What to Do when Baby is Breech

Finding out your baby is breech can be an emotional experience.

I know for my friend who just gave birth, the last few months were filled with anxiety and doing everything possible to get baby to turn. As her due date approached, she slowly began to accept that baby may know best for position, even though she continued to work hard to give baby the opportunity to move into a head down position.

For most of us, even if we don’t know why, we know that the best way for baby to be born is head first.

Sticking with the physical aspects of birth, having the head birth first follows the natural curve of the spine and allows the body to follow along smoothly.

However, when baby is feet or bum first, this does not happen.

Since the dawn of cesarean birth, babies who are [known to be] breech for the most part have been scheduled to be born through a cesarean. The medical community feels the pros of a cesarean out way the risks of of a breech vaginal birth, for most moms.

So if you are a woman who really wants to have a vaginal birth, the fear of a cesarean can be very strong.

But how you handle that fear can be even stronger. Having an experienced provider who is open to assisting a breech vaginal birth would be wonderful, unfortunately, that is not always available.

So what can you do?

Fortunately, most babies turn on their own, with 3-4% remaining breech at birth (source). But there are ways to support your body and baby through this process when there are no other medical complications preventing baby from turning.

Inspired by my friends journey I put together my top 6 strategies (in no particular order) to help baby turn into a head down position.

The main focus to all these strategies is to create space in the pelvis. The pelvis is the outlet for birth. There is the upper ring and lower ring made up of two bony sides (or wings I call them), the sacrum, and soft tissue. These rings can expand and shrink depending on posture, muscle and tissue tension, and joint movement. Performing techniques that target softening and expansion of these rings is the goal!

  1. Pelvic Opening Exercises

    Doing stretches that promote widening of the pelvis and gentle mobility of the sacroiliac joints does just that. These exercises involve a lot of stretching the muscles and tissues around the low back, trunk, pelvis and hips.

    An example of one exercise sequence I teach my patients are pelvic tilts, circles & sways.

    These can be done in various positions but there are 3 that I find most effective: hands and knees, a birth ball or standing. They can be performed from small to large movements, slow or fast, and as many as feel comfortable.

    They are great to do throughout pregnancy as well as while in labor.

  2. Spinning Babies

    Spinning Babies was created by Gail Tully as strategies to help optimize babies position. They provide exercises and hands on techniques to create space for baby to “spin” in utero to be in the best position for birth.

    They offer online support and in person care through providers trained with Spinning Babies.

  3. Fascial Release Bodywork

    Sometimes muscles and joints that become tight over years of imbalance may need more than stretching and movement to create space.

    Using a form of manual therapy that targets the fascial system. This system is a network of connective tissue that surrounds and is interwoven into every fiber of the body and provides the support necessary for optimal functioning.

    When the fascial system is dehydrated and restricted it inhibits muscles and joints. Fascial release nourishes these tissues, allowing them to open up and create space. Performing releases around the spine, ribs, pelvis and hips improves babies chance of finding optimal position.

  4. Webster Technique

    This technique is used by Chiropractors to analyze the sacrum for subluxation and provide adjustments accordingly to restore neuro-biomechanical function.

    While this technique does not necessarily create more space, sacral subluxation can cause baby mal-position, due to the imbalanced of space in the pelvis. Bringing the sacral into alignment allows baby to find a better position.

  5. Osteopathic Manipulation

    Osteopathic manipulation are hands on techniques that Doctors of Osteopathy use to balance joints and surrounding tissues. Again, various techniques can be utilized to manipulate the spine, pelvis and sacral joints to target the uterine and cervix ligmants and muscles to bring alignment to the area and remove mechanical interferance to baby’s position.

  6. Acupuncture

    Acupuncture is another technique that can be used to open the pelvis and hips to create space for baby to turn into optimal birth position. Acupuncture points are targeted in the back, arms, hands, legs, and feet to remove restrictions and improve energy flow in the sacrum, surrounding muscles and uterine ligaments.

    Some acupuncturists are also trained to do Moxabustion, a Traditional Chinese Medicine technique where moxa (Chinese herb) is burned over a point in the outer toe. This has been shown to be effective in turning babies for hundreds of years in China and recently validated with randomized controlled-studies.

I invite you to an informational consult call to learn more about how I can help your baby find optimal position as a maternal pelvic health physical therapist!

How to Reconnect to your Deep Core During Postnatal Healing with a Mobile Baby

Healing from birth is a big deal!

Unfortunately, most moms are thrust back into life without support of how to safely move to protect her healing body.

Those early months when baby is less active are an ideal time to slowly begin reconnecting to healing tissue.

Even though time is at a premium and sleep deprivation is a real thing, finding time through out the day to tune in is easier when baby is not mobile.

So what to do when baby becomes on the go?

Baby is now rolling, crawling, cruising, walking and no longer wants to stay in one spot.

Do what baby does!

Your baby is also connecting and building strength in his core.

Through each position baby forms new muscle memory by practicing each skill over and over until it’s mastered. This creates coordination, stability and balance in the body before moving on to the next skill.

This is exactly what you should be doing.

When baby is doing tummy time, so should you.

When baby is pushing up onto hands and knees, so should you.

When baby is pulling up into standing, so should you.

Do you see the pattern?

By tuning in to your body in each position you build a deeper connection to your pelvic floor and core (deep core) before moving on to a more complex position or movement.

Try following your baby’s lead one day and see how well you can call upon your deep core.

Can you engage your deep core when you lie on your back and lift your leg, like baby does to play with his toes?

If that is challenging, do you think your body is connecting when you are lifting, walking, or doing more high intensity exercises?

Probably not!

So take a page out your baby’s book, slow down and tune in…over and over again until you have mastered reconnecting to your deep core.

If you want guidance in how to do this, you’re already having pelvic floor problems or you have experienced trauma during birth, let’s connect. I’m here to help!

Physical Therapy versus Personal Trainer During Postpartum Healing

After my class the other day I was approached my one of the moms who wanted to know what the next step for her should be during her postpartum healing. She was feeling disconnected and “wrecked” after her third baby and really wanted to do more for herself.

She’s taken several of my classes over the years but nothing consistent due to life (on both our ends).

Needless to say she knows that I’m a PT who helps new moms. But she still wasn’t sure if she needed to see a PT or go to a personal trainer.

This opened my eyes up to see that even those moms who I think are aware of the benefits of postpartum PT and how important it is, STILL, question if it’s necessary.

Then as if the universe was telling me to help moms understand more an Instragram feed I follow posted a quick list of differences between postpartum core rehab and personal training.

I took this as a sign to go deeper.

So if you have ever questioned if postpartum PT is right for you versus seeing a personal trainer here are the top 6 differences.


A physical therapist has been extensively trained to perform a whole body physical evaluation. This includes not only testing your strength and flexibility, but joint function, pain assessment, motor function, mobility, posture and alignment, and when necessary an internal pelvic exam. This evaluation is based on your history, current complaint and goals.

This provides you and the PT a more in depth look at what your body needs during your one-on-one care and home program.

Manual Care

What this means is if your body has muscle spasm, fascial restrictions, muscle trigger points, joint hypomobility and other musculoskeletal issues that really benefit from hands on manipulation a PT can perform special manual therapy techniques to help.

There are many different types of manual therapy and some PTs specialize in one or a few techniques. By performing these it helps your body reduce inflammation & pain, improve flexibility & motor control, organ functioning and overall well being.

Inside - Out

When you work with a pelvic floor PT for postnatal core rehab we focus on the deep muscles first. You know those muscles that influence and are most effected by pregnancy, birth and postpartum.

The deep core four!

The pelvic floor, transversus abdominus, multifidus and respiratory diaphragm.

These muscles need to be addressed first before moving on to the big ones surrounding them. This is because they provide the stability to your organs, pelvis and spine joints. They help manage the forces and pressures within your trunk to reduce strain on your body during activity.

Focus inside then out!

Fascial Functioning

The fascial system is a network of tissue this is interwoven into every fiber in your body. This tissue influences every other fiber and function around it. When it becomes injured and dehydrated it can cause dysfunction like diastasis recti (abdominal separation) and pain, among other problems.

A PT can help you manage your fascia through nourishing myofascial release and fascial stretching.

Home Program

I believe one of the most important aspects of PT is the home program. The instruction of what to do when you are on your own. Not only the exercises, but the habits, body mechanics, lifestyle modifications and self care necessary to reach your goals.

Functional Training

Exercises will only get you so far, especially when healing from a birth and taking care of a baby. That’s where functional training can up level any exercise routine. A PT builds upon your strength, flexibility, posture, balance, fascial and mobility exercises and reflects it in how you perform your daily tasks.

