As a specialist for postpartum care and pelvic pain, I was honored to be a part of The Happy Mom Conference in Pasadena, CA. El Abad, a Los Angeles mom and the creator of the Land of Mom blog, started this incredible and inspiring event in 2018. For this year’s event, she teamed up with UppaBaby to present another fabulous gathering with top-notch speakers, moderators, keynotes and sponsors.
When El contacted me and asked if I was interested in speaking at HMC as an expert in postpartum health and healing, I jumped at the chance. I was so thrilled to learn that a prominent L.A. mom, like El, valued having a pelvic floor physical therapist speak on her stage.
My goal for the conference was to really bring an awareness and understanding to the attendees that pelvic floor health and recovery is an essential part of caring for your body after delivery, either vaginal or cesarean. My message was simple:
“One in three women experience pelvic floor dysfunction after childbirth. We do a poor job of taking care of new mamas in this country, and having a pelvic floor assessment postpartum is imperative for comprehensive care and optimal healing and recovery.
We often leave mothers to navigate their recovering bodies alone, and dismiss concerns with, “oh that’s normal, you just had a baby, what do you expect?”
Common does NOT mean normal. Even though it may be common to leak urine with exercise or sneezing, or have pain with sex, it is certainly not “normal,” and shouldn’t be dismissed so readily.
Working with skilled providers and having a multidisciplinary team to meet all needs of the new mother should not be a luxury, it should be a necessary and very standard piece of comprehensive postpartum care.”
I talked about the need for postpartum care during the first panel of the day “Self-Care Rituals,” and I got to share the stage with some incredible mamas, who are running their businesses, lives and families, with grace, brilliance and balance.
Our moderator, Candice Valdez, brought her talents and experience as a Radio Disney Host to run our panel smoothly. I sat next to Deepika Chopra, with whom I coincidentally went to high school, and she discussed her work as an optimism doctor and what she has found during her studies of happiness.
Kelly Leveque was next. She is a nutritionist and health coach, and shared some amazing tips on creating healthy, quick food menus for new parents. Our panel was rounded out by Liz Arch, a yogini and empowerment guru who gave us more tips on using the breath to help reduce stress and calm the body.
Pelvic floor health and recovery is related to all these topics, and having a balance of happiness, good food, fluid movement and breath is essential to a holistic and comprehensive recovery after baby and at any stage postpartum.
I love working with women like these, and using components from each of their areas of expertise is so crucial to complete and optimal recovery. What I loved most about being a part of the HMC was not only meeting other women who lift each other up, but also having the chance to speak about my passion and life’s work.
We shared some laughs, we shared some tears, but in the end, I hope that my message rang clear: We do not need to be ashamed or afraid to talk about what is going on in our bodies and what we need help with. And it’s not ok for our concerns to be dismissed due to us “just having a baby.”
I am excited to see what next year’s conference will hold, and I hope I am asked back to continue the conversation about pelvic floor health and healing after baby.
As mothers, we are deserving and worthy of a comprehensive care package after delivering a baby, and consulting with a pelvic floor PT is a key part of that. If you are dealing with any postpartum issues, such as incontinence, C-section scar pain, perineal pain, painful sex or any type of pelvic pain or pelvic floor issue, please call our office or schedule an appointment at any time.
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