Whether you’ve just had a baby or are starting to pay more attention to your pelvic floor, these Instagram accounts are definitely worth checking out
Thanks to a series of articles in the last two months, I hope you now understand the importance of taking care of your deep core and pelvic floor throughout pregnancy and after delivery. Perhaps you’ve made an appointment with a pelvic floor physiotherapist*, or sought out advice from a personal trainer who specializes in perinatal (pregnant + postpartum) populations.
Maybe you, like me, have now become a bit of a pelvic floor geek. (I can dream, can’t I?) Regardless, if your interest has been piqued, and you want to learn from, connect with, and support some amazing women, I highly recommend these five Instagram accounts. Add these women to your Instagram feed to watch and learn as they discuss, advocate, educate, explore, and engage all things pelvic floor.
*Do note that the term “physiotherapist” in Asia and Australia is synonymous with “physical therapist” in the US.
**Please note that social media posts do not take the place of individualized care from a practitioner who has assessed you, specifically. These women provide amazing information, but it doesn’t substitute for an actual assessment. If you have concerns or symptoms (pelvic pain, low back pain, urinary/fecal incontinence, pain during sex), please see a health care professional!
Who: Sara Reardon is a pelvic health physiotherapist based in New Orlean, Louisiana, USA, who specializes in perinatal populations, both in a local clinic and virtually.
Follow for: Humor, truth, and information about your body during pregnancy and postpartum. As a working mom of two toddlers, Sara’s style is casual and relatable for young Moms — reading her posts is like chatting with a close friend, plus the bonus of information on pooping, periods, pumping, and more. Her stories are also jam-packed with info; I don’t usually watch Stories, but make an exception for hers!
🍑FLAT BOOTY FRIDAY🍑 Postpartum flat ass is for reals y’all. A few weeks ago I posted about posture and how we stand and carry our bellies during pregnancy 🤰🏻 and our babies postpartum 🤱🏻 affects this. • The next step is learning to reconnect and reactivate those butt muscles so your underwear doesn’t go up to the middle of your back anymore. 🙋🏻♀️ • Lie on your tummy (pillow optional) with your knees bent and push your heels gently together. You should feel your butt tighten and turn on. Then with that booty tight, lift both legs up toward the ceiling. 👆🏼Make sure you breathe and perform a few times a week for 20-30 reps. • One important tip is make sure your pelvic floor isn’t too tense or overactive before starting this. If you have pelvic pain, tailbone pain, even leakage or prolapse let’s chat first and make sure this booty exercise is right for you. 👍🏼 • #flatbootyfriday #virtualvaginatherapy #thevaginawhisperer #pelvicfloordysfunction #pelvicfloor #postpartumbody #postpartumflatass #postpartumfitness #postpartum
Who: Haley Shevener is a personal trainer, kettle bell and movement enthusiast who specializes in working with perinatal populations, in person in San Francisco, CA, USA, and online. As a lifelong athlete, she speaks and writes about pelvic organ prolapse (and other pelvic floor health issues) with experience, compassion, and hope.
Follow for: Real talk about parenting, mental health, pelvic floor health, and all of the grey areas in fitness and training women. Haley doesn’t believe in rules – she believes in empowering women with tools and confidence to explore movement, and to return to activities they love with information, not fear. I credit Haley with improving my personal kettle bell practice – and lucky for all of us, she JUST launched an online kettle bell course: Female-Inclusive Approach to Kettlebell Training. Check it out on her profile.
A reminder, in case you need one: Pelvic organ prolapse is not your fault. . It may be that, after learning more about your body, you’re seeing the ways in which life leaves its imprint on our bodies. It’s tempting, then, to play the detective, searching for clues that led you to this version of your body. But, sometimes, I see women lamenting the best decisions they could make at the time they needed to make them, and my heart breaks a little. With advocacy comes awareness, and with awareness comes the opportunity to microscopically dissect all the ways in which we believe we’ve done this to ourselves. . Look at for clues, yes, but tread lightly through the “evidence” that tempts you into believing you are the cause of harm, and that you failed to protect yourself. It is unlikely that your #prolapse was caused by one isolated event. It’s more likely that, for a myriad of reasons, your pelvic floor yielded to gravity, to the demand that was required, and that none of those reasons were your fault. . Identifying the upcoming challenges to our pelvic floors is a worthy endeavor, but beating ourselves up for what we didn’t know serves no purpose but to stall true healing. . This message is one I especially want fitness professionals to hear. How often we hide in shame, believing that we have lost our credentials with our diagnoses. It’s not true. We did the best we could, even if we “knew better”. . In hindsight, everyone can play the director. “What I would have done differently” is a play that I could write and perform a million times. But knowing the lines I couldn’t read then, doesn’t help me rewrite the ending. . You can influence what happens next, but you can’t change what has happened already. Let’s move forward, supporting each other, and, mostly, ourselves. . Pelvic organ prolapse is not our fault.
Who: Julie Wiebe is a sports medicine physiotherapist in Los Angeles, CA, USA, and self-described “Women’s Health Evangelist”. She was one of the earliest advocates and practitioners of bridging the gap between athleticism and pelvic floor care, and her work is the foundation of the most current perinatal exercise practices.
Follow for: Current research/evidence in the women’s health field, and a healthy dose of ANTI-fear-mongering in the pelvic floor health community. Julie’s goal is to help women return to the activities they love, pain- and leak-free, and equip other professionals to do the same. Julie’s online lecture/tutorial was my first introduction to breathing and movement techniques to help heal and restore core function in postpartum populations.
Come have fun with me! Learn how to problem solve through the needs of fit females at any level in any kind of sport. Piston Science Part Two Online for Pros: Bridge the Gap Between Rehab and Fitness is on its way. Taped on site in Toronto, it is the live interviewing, assessment and movement based treatment of two generous women seeking