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OWN Your Motherhood was founded by Annie and Courtney - two occupational therapists - to provide pregnant & postpartum women with the support they deserve to OWN their birthing years and confidently support their child’s growth and development.
Courtney is a women’s health and pelvic floor occupational therapist. She helps women prepare their bodies for pregnancy and birth.
Annie is a pediatric occupational therapist and pediatric pelvic floor specialist. Annie helps parents to feel confident in their child’s development and like to take a holistic and integrative approach to treat children and adolescents with pelvic floor dysfunction and toileting difficulties.
Questions & Answers:
“Consider seeing a pelvic floor therapist while pregnant. They can help you and prepare you for birth as well as offer help post-partum. Everyone heals differently, depending on the birth process and a lot of other individual factors that are important here. Some people suggest to wait 6 weeks after giving birth to get back to exercising, but since all of us are different, it’s best to check with someone while you are pregnant as well as post-partum. It is important to take care of your body and listen to it.”
“Definitely listen to your body, and consider seeing a pelvic floor therapist, especially if you still feel pain. Do not pressure yourself, as mentioned before, everybody heals differently especially after giving birth to your child; be patient with yourself and your body. Wait until you feel ready. Communication is important during that time, make sure to communicate with your partner if you do not feel ready yet.”
“Everyone should see a pelvic floor therapist post-partum, even if it is just for a check in. Especially if something feels different or not normal, listen to your body and check in with a pelvic floor therapist. “
“It depends on the therapist, of course, but usually you will talk about your background, history, birth story, nutrition intake (in terms of food and water), then you will go through a physical assessment as well as a vaginal assessment if there is consent. OWN your Motherhood offers in house meetings for their clients for example, it depends on the therapist. It is important to look at the whole body; we assess posture, breathing, daily movements and much more. It can feel intimidating but with a good therapist it will be a good process.”
“That depends on the exercise. With Kegels, for example, it is important to keep in mind that a muscle is at its best if it can go through the full range of motion, which means the muscle needs to be able to fully contract but also fully relax. A lot of women struggle with the relaxation part of Kegels exercises but you do not just want to train contractions because when your baby is ready to be born you do not want super tight pelvic floor muscles which are not able to relax. The best way to go from here is to see a pelvic floor therapist and get yourself an individual plan for what your body needs.”
“A lot of babies do not like tummy time so that is very common. Most babies crawl between 7 to 11 months, so your baby still has some time to master that skill. You could still see an occupational therapist if you would like to have some exercises you could do with your little one to support him/her best on that journey from tummy time to crawling. To make tummy time more enjoyable for your little one I would suggest, instead of laying your baby flat on the floor, try to roll up a towel and put it under their chest so it helps support them and it makes it a bit easier. Another exercise that is important for crawling is having them lay on their side and let them play on their side as well as reaching up in the air, just hold a toy over them and let them reach for it.”
“You want to make sure your baby has head and neck control before sitting them into an activity chair. If the baby is always leaning over to one side, that could also be a sign that the baby’s trunk muscles are not strong enough yet.”
“A lot of kids are nervous about the potty, so that is a very common problem. Make the potty a fun experience, use stickers, or toys etc., to make it more fun. For kids it’s important that they can have their feet on a flat surface while sitting on the potty, either on the floor or if you use a toilet seat reducer, like the Prince Lionheart Tinkle Trainer, you can give them extra support by placing a step stool in front of the toilet that will help them keep their feet on a flat surface while on the potty, like the Prince Lionheart Uppy 2. If kids are constipated they start fearing the potty because it is usually very painful, so make sure your little one is eating enough fiber.”
“Here it is important to work on exercises that strengthen the little one’s muscles, like tummy time, playing on their side etc. You want your little one to learn how to weight shift and those exercises are best for that.”
“Bed wetting could be due to constipation or a very deep sleep. We would recommend to reach out to a specialist that can guide you through a couple different options.”