Meaning you learn how to move safely and efficiently while caring for yourself, your baby and the rest of your life. These new movement patterns are enhanced and through exercise and mindfulness. Both of which are harnessed through a home program.

Remember, these are only the top 6 differences between PT and a personal trainer for postpartum core [really all healing] rehab.

In other words, seeking help with a highly trained postpartum PT after giving birth is the first step to recovery. Then once you have reconnected to your body and addressed any dysfunction seeking the more longer term assistance of a personal trainer can help you reach other fitness or lifestyle goals you may have.

Curious how postpartum PT can help you? Let’s chat. Schedule a FREE informational consult call with me now to build your knowledge for life long pelvic health.

You’ve got this!

How to uplevel your healing during postpartum recovery.

You just had a baby and feeling blissed out by meeting this new little human(s).

But you are also sore and don't recognize your body. Your body doesn't respond to your commands and is uncomfortable to do basic functions.

This is totally normal those first few weeks after birth.

You're body just went through the quickest physical change it will ever naturally go through.

Then what?

Bruised and injured tissue are nourished and heal. Your uterus shrinks and other organs slowly shift to normal position. Your body finds its way to regular functioning through mind-body connection. And much more.

This is happens while caring for your new baby and moving your body in new ways; creating new habits and movement patterns.

What happens when you're having a hard time healing and reconnecting to your body?

You are not alone mama!

This is very common and why it takes time to feel "normal" again.

It's also why resting and asking for help is so important after birth.

But who do you ask for help to bring balance to your mom body?

A pelvic floor physical therapist who specializes in postpartum care.

But how soon after birth should you ask for help?

It's not enough to wait until your 6 week visit.

Ideally you will find an amazing PT during pregnancy who will follow you through birth into postpartum.

But if you didn't, you can see a PT as early as 2 weeks postpartum!

That's right there are things you can do before you see your birth provider that are safe and very effective to help you recover from pregnancy and birth.

Some of these things, like core breath coordination can start within hours of giving birth.

Most importantly you will learn how to work with your healing body. You need to rest yes but when you are not snuggling up with baby you will be moving around to care for baby and yourself.

Figuring out safe ways to move in and out of bed, traverse stairs, lifting and carrying baby, breastfeeding positions, what exercises to reduce muscle tension from breastfeeding, and much more.

You can also begin manual nourishment of your healing tissues. Myofascial release and visceral mobilization are only two techniques that work wonders after birth to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and assist organs in healing.

Then after 6 weeks we can take your care a step further by assessing the pelvic floor internally. Testing for weakness, scar adhesions, pain, coordination, pelvic organ position and more.

So not only will you know how to work on what you can see but also those super important internal bits that you can't!

Guidance by a PT will help make the most impact on your healing body and ensure safe reconnecting and avoidance of those undesirable pelvic floor problems!

But don't worry if you're past the 6 weeks postpartum, it's not too late to start your pelvic health postpartum healing journey.

Should you use a Postpartum Belly Binder?

I'm asked a lot about the use of abdominal binders and braces after having a baby.

Maybe you're considering using a belly binder after having your baby or you heard belly binding is good for a diastasis recti.

Before you rush out to purchase a binder, here are a few things to consider first.

Belly binding has been used for hundreds of years after having a baby. Typically a binder is used within a few days of birth for 2-6 weeks.  There are special cases that a binder is used longer for more severe abdominal separation, but should always be addressed with a postpartum physical therapist first.

Here are some benefits for belly binding*:

  • Provides postural support for the torso and organs as they return to pre-pregnancy position

  • Supports and assists abdominal wall healing and diastasis recti recovery

  • Supports the body's natural spine and posture realignment post birth

  • Constant pressure on the torso and abdomen hastens healing by reducing water, fat and air in the tissue and cells

  • Stabilizes loose ligaments

  • Helps to prevent and relieve lower back aches and strains

  • Prevents slouching while feeding or holding your child

Your goal after having baby should be returning to optimal movement and function in your body. So when does belly binding no longer promote healing and return to function but cause problems instead?

1. A belly binder is only meant for short periods of time.

If worn for longer than 6 weeks (unless directed by a specialist practitioner) it starts to replace the function of our core muscles. Which means the muscles no longer need to build strength to do the job they are meant to do...support your posture and organs, and stabilize your spine for movement. Your body will rely on the binder, which not a long term solution.

2. Cinching can cause too much compression.

When pulled too tight the compression around your waist alters the natural pressure system without your trunk. Instead of even pressure, it is now pushed upward into your chest and downward into your pelvis. This can lead to hernias and pelvis organ prolapse, which nobody wants.

3. It alters your breathing pattern

When you breath your trunk expands in all directions, up, down, front, back, and to the sides. The abdomen is meant to rise and fall as your trunk and pelvis expand with every inhale. If your abdomen is compressed, as your respiratory diaphragm contracts and pulls down while you inhale there is no place for the lungs to go except just into the chest. This causes shallow breathing, leading to an increase in cortisol levels and perpetual fight or flight mode.

4. Your core may establish bad habits

There are two ways this may happen. One, the core may stay contracted. The constant compression triggers a perpetual contraction of the abdominal muscles. This is like always holding your shoulders up to your ears. Eventually those muscles  become tight and unresponsive to proper movement. The core needs to relax to function properly. Part of the core's job is to let go to allow you to go to the bathroom or to have sex. If the muscles are in a state of contraction this cannot happen! A tight muscle can no longer provide stability for movement, which may lead to [more] pain and dysfunction.

Two, the core may push out when it contracts. Having a binder wrapped around our waist gives the body something to push into. When someone pushes your shoulder, what do you want to naturally do? Push back.

For some (like myself) this is what can happen when wearing a belly binder. When you brace against the binder it creates internal pressure, again leading to hernias and prolapse, and bad form for an abdominal separation. You may not even realize you're doing it.

In the end, do I think belly binders are bad?


I think they are beneficial for immediately after having a baby when you are mindful of how your body is responding to wearing one.

You need to be aware of how you body feels when you take it off. Are you paying attention to your movement patterns or just relying on the binder? Do you have a game plan for weaning off the binder?

These are all relevant and important things to consider before you use a binder.


This one thing may delay you feeling "normal" again after baby.

After having a baby there is all the talk about getting back to normal.

What is normal really?

Why is it so important to get back to anyway?

After having two children and working with countless new moms I'm here to tell you,

You're never going to normal again, and it's okay!

Normal is over rated.

Normal can be boring.

You, mama, are anything but over rated and boring.

You are wonderfully unique!

Let's embrace your non-normalcy.

If what you seek; however is feeling connected and in control of your body after having your baby, then that is a WHOLE other story.

Pregnancy and birth can be a joyous, unpredictable, whirlwind of a time. Your body changes so much that it can be hard for your systems to keep up.

Leaving you feeling disconnected and out of control of basic functions, like holding in pee when you sneeze.

I get it if that is what you mean by normal.

Of course you want to feel in control of you body again.

And over the next year after baby is born your body will naturally find it's way through healing and for the most part you'll feel normal.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for every mom, for various reasons.

Birth injury, medical interventions, csection, episiotomy, epiderals, long labors and pushing, really quick labors, these different factors play a role in how long your body will heal.

Not to mention all your past injuries and habits.

But the one thing that I've seen as a common thread despite the type of birth, injuries etc is breastfeeding.

After delivery your estrogen levels plummet. Then remain low if you breastfeed.

Why does this matter?

Estrogen plays a large role is tissue function, especially in your nether regions.

Just think a mini menopause after delivery, dry, thin, weak, itchy vagina (though really your vulva but you get the idea).

When this happens the pelvic floor doesn't function 100%.

And this can last the whole time you breastfeed.

I experienced it with my daughter. I breastfeed for 2 years, about 3-4 months after stopping, I felt like a different woman.

Now, I'm not telling you to stop breastfeeding, heck my little guy is nurse sleeping as I type. Only you and your baby can set the timeline.

But be aware that some of what you are experiencing with pelvic floor dysfunction or how your feeling may be partially due to low estrogen from breastfeeding.

Once I tell my patients this I usually see a wave of relief. That no you aren't crazy, yes you're doing everything you can do to mitigate the symptoms your having.

So I ask again, what is normal? Do you really want to be normal or just in control again of your body?

If you want help finding your normal reach out to me by setting up a free consult call. We'll figure out your next step together!

Reconnect to your Body like a Baby

As my son becomes more active and works really hard to crawl [forward] I can see how similar movement patterns in babies are like those I use with my moms.

