or tricks for new mums getting back into exercise
Know your limits - don't push your body if it doesn't feel right. And most of all enjoy! Exercise can be the last thing you feel like doing when you're sleep deprived but rarely do you feel worse for doing some.
9. What are you most grateful for as a mum?
Having two happy and healthy children and being able to watch them grow. I am so very lucky.
Thanks Rachel! We love having you and the kids in class and we will see you soon.
It can be daunting walking into a new class or gym but we have your back. Our trainers love helping out with your kids, and our classes are filled with everyday mums that are there for safe, fun, kid friendly exercise. We hope to see you in class soon.
This article was kindly written by a Go Mum! client, Kate. She shares her story in the hope of helping other mums realise that they are not alone and that there is a light at the end of the postnatal depression tunnel.
Post Natal Depression and Anxiety (PND) is far more common than most would think. I suffered PND after the birth of my second daughter but didn't after the birth of my first.
I initially spent approximately three weeks in the Post Natal Disorder ward at Belmont Hospital when my youngest daughter was about 6 months old. I was admitted as an involuntary patient. I simply wasn't coping. My youngest wasn't sleeping very well, I struggled with parenting my almost 3 year old and couldn't cope with any kinds of additional stresses that I normally would be able to. I kept telling myself I should be able to cope, after all I didn't have any problems after the birth of my first daughter. I thought I just had to keep going. But I hit a wall. I got angry. Angry at myself and my family.
I finally agreed for my family to have a home doctor visit me. She told us about Belmont's facilities for PND patients. It is an 8 bed ward mother and baby unit. I was breastfeeding and believed it was the only thing I was good at so I did not want to be separated from my daughter. I spent one night at the Royal Brisbane Hospital psych ward (which was a scary experience) and the next day I was transferred to Belmont Hospital (which was like the Hilton in comparison).
I was put on anti depressant and anti-psychotic drugs and received some amazing therapy. There was generally a midwife and psychiatric nurse on each shift so support was always available. I was assigned a psychiatrist who helped me identify how my PND developed and helped me work through these issues.
PND is an underlying hormonal imbalance that can be made worse by stressful events. This was my case. I spent 3 weeks at Belmont and commenced a course of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). Once home, I started to put into action some of the coping techniques I was taught and continued to go back for my course.
All went well for a few weeks until some stressful events triggered me again. I couldn't let them go, I wasn't sleeping very well, I got angry. I ended up back at the Royal Brisbane Hospital and then Belmont. My medication was increased and I spent a further couple of weeks as an inpatient. I was determined to get better. I still am.
I am enjoying being back at work, engage in regular exercise and am doing well. I have also become much better at accepting help when it is offered and not trying to manage everything on my own. I have no plans to stop my medication and believe we need to start talking about these experiences, to educate and help others.
About the Author
Kate is a mother of two and long term client of Go Mum! We thank her for her willingness to share her story and encourage all mums to seek help if they feel overwhelmed or don't feel like themselves.
Below are links to excellent resources on postnatal depression.
Also, our Go Mum! Advisory Board Member Amanda Bryen is a clinical psychologist that specialises in the treatment of postnatal depression and anxiety and does home visits.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty.
Today I was horrified by what one of my clients told me. So much so, I haven't been able to think about anything else since, and I am now writing this article madly before school pick up when I should really be tidying the house and prepping for dinner. But the need to get this off my chest trumps domestic duties.
Cassie* was contacted recently by a major women's fitness franchise (you can probably guess which one) because a friend had listed her when they joined up as someone who might be interested in joining. Nothing unusual about that, it is common practice in major gym chains. The sales person (which turned out to be the owner of the gym) asked my client if they had any concerns about commencing exercise at the gym. Also not unusual and a responsible question to ask. The shocking part was to come. Cassie informed them that she had some pelvic floor issues and needed to adjust her exercise accordingly. So here is the bit that freaked me out...the sales person told her to do some skipping to strengthen her pelvic floor. Oh the horror!
So here is why I have got my knickers in a twist:
1. There is no text, course, seminar or Google Search I have done on pelvic floor safe exercise the suggests skipping as a strengthening exercise, EVER. Skipping is a high impact exercise and listed in the "Exercises to Avoid" Section of the Pevlic Floor First website by the Continence Foundation of Australia.
