39: Why to pay attention to your pelvic floor health postpartum. World renowned PT Julie Wiebe tells us what’s normal and not postpartum.
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Admit it, most of us weren’t even aware of the significance of pelvic floor health either when we got pregnant or until after we had kids. And if you’re like me, you didn’t realize the importance of getting the pelvic floor checked out postpartum! To this day I have only been once, and my baby is over a year and a half old. In this episode Julie Wiebe, a sought after physical therapist and author with twenty plus years experience, is going to tell us why incontinence, heaviness, leaking, pain and discomfort are NOT normal even though sometimes society has us believing that.
A mom of two sons, Zoe and Zack, Julie feels fired up about empowering mamas to not only recover from pregnancy in a healthy way, but to reframe what aligned “physical fitness” looks like for their bodies. As an athlete herself who has experienced the physical changes of pregnancy and new motherhood first hand, Julie speaks about some of the misconceptions mothers are given.
For instance, doing things like traditional “Kegels” improperly can actually do a lot more harm than good. She also educates on proper form when we approach exercise and physical therapy. A core that is too tight, for instance, can actually exacerbate things like incontinence. Because us mamas are not, not often well-versed or taught about pelvic floor health by our doctors or nurses, we need women like Julie to enlighten and inspire us.
Her Diaphragm/Pelvic Floor Piston Science concepts are used and implemented by rehab practitioners and fitness professionals all over the world. This inspiring and hard working mama can be found in her clinical practice in Los Angeles or through her online courses, lectures and speaking engagements. If you just assumed slight leaking during exercise and discomfort during sex were normal postpartum, think again. Julie is going to explain why we are being misinformed assuming that we can’t have optimum pelvic floor health postpartum.
[05:12] Julie was motivated to help mamas with pelvic floor health, from her own experience of motherhood and meeting many moms who hadn’t been educated in the importance of the pelvic floor.
[07:26] Julie believes some mamas don’t get their pelvic floor checked out postpartum because there a lack of understanding that there are solutions.
[08:36] Our bodies do not have to fall apart after pregnancy!
[10:11] Pelvic health concerns can absolutely affect your emotional state and confidence.
[15:06] When she first had her babies, her OB gave her advice that was counter to what she knows now about pelvic floor health to date. The paradigm has shifted and there is now more info out there.
[20:07] Heaviness, pain, leaking or a feeling of sagging in your vagina or a sign that you should see a pelvic floor specialist.
[25:06] There are millions of births in the US each year and only a small percentage of physical therapists that specialize in the pelvic floor
[32:15] The research we have around how exercise affects delivery is that there hasn’t been found to be a relationship between, over exercising and harder deliveries.
[34:44] Julie speaks about being careful about our messaging around physical fitness during pregnancy because it’s so healthy to use your body.
[40:19] Abdominal separation is normal and common, Julie says if you have the genetics, then you probably could get a pretty good size diastases.
“Pelvic floor health is just not something that people hear, you know; when you think of physical therapy, you think of shoulders, knees and low backs.”
“It’s the norm inside of our culture to think that your body’s going to fall apart after pregnancy.”
“The emotional, spiritual, and physical world is so intertwined and you know, your role changes, your body changes, you don’t know how to put your pieces back together again.”
“There still needs to be a lot of education (about the pelvic floor). It just takes a long time to turn the titanic.”
“We anticipate we would have about $4, million new births this year and there’s only 3,300 pelvic health pts here in the U.S.”
“Pelvic floor and abs all work together and so you can overwork any part of your body, especially if that’s the only part of your body you’re focusing on.”
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