Five Things Friday: Pelvic Health Edition

I decided to switch it up this Friday and do my list on one of my favorite topics – Pelvic Health

Five things you may not know about {your} pelvic health:

1. Did you know your pelvic floor is a main component of your core? Also, side caveat, everyone has a pelvic floor – it is not an exclusive body part to women :). Continuing on… when most people think about core the first thing they think of is the abdominals and while yes they are apart of the core they are far from the whole story. You can think of your core as a canister, pop can or even a pistoning system (stick with me on this one). It is comprised of four main parts, the pelvic floor muscles, the deep abdominals (transverse abdominus aka TrA or TA), the diaphragm and your deep spinal muscles (multifidus). So while the abdominals are important, if you want a really healthy, fully working, well-oiled-machine of a core you need to look at all the parts. This especially includes your pelvic floor muscles and your diaphragm.

Image from Girls Gone Strong Post

2. This takes me to point two. How you breathe is vital to your pelvic health. Ever watch a baby/toddler/young kid breathe (that has no medical problem)? It’s pretty much all from the stomach. No large chest or shoulder movement when they breathe. It’s how we all naturally breathed in and out every day. It is very common, especially in women nowadays to have little no movement in your stomach when you breathe and even have trouble to get your stomach to move with your breath. It can take practice. Unfortunately the impact of societal pressures of always looking your best, trying to be smaller, don’t let your stomach show, etc. etc. has been awful for the natural movement and breathing pattern our body needs to function properly. See the gif below from Burrell Education’s website, it’s one of my favs.

 Source above

This is showing how our core system works together seamlessly with each breath we take in and out. With an inhale our diaphragm extends down in to our chest cavity causing a natural descent of the pelvic floor muscles and expansion of our abdominals (due to our spine there’s not a lot of movement “back” of the deep spinal muscles, but there is some). Then with exhale the diaphragm returns up in to the chest, the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscles pull in slightly. The piston system make a little more sense now? With relaxed breathing neither the inhale or the exhale movements are very large, but they’re vital. If you spend all-day every-day holding your stomach in breathing out of your chest you are losing out on the natural stretch and recoil that your deep core system/muscles need. Add in life stressors that make getting in to a normal breathing pattern even harder.

3. If you are experiencing an issue related to your pelvic floor (e.g. pee a little – or a lot – when you cough, sneeze or laugh, leak a little -or a lot – trying to hold back going to the bathroom with all your might, going to bathroom ump-teen times a day, feel a heaviness in your pelvic area, have some discomfort – or a lot -in your pelvic region with daily activities or intercourse, etc.) this isn’t somethings that’s “normal” just because you’re a women and maybe you had a child or 2 or 3 or 4…. It’s your body telling you that somethings not working right together. Spoiler alert – and you don’t have to live with it. Whether you’ve had a baby or not if you’re experiencing these issues and a doctor brushes you off because you’ve had a child or because you’re a women or because you “just need to relax more”, find a new doctor. Period. This is not okay and you should not be treated that way by a medical provider. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it agin, I’ll say it over and over again. Common does not equal normal. A shameless plug for my profession there is more and more research coming out that conservative measures, specifically Physical Therapy/Physiotherapy is super effective and should be in the first line of treatment. Ask your doctor about it, be an advocate for yourself. The pelvic health specialty is gaining more traction so it’s getting easier to find a PT that may be able to help you!

4. So while both men and women have pelvic floor’s this point is specifically for women. So men, if you’re reading this you may want to skip over it, but maybe not – I think it’s important for both sexes to know about the other, but I also love pelvic health, so my viewpoint may be skewed from a lot of peoples. Maybe. Did you know your vagina is like a self-cleaning oven? Yes I said the “V” word. It’s a normal part of our anatomy, it’s a part of our body. You may not be comfortable with saying it, and that’s okay, but I have no problem saying it, it’s just a body part. Yes, I may still get a little rosey in the face time to time discussing female or male anatomy and other things and issues related to it, but I am a show it in my face, highly emotional person, so even though I am very fine with talking about and saying the correct terms for the nether region body parts, old habits and tendencies die hard. I’m not embarrassed personally to be talking about it, but I know it can make others uncomfortable and it can come through on my face whether I want it to or not. Back to the point at hand. I completely understand wanting to make sure you are being clean and preventing excess bacteria and such from entering your vulvar and vaginal area, but you do not need to wash/clean/douche/etc your vagina. This can actually do more harm than good by upsetting the bacteria in your vagina and making your more likely to have issues. If you feel the need to “wash” up just rinse with warm water over the area is all you need to do.

5. Lastly, a more general tidbit. Pelvic health is important at every age. Pelvic health issues aren’t just reserved for women who have had babies. Pelvic health issues affect both men and women across the lifespan. From when we are little to when we are old. Creating good toileting habits from when we are just learning to control our bladder and bowel systems are crazy important. Then with going to school and the issue of creating schedules around using the bathroom or anxiety of using the bathroom in public. Adding in childhood sports, body image issues, overuse and extreme athletics from a younger and younger age. In general your kid may be fine and do well with these changes, but especially in young female athletes the emerging findings of incidence of pelvic health issues is alarming. These issues often continue through this period of their life in to adulthood. Then add to it if the young female with pelvic issues eventually becomes a mother and you’ve got compounding factors and then that mother hits menopause and it continues… Going back to any person at any age, adult men are not excluded from this or even young men and boys. Pelvic health issues may not manifest in the same way as as females, but they can still happen. Into adulthood the potential for men increases just like women with changing hormones, decreasing strength, and just aging in general. So whether your 2 or 92 pelvic health is important, and it’s never too late, or too early, to start addressing it and creating better habits.

I hope you enjoyed and learned a thing or two from my post today. With me not working, going through these points are as much for me as they are for you, gotta keep the info fresh. Leave a comment or send an email with any questions related to the post. Have a good weekend!


<3 – Brittany

My current skincare routine

I am finally getting around to type up this post. I literally took the pictures of what I’m using oh about a month ago when I originally planned to do the post, whoops. And the funny thing is since I took the original photos I’ve been swapping a few things, but that’s how I do my face routine, I tend to change things out. The original pictures also make me want to paint my nails again, something I usually don’t take time to do and can’t do while the little guy is up because I smudge it easily anyways – trying to paint and chase after a toddler, ain’t no way. Continuing on…I normally have staples and a general outline that stays the same, but depending on the weather, my hormones, etc I may change a product here and there. I have found that for the past 2-3 months my skin has really improved in look and feel. I am attributing this to not only being more consistent in the products I’ve been using, using safe, high-quality products, but also a shift in my hormones from 1st to 2nd trimester. So I’m interested to see how my skin changes as my pregnancy progresses and in to postpartum period. I don’t say this to downplay the products I’m using at all, but I am aware of how much our internal body affects what goes on externally so just keeping it all in mind and in my perspective.