Most of us can picture the stages of gross motor development in infants. They start off as blobs not able to move much and when they do move they expend a tremendous amount of energy. Gradually being able to pick up their head, lift their arms and legs while on their back, push up while on their belly, roll, and so on.

There are similar movement patterns that we look for in all babies, but how they achieve those goals and how long it takes them may be slightly different for each baby.

Typically they can't move on to the next skill until they've mastered the one before. And even when the skill has been mastered, they may relapse a little when they are working on the next skill.

Babies have very little core strength to start with and need to build it up through movements that start in positions where gravity has no influence on their core. These positions are on their back, stomach and side.

Then they are able to gradually work into a sitting position. Then kneeling, hands and knees, and eventually standing. Standing takes the most amount of effort to stabilize the body against gravity before they start to move in a standing position. Even in each position babies pause to find stability and balance...like rocking on hands and knees before crawling.

There is a reason why babies work through different stages to find and build core strength. They have to create stability in the trunk before they gain mobility in the limbs. The further away an object from their center of gravity the harder it is to control. Think lever arms from physics - even a light object can feel heavy is you hold it away from your body.

Remember when you were a kid on a see-saw (teeter-tauter) and if you were evenly balanced with the opposite kid you would either have to had another kid which ever side was lighter or the heavier kid could move closer to the center.

We are hard wired to work on being stable around our center of gravity [belly button/low back area] then work outward.

This is why when your core is weak after having a baby reconnecting to your core LIKE a baby makes the most sense.

Finding balance through very little movement in positions that don't require work against gravity and working to more dynamic movement that require work against gravity.

The big difference between your body and baby is your body as the influence of years of other habits and patterns intertwined into the weak core. Tight muscles, poor posture, joint position, injured tissue [scarring], uncoordinated muscles etc.

These all influence how your body will reconnect.

So simply doing "core" exercises on your back may not be enough.

Recognizing the influencers, using props and modifying the movements to reduce the effect they have on your body, then working through the natural progression of movement will help you achieve the most connection to your core.

And just like your baby, it will take you time, you may relapse a little on a past movement when you move on the next step, you may get frustrated when you can't do what your mind is telling you to do and you'll be super excited when you do achieve your goal.

You may THINK lying on your back and doing breathing exercises or arm raises are super easy. But when you have to incorporate your alignment, good posture, stability and breath, it's not so easy at first.

So when you resume core exercise after having a baby, think of it this way, simple to complex movements are the way to go.

This is how I work with my clients and how the way I progress the core exercises in my almost complete 4th Trimester program in Expecting Pelvic Fitness.

If you're ready to start reconnecting to your core but don't know how to work through the different positions let's chat!

Or head over to Expecting Pelvic Fitness to learn more about the almost finished but still available to purchase 4th Trimester program!


What to know about healing from a C-section

I've never had a csection, so I can't speak to the healing process through a personal stand point. But I have worked with some amazing moms who had 1 or multiple csections with incredible results!

I'm going to share some of my insights from what I've learned over the years when working with these moms.

Start early

You can start reconnecting to your body in the hospital. When you aren't napping or taking care of baby doing some simple body movement is totally safe.

The focus of these movements are to keep you from becoming super stiff from laying in bed.

Movements like raising your arms over your head with an inhale.

Sliding your heels along the bed with an exhale.

Practicing the following sequence using an exhale every time you move, pausing between each segment.

  • Rolling from back to side
  • Sitting up from your side
  • Standing up
  • The reversing

These are movements you will be doing anyway, so why not become more mindful with some extra practice.

Starting to become mindful and reconnecting to your body while in the hospital sets the stage for your whole healing process!

Wear the right panties

Even though an incision from a csection is low, it can still be under direct pressure from clothes, especially underwear.

The solution?

The C-panty.

A high waist, gel lined panty designed specifically for csection recovery.

These are amazing and can be purchased at a ton of different locations. I just linked directly to the main website so you can check them out for yourself (no affiliation).

Go check them out, enough said.

Be gentle

You [just] had major abdominal surgery.

Be gentle on yourself. Don't feel like you have to do it all immediately or ever.

As for help. Get your family and friends to help you out. Or work with a postpartum doula!

Realize that your body will not be able to respond to your commands the way it used to.

You'll be sore and tired and may not want to do much other than sleep and care for you baby.

And that's OK.

Give yourself time

It takes time to heal from a surgery.

It takes time to heal from a pregnancy.

It takes time to reconnect to your new body.

It takes time!

Give yourself the space to have time. To slow down and heal. To allow your body to get nourishment and the time it needs to go through a proper healing process.

Then give yourself time to not have a pregnant body anymore. Your body just went through a the fastest physical change it ever will. It took 9 months (give or take) to grow your baby. Within that time frame your body had to morph into the mama powerhouse that it is. Then in minutes it is no longer pregnant.

Your body needs time to resume a non pregnant form again, which doesn't happen over night, especially after a csection.

It'll take at least 1 year (more if your breastfeeding) to regain some sense of normalcy in your body.

Give yourself that.

Learn how to open up

An incision from a csection has come a long way. No longer is it a large vertical cut but a few inch horizontal cut that is barely visible sometimes once healed.

The thing about csections [and really any abdominal surgery] is that your body will respond in a similar way no matter the size.

Your body will want to protect that area while it heals.

To do this your body will do the only thing it knows how to do to protect itself.

Create armor.

To do this it contracts muscles to guard against pain and it turns inward [into a flexed position] to reduce stretch on the sore tissue.

This is ok, to some extent, but not ideal for optimal healing.

What happens if we let the body take over is the muscles that are guarding become tight and shortened and the hunched position becomes habit causing an imbalance in posture, stability and pain.

This is compounded by breastfeeding in a hunched position.

What can help?

Learning how to open up the front of your body!

Allowing your body to safely go into extension to get your body to find a balanced state again.

You can still have pelvic floor problems

A common misconception about csection births are you are immune to pelvic floor problems because you didn't birth vaginally.

While there is a reduced risk of incontinence, you can still have pelvic floor problems like peeing your pants, painful sex, and prolapse.

This is because your pelvic floor was just holding up the extra weight of baby for 9 months and which weakened and stretched it out.

Your pelvic floor works with your abdominal muscles, mainly the transverse abdominus, to coordinate against forces placed on the body that may cause urine leakage and stability issues.

Your abdomen was stretched and weakened from pregnancy plus you have the added incision scarring to heal from.

So regardless of birth, pelvic floor problems can happen.

Find yourself an amazing pelvic floor PT

It's not easy caring for yourself and your baby after a csection.

Getting all the help you can get is not a fail. It's a win!

You just said F - this  to "you just had a baby so deal with it."  You just said "I'm not going to settle for half rate care that doesn't give me all the information necessary to fully heal from pregnancy and birth."

You're committing to your own self care because you know how much it'll help your entire family in the long run.

And a pelvic floor PT is the person who will help you create your self care path.

They'll become your partner in figuring out exactly what YOU need for healing.

They will make sure you can reconnect to your body, you can open up and find proper posture, will ease tight, painful tissue, will give you exercises that are appropriate for your stage of healing, and teach you all you need to know about using your new mom body to avoid future injury.

It's not just a "do your Kegels" kind of care. It's a whole body, whole life kind of care that will revolutionize how you live, new body and all.

So if you had a csection years ago or have one scheduled in a few months. Find where you are in your healing journey and start there.

If you're ready to commit to self care check this out to learn more!


Take Control of Your Bladder During Pregnancy

You're bladder can take a beating during pregnancy.

It gradually gets less space and less support to function as you grow.

With these changes your bladder may send you mixed signals and create new habits.

Yes, your bladder talks to you. It sends signals to let us know when it is appropriate time to go pee.

How does your bladder do this?

The bladder is an amazing muscular organ. As it fills with urine it stretches. When it stretches there are receptors in the fibers that senses by how much. These receptors send the signal to the brain to tell us when the bladder is "full." The brain then decides if it's time to go pee.

When we're little the bladder doesn't signal until it's actually appropriately full.

Over time and during certain stages in our lives the bladder can learn new habits based on our lifestyle.

Your bladder is influenced by your diet, pregnancy, job, pelvic floor awareness, movement, bowel habits, gut health, and your reaction to when you feel an urge.

The habits you formed prior to pregnancy can be an indicator of your bladder control.

Here are some simple tips for bladder control to follow while pregnant that'll keep your bladder - brain communication balanced.

Tip 1

Drink mostly water!

There are drinks and foods that can irritate the bladder.

