When I was pregnant with my first baby 11 years ago, I had NO IDEA that our country was not exactly the best place in the world to have a baby. As a young, healthy female, I did not have much experience with our healthcare system. I had been relatively healthy up until this point and certainly had NEVER been in a hospital myself.
Given my personality type being eager to please, I simply wanted to be a “good patient” and put my ENTIRE trust and care into the medical providers. With our medical culture, I was taught that there wasn’t really much I NEEDED to know or do to prepare for the delivery besides get a tour of the hospital and pack my bag. Oh yes, and take a birth class that talked about stages of labor, labor positions, and pain control options (which scared the heck out of me!).
To my absolute surprise, things DIDN’T go as I had imagined they would, despite being the “good patient”. I had broken my leg the week before the due date and my labor ended up being exceptionally long with 3 ½ hours of pushing and the need for suction to assist my little guy coming into the world. I ended up with a good amount of birth trauma and a bladder that could not function normally for the first couple of days after.
Fast forward to now, after having had 2 more babies and having been a pelvic health PT for 9 years, I've learned quite a bit. I realize now that I had over-tight pelvic floor muscles (that had been that way for years) and likely had no ability to actually contract, relax, or lengthen them correctly on command. My “pushing” was likely abdominal contractions and a clenched pelvic floor. But no one would have known that because that is NOT something that women are screened for during all of their prenatal visits.
I have also come to realize that the culture surrounding birth in our communities often focuses SO MUCH on the actual DELIVERY DAY, that we leave out crucial information for women when it comes to being and feeling physically prepared for their due date... not to mention the lack of guidance and care most women receive AFTER our babies are here.
The answer to this?
Women need to become MUCH more active in their care and EMPOWERED self advocates for their general health and pelvic health. But there is just SO. MUCH. INFORMATION. on the internet. As a natural researcher myself, I hate to say that even with my last pregnancy 2 ½ years ago, MOST of what I found online is discussion about how NOT to gain too much weight and stay fit. Plus, we are also planning for and thinking about our little baby during this time that it’s easy to not focus on our own bodies at all.
There wasn’t a clear consolidated place to find information on how to actually prepare my body for birth AND information about our pelvic floor health and guidance on the early healing phase and transitioning back to fitness. Where does one find this?
Enter Birth Ready & Beyond.
A pelvic health centered prenatal class that empowers women to:
Understand and guide their own bodies better through the labor process
Address any muscular or joint issues that could negatively impact or prolong the birth process well BEFORE their due date
And set them up for LIFE with the knowledge they need to heal their bodies and protect their pelvic floor health through their present pregnancy and beyond.
In this live class, I will be able to teach women what I get to teach my one-on-one patients and help THEM feel prepared for their birth.
I continue to see patient after patient have issues with tight hip and pelvis muscles and poorly coordinated pelvic floor muscles that often are unable to even RELAX. It’s actually the MAJORITY of my patients! When it comes to birthing, we NEED to be able to have both a pelvis that is not stuck (hello desk jobs and athletes with tight muscles) and a pelvic floor that has some semblance of coordination. When these things are in order, we can actually be much more able to have a vaginal birth WITHOUT excessively long pushing times and reduce our risk of needing a C-section.
To talk to women AFTER their births that I have worked with and hear their exclamation of how empowered they felt through their birth is pretty much the BEST THING EVER. Here is one such patient…
“I could not have gotten through the last few months of my pregnancy nor had near such a successful birth without Buffy on my team.”
Here are some things that I wish I had known (but didn’t have access to) with my first 2 births.
How to connect my pelvic floor to my diaphragm to make breathing my super power
That the pelvic floor has three jobs and they are ALL important… not just contracting.
Perineal massage (how to do it, why would I need it and what can it be helpful for?)
How to identify tightnesses in my hip and pelvis muscles and how to stretch them to really get my body ready for labor
Isolation of muscles to promote urinary control
Strategies to prevent pelvic organ prolapse
Navigating postpartum healing guidance and return to fitness safely
The ONLY way to TRULY improve the outcomes for women in this country is to EMPOWER THEM. Holistic prenatal care IS available in this country, but we cannot leave EVERYTHING to the birth professionals. The more ready we are physically and mentally at our due date, the BETTER they can help facilitate a healthy and positive birth experience and the better setup we are to have a full recovery.
I host live classes several times per year, so if you would like information or to register for my next live class in Vancouver Washington, click the button below!
If you would like to get my free Complete New Mom Guide (what to have at home and what to do for self care immediately after delivery for the first couple weeks) that I give to my patients and students as a complement to the things that I teach, click the link below!