The past two years I’ve really overhauled not only my skincare routine but my products and the companies I buy from also. I am a sucker for aimlessly wandering the aisles of Target or Sephora or Ulta to look at all the new, fun and enticing products they have in the health and beauty aisles (and probably spending way too much money in said stores), and while I have been more conscious about my purchases and thinking about what I put on my body getting pregnant in 2015 pushed me to think even harder about these choices and research in to who was actually selling safe, natural and effective products. Anything I was putting on my body was getting absorbed and in turn could effect my unborn baby, that was a big deal to me. Also with age, I’ve really tried to be meaningful with my purchases so maybe I’m spending more on an item but if it’s high-quality and it works and it checks off the other boxes for safety, I’ll gladly pay more and buy one item instead of spending a smaller amount and buying a boat load of lesser quality products and potentially doing harm to myself in the long run. So, it’s been a slower switch with my skincare (and beauty/makeup) products then with some of my other for improved switches, but what I’m learning in the process and the companies I’m finding makes it all worth it (and the peace of mind).

One way I try to stay on top of what I’m using and not falling for false marketing/advertising is by using the EWG Skin Deep app and Think Dirty app


They both have databases (with different products that is constantly growing and changing) that list health and cleaning products in the stores to browse or you can even scan products while at stores to see their ratings. I have used EWG more so I will speak more to this one, but they are both beneficial. EWG gives an overall rating of safety for the product looking at it’s ingredients and there potential for overall hazard, cancer promoting ingredients, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergies and immunotoxicity and use restrictions. Think dirty is very similar. They both have drawbacks with not always being updated (products are constantly changing) and not having everything, but it’s a good place to start to see what’s in what you’re using. All of Beautycounter’s products fall in the 1-3 range on the EWG scale (it goes from 1-10, 1 is the best, 10 in the worst) and it’s not by accident, it’s because of their commitment to safety and bringing you the best products they possibly can. It’s also why it takes a while for them to come out with a new product, everything is extensively tested and retested. I am a consultant for Beautycounter and an amazing perk of that is I can get products at a reduced rate along with potentially getting additional income if anyone purchases from me, but I do not get paid just to talk about the company and the products – I just love them after using them for about 1.5 years. Also, even with being a consultant I have worked my way up to adding to my personal collection of skincare regimen. It’s still a financial investment for me, discounted or not, but this is my priority. Many of my daily products are Beautycounter, but not all. I love trying new products and while I sell for BC I am all for trying other brands that meet the standards I set for my skincare products. 

On to what I’m using right now! So here is a snapshot of all the products in my general routine. I don’t use them all everyday, 2x/day. I have never been a religious wash your face everyday person (or even nightly – I know… not the best), when I get tired and want to go to bed I just want to be in bed. right. now. I feel this way about dental health too – don’t worry I do brush my teeth every night, but I’ve made an effort to make flossing and tongue scraping a regular habit where as before I never did. Along the same lines I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort since I have the resources to be kinder to my skin at the end of the day. Sometimes I do just a quick water rinse, especially if I didn’t wear makeup for the day or use a norwex cloth to wipe my face, but If I have any makeup on I use the Nourishing Cream Cleanser to wash my face. It is a coconut oil based cleanser with aloe for additional hydration and witch hazel to help tone the skin. If I’m showering before bed I use the charcoal bar because that’s what’s in my shower and the cream cleanser is in my medicine cabinet, no other reason, lol, I love both just depends on where I’m washing my face. The charcoal bar helps to detoxify and remove impurities from your skin and is a best seller. Since I side on the drier side (especially during pregnancy) I don’t use this everyday but love it a couple times a week.  Moving on, after cleansing I use Primally Pure’s everything spray. This spray took some getting used to in regards to the smell. It has ACV (apple cider vinegar) in it and it’s not crazy strong, but there’s enough of a hint of ACV that it wasn’t love at first spray by any means. Now though, I can’t get enough of this toner. The ACV balances pH and the spray also decreases inflammation, soothes and tones irritated skin and more.  I use it after cleansing and periodically throughout the day for a little pick-me-up for my skin. It has magnesium in it which is also really beneficial to get topically (and can help with relaxation and sleep!)



This is one of my “switches” I was talking about earlier. During the day or if I cleanse in the morning I may use Beautycounter + facial mist #1 (brightening + vitamin C). The most helps to reduce the appearance of age spots and brighten your complexion. It just depends on how I”m feeling for the day on which one I choose.


After letting the toner set it I use Beautycounter’s Rejuvenating Radiance Serum. I love, love, love this product. It goes on smoothly, is light and airy and feels great. The Rejuvenating line is the “Aging Gracefully” line and has additional ingredients that helps to even skin tone, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and increase hydration. Music to this mama’s ears. 


I follow up the serum with the Rejuvenating Eye Cream, because, motherhood. But seriously the skin under our eyes is super delicate and sensitive and I’m not getting any younger, so any help I can get to keep it looking young and fresh I’m all for! It helps to reduce puffinesss and smooth fine lines and wrinkles while also decreasing those pesky dark circles. The formula soaks in quick and it doesn’t bother my eyes at all.


Lastly, I have not been using a traditional moisturizer for a while now, instead I’ve been using an oil for my moisturizing. At nighttime I use Primal Life Organics C-ex Vitamin C serum and for daytime moisture I use Beautycounter’s #1 or #3 facial oil (picture of #1 is further up in the post). Oil #1 is brightening+vitamin C for intense hydration, brightening, and evens your skin tone. Oil #3 helps to restore balance, camp and soothe your skin. C-ex is a nutrient rich, highly concentrated natural oil serum that helps to nourish and revive your skin. I finish with the oil because I don’t want it to block out the eye cream or any water based moisturizer I may use. If I’m needing an extra moisture boost I may use a couple drops of the oil with a traditional water based moisturizer, but lately I haven’t needed to (first trimester I did, my face was soooo dry – I don’t remember if that happened with my first pregnancy or not).

The C-ex serum has a steep price tag, but again, I love what it has done for my face, and you don’t need much each time you use it. I have used the same bottle for about 6 months, maybe even closer to 8. So yes, that one is a definite investment (PLO does sales every once in a while, so if you’re interested in it I’d get on their mailing list and wait for that – it’s what I did!). The serum is a collaboration between the owner of Primal Life Organics (she’s from Ohio, woot woot!) and Liz Wolfe a blogger that I have followed for years and highly trust for her recommendations. Her blog is called Real Food Liz, but she doesn’t just blog or talk about food, she’s extensively researched in to skincare and makeup and finding safer and more natural alternatives. She also is doing the same regarding pregnancy and postpartum, so I love hearing what she has to say.