The main culprits are drinks that are caffeinated, carbonated, citric, and sugary.

When you drink these it's like having a bad party guest in your bladder. Your bladder wants it to leave.

So instead of the bladder signalling when stretched to capacity it's signally because it's irritated. When this happens on a regular basis the stretch receptors become over sensitive and will signal when the bladder is barely full.

Leading to more urges and frequent trips to the bathroom.

Tip 2

An urge is a signal not a command.

Because your bladder may signal when it's not actually full you need to be aware of when it's actually appropriate to pee.

During pregnancy, your frequency will increase, but not by much and not until later trimesters.

You can still work within the normal range of every 2 to 4 hour during wakeful hours to pee.

So when you feel the need to pee, ask yourself "when was the last time I went to the bathroom?"

If your answer is 1 hour ago, you may not really need to go. If your answer is 2 hours or more then good to go.

Tip 3

Drink throughout the day rather than large amounts all at once.

Sometimes we forget to drink or we get busy that when we remember we down a whole bunch of water at once.

This puts the bladder under more pressure to function. And during pregnancy when space comes at a premium your bladder is going to have a hard time holding on to the pee if it's walls can't expand enough.

Tip 4

Know how to contract and relax your pelvic floor.

Your pelvic floor works with your bladder to function. Not only does it keep the bladder in proper position it involuntarily contracts to keep pee in and relaxes to let pee out.

When you feel an urge and your brain decides if it's time to pee or not, it'll message the pelvic floor to stay closed until you reach the toilet and then to relax when seated.

Sometimes you'll need to voluntarily contract the pelvic floor to make it to the bathroom. By contracting your pelvic floor it can help ease the urge and make sure no pee leaks out.

But then once you reach the toilet you need to know how to fully relax the pelvic floor (so no hovering ladies!) to pee.

Tip 5

With the extra weight, less space and weakened core there is also the possibility of leaking pee when pressure is placed on the bladder.

To prevent that from happening you need to energize and activate your deep core to keep the pee in.

The deep core includes the pelvic floor (bottom), transverse abdominus (front), respiratory diaphragm (top) and multifidus (back). When they are all activated at the same time you create a support all around the pelvis.

So whenever you sneeze, cough, laugh, lift, push, pull, or anything else you do that you feel pressure down into the pelvis contract your deep core.

These tips will come in handy through out your pregnancy and beyond.

If you want to learn more about supporting your body and bladder through pregnancy check out Expecting Pelvic Fitness for even more pelvic health education!

Running after Birth: How to Safely Run with Baby

Running with baby can be a great way to get your endurance exercise on without having to carve out time away from baby.

However, there are many factors that need to be considered when running with baby to make sure you are supporting your body as it continues to heal from birth.

Factor 1

You have been cleared by your OB/Midwife to exercise. Even if you ran prior to and during pregnancy you'll want to discuss returning to exercise with your birth practitioner.

Your body just went through tremendous change, quickly. Whether you had a natural vaginal delivery, a csection, episiotomy, tearing, or other trauma your body has to heal.

Much of your tissue healing will occur in the first 6-8 weeks after delivery. But this doesn't mean you're fully healed. But it does give your birth practitioner an idea of how well your body is healing and when you may be ready to return to more rigorous exercise.

Factor 2

Be screened for a diastasis recti. Most women have some form of abdominal separation during pregnancy, which should heal on it's own over the next year after birth.

For those with a diagnosed diastasis recti, it takes more support to regain full functioning of the abdominal wall.

Running takes a lot of core activation to support your joints and pelvic organs. If your abdominal wall is not up to coordinating with the rest of your deep core to withstand the forces placed on the body, it can cause imbalance in the intra-abdominal pressure. This can lead to incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, low back or pelvic pain, or a hernia.

Factor 3

Make sure you can do a proper pelvic floor contraction.

If you have never had a pelvic floor assessment, testing what your pelvic floor awareness and control is, this is a must after birth.

It gives you a chance to deepen your understanding and awareness of the pelvic floor. Find out how pregnancy and birth affected your pelvic floor, even if you had a csection.

Your pelvic floor has to do A LOT of heavy lifting when running.

Every time your foot hits the pavement the pelvic floor contracts to protect your organs, joints and prevent any unwanted pee or poo escaping.

If you don't know how to voluntarily contract the pelvic floor, your body won't know how to do it on demand.

Leaving yourself at risk for causing [more] damage to your pelvic floor leading to incontinence and prolapse.

Factor 4

Timing your run to avoid breast issues.

When you breastfeed running can be a challenge for many reasons.

One, your breasts need more support.

Two, baby may want to eat in the middle of a run.

When breastfeeding your breast tissue is more susceptible to damage. The force placed on the breast tissue when running is tremendous and unfortunately you can't just contract your pectoral muscles to keep your breasts stable.

Side note: yes, having strong pecs will help with breast support, but typically these muscles are tight in postpartum, so don't over do the chest presses.

The best way to support your breasts is to double up your sports bar. You want to make sure there is no to very little movement of your breast tissue as you run. But also not be too squeezed that you are cutting off blood supply. This will reduce the shearing that can occur on the ligaments and milk ducts, as well as reduce friction on the nipples, while keeping proper nourishment to the tissues.

The second thing you'll want to do is time your run to just after a feeding. This reduces the size of your breasts prior to running, so less needs to be supported, but also making sure you don't get engorged while running. Avoiding the risk of blocked milk ducts and blips.

Factor 5

Start off slow [even if you ran before and during your pregnancy] and always warm up.

Warm up with some dynamic stretches like knee lifts, leg swings and arm circles.

Then begin with intervals. Walk 5 minutes to get your blood flowing then run for 1 minute. Really focus on proper form during that 1 minute versus going as fast as possible. Gage what feels right in your body [which will be different for everyone], my stride will be different than yours which will change my pace. Going too slow will also be awkward. 

Doing intervals will give you time to really tune into your body as you build your endurance and stability for longer run periods.

Then to avoid tight, achy muscles afterward. Cool down with some static stretches or rolling out your fascia.

Factor 6

Lastly, don't be a robot.

Allow your trunk to twist when you run. Just a little rotation through your spine and pelvis is necessary to run in proper form. It gets your abs and hips really working and improves your overall spine mobility.

This can be challenging when you are holding onto a stroller, so you can do one of two things [unless you figure out another safe way!].

One, hold the stroller with one hand allowing yourself the freedom of movement through the other arm. This is helpful if you have less than optimal shoulder mobility, which is common in postpartum from breastfeeding and carrying baby. There are two caveats to using one arm...you want to switch it up and it's harder to control.

You will want to change which arm holds the stroller, so you aren't always using one arm. This will ensure you are building up strength in both arms and allowing both sides of your body to be mobile.

Plus, using one arm may be harder to control the stroller, especially if you are on uneven pavement or surface.

Two, improve your shoulder mobility, so you can twist with anchored arms. Doing exercises that increase your shoulder/rib disassociation is ideal in postpartum, not only for running but for other tasks through out the day. One of my favorites is a kneading action (bending the elbows) through the arms while on all fours.

There you have it!

The major factors you should be considering before running with your baby [or running in general]!

If you've checked all these factors and feel ready to run...have fun!

If you don't know where to begin, comment below or send me a message, we'll figure it out together!



During pregnancy constipation can become a problem. The combination of slower digestion, less room for food, and iron supplements makes it harder for your body to poop.

After birth weaker abdominals or unbalanced seperation, scar tissue, pain medication, and lack of activity can lead to constipation.

Constipation is defined as having less than 3 poops a week. This can cause straining, pressure on the bladder which may lead to incontinence or urinary urgency, and hemorhoids. Chronic constipation which is considered if you've been constipated for longer than 3 months.

When you have difficult pooping, you tend to strain. This straining can stretch the pelvic floor weakening the muscles and tissues. Not being able to poop can make you irritable, sluggish, and can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction.

There are ways to help avoid constipation during pregnancy and after birth.

Here are a few of my tips to stay regular!

1. Stay active

Movement and exercise helps your gut stay balanced. It increases blood flow to the gut. It improves tissue mobility and intestinal motility.

2. Be core aware

Have a strong and functional abdominal wall gives the intestines support. This means making sure that you reconnect to the abdominals properly after birth and being tested for a diastasis recti (dysfunctional abdominal separation).

3. Eat recommended daily fiber

Mix up the type of fiber you do eat. Eating fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains ensures you get both soluble and insoluble fiber, which keeps your gut more balanced.

