An active mum of 6 in her late 40s, Kelly Newton was fed up with suffering from a weak pelvic floor, something many women experience after pregnancy and in later life. Discontented with the unattractive disposable knickers on the market, Kelly set about to create BP3 pants - amazing washable, leak proof underwear for incontinence and periods. We recently caught up with Kelly to ask more about her business, to learn more about BP3 underwear, and to get her thoughts and recommendations on pelvic floor health.
How do you juggle, running a business and being a mum to 6 kids?
I have 4 teenage girls and 2 adult sons so it’s actually been a lot easier for me to juggle than someone with little ones. Having 6 children I have always been pretty organised and time conscious so I think that has helped with me prioritising aspects of the business.
What made you decide to create BP3 pants and who are they designed for?
The idea came about after my own incontinence issues after having my children, which was then exacerbated after going through the menopause. I have always enjoyed working out and playing sports but it became increasingly uncomfortable and embarrassing due to my leakage. I hadn’t used traditional sanitary products in years and I didn’t like the washable pants that were on the market so I decided to make some of my own! The ladies that I play hockey with thought it was a brilliant idea and so I then decided to speak to a designer and get my ideas designed properly. It was really important to me that you couldn’t see the gusset so we designed it to be very discreet. I also really dislike VPL so we designed the seams with a scalloped edge. They really cannot be seen under even the tightest gym leggings. When I designed them I only really had me in mind but it was apparent that they would work really well for active women who still want to look and feel good, I wanted to give women their confidence back but to also feel attractive and feminine at the same time. My customers range from 13 up to 70 years old, they run, ride horses, play rugby, hockey, football, enjoy yoga etc.
How does the underwear actually work? Do they function differently for those suffering with incontinence and those women using them for their monthly cycle or post partum? Do women need to use more than one pair of BP3 pants per day?
Our Sporty range is only really for light leaks and for the beginning and end of your period. They can be used alongside cups and tampons on heavier days for extra security. Depending on how heavy your flow is will determine whether you need to change them during the day. The knickers have 4 layers of gusset. The top layer is moisture wicking which means it draws the moisture away from the skin. The second layer is a slightly thicker material which absorbs the moisture, the third layer is a waterproof material and the fourth layer is the outer layer of the knicker. The technology is the same for both periods and incontinence. The reason our Sporty range is just for light leaks is because of how discreet the gusset is. Most other period and incontinence knickers have a gusset that finishes at the waistband hence being able to absorb more moisture. We do also have a new range - our Hip Huggers - that is more absorbent and has minimal VPL.
Your products provide not only a practical purpose but should also give the wearer confidence. Is there anything else women can do to improve incontinence?
Most importantly - do your pelvic floor exercises. Even women who haven’t had children should do them. I would recommend seeing a women’s Health physio who can help strengthen and rehabilitate your pelvic floor, especially after having a baby and before doing strenuous exercise. Our knickers are not the answer to leaking, rather they are there to give you the confidence to get to the gym and work on strengthening your body.
Is there any advice you can share with us about pelvic floor health in general, and what women should know pre and post pregnancy?
I am not an expert so can only talk from my experience but DO YOUR PELVIC FLOOR EXERCISES! I was once told to pull up from those muscles every time I walked through a door or when I was waiting for the train. Get into the habit of that and it will be second nature to you. And I am talking to all women, young and old! Please speak to your doctor or make an appointment to see a Women’s Health Physio - don’t leave it, it’s not just going to disappear.
What advice would you give to those women currently suffering with incontinence and the emotional effects of it?
Stress and Urge incontinence IS embarrassing and absolutely nobody that I have spoken to has just rolled over and accepted that this is their way of life now. Don’t give up. There are lots of fantastic support groups, charities, Instagram and Facebook pages, come and check us out! DM me, I’m always happy to offer help and advice if you are struggling.
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