I’ve edited this post it feels like a ba-jillion Times. I keep thinking of little points I forgot and going back in. Well I think this is the last edit I intend to make (we’ll see haha…) but after all this and saying how much I love my routine and what it has done for my face I figured I should show you a picture of my face… novel right?! Oiy… So below are three pictures one with makeup first and two sans makeup (holding BC’s new makeup remover and a yummy green smoothie!). A trouble area on my face has been my chin for a couple years and being a chronic pimple popper I have quite a few little red spots, scars and bigger pores in that area. I am trying to curb my pimple popping ways because it’ll never truly get better without that, but in general I’ve noticed a ton of improvement there and that also makes me extremely happy!


So that’s my “routine” for now. It may change in a couple months as the seasons change and what I’ve got going on in my life changes, but for now it’s working for me and my face has never felt better. If you have any questions about the products leave me a comment! Are there any products that you’re currently using and love?

<3 – Brittany

 

 

Weekend Ramblings + Recipes

Hello! I’m departing from my regular Friday post and just writing what feels best for me this weekend. I’ll pick back up with my five things Friday posts, but this week after a hiatus from blogging, I’m just going with the flow.

This week has been a nice slow roll getting back in to a daily routine. I had a wonderful almost full two weeks back in my hometown visiting with friends and family and not being rushed to cram it all in to a two or three day weekend. It was refreshing and just good for my soul. I’m from a very small town and my parents live out in the country/flat-land of Ohio and my little guy loved the ability to run out side and play in the backyard multiple times a day and towards the end the two weeks really warmed up to going for a gator ride just like his cousins. Our days are pretty lax back in Maryland with me not working right now, but the added slowness of being out in the country was nice. Not to say that there wasn’t craziness – my little guy is one boy of 6 grandsons under the age of 6 and my mom watches a different number of them three days a week, so there was always plenty of activity and wild intertwined. I almost felt bad coming back home with my little guy having so many less friends to play with daily, but he’s doing quite alright and he was so excited to see his dad and his two kitties. The time away was great, but it was equally as great to be back home.

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Checking out the outside cat herd at my parents house (this is not all of them).


Sisters just a little over 8 weeks apart!

Came home to beautiful birthday flowers! I hadn’t even come close to unpacking and organizing but seeing these flowers and lighting my new candle (that was al so a wonderful birthday gift) was a nice sight in the crazy of our apartment.
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I actually did a little bit of pointed meal planning for the week also. We loaded up at Costco on Sunday and then supplemented the rest of what we needed from Trader Joe’s and our local farmer’s market. Having the farmer’s market within walking distance has been ah-may-zing. It goes till November and it has been a summer weekly ritual that I look forward to every week. I made one of my favorite quick and easy dinners Red Thai Curry with Chicken. I first got the recipe years ago while I was working with Robyn Coale to help with eating habits and setting myself up for success with meal planning/prep and recipes when I was in grad school. She is an RD and NP, I have loved following her blog for years and as she has progressed in her RD work and gotten her NP she continues to be a favorite of mine to follow for not only good recipes but great information on health, intuitive eating, hormone regulation and more. Like I said I got the recipe working with her, but she has one that’s similar on her blog linked here. Here is my adaptation for it this week, since even with grocery shopping I never have quite all the ingredients.

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Red Thai Curry from The Real Life RD [adapted from Eat Live Run]

Ingredients:

•1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks

•1 tbsp coconut oil

•3 cups coconut milk, light or regular – I used ~2 cups of regular coconut milk and ~1.5 cups of coconut cream then about 3/4 cup water to get to the total liquid amount

•1 1/2 cups water

•3 tbsp red curry paste – The jar I buy is has between 3-4 tbsp of paste in it, so I just used the whole jar 🙂

•2 baby bok choy, chopped

•1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

•1″ knob ginger, grated – I used 1 tsp of ground ginger

•1 cup chopped snow peas

•2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ thick pieces

•1 1/2 tsp agave – I used maple syrup

•2 tsp fish sauce

•juice of 1 lime – I used 1 tbsp lemon juice

•1 1/2 tsp salt

•cooked rice or quinoa for serving

Directions:

1.Heat tl he coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. When

hot, add the ginger and saute until fragrant — 2 minutes.

2.Add the chicken and sear until not quite cooked through. Then, add

the curry paste.

3.Mix the ginger, chicken and curry paste together and continue to saute over high

heat for another two minutes.

4.Pour in the coconut milk and water, then add the bok choy, bell pepper, chopped

snow peas and sweet potatoes. Bring curry to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.

5.Stir in the fish sauce, salt, lime juice and sugar. Continue simmering over medium/low

6.heat until veggies are soft. This will take about 10 minutes.

7.Serve curry over rice or quinoa!
Here is a link to her website and another curry veggie recipe of hers using green curry paste.


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One of the other dinners I made this week was an Italian style pork roast. I’ve made a similar recipe with beef roast, but this week we had a big bone-in pork shoulder from a local farm and it worked perfectly. I was planning to make Nom Nom Paleo’s Kahlua pork but I haven’t bought the red Hawaiian sea salt it calls for, so I’ll make it eventually. This one was even more of a throw together what I had at home type of recipe. It’s loosely based on this slow cooker recipe I found and then also on verbal instructions from Eat Live Run that I saw on her instagram stories one day. The first night we had it I served it over spaghetti squash (no picture of that meal), and today I had leftovers served over a white potato. I personally think it’s really good. I love using the instant pot also, cooking that big of a piece of meat in just over an hour is really nice. I also cooked the spaghetti squash in it earlier in the day – it was a larger squash but still only took ~10 minutes.

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Fun side note: as I sit here and type this my toddler is eating dinner and pretty much whenever I look away from him to type he acts like he’s going to throw his food on the floor. Oof #momlife. He’s just about 15 months and so we’re starting to get in to the thick of toddler-ness, acting out and figuring out discipline and setting rules and boundaries. It’s an interesting journey that’s for sure.

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But back to the recipe. Here’s what I did:

Italian Style Roast

3-4 lb pork roast (mine was bone-in pork shoulder). If frozen defrost prior to cooking.

*Italian seasoning to coat both sides of the roast + ~2 tbsp for cooking

Large can of crushed tomatoes ~24.5oz

Half a small can of tomato sauce ~7oz

3 pepperonicini’s

1 onion sliced

1. Turn on instant pot to sauté setting and add in ~1 tbsp of olive oil. Season all sides of the roast with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

2. Brown all sides of the roast (2-3 minutes each side). Press cancel button to stop the sauté function.

3. Add in the rest of the ingredients. Close lid on instant pot and make sure valve is seton sealed position. Select manual setting and set timer for 55 minutes. Once timer goes off allow the pressure to come down naturally.