4. Drink recommended daily water

During pregnancy and postpartum your water intake should increase than your regular amount due the increased demand on your body. Drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water is recommended.

5. Discuss iron intake with practitioner

If you need to take an iron supplement, there are ones out there that are non constipating.

6. Massage

If you had a csection doing scar massage will help make sure no scar adhesions disrupt your digestions.

7. Breath

Using your breath to help you relax the pelvic floor.

When you poop your pelvic floor is meant to relax. This naturally happens when you inhale. Focusing on opening your pelvic floor on inhale rather than holding your breath will get the respiratory diaphragm to help push the poop out while the pelvic floor is relaxed.

If you are prone to constipation, there is no better time to focus on staying regular than now.

When Breastfeeding Becomes a Pain in Your Neck

Breastfeeding is one of those things you're told is great for baby.

It improves your bond, it increases baby's immunity, it provides nourishment and nutrients, it helps with baby's gut health and so much more.

Breastfeeding isn't always easy though.

It can take a while for baby to figure out how to latch, causing nipple pain.

You may worry if baby is getting enough to eat.

Your breasts may become engorged leading to blocked ducts or mastitis.

These are things that are typically mentioned if you see a lactation consultant or at least chat with a friend whose breastfed.

But what about how breastfeeding affects the rest of your body?

Yes, breastfeeding can help you slim down from the pregnancy weight. And it can prolong the return of your period.

What you may not have known is it also keeps estrogen and progesterone circulating in your body longer, which means your tissues are softer longer and more susceptible to injury or dysfunction.

This means:

  • your pelvic floor muscles may be strong but you still leak when running.
  • your sacroiliac joint (that joint that connects your sacrum and your pelvis) may continue to be problematic because it's hasn't regained it's support.

What breastfeeding also means for your body is neck and back aches and pains. Holding your baby to breastfeed can take a lot of effort. For a healing body that is already weak, this means compensations and bad habits form.

You may slouch to bring the breast to baby instead of propping up with a pillow.

You may twist or cross your legs.

You're sitting more.

If you nurse lying down you may jut out your ribs to bring your breast to baby.

You're constantly looking down at baby. Because really who doesn't want to stare at baby 24/7?

All this adds up to pain.

So how can you avoid getting a pain in your neck or back while breastfeeding?

1. Posture

Be mindful of your posture. First you need to make sure you are in good posture alignment. This means finding pelvic neutral, where your sitting on your sit bones , your ribs are centered over your pelvis and your spine is long with the natural curves. If the surface you are sitting on is inhibiting this then change where you are sitting or use props. Put pillows behind your, sit on a harder surface, anything that will help. Then use pillows, cushions, blankets, anything  except your body to prop baby up to reach your breast.

When you nurse on your side you want to consider the same thing. You want to make sure your body is in a neutral position. If you twist, make sure it's more of a log roll twist and put a pillow behind you. Make sure your head is supported and your shoulders are away from your ears.

2. Stretch

Stretching tight muscles after nursing is a great way to reduce aches and pains. And over time you'll maintain soft supple tissues rather than dehydrated tissue that will cause even more problems.

Doing simple stretches like:

  • neck rolls
  • reaching your head up and away to the side as you reach your opposite arm down and away
  • looking down to your arm pit
  • bringing your arms up and behind your head to open your chest
  • clasping your hands low behind your chest and reaching back
  • lying on your back and doing snow angles with your arms
  • rib twists
  • side bending
  • cat/cow
  • lunge stretches
  • taylor sit (criss cross applesauce) and bending forward from the hips then switching legs

These are all super simple stretches that you can hold for 30 seconds after nursing. And mix it up, you don't need to do all of them each time.

3. Strengthen Your Core

Reconnecting with your core after birth can take a while. But breastfeeding is a great time to start. Taking a moment to focus on your breathing and tuning in to the movement of the pelvic floor - out on inhale, in on exhale - is the first step. Then start to energize the pelvic floor on exhale, zippering up through the abs, while keeping your bony structure soft and in good posture.

Then when you start to feel up to doing more exercise, starting with basic core connecting exercises is the safest. This is where seeing a maternal health PT is helpful, so you can make sure you are doing the exercises correctly, and there isn't anything else going on that may become problematic.

Breastfeeding is a magical experience that can do wonders for your baby's health. Let it be a time you focus on yourself too!



Round Ligament Pain Keeping You Down?

If you have been pregnant you have probably experienced round ligament pain.

It can be a mild ache to a sharp stabbing pain.

What is the round ligament?

It is a cylindrical ligament that attaches from the uterus to the pelvis. It keeps the uterus from twisting or shifting too far out of place.

During pregnancy the round ligament needs to stretch as the uterus expands.

However, depending on how fast it stretches or how tight it is, it may cause pain.

Pain is usually felt in the lower half of the abdomen, near the hip.

It may only occur when you transition from sitting to standing, as the tissues in the front of the hip stretch.

Or it may last all day, lingering.

Even though your round ligament needs to stretch during pregnancy, it doesn't need to be painful.

Remember, just because you are pregnant doesn't mean you have to experience the common aches and pains associated with pregnancy.

So what can you do about round ligament pain?

Here are a few tips to ease the pain you may be experiencing as your uterus expands and stretches.

1. Heat

Using a warm heating pad or taking a warm bath can sooth the achey tissues. If you use a heating pad, avoid electric ones, just in case you fall asleep you don't want to burn yourself.

2. Stretch

Doing simple stretches like pelvic tilts, side bends and and lunge stretch can help length the tissues around the uterus that may be inhibiting the round ligament.

As always when you stretch during pregnancy, avoid extreme positions, modify as necessary and use props!

3. Posture

Being mindful of your posture during pregnancy is not only good practice for overall health, but will put less strain on the round ligament as it supports the uterus.

4. Be core aware

Using your core muscles properly and doing simple core exercises improve your support of the uterus. This reduces the amount of work the round ligament needs to do, so it can stretch with less forces on it.

5. Where a maternity brace

If you are unable to provide enough muscular support, wearing a maternity brace that helps lift your tummy the way your abs are meant to can help relieve some discomfort.

6. When all else fails see a specialist

If you are experiencing severe round ligament pain that is really inhibiting your way of life, seeing a specialist may be your best bet. A pelvic floor PT who specializes in maternal health can perform manual therapy to release tight tissues and ease discomfort, help you find good posture, give you stretches most appropriate for you, and guide your through strengthening exercises.

Don't let round ligament pain get you down. Head over to Expecting Pelvic Fitness to try out my signature program for FREE to learn good posture during pregnancy, safe exercises and more.

When Labor Fails to Progress

So you're in the middle of labor, things have been progressing nicely and all of a sudden your midwife, OB or nurse say labor has stalled.

Well, what the heck happened?

This happened to a patient of mine recently.

She was having some complications at the end of her pregnancy with severe Braxton Hicks, so her OBs decided it was time to induce her.

She went over her plan with her OB and doula to make sure they were all on the same page in terms of how high the Pitocen would be for the strength of the contractions because she knew they would be stronger than her current contractions and she really wanted to avoid having an epidural.

So, she was laboring at the hospital and things seemed to be progressing until a new OB came on shift.  As my patient puts it "she wanted to kick it up a notch."  So she increased the Pitocen dose, which made the contractions incredible painful and constant.  So my patient had no break.

She said, "we're getting the baby out now."

My patient voiced her concern and asked to reduce back to the original rate. Her feelings were dismissed by everyone in the room based on the new OBs advice.

Her labor slowed and she was in so much pain, she needed an epidural.

So now she was no longer progressing and she had to have more of a medicated delivery than she had planned.

Now, my patient has chronic sacroiliac dysfunction from a traumatic fall years ago, which we had worked really hard to get under control.  She has a hard time relaxing because she is a high energy person and she tends to forget to breath in intense situations.

All of these things are recipe for a harder delivery before adding in the fact she now did not feel comfortable with the OB who would potentially be delivering her baby.

Her body decided to stop her labor.

Our bodies have a protective mechanism - fight, flight, freeze.

When you are presented with a situation that is threatening or may be harmful your primal brain does a quick assessment without you even consciously being aware.

Your body will them respond by either fighting the threat, fleeing from the threat or freezing until the threat is gone.

In all of these situations our bodies produce more cortizal and endorphins which are stress hormones.  During birth, these hormones will slow progression.  In my patients case, her body froze and completely stopped progression.

Fight, Flight, Freeze

For many who are put into this situation where they do not feel comfortable either with the amount of activity in the room, a person in the room, a procedure that is being suggested or performed, will respond in this way.

The medical community calls this "failure to progress."