2. This advice was given over the phone without any knowledge of Cassie's medical history or a pelvic floor assessment.
3. This is a major franchise whose target market is women. It is estimated that 1 in 3 women experience pelvic floor weakness so they really should be making pelvic floor safe exercise a priority.
Before I started writing this blog article I posted Cassie's experience on a Facebook Group that is made up of trainers and health professionals that have a specific interest in pelvic floor safe exercise. I wanted to make sure I wasn't crazy and hadn't missed some recent research on skipping and the pelvic floor. The members of this group were also horrified but not entirely surprised. There comments speak for themselves:
"Wow. Just wow. I can feel myself prolapsing just thinking about it."
"Yep, horrified, but I've heard it before."
"That is pretty bad conduct and you have the right to be terrified. There is no excuse to give such advice - and over the phone - in today's information rich world. Especially in a ladies gym...oh dear..."
The saddest thing in my eyes is that it isn't entirely the salesperson's fault. Education on the pelvic floor is not included in the Cert II or Cert IV in Fitness in Australia and from the feedback I received today it is the same in other many other countries (except France, they have really nailed postnatal care). As both men and women have a pelvic floor and both sexes can sustain damage from improper exercise technique, there is no reason why this information should only be limited to women's focused fitness education. Here is what some of my Facebook colleagues had to say about pelvic floor training in the fitness industry:
"I have a degree in Exercise Science, multiple certs and courses. But it wasn't until I went through rehab with The Tummy Team nearly 6 years ago that I started really learning about the deep core. I went home and cried. I screamed in my car. And I hear the same from women around the world when they first figure all this out. It's slowly starting to shift. Slowly."
"The reality is that we aren't given enough knowledge in our fitness courses about safe pelvic floor training methods...unless we are curious enough to do research about the subject...we wouldn't know anything about pelvic floor from the fitness course programs, that's the root of the problem. And that's why we hear these sorts of comments...not enough knowledge."
"This is exactly why I would love to see every women's only gym being represented at the Women's Health and Fitness Summit. They need to be there. They need to be SEEN there."
So there are a few ways we can approach this problem and ensure more women get the help they need, don't live with incontinence unnecessarily or create a prolapse.
If you have a story, opinion or solution related to this topic, we would love to hear it.
What happens when a group of trainers and allied health practitioners get together to discuss women's health? Inspiration, information and a whole lot of fun!
Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Women's Health and Fitness Summit in Melbourne. To be honest, this is the second year in a row I have attended and I would sell my left kidney to get there. But fortunately I had enough Flybuys Points to get me there and my sister put me up for two nights so no kidneys had to be sold.
The event opened with some inspiring guest speakers (all of which made me cry like a baby with heartache and happiness for their journeys). A real highlight was hearing Kerryn Harvey share her story of recovery after a minor bike accident in 2013 left her with an aggressive bacterial infection that resulted in the amputation of her arm and shoulder. Since then, she has rebuilt her body to achieve a silver medal in the amputees triathlon world championships. If that doesn't inspire you to overcome your barriers to exercise, I don't know what will.
We then got stuck into the sessions. There were a couple of real highlights for me. The first was a practical session by Kylieanne Farrell from The Movement Room entitled Moving with Prolapse. She talked about the impact that environmental factors such as sleep, nutrition and stress can have on a women's prolapse symptoms on any particular day. I think this is an important point, not only for women with prolapse but for all women. Training within our boundaries and being in touch with our bodies can have a great impact on the effectiveness of our exercise choices.
An eye opening session was conducted by Antony Lo from The Physio Detective entitled Stop Hurting Women with Exercise. Antony likes to challenge popular beliefs about exercise and encouraged us to challenge the status quo and think more broadly about how we train women. For example, he believes that physios and trainers "hurt" women with exercise by:
Over the weekend I also attended a much needed seminar on marketing (I much prefer to move than to market) but it was a great presentation and I promise to add the ideas to my long list of 'to dos'. I also attended a session on diastasis recti from a Melbourne physio. This a topic close to my heart (and stomach) and there was plenty I took away from this session. I also felt great admiration for the presenter as she kept her composure and diplomatically managed questions from accomplished physios in the audience that challenged her points.