4. Remove meat and separate from the bone. Turn on sauté function to cook off some of the water off the sauce if desired. You can add the meat back to the sauce or keep separate. Serve over pasta, spaghetti squash, potato, or whatever your heart desires!

*I used a homemade blend from my Practical Paleo Cookbook

Carbs, carbs, carbs. That’s what my body has been craving, so white potatoes have been on repeat the last couple days. Baked potato two ways for this lunch! The Italian roast didn’t photograph to nicely, but I promise you it’s delicious.

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I have been eating both of these dishes on repeat this week (yay for leftovers!) and have not minded one little bit. I know some people hate leftovers, but I personally love them, so any recipe that makes enough to have some at least another day is a winner i.n my book.

This weekend was uncharacteristically hot for October – high of 84 yesterday.. 84!! We went to a local farm for their fall festival and it was a lot of fun and little guy enjoyed it, but it was so funny to see everyone buying and drinking apple cider slushes instead of hot apple cider. I have to say I was a little miffed to be dressing for the day and picking out shorts, but I made the the best of it and still paired it with boots and a lighter chambray top Thankfully there was a breeze so I didn’t get too hot – and I had on a black tang top underneath so if I needed to remove my outer layer it wasn’t a problem.

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Today was a lazy day, the way I like Sundays. With a slow morning making breakfast, a quick trip to the local farmers market – only got sprinkled on a little with the on/off rain -, football watching, grocery shopping & now baseball watching to cheer on the Cleveland Indians. Go Tribe!

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I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

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<3 – Brittany

Five Things Friday

Another week come and gone! This week has been a nice, busy, but relaxing week getting to visit with friends and family.

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1. Seriously, where did fall go?! It’s the official first day of Autumn today (my absolute favorite season) and it’s been in the upper 80’s pretty much all week (and humid) and is going to continue till almost the end of next week. It’s crazy. The leaves are still starting to really change and fall though and that is reassuring. We picked up some pumpkins today and we were all in tang tops and shorts, it definitely felt out of character.


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2. The pre-sale for Beautycounter’s Holiday sets were this week. And. You. Guys. There is seriously so much goodness coming up this fall/winter. I know that’s a major tease, but I just can’t help it. I’m practically bursting at the seams to see the kits in person.

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3. Honeycrisp Apples. I haven’t been in to apples too much lately/over the summer. I find that my body does tend to crave different foods with the seasons and in the summer gimme all the berries, cherries, & peaches. Now with the weather changing (… well sort of) I’ve started to crave the crisp crunch of a juicy apple and this time of year Honeycrisp are my favorite. I made a trip with my mom and sister to a local produce stand/market that I was told by multiple people had the best honeycrisp apples in the area and I was not disappointed. Dipping a slice in to some nut butter. So. Good.


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4. Back to Beautycounter, I have been using two items from their Rejuvenating line consistently over the past month and have been loving the results. The rejuvenating is the line for aging gracefully. I love knowing these products have some extra ingredients to help keep my skin looking young but does not have the harmful ingredients that many conventional aging products have. I am going to do a post on my skincare routine next week and will talk about these products a little more in depth then so stay tuned!

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5. Speaking of aging {gracefully}, it’s my birthday tomorrow! I personally love birthdays and while yes it’s always a little weird to be a year older I love celebrating birthdays and getting to acknowledge and be thankful for all that I have learned and how I’ve grown (figuratively because I haven’t literally grown taller in over a decade) over the last year. I will be right on the cusp of joining the 3-0 crowd. I have no “before 30 bucket lists” that I’m trying to get through over the next year, I am just excited to welcome another little one to our family and see what adventures are in store for us.


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Have a wonderful weekend!

<3 – Brittany

My day at Expo East

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Expo East for one day. I follow many different bloggers from the “real food” and “paleo” world and I had heard about Expo West this past spring out in California and longingly wished to be able to go to check out new products and goods coming out but 1.It was in California and 2.You have to be in the natural food world whether as a retailer or blogger or product producer, etc and none of those were me anyways. Well fast forward several months and after reading through a Whole 30 email post they wrote about being at Expo East in Baltimore in September and it really peaked my interest seeing as Baltimore is only 25 minutes away from where I live. So I checked in to it and the expo had the same stipulations as Expo West as to who could go. I had my blog, but I’m definitely not big by any means in my readership or reach right now. It will hopefully continually grow, but I’m not anywhere near the readership of the people I follow who I heard about the expo from so I didn’t really think that would be an option for me to go, but there was an ability for medical practitioners to buy a pass and being a Physio I was able to buy one and go check it out! So for looking at health products potentially for my patients and also getting to check out all the new natural and health food products, I was in.

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I was able to send my little guy back to his old Daycare for the day and I got peruse the convention center without interruption. While there I was talking to a vendor and they stated that this expo was about 3x smaller than expo west and I cannot even imagine how many vendors where there and I would have definitely needed more than one day to go through it all. I really could have used two days to check out Expo East, but was really glad I at least got to go for one day.

The expo took up the whole convention center. There are 4 floors and 3 out of the 4 had vendors in them. The third and fourth floors were the “hot products” pavilions and the booths were a little bigger but still had a lot of vendors. The second floor was mainly all educational sessions (I believe) which I did not attend and then the first floor was the other area with all the other vendors and was huuuuge and had so many different companies and booths to walk by/through. I have attended the APTA’s (American Physical Therapy Association) big yearly combined sections meeting and that’s big and the exhibit hall is a lot to take in and go through, but this was seemed so much bigger (and probably was). I was there from when the vendor halls opened in the morning at 9:30am till almost 2:30pm. Towards the end of my day I didn’t feel like I had done a lot, but then I looked at my Fitbit and was at almost 13,000 steps for the day. I wasn’t quick, but I was on my feet and constantly moving all day – and walking back to the car and sitting in my car riding home my right low back/SI and side was telling me so. That’s normally where I feel the most discomfort when I am more active, but it wasn’t too bad thankfully.