Some births truly fail to progress because of pelvic structure or babies position.

However, for many moms it's because they subconsciously do not feel comfortable in the situation they are in. So until they do feel comfortable the body will not thaw.


This is precisely what happened with my patient. Once the OB she did not feel comfortable with, went off shift, her body went back into dilating and she was able to birth her baby boy within an hour.

This can be an amazing tool of our body when allowed to work itself out.  But only when someone recognizes it as such, can you give the mom space to open up and birth.

Working with your body, not against it allows you have a much smoother labor, delivery and recovery.  You just need to know how!!

If you're interested in learning ways to assist the body in working through distractions and uncomfortable situations during birth contact me!

The Purest Form of Pelvic Health

Now that we have a newborn in the house again, this means DIAPERS...

With our daughter we cloth diapered. So we decided to cloth diaper again.

But what I learned when my daughter was a babe is what I believe to be the purest form of pelvic health, called elimination communication.

Elimination communication is following your babe's verbal and physical cues when they need to go to the bathroom.

You've all heard a babe grunting or a toddler hide in the corner when they poop. These are less subtle than the noises they make when they need to pee. But it is the way your child expresses his needs. Just like the different cries for being hungry, tired or wet.

So elimination communication is essentially respecting your babe's needs by listening and following their cues for bladder and bowel control. Thus establishing the earliest pelvic health habit.

It is an incredible feeling to have your babe smile up at you after they have finished pooping on the toilet!

Since we were successful with our daughter, we decided to give it a go again with our son. The first week he was born, I pulled out our little potty bowl and followed the same steps I did with my daughter.

After every nursing session I would wait about 5-10 minutes then offer him the potty bowl and cue by saying "psssss" or grunting. My verbal cues re-enforced his cues and eventually he was becoming more vocal when he needed to pee or poo.

Once we had established I would listen to his needs, I now ask him if he needs to go both verbally and with sign language. Then based on his response or the timing of when he went last I bring him to the toilet, holding him in a secure squat position.

I believe that listening and following your babes cues, just like with feedings, you're showing them they are respected and teach them they know their body.

This creates a good habit of communication, since they can't get to the toilet on their own, and helps establish good bladder and bowel control and hygiene.

In other countries this is the norm. Diapers are not used very often if at all and babes are "toilet trained" in infancy, by listening to the infants own cues.

Elimination communication is not for everyone. And we are not as hard core as I could be. But I strongly believe both my children have better toileting habits for it. My daughter has never been constipated, even when she began solid foods. My son already has a regular bowel movement routine, which he established himself!

Yes, there were many hard times with my daughter, especially when our routine was thrown off by a milestone or a trip. But it was well worth it!

I bring the same compassion and devotion to your care.

  • I listen.
  • I observe.
  • I communicate.
  • I work with you to build your body confidence.
  • I empower you to connect with your body again on a deeper level.
  • I expand your knowledge about your health.
  • I support you through flare ups and set backs
  • I help you establish habits that create long term pelvic health

So I begin another elimination communication journey, or the earliest stages of pelvic health and wellness, with my babe.

How can I help you?

Rhythmic Movement for Birth Pain Control

Birth is a life changing event that many women have a desire-fear relationship with.

The idea of knowingly putting yourself through pain can be daunting. Even with modern pain medication, which you may want to avoid.

So your pregnant and want to try for a natural birth or at least wait as long as possible before getting pain medication (if at all).

What are some strategies to cope with the pain of birth?

The first pains that are felt during birth are the result of uterine contractions. These contractions pull the cervical muscle up and out of the way to allow baby to descend. The widening of the cervix  pulls on the surrounding muscles and ligaments. These pelvic floor tissues are packed with nerves wit pressure and pain receptors and are the source of the strong sensations during contractions. The tighter or tense these tissues the more intense the pain response.

In early labor contractions and sensations are less intense and infrequent.

As labor progresses, the sensations intensify, lengthen and become more frequent. This is how you know your body is priming for full delivery. However it also becomes more challenging to cope.

The second set of pains is the stretch of the pelvic floor tissue as baby’s head is delivered.

Some call this the “ring of fire” because it feels like a burning sensation as the tissue stretches. Again, being more intense if the pelvic floor muscles are tense or tight.

Other pains that may be felt are back pain, especially if baby is posterior occiput breech, meaning face up. Others may experience vaginal or rectal pain in the form of pressure.

Most pain during labor and delivery is absolutely normal and healthy. But there are ways to influence and cope with the pain naturally.

Many people think of breathing strategies to cope with pain. I can't agree more. But there are other strategies that help your body work through the aches and pains during labor.

One strategy is to MOVE!

There are many ways to move during labor ... walking, sitting on the birth ball, yoga poses ...but one of the most influential movement is rhythmic.

Rhythmic movement targets the autonomic nervous system, which controls how you FEEL pain.

When you are in labor your body triggers your sympathetic nervous system due to the stress your body is under, which controls your fight, flight or freeze mechanism, which sharpens your senses, including pain.

Even though your autonomic nervous system is not under our direct conscious control you can influence it by targeting your parasympathetic nervous system, which suppresses the sensation of pain.

Rhythmic movement relaxes your muscles and taps into this system. Helping you take the edge off of labor pains.

During my second birth, I found my body automatically moving in a rhythmic way when the contractions became more intense.

What are rhythmic movements?

A movement that recurs repetitively to a certain pattern.

This could be rocking, shaking, bouncing, swaying.

In early labor I used my birth ball by rocking my pelvis, bouncing, and swaying my hips with wide legs.

When labor progressed and I was "resting" on my side in bed, every time there was a contraction my body (but mostly my pelvis) would rock back and forth. This movement was soothing and allowed me to stay calm and work with the pain rather than stiffen against it.

There is no one correct way to move. You can practice throughout your pregnancy to create muscle memory and a mind-body connection that your body can call upon when you are in labor. Then you're body will move in it's own unique way.

Rhythmic movement allows you to take charge of your labor and work with the pain.

FEEL how your body wants to move and let your body move freely...creating your birth dance!


Baby Wearing: Posture 101

I LOVE baby wearing!!!

Baby wearing is an exceptional way to be able to carry baby around the house, go on walks, get tasks done, hands free nursing and to sooth baby.

I wore my daughter daily for the first year of her life and then almost daily until she was 2, when she was more interested in roaming around on her own when we went for walks.

I loved using a stretchy wrap when she was newborn for the first 6 months of her life. It was easy to wear throughout the day, even when not wearing her. So that if I needed to scoop her up and put her in I wasn't fussing with putting the carrier on first.

Then I switched over to a soft structured carrier.  This distributed her weight more evenly through my body as she grew and I was able to put her on my back.

I tried woven wraps, but never became proficient with them to the point that they were more convenient than the soft carrier.

With my son I've been switching between the stretchy wrap and soft carrier based on the weather. Each season brings a different challenge. In the winter you need to make sure baby and you are warm without over heating.

On warmer days I've been using the soft carrier because I can snuggle him under my husbands wool vest staying toasty warm without either of us overheating. On colder days I've been using the soft carrier since I put him into his bunting which is too thick for it to be comfortable in the stretchy wrap.

And I can't wait to explore carriers to wear in the water this summer!!

Since baby wearing is becoming more popular there are so many types of carriers available and I suggest doing major research to find the type, brand, material, budget, etc that is right for YOU.

Each carrier has it's own comfort level and fits each body type slightly differently. There are some great blogs out there that offer more information about carrier fits for body type.

Designs have come a long way for comfort and support to the wearer, especially since some of us wear baby for hours. But even with a great fit, wearing baby for hours can be tiring and can cause discomfort.

This discomfort is more likely if your body is unable to provide the core support and endurance necessary to carry extra weight.

The biggest factor that effects the comfort of baby wearing, beyond the type of carrier is your POSTURE.

During pregnancy posture shifts and changes as your belly grows and your center of gravity moves forward, increasing your low back curve tipping your pelvis forward, and lifting up the front of your ribs. This is exaggerated with the stretching and weakening of your abs and pelvic floor.

And after months of working on overdrive to support your body and growing baby your core muscles need to recoup and recover after birth. Especially if either muscle groups are injured during birth, such as tearing, episiotomy, or csection.

However, a natural birth without injury can also take time to reconnect to your core, especially if you have never consciously connected to your core before.

And after birth your body has a lot of adjusting to make to resume proper posture, including stretching tight muscles, strengthening weak muscles, shifting joints, moving organs all while healing.

This means that sometimes posture never resumes proper alignment. Because let's be honest many of the tasks needing to be done as a new mom can put you into new awkward postures.