Possibly the biggest difference to last year's event is that this time I was not in a room of strangers. Along with the connections I made in 2015, there was also a small contingent of Brisbane practitioners and trainers as well as other contacts I have made via social media in attendance. It was great to put a face to the names and we all enjoying talking at every opportunity we could get. Melbourne of course is never short of a good place to eat and we all braved the fashion police and went to dinner in our #activewear.
If you are a fitness professional that trains women, I strongly encourage you to attend this event. Feel free to drop me a line and I will connect with you there next year.
WE recently had this question raised within our Closed Facebook Group (Go Mum Community) and thought it might be useful for mums everywhere.
RESPONSE FROM ADVISORY BOARD PSYCHOLOGIST AMANDA BRYEN:
Thank you for your question – it is a good one.
The first thing to ask your friend is: “How long have you been feeling like this?”
Let her know that the Baby blues occurs a few days after the baby’s birth, and then will go away after 3 or 4 days (maximum one week). The Baby blues are very common, it is said to be caused by the big hormonal adjustment happening in the woman’s body.
However, if the new mum continues to feel very emotional and ‘out of sorts’, ‘not myself’, extreme fatigue, irritable, irrational thinking, sad, down, angry, anxious, and/or has mood swings, and it has been going on for more than two weeks and is affecting her life, then it is definitely not the ‘babyblues’, it is more likely to be PND.
See the BeyondBlue website for information and facts about perinatal disorders – weblink:
What to do and say to encourage her to seek help:
“I think it would be a good idea to get some extra support. Have you thought about talking to your GP about things? The doctor may refer you to a counsellor. There’s also a quick 10-question mood assessment online at BeyondBlue”.
Weblink to online assessment:
All the best in your endeavours to help a new mum – you are doing the whole family and community a wonderful service!
Clinical Psychologist, Brisbane.
Hi! I'm Amanda - Clinical Psychologist and owner of Caring 4 Mums. I offer a dedicated perinatal service for expectant mums and new mums & dads (antenatal and postnatal care). My services range from caring for the carer (new mums), infant care, parenting information, education & strategies, through to therapy for anxiety, sleep deprivation, birth trauma, anger, and ante/postnatal depression (PND).
My focus is to provide mums and their families with an approachable, sensitive, and professional service and my home-visit service provides a truly convenient option for new parents.
Every so often we introduce our loyal readers to a Go Mum client, so you can meet the real mums of Go Mum, understand what motivates them to train and maybe get some hot tips from them on how to juggle husbands, kids, shopping, school runs....the list goes on!
Well this month, it's time to meet Annabel, one of Go Mum's amazing Personal Trainers! Operating out of her Samford home gym, or with you in the comfort of your own home (yes, she will come to you!), Annabel loves to work her clients so they are challenged but not beaten - you will find muscles that perhaps you didn't know about, but you will still be able to function! Best of all, the kids are welcome!
We hope you enjoy meeting Annabel - if you are interested to book a PT class with Annabel, or join us for group sessions at our Arana Hills and/or Enoggera locations please don't hesitate to get in touch via our Facebook page or HERE at the Go Mum website!
GM: Why did you become a PT?
AF: I'm passionate about health and fitness. Not obsessively but see it as an integral part of daily life. I enjoy working with people and helping them to achieve their goals. I get a buzz when my clients walk away from their sessions feeling positive, energised and empowered. We all, deep down, strive for balance in our lives, and health and fitness play a key role in achieving or maintaining this balance.
GM: What is your favourite form of exercise?
AF: I love Pump (weights) and Spin (cycling) classes. I also love the Stairmaster. It's a constant challenge that never leaves you feeling like you've cheated :) ... 30mins and you're done! An efficient workout that is great, both for cardio fitness and leg/glute strength, when you're 'time poor'.
GM: What is your Go-To lunch to keep your energy levels up?
AF: At the moment it's baked beans with baby spinach stirred through it, with a slice of Helgas wholemeal grain bread, toasted!..... Bananas are at hand too!
GM: What are your top 3 tips for mums returning to exercise?
1. Avoid weighing yourself every day. Weighing yourself too frequently could become disheartening and actually distract you from the bigger picture. Once a week is more than enough and that's if you're exercising regularly and are on a meal plan. Taking your measurements every 4-6 weeks is a far better means of assessing how you're going.