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I didn’t eat too big of a breakfast and actually never even had a formal lunch. There were so many samples to try and multitude of food options that I didn’t even need to. I tried to be careful and not over-do it especially with sweet foods and I did pretty good. My stomach felt a little off in the evening, but really not too shabby for all the different foods I tried. It was fun to meet and see many of the owners of companies/products that I love and also see some of the new products they are going to be launching. It also was nice to try some products that I’ve been too apprehensive to purchase in the store because I’m afraid I won’t like it and they’re normally not the cheapest items around. I value mine and my families health and I do my share of buying items to try them out, but I also try to be smart and really only try out items that I’ve head something similar and know I will enjoy or it really sounds good. One of the items that I really liked that I had wanted to try but had been on the fence about buying myself was drinkable veggies. The traditional drinkable veggie – V8 – was never anything I liked and I’ve always been wary of trying a gazpacho soup also, so I was just apprehensive. There were two main companies that I tried of drinkable veggies: Zupa noma and Bonafide Provisions. I am kicking myself because I didn’t try all the flavors, but I did try several of each and I was pleasantly surprised because they were really good. I’m excited to buy them occasionally and have on hand as a good “snack” option to hold me over between meals or even as something to eat eventually during labor as having good nutrient base, calorie profile and easy to get down since you drink them. The flavors that I tried of Zupa that I really enjoyed were the Yellow pepper turmeric and tomato gazpacho. Bonafide provisions (they also sell bone broth and use it with their veggies) that I enjoyed were Renew and Revive.

Side note – most of my pictures were taken from my instagram stories, so they’re not the best and will most likely have words and hashtags and such on them. I didn’t get pictures of everything so I may grab stills from websites also.

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There were definitely trends in a lot the products. Many companies are adding collagen to their products and matcha tea is very popular right now. There was also a lot of chickpea stuff and popcorn. I don’t feel the best with legumes so I didn’t try much (any?) of the chickpea products. I got to try a really good bottled matcha tea drink by Matcha Bar. It was super smooth tasting and even the plain without excess sweetener had great flavor. I was super excited to take a full bottle home with me, but stupidly put it in the freezer with dry ice on the way home and it exploded (extreme sad face emoji). I will be on the look out to buy it again for sure. Vital proteins also is coming out with a matcha collagen and I got to try that mixed with coconut milk and it was also really good. It’ll be on my list of items to buy from them. I love their collagen and got to take two of their travel collagen peptide packets. I love adding it to my morning coffee or smoothie as an added protein boost without added flavor. I also think it really helps my nails, hair and skin a lot.

So sad 🙁

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Another food that I love to use daily and try different varieties of is ghee. Tin Star foods had their ghee their, which I love and have used in the past. Another company I got to try was 4th & Heart. They are coming out with a chocolate ghee and it was to die for. They also have flavored ghee and I loved the California Garlic flavor. I was able to get a small travel packet of it and I cannot wait to buy some.

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I had been looking for Fire Cider in my local health foods stores and couldn’t find it, so I was super happy to find the Fire Cider booth and talk to the ladies there. They were so nice and great to talk to and I was able to get a small bottle to trial at home and found out where I should look to buy it in stores. Fire Cider is an ACV drink/tonic that is kicked up a notch. They have different varieties but the one I tried has honey, oranges, lemons, onions, ginger, horseradish, garlic, turmeric, and habanero pepper. You can drink it as a quick shot or dilute it in water. It has a serious kick and I have been taking it as quick shot for an immune boost and also to help with the wonderful acid reflux that I’ve been getting with being pregnant.

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I love finding options for snacks that aren’t always sweet. Don’t get me wrong I love a piece of dark chocolate or candy of some sort, but sometimes I’m just craving salty and 4505 Meats had several flavors of pork rinds and they were delicious. I’ve never really had pork rinds (chicharrones) as truthfully I thought they sounded kind of gross, but I really like them and the BBQ flavor was so good.

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I have been eating Siete tortilla chips for months now and love them. They are a great gluten free alternative to regular tortilla chips and I don’t think you can tell the difference at all. They are actually my tortilla chip of preference. The lime is my favorite (they have original, lime and nacho flavor). I was able to try their gluten free tortilla varieties and I was super impressed. The almond flour one was most like traditional flour tortilla but I liked them all and the cassava and coconut was my favorite (they also have a cassava + chia tortilla).

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Wild Friends nut butters were SO good. The picture below is a new product of oats + a packet of nut butter and it was divine. I can’t wait to purchase some for my pantry.

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There were several nut milk companies and I didn’t try them all, but several of them and Elmhurst really stood out to me. Each milk (they have unsweetened and sweetened varieties) had a simple and clean flavor and you could actually taste the nut that it was made of. It reminded me of making homemade nut milk but without all the work. We generally use almond milk at home and both the sweetened and unsweetened varieties were great and then as a treat I tried the chocolate milked peanuts and mmmmm is all I have to say about that!

For reference here is a picture of the ingredient list of their milks. Like I said – simple – and really good.

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And last, but not not least Serenity Kids baby food. We did baby led weaning (BLW) with our little guy, but we did and still do give him pouch food from time to time with traveling nor when we needed a meal in a pinch. Any of the meat varieties always made me cringe and I could never bring myself to actually give him them, but at tim I wanted a good no filler/weird ingredient protein option in a pouch. Well now there’s Serenity Kids, and yes guys, I actually tried a taste of the three flavors and they weren’t bad at all. The product are launching this fall and I can’t wait. The creator/owners of the company were also wonderful ladies to talk to and I cannot wait to support their business and know I’m giving my kiddo quality food on the go.

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So there ya have it! I know I’m probably missing a brand or two that I really liked, but this is a pretty good round up of my top favorites. Definitely check out their websites and if you try any of them or have tried them let me know what you think! I’m so happy I got to go and it just helped to reinvigorate me to seek out good, delicious, & quality brands that are working to improve the quality of food products for myself and my family.

<3 – Brittany

Five things Friday 

It’s been a busy day (and last evening) but I am finally getting around to today’s post.

  1. I spent all day in downtown Baltimore at Expo East. It’s an expo for natural&organic food retailers and producers, beauty products, homecare products and more. The expo actually started on Wednesday and goes till tomorrow. I wish I could have gone for more than one day to really take in all that was there and see a session or two, but I’m just glad I got to go at all. I’m going to do a recap of it and my favorite brands/products I found next week. I’m excited to go back over all the goodies I got to try! 
  2. The weather switched up and was a lot warmer and more humid this week. Really made me realize how much I love fall and that I’m ready for sweater weather, crunchy leaves and cozying up with a blanket in the mornings and evenings.
  3. I am celebrating my 10 year high school reunion this weekend. That sounds so weird to say (type) out loud. I’m getting quite close to 30 and this picture rings so true. 
  4. Since we’re headed home for my high school reunion my little guy and I are going to be sticking around town for an extended stay (the hubs has to go back to work). I’m so excited to get to spend more time with my family and see friends that I don’t get to see often. 
  5. I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22… Not my age (see above) but the Cleveland Indians!! They just set a MLB record yesterday for the most consecutive wins in history. They are killing it and I cannot wait to see what the post-season holds for them.  ( source )

Have a great weekend!
<3 – Brittany

Exercise and my pregnancy

I have thought about and tried to start this post several times. Mostly because I wasn’t sure what angle I wanted to write about. Do I go over what I did with my first pregnancy? Do I just start with where I’m at right now? Do I just start from the beginning of this pregnancy? Etc., etc.