So being mindful of posture as a new mom is very important during the healing process to prevent body aches.

Since baby wearing challenges your core it can reinforce improper postures learned during pregnancy as well as cause new bad habits.

What I've noticed the most with myself while baby wearing is needing to be mindful of where my ribs are positioned. I tend to pop my ribs forward, like a bell ringing to the front of my body. If I were to keep this position while wearing my son for an hour my back would be very achey.

So how do you check in with your posture while baby wearing to avoid back ache?

Do the following after you have baby in the carrier:

  • Find pelvic neutral - Imagine your pelvis is a bowl. The front rim of your bowl is your pubic bone and the back rim of your bowl is sacrum. Tip the bowl to pour water out the front and then back and settle into a position where your bowl is open upward.
  • Blossom the back of your pelvis out to the sides - From the center of your back pelvis (just below belt line) imagine arrows pointing in opposite direction outward gently creating space around your sacrum.
  • Lengthen your spine - Lift through the top of your head and reach through your tailbone creating length and space in your spine.
  • Soften your ribs - Imagine your ribs are a bell. Make sure your bell is open down toward your pelvis. So the openings of your bowl and bell face each other. Softening through your chest and opening up through your mid back.
  • Relax your shoulders - Let go of any tension in your shoulders and neck by rolling your shoulders and keeping an equal distance between your shoulders in the front and back.

Once you have found this position, focus on using your core to support it. So each time you inhale fill your ribs in all directions and fill down into your pelvis and belly, without over expanding your belly. When you exhale follow the inward movement of your belly with your pelvic floor and abdomen, feeling a lifting of the pelvic floor and flattening of the tummy without loosing your good posture.

Why is posture while baby wearing (& in general) important to your pelvic health?

  • Poor posture slows the healing of diastasis recti and vice versa. A diastasis recti contributes to poor posture. So being mindful of good posture will help the connective tissue in your abdomen heal and strengthen reinforcing proper abdominal muscle function. And proper abdominal function helps with bladder control, organ support (avoiding pelvic organ prolapse) spine function, digestion, body mechanics and much more.
  • Poor posture puts more pressure into the pelvis. When your pelvis is under more pressure the organs within, muscle around and the joints supporting are under pressure. This means they all have to adjust how they function under normal pressure to high pressure and typically it means not doing what they are suppose to. For example, controlling your pressure becomes more challenging.
  • Poor posture leads to all types of musculoskeletal pain, not only in the pelvis, more commonly in the sacroiliac joints and pubic symphysis, but also up and down the chain, into the spine, hips, even further out to the shoulders, knees and feet.

Every time you practice this good posture and core support you reinforce proper joint mechanics and muscle & organ function which provides long term health for your pelvis and all around body.

Making baby wearing not only more enjoyable but a sneaky way to get in some exercise!

If you want to learn more about proper posture and body mechanics as a new mom and reconnecting with your core to make those every day tasks easier and more enjoyable check out my self-paced, pelvic health education packed signature program, Expecting Pelvic Fitness.

After Birth Care for Your Pelvic Floor

I've given birth twice now.

Each experiences has shaped how I view birth and my ability to reach deep down to the inner strength with in.

However, each birth resulted in different recovery needs.

My first delivery I needed to push for at least an hour, if not longer, I really can't remember. The umbilical cord was wrapped around my daughter's neck and every time I pushed the cord pulled tight and prevented her from descending. Then when I "relaxed" between contractions all the progress I made with the previous contraction was lost.

It wasn't until my midwives flipped me on my back and said "push" did I realize something may be wrong.

So I dug down and pushed with all I had left. This delivered her head. My midwife cut the umbilical cord then I was able to birth the rest of her body.

That push that birthed her head resulted in a grade 2 tear. I wasn't focusing on relaxing the pelvic floor as I had been previously I was just focusing on delivering my babe.

The tear needed a few stitches. It was uncomfortable to sit. It was uncomfortable to poop. It was uncomfortable to wear pants with a seam down the middle. I wore padscicles for several weeks around the house. I tried to reconnect with my pelvic floor the next day and couldn't feel much. And once I was feeling ready to be intimate with my husband again, there was a spot of pain.

My second birth was vastly different. I pushed twice to deliver my babe, taking only 8 minutes. I was swollen but did not tear. It was only uncomfortable to sit when I was transitioning from stand to sit to the reverse. I could wear jeans without discomfort. I successfully reconnected to my pelvic floor within 12 hours of delivery. And only being 3 weeks from birth I can't compare intimacy yet.

Looking back, even though I had prepared pretty much in the same way as the first birth, I trusted my body more the second time around. I followed the signals it gave me rather than what I thought I should do based on what I learned in class or what the midwives were telling me.

The result of each birth and recovery has effected how my pelvic floor functions. After my first birth, there was pain effecting my pelvic floor's role in bowel movements and sex. After my second birth, my pelvic floor is functioning properly, thus far!

Giving birth has been said to equate to a marathon or an Olympic event.

I can't agree more. However, there are some major differences.

After a marathon or Olympic event (if all goes well) you come out of not much different than when you started. All the training you did pays off and your body will be tired, but otherwise unscathed.

After birth, even a natural, unremarkable birth, your body is not immediately the same.

There are so many variables that effect the outcome of birth and recovery. Your body is different from mine, your baby is different from mine, your medical history, location and pain tolerance are different from mine. These variables and others make each birth and recovery unique.

However, there are similarities that can be addressed in similar ways to get the same outcome during recovery....a healthy pelvic floor that functions properly for you for the rest of your life.

Here is what I did to recover from my births. Remember some of these things every mom should do and others are more of an individual basis.

1. Afterease

I took an herbal tincture made by my midwife specific for after birth cramps. These cramps are caused by your uterus contracting and shrinking back to pre-pregnancy size and are usually most intense while nursing. This can cause some significant pain.

After my first birth, even though the after birth pain was intense, I didn't not take anything. I didn't want to take any over the counter medication if I could avoid it, since I was breastfeeding, though there are some medications that are safe to take. Being a first time mom, I wanted to avoid everything. And I didn't know about an herbal tincture that could help.

Taking something appropriate for after birth pain, will greatly improve how you feel while recovering.

2. Peri Bottle

After giving birth wiping with toilet paper can be rough and uncomfortable. Especially if you are swollen or tore.

So using a peri bottle to rinse off your perineum will keep you clean and the cool water will sooth the area too.

3. Herb Sitz Bath

A sitz bath is a great way to reduce inflammation and promote healing of swollen, bruised or torn/cut pelvic floor tissue.

Adding in healing herbs like Lavender or Epsom salts boosts the healing power of the sitz bath.

There are some great herb mixes specific to postpartum sitz baths, like Earth Mama or you can look on Etsy or you can make up your own. Here's a good recipe!

These mixes can also be brewed and added to the peri bottle or to padscicles instead of witch hazel.

4. Padscicle

These are frozen menstrual pad. You add either witch hazel or an herb ticture to saturate the pad, then pop it in the freezer.  After birth wearing a padscicle is a great way to sooth a hot, swollen or injured pelvic floor and speed recovery.

Some hospitals give you an ice pack specific for post birth swelling.  These are great, but I'd suggest making up padscicles as well to add the extra healing power of the witch hazel or herb tincture.

5. Adult Diapers

Adult diapers are a necessary evil after birth. You will continue to bleed as the uterus losses the endometrial lining that protected baby. Diapers are much easier to use and provide more protection than pads immediately after birth.

6. Menuca Honey

Honey has antibacteria and antifungal properties that help promote healing. It's like a natural version of Neosporin, but safe for your pelvic floor.

Dabbing a tiny amount on the perineum goes a long way!

7. Lymphatic Massage

After my second birth I had a good deal of swelling. So during my sitz bath I would do lymphatic massage to promote movement of the inflammation. 

Lymphatic massage is a very light massage to very specific areas in the body directed toward the heart. It is a safe and very effective massage to reduce swelling when performed properly!

8. Pelvic Stretches

In addition to lymphatic massage to reduce swelling I did pelvic stretches after my sitz bath. Stretching out tight muscles around the pelvis, like hip flexors and adductors gives more space for the swelling to move out of the area.

9. Breathing Exercises

The last thing I did after giving birth to promote healing was to reconnect with my core. I did this through breathing exercises while I nursed.

Every time I inhaled I took a full diaphragm breath filling my trunk. Then as I exhaled I would follow the natural movement of my core inward, feeling my tummy and pelvic floor drawing inward.