2. Make sure your exercise goals are achievable so you taste success. This will keep you on track and motivated.
3. Ease back into exercise gently and listen to your body.
GM: Who inspires you?
AF: My 3 daughters! Every day they make me proud on some level.
GM: What are you reading at the moment?
AF: The 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman - A very interesting read that makes you further better understand your children.
GM: What is your favourite way to spend a kid-free day?
AF: Not doing much at all!!...... A day lazing on the beach,or having a glass of wine and watching a DVD! or BOTH!! :)
Exercising for Mental Health - by Amanda Bryen, Clinical Psychologist
We all know that we want to (or, need to!) improve in the exercise department. It can be helpful to use the term ‘activity’ rather than ‘exercise’, as it helps us to appreciate that keeping more active in many and varied ways can provide physical and mental health benefits. The current health recommendation is that we keep physically active for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. The mental health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity are numerous - some important benefits include:
As a busy mum however, it's often easier said than done! So what are my top tips for ensuring mums are keeping active not only in order to keep up with their kids, but to ensure their mental well being? Below I have outlined three of my top recommendations for keeping active!
1. Choose activities that you actually like! Don't sweat it out in an environment you don't like, doing exercises you loath! Find what you enjoy – and do it regularly. Find an activity that works for you – and fit it into your life in a way that will work for you. If we like the activity, then we are more likely to do it – and we are more likely to feel the mental wellbeing benefits flow from it as well. We have to actually make time for the activity and schedule it into your diary so that it gets done. Then…just do it! So, if you enjoy walking, walk. If it’s dancing, dance. If it’s swimming, swim. If it’s running, run. If it’s cycling, cycle. Maybe it’s yoga. It is good to mix your physical activities around – change things up occasionally to keep life interesting. Make time for you – it’s called self-care. And as a mum, you are doing something most important - Caring for the Carer!
2. Get active outside in the great outdoors! Outside activity can be particularly good for our mind. Benefits of getting outside for exercise include an increase in sensory stimulation, connection to nature, and production of feel-good hormones (endorphins). Being outside meets our human need for sensory stimulation, and helps to keep us mentally optimistic and motivated. Think about the benefits of feeling the wind against your face and in your hair, seeing and listening to the birds, ducks, kookaburras, and other wildlife in the neighbourhood, smelling the jasmine and fragrant flowers in season, noticing the gum trees and eucalyptus leaves, being in the bush and near waterways, and acknowledging & smiling at others as we pass each other by. When we exercise outside we can practice living in the moment and being aware of what is around us in the natural environment (mindfulness). Our body produces feel-good hormones (endorphins – natural mood lifters & pain relief) when we are enjoying our activities. Being active outside has wonderful benefits for our mental wellbeing as we feel in tune with nature, and more connected with other humans around us.
3. Do it for confidence and wellbeing benefits! Keeping physically active boosts your confidence day by day. When we complete an activity that we value, it improves our self-confidence and overall self-acceptance. By doing a physical activity on a regular basis (e.g., three times a week) we gain a sense of achievement. Little successes add up and help towards feeling a sense of accomplishment and control over your life. Success after success builds confidence in yourself and bit by bit you will become more able and productive in your life. We all need a healthy sense of self-mastery, and keeping physically active can be a good way to achieve it!
Amanda is a Clinical Psychologist and owner of Caring 4 Mums. Amanda offers a dedicated perinatal service for expectant mums and new mums & dads (antenatal and postnatal care). Her services range from caring for the carer (new mums), infant care, parenting information, education & strategies, through to therapy for anxiety, sleep deprivation, birth trauma, anger, and ante/postnatal depression (PND).
Amanda's focus is to provide mums and their families with an approachable, sensitive, and professional service and her home-visit service provides a truly convenient option for new parents. For more information: http://caring4mums.myob.net/ or http://www.gomumgroupfitness.com.au/go-mum-advisory-board.html
At Go Mum! we are constantly learning and seeking out the best women's health advice and local practitioners. In this blog you will find articles from women's health practitioners that are passionate and experienced in their fields. We hope you enjoy the blog and encourage you to support these local businesses.