My little Crossfit-ing family

So what I decided (for now) is this post will be a a little bit of all the things I was thinking about above because it doesn’t feel complete if I don’t give a little bit of background. I have always been active with on/off spurts after high school and I’ve dabbled in a lot of different things from running programs, to all at-home DVD workouts, to a mix of gym classes and gym equipment workouts, to yoga, to triathlons. Leading up to my first pregnancy I had finally taken the plunge and checked out Crossfit (and convinced my hubby to do so with me!). As a PTA – on my way to being a PT – I initially thought Crossfit was the most ridiculously fad workout that programmed extreme workouts and just served to injure people and give the clinic I worked at business. The last comment was partially true – and can be still to this date, but in general I think that aspect has gotten a lot better at many gyms. Yes, there will always be people who push too hard and do too much and get injured, but Crossfit, in my opinion has come a long way in its mindset for the “average joe” coming in to the gym and scaling to still knock you out and make you dead tired and like you got a good workout in (whether the metcon workout is 4 minutes or 20) but also reducing your risk of an overuse injury or injury in general. This also depends a lot on the box (Crossfit gyms are commonly referred to as a “box”) you go to and the coaches there. I am lucky to have found a box that takes their programming and quality of their coaches very seriously. It means only the best for the members. I’ve talked about them before (I think??) – Crossfit Cove is the best.

Prior to being pregnant

I started Crossfit in August of 2015. I had done a lot of reframing my thinking around what a good workout can look like and also the Crossfit framework and why it maybe wasn’t so bad after-all. I had researched it a lot and so I knew I’d get my butt kicked (I was coming off a relatively no exercise time period after being in PT clinicals for 6 straight months), I was aware of what a workout would look like. I fell hard for not only the workout but the community that my box in-particular fostered. The owners are two of the most amazing people around and the love that they give to the box and business shows in how dedicated the members are to the gym. I was only doing Crossfit for about 3 months when I found out I was pregnant. The first trimester nausea and general “blah” feeling hit and I really backed off my workouts quite a bit, but then I felt really good in my second trimester and was able to get back to 1-2x/week of Crossfit workouts till I was about 34-ish weeks along. After that point the high intensity and movements of a Crossfit workout – even knowing I could scale as needed – just did not sound appealing to my body and I went in to more of a nesting phase favoring walks and more “gentle” movements.

Pictures above and below from the Crossfit 2016 Open fun and general workouts at Crossfit Cove

I’m about 4.5-5 months pregnant throughout these photos

I had my son towards the end of July 2016. I was in no rush to return to any high intensity workouts.  At about 2 months postpartum I did go to a workout or two. They felt okay, but not great and after trying it out I knew my body was just not ready for it. I overall felt really good after the birth (ya know, after being able to finally sit on hard surfaces again), but especially after trying to go back to Crossfit I just knew that wasn’t what my body needed at the time. This may not be the case for everyone, some may do just fine going back to working out at the 6-8 week mark (when/if the doc says it’s okay), but it needs to be intentionally guided and there needs to be an understanding of what is still going on in the mom’s body, because that whole first year (especially if the mom breastfeeds, but if not, it still is) is a hugely transitional time.

Here I am post-workout (I think) sporting my new Nike Metcons with a bump update

Side note: My feeling over this has evolved over the past 2 years, but especially the past year …With my education and training I truly believe in the postpartum, especially immediate postpartum period, as a time of rest, bonding with your baby and easy gentle movements. I am strongly against all the “bounce back”, “body back after baby”, “get rid of the tummy” mindset. I am not against wanting to feel more like yourself, wanting to feel better in your skin and being able to get back to exercise, but I think there are much better ways to do it than much of the mainstream media says and that the targeted ads to new moms are damaging. We spent 10 months growing a human inside of us, we birthed the baby and yes, it takes more than 6-8 weeks to get back to “normal” whatever that is. I know that for many mom’s complete rest and little activity is not a possibility, especially if it’s not your first baby, and I mean, you have a newborn so “rest” and “sleep” are relative terms also, but the shaming and guilt that is portrayed for those who don’t “bounce back” or get back to all they used to be doing right away is awful. I’m going to stop myself here and not go off on a tangent about postpartum care again…

Me – in the middle – with the owner+coach of my gym and another amazing coach. I seriously love these ladies <3

Continuing on, I really did not return to any regular exercise routine till about a month a half a go. So going in to this pregnancy was a whole different mindset and ball game, where my body was concerned, compared to my first. Granted I had not been doing regular exercise for a long consistent time prior to my first pregnancy, but it was still very different. I knew though, God-willing, there wasn’t going to be a lot of time between my pregnancies and that did affect my decision to (not) getting back to exercise, along with just enjoying this first year with my little guy. This sounds counter-intuitive, because research shows it’s better to be in shape/working out before and during your pregnancy, but I wasn’t completely inactive (I do have a toddler) I just wasn’t doing organized activity/exercise. I would actually argue that this past summer has been the most consistently active I’ve been in a long time. I’ve gone on more walks and trips to the playground than I can count. And pushing a toddler in a stroller, even a nice jogging stroller, is no joke after a little while. With such short time between my pregnancies I also knew that I didn’t want to wear my body down either. Crossfit is a great workout and I love it, but it’s taxing and it spikes your cortisol (stress hormone) and sticking to more easy movement activities felt best, especially with all the crazy hormone ride my body has been on since the fall of 2015.

Post-WOD glow taken the other week

I’ve been active this summer but not Crossfit active, so when I finally started feeling better in my second trimester about 4-5 weeks ago I felt ready to get back to Crossfit. Have I slightly cherry-picked my workouts? Yes. Have I been suuuuuper sore? Yes. Am I glad to be back in the gym? Yes. Like I said above, the community is like none other at my box and just being there gives me an endorphin rush – most the times no workout needed – it’s just an added bonus. One thing with this pregnancy is that I’ve started to get some right low back/sciatic pain and pubic symphysis pain earlier than with my first. I did have both of these symptoms with my first pregnancy – I think the combination of not being as physically fit, it being my second pregnancy, my body has already stretched once, etc has played in to this. It feels good to be building some increased external stability surrounding my pelvis but I’m also being careful and really trying to listen to my body and what it tells me day to day. Does that mean some mornings I had planned to workout it just doesn’t happen? You-betcha. While it’s disappointing at times I know it’s for the best. So in general I’ve been doing 1-2x/week since I’ve been back. On days I don’t get to the gym I normally go on a walk with my little guy or sometimes I just have several “rest days” a week and that’s okay. One thing I’m trying not to do is stress about it. The most important thing to me is growing this baby and being as “healthy” as I can, and each week that may look different and that’s just fine with me.