By reconnecting and activating my core muscles I created a muscle pump. This pump improves circulation to the area, flushing out the inflammation and bringing in healing nutrients with each contraction.

I also found that this breathing helped me get through the after birth pains.

Since I gave birth vaginally my after birth care looks different from a mom who gave birth with a csection. However, initially there are only a few differences. For examples padscicles may not be necessary. But scar care is added.

I go more in depth for immediate after birth care and progressive care in my signature program for pelvic health, 4th Trimester Expecting Pelvic Fitness.

By taking care of your pelvis after birth you are encouraging not only short term relief but long term pelvic health.

Top 6 Activities to do with Your Newborn

So you've just had a baby, now what, other than rest?

You may have been told that newborns eat, sleep and poop. But there is a good part of the day that they are awake.  This is a perfect opportunity to play with baby.

Playing with a newborn is very different from kid play.

Playing with a newborn involves bonding with you and your partner, learning different sounds, colors, smells, textures and taking in the environment around them.

It is such as fun time to be able to think again like a child, with wonder about the world around us.

Here are my top activities to do with your newborn that strengthens your bond.

1. Mimicking

Follow babies lead. Babies learn from reciprocated action, so when baby coos, coo with baby.  If baby waves her arm, wave back.

Mimicking what baby does teaches baby you are paying attention to her.  She will learn that you respond, and there is a reaction to her vocalizing or moving.

2. Emote

Babies love faces.  She will spend a lot of time exploring your face. So when she is doing this talk to baby in different tones of voice and make different faces.  See how baby reacts. She will learn emotions and facial expressions that match tone of voice with these games.

3. Play with Sensations

Everything is new to a newborn. So let baby have time to explore and take in her surroundings.

You can do this by introducing different textured surfaces to lie on for tummy time, playing with toys that have sounds, bring different smells within a safe distance.  Then describe what the baby is feeling, hearing, smelling.

4. Get down on the Floor

Babies need to time to stretch out and learn how to move in an open space. This is a perfect time for you to also get down on the floor and stretch out. Lie next to baby and play with babies hands, feet, legs, tummy. Again, telling baby what you're doing, so they learn the body.

5. Explore the Environment

Hold baby and walk around the house describing what baby may be seeing.  Get close up to pictures on the wall, or ordinary objects like a cup and tell baby what it is.  If the weather is nice, bring baby outside and let baby breath in the air, take in the smells, sights and sounds.

6. Snuggle

My personal favorite!! Newborns, need a lot of time being held and loved on.  They thrive through touch.  So put some music on, and sway with baby, sing to baby or just curl up on the couch with a good book to look at.

These are just a few activities that you can do during those first few weeks home with baby when you're just getting to know each other and your body is still healing.

So take the time to slow down, take a deep breath and have fun!

What I'm Doing to Prepare for Birth

At 39 weeks pregnant with my second the realization that my birth is fast approaching comes in waves.

I am still in awe to the fact that I'm pregnant and will be doing this birth thing again.

I reflect on my birth experience with my daughter. How it was text book until the midwives needed to cut the umbilical cord before her body was born. Then she needed to be resuscitated and brought to the hospital to make sure she was okay.

My plans for delayed cord clamping and peaceful bonding experience were dashed.

I didn't have the same daily or exercise routine this time around. During my first pregnancy I worked 40 hours a week in an outpatient hospital setting as the women's health physical therapist. I had a solid exercise routine running several times a week,  and doing my yoga and Pilates to keep connected to my core, maintain my balance and flexibility.

This time around I am running around with a 3 year old, building a local business while creating an online presence with my signature program to reach moms beyond the Seacoast and helping with a house renovation to be ready for new baby.

So what am I doing now to prepare for my second birth?


Practicing my squats

Squats are a great way to open up the pelvis and work on hip flexibility.

In a squat position the sitz bones, those bone structures we sit widen, opening up the lower ring of the pelvis and relaxing the pelvic floor.

By adding flexion (forward bend) or extension (back bend) of the spine it will open or close the upper and lower rings of the pelvis. This works the tissues connected to the pelvis and sacrum getting them ready to move and expand during birth.

You can do a squat with or without support.

An unsupported squat works more on the endurance of the leg muscles and your stamina.

A supported squat works more on the flexibility of your hips and pelvis. As you get closer to your due date, this is the way to go.

Being supported by sitting on a variety of seats can help you gradually increase flexibility and comfort.

The height of the seat and the amount of hip flexion (bend) will depend on your comfort. Sitting on a chair or ball and working to a lower seat like an ottoman or mediation pillow will bring your hips into more flexion and a deeper squat.

Then leaning forward or back onto a cushioned chair or ball will change the sensation of relaxation in your pelvic floor. Experimenting now is a great way to prep your body.

This is what I do when I play with my daughter on the floor or fold laundry or just sit to practice my breathing.

Getting on my birth ball

I love sitting on my birth ball to rock, roll and shake my pelvis. My body create a muscle memory for controlling the movement of the ball while I loosen tight muscles, ease muscle aches, bring awareness to my core and help babe get into a good birth position.

Simply sitting on the ball and rocking your pelvis back and forth, side to side and in a circle. Paying attention to the sensations in the pelvis, hips and spine for ease of movement so you can then use this as a guide for where you need to do more stretches.


 This includes two forms of massage.

Going and getting a whole body massage.

And perineum massage.

A whole body massage is a great way to reduce muscle tension, stimulate stress relieving hormones, and reduce swelling.

Perineum massage is a great way to connect with your pelvic floor.  You're physically touching the area that babe will be birthed. Then doing the massage, which is more of a stretch gets you to start to feel the "burn" that happens during birth.

The goal of perineum massage is to work on your tolerance of the 'burn' not necessarily to stretch out your muscles. When you can work through this sensation without fear and with a deeper relaxation you improve your chances of being able to do so during birth.

The benefits of perineum massage is reducing risk of tearing and other medical intervention that may result in urinary incontinence and vaginal pain.

Getting down on the floor

Getting down on the floor to stretch on hands and knees is a go to position for me. This was the position my body chose for my first birth and it provides a lot of relief for back discomfort and feeling of abdominal fullness. 

When on hands and knees I do cat/cow stretch, I shift my weight from side to side and front to back, I roll my hips in circles and figure eights.

You can work through your hips, your pelvis, your spine all the way up to your head when on hands and knees. It is such a versatile position to move your body in through out pregnancy but especially as you near birth.


Practicing my mind-body connection through breath

Breathing is a very powerful tool to use for birth.

It can help with pain relief, progression, relaxation, and so much more.

Practicing a variety of breathing methods prior to birth (I'm talking many months before) allows your body to create a muscle memory which can be used when you are in the middle of labor and delivery when your mental capacity to make decisions (which is on purpose) is diminished.

I'm practicing my connection with pelvic floor relaxation on inhale through exhale, prolonging my breathe cycle to see how long I can breath, short breathes and a variety of nose/mouth breathing.

Imagery of the birth

Imagining how your birth will go can help you mentally prepare for birth.

Picturing baby descending throw the birth canal. Your pelvis widening, your pelvic floor relaxing and opening. Baby's head emerging followed by his body.

By using this imagery again you are creating a conscious connection to process of birth that you're body can unconsciously call upon during labor and delivery.

I practice this when I'm doing my breathing or just before bed.

Organizing my birth space

Since I'm planning a home birth, mentally preparing for birth also means making sure the space I'm birthing in is ready.

I don't want to caught laboring and feeling uncomfortable or annoyed that something is not in place or ready.

Making sure our lovely new soaking tub is cleaned, the speaker for our music is in the bathroom, the essential oils and diffuser or spray bottle is easily accessible.

Having my birth kit handy and all the extras like towels and baby's blanket.

This is my version of getting my hospital bag ready.


Positive affirmations

Being in a positive mindset reduces fear and stress hormones that may impact labor and delivery.

So saying positive affirmations is a great way to get into this mindset.

This could be as simple as:

"My body is made to birth a baby"
"My pelvis is just the right size for baby"

Really believing what you are saying and repeating is frequently is very important.

Pretending to be an animal with my daughter

Since we are planning on having a home birth, my daughter will be in the house when I'm laboring and when her little brother or sister is born.

So to get her prepared for the noises I may make, we are making noises for fun.

Growling, moaning, roaring, puffing, grunting.

Even though each birth is unique and your body is different from mine, your birth prep will look differently from mine, but may include some of what I practice.

You have to chose what is right for you!

If you want to learn more on how to prepare your pelvis for birth check out my Prepare Your Pelvis for Birth Package!

Happy birthing!