Have a good rest of your day! I’ll see you Friday for another Five Things Friday post.

 

<3 – Brittany

Five Things Friday

  1. I have had a hard time hitting my stride this week. With having Dustin (my husband) home an extra day I just haven’t gotten in to a groove. Last night and today especially I have just been in a funk. Part of it might be pregnancy hormones, but either way it’s not the funnest. I have a lot of thoughts swirling in my head regarding life plans and professional/career plans and it has just made for me feeling extra emotional. Phooey. I had planned to post about my workouts/Crossfitting while pregnant this week also, but the words have just not been flowing. So it will either be coming this weekend or next week.

  2. Enjoying fresh farmer’s market salads on repeat. I’m not a tomato lover, but we’ve gotten an heirloom tomato the past couple weeks when we’ve gone and the flavor has been amazing. You just really can’t beat the fresh flavors of homegrown/locally grown produce. So it’s been a huuuge bed of fresh salad greens, sliced heirloom tomatoes (avocado here and there), sliced goat cheese and a combination of Tessemae’s ranch and Primal Kitchen’s greek vinaigrette salad dressing – I have been obsessed.
  3. The weather has really cooled off this week. Being able to sit on the porch with a hot cup of tea or coffee in a cozy sweater and enjoy the crisp air. No sweater in the picture below as it was past the cooler morning phase – but still wonderful.

  4. We have two cats and my little guys LOVES them. Our one, Carlos, is much better with him than our other (Roo), but if we are monitoring them they both do not too bad. But especially if our guy is feeling extra cuddly and we give Carlos some neck scratches or are close by he’ll let him lay on him/hug him and give kisses. It’s super sweet to see him show affection towards the cats.

  5. We are hopefully going apple picking this weekend. We didn’t go last year and it’s a tradition that I love so I’m excited to be able to do that this year. The weather is supposed to be nice also which is a plus. Pictures from apple picking at a local farm in 2015 (my how things have changed – and not just my hair length and color!)


    <3 – Brittany

Five Things Friday

Happy Friday and Happy September!

  1. This week has been a little more low key for us. Our little guy caught a cold so we did a lot more around the house in the hopes of squashing the bug quickly. So lots of porch playing and walks in the sunshine. Thankfully we are on the upswing and he seems to be doing well and neither me nor the hubby have caught it so far.
  2. I finally got around to prepping/making several recipes for easy grab-and-go snacks. I made one of our absolute favorites Energy Bites from Gimme Some Oven along with another energy bite/bar recipe that was very similar I just added some extra seeds and such to it. And then breakfast blueberry banana oatmeal muffins. They all turned out great and it’s been so nice to have them on hand.
  3. I am so excited that Inkwell Press launches their 2018 planners next week! I have been using Inkwell Press Planners for the last 3 years and love them. I do use my phone to keep track of appointments on the go, but having the traditional pen and paper to keep track of things makes my heart happy. And I’m trying to keep things more streamlined where I write things down and having {most} everything in one place – constant work in progress – and having the planner helps. The covers and colors they are using for 2018 are gorgeous. 2018 is going to be another crazy year where organization and planning will be key (we will have two under two very shortly in to the year!) and I just cannot wait for the launch.
  4. I regularly listen to podcasts and while a lot of the podcasts on que I may skip a week here and there, there are several that I listen to pretty religiously every week. I use apple so there is a podcast app and it’s super easy to find, subscribe and listen to them. When I was working it was a great way to pass the 40 minute commute each way. My current favorites are:
    1. Young House Love has a Podcast
    2. Chris Loves Julia Podcast with Preston Pugmire
    3. Girls Gone WOD Podcast
    4. Balanced Bites: Modern paleo living with Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe
    5. The Pelvic Health Podcast
    6. The Modern Mamas Podcast – my newest addition that I’m loving
       

      I’m also cherry picking different podcast episodes related to pregnancy and birth which I will probably go over in another blog post all on its own. There’s SO much information out there and even though my little guy isn’t too old and it hasn’t been too long since I did the whole pregnancy, labor and birth thing I’m always searching to learn more to know, do and be the best I can related to those topics and motherhood in general.

  5. We have visitors coming this weekend! The in-laws are coming for a visit this weekend and I can’t wait to have some family time. The weather is supposed to be beautiful and it should be a fun weekend.

Cheers and have a good weekend everyone!

<3 – Brittany

Pelvic Health Physiotherapy – my profession, my passion

I tried thinking of catchy titles, but the more I thought, the more I kept coming back to the fact that I’m not witty (like at all – and if I do say anything remotely witty it’s normally an accident and/or I crack up at myself and then I just look weird, so that’s that, oooohhhh weeeellllllllll) and there’s really no reason to beat around the bush this blog is all about what I do!

So most of my family and friends know that I am a physical therapist (physiotherapist to everyone outside the US) and some know that I have moved towards working almost exclusively within a speciality, but most of the time if I get that far explaining what I do I normally just get an “oh” or “okay” and the conversation ends. Unless said person recently hurt themselves and then I normally get told about it also (which don’t get me wrong, I have no problem listening and giving out advice in this case, but just know that I normally spend 60-90 minutes the first time I meet someone to hear about the said problem they’re coming in for and to figure out a plan of action to help address it, and they’ve seen a medical doctor before coming to see me, so a 5-10 minute chat is not impossible, but not the most ideal situation to get advice and give out recommendations).

 

The great thing is that pelvic health, specifically pre and postnatal health especially, is actually starting to be talked about more in the media these days so more and more people are realizing that 1)It’s something we should be addressing more within our health and fitness system and 2)It’s not so weird or taboo to talk about this stuff. The not so great thing is that it is becoming a “trendy” topic and with that there’s now lots and lots of advice and recommendations coming out from not the most qualified sources and I cringe often when I read articles, but I digress.

 

 

On that note I want to say yes, I am a health professional, but this is just a blog with general information, I am not giving out medical advice and you should definitely consult with your physician or health professional for any medical advice.

 

Continuing on… A little background on my road to Pelvic Health PT

I knew in PT school I wanted to specialize, I just do better with a more specific goal and “area” of study. Pelvic Health is actually very broad and there’s tons of areas you can delve in to specialize even more, but doing general Physical Therapy is waaaaaay broad and a speciality was more my jam. I practiced as  a PTA (Physical Therapist Assistant) for four years before starting PT school and it wasn’t until I was a year in to PT school and working at a clinic that had a pelvic health specialist that I even knew the specialty existed – which is now crazy to me – crazy sad actually. So I got interested by hearing about it from a colleague and even though I wasn’t working with those clients I decided to take the plunge and take an introductory course on pelvic health. Another very personal reason was at that point I had been dealing with my own issues of urgency/incontinence for about 3 years – I had never been pregnant or had a child, and no specific injury that caused it, but I was dealing with it as a young 20 something (and ya know it’s not that uncommon). With my own journey with these symptoms and working as a PTA I didn’t know that PT could help me – like I said above, crazy sad. The only options I was given (at first, until I advocated for myself and found the right doctor) was medications with awful side effects. No beuno. Spoiler alert PT is what helped me. So no, it’s not the answer for everyone but it’s a dang good option for a lot of people. 

 I also had to know within my first three months of PT school if I even wanted to do a speciality to start planning my clinical rotations – so that also gave me the push to take the course. Nothing like dropping almost 1K for a weekend on something I didn’t know if I would even want to do afterwards. Buuuuut thankfully I fell hard and after that weekend I was obsessed and set on becoming a pelvic health PT and haven’t looked back since.

 

The best way to study for your first pelvic health course on an airplane is with a jack and coke

I did get one 2 hour lecture on pelvic health in school but then I found a great clinic out where I was going to be moving after I got married and was able to secure my final clinical rotation at a facility that specialized in pelvic health (we saw general orthopedic patients at times, but infrequently) and learned from some really great PT’s. Shout out to Her Health PT in Columbia, MD – if you’re in the area and need a PT I highly recommend this clinic! After graduation and passing my boards (woo!), I then got a job at John Hopkins and began working with general outpatient patients and pelvic health patients 50/50 and then transitioned to all pelvic health when I went back to work after having my little guy. I have been fortunate to be able to attend more continuing education courses and also have continued to learn and be mentored by two amazing PT’s in the pelvic health world with SO much knowledge (I also highly recommend them if you’re in Baltimore!). It has been hard living so far away from family and friends in Ohio the past 3-ish years, but the friends, mentorship and experiences I’ve gained being out on the east coast and working where I have has been invaluable.

 

 

A brand new PT!

Traditionally pelvic health PT has been called women’s health PT and while this is not incorrect, it doesn’t tell the whole story of who we (as a profession) as a whole treat. Pelvic health physio’s can treat men, women, children and anyone in-between, so while the treatment and association specifically in the US may have started out with an emphasis on women patients, that’s just a part of what encompasses pelvic health physio today. I personally have only treated women within the pelvic health realm and it is my personal comfort zone to be completely honest, but there are lots of great physio’s working with men and children – but in general there are not nearly enough of us.

 

 

Some of the general diagnoses or dysfunctions that I see and treat are:

  • Incontinence (unintentional leaking of urine or feces)
  • Constipation
  • POP (pelvic organ prolapse)
  • Pelvic pain (pudendal neuralgia, vulvodynia, vaginismus, painful intercourse/penetration, vestibulitis, dyspareunia, muscle spasm, endometriosis,scar pain,etc),
  • pregnancy and postpartum dysfunctions (diastasis recti/DRA, core weakness, low back pain, tailbone/coccyx pain, c-section scar pain, etc)
  • And more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I’m continuing to work with patients and with becoming a mother myself in 2016 I have an increasing interest in the prenatal and postpartum population. It was amazing to me being a pelvic health physio and going through pregnancy and seeing just how much our system (health system, policies for working mothers, etc) is not set up to to allow mothers-to-be and especially postpartum mothers to succeed or have adequate resources. Much of the focus is on the health of the baby and getting to week 40 and then after that the mother is essentially on her own. Yes, there is a 6-week checkup but for most that appointment leaves much to be desired when it comes to checking on the overall health of the mom. I’m not saying we should not be worried and very much concentrated on the health of the baby, but the lack of resources and concern overall for the mother is lackluster and the U.S. is waaaaayyyy behind in maternal healthcare to most other developed nations. In many countries a referral to a pelvic health specialist is a required and normal part of your postpartum care. I wish, I wish, I wish this was the norm for the U.S.

 

Also, so much of what women experience postpartum is thought to be “normal”, i.e. “I pee when I laugh or jump, I had a kid, what do you expect?” – this is common yes, but common does not equal normal! If this or some variation of this comment is you I want you to know there are medical professionals who can help, research has shown that conservative methods – physical therapy specifically – is very effective in treating these symptoms and a medication or surgery is not your only option, not by a long shot. And it’s not just doing kegels, there’s so much more to pelvic floor PT than kegels, if especially after the the 6 or 8 weeks postpartum you just don’t feel “right” or “normal” in your pelvic/vaginal area – speak up and find a provider that will listen to you. Some heal slower and it may be “normal” and healing along fine, but getting yourself checked out is never bad idea. Comments like these get me very frustrated especially because it’s so normalized. I love that more people are talking about it and it’s becoming normalized in that sense, but this side needs to be shared more, that you have options and don’t have to live with your symptoms – no matter your age. To quote Brianna Battles of Everyday Battles (awesome strength coach and trainer making waves in the postpartum fitness world, I recommend checking her information out also), “Postpartum is forever”. If you are interested in learning more about PT leave a comment below or send me a message I would be happy to try and connect you or point in the direction to find a physio/PT.

 

So… yea… I have an increasing interest in this area to say the least and there are so many avenues to explore, it’s exciting and daunting at the same time – there’s so much to learn! And my continuing education class list is always growing, much to the dismay of my hubby.

 

So there is a little snip-it (in probably way too many words, brevity is not my strong suit!) of what got me in to pelvic health PT and what it is. Every day there are better and more resources on pelvic health PT and I will probably refer to them often when I post about it. I have and continue to learn from amazing and wonderful physio’s and health practitioners that are churning out great work. Here are two articles from Tracy Sher (who I learned from at my initial Pelvic Health course!) on common misconceptions about pelvic health PT and what is pelvic health PT if you want to read a little more on what it is. Also a link to Julie Wiebe’s webpage/blog. I have learned a lot from her and she focuses particularly on returning women postpartum to high level fitness (another specific interest area for me). She teaches about the “diaphragm/pelvic floor piston science concepts” that can apply across the spectrum to a variety of populations and she’s just amazing. I am going to another one of her courses in November so be prepared to read more about her in the future!

10 common misconceptions about pelvic health physical therapy

What IS pelvic health physical therapy and why doesn’t Everyone know about it?

Julie Wiebe PT blog

APTA PT locator

Herman and Wallace Pelvic Health Practitioner locator

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

<3 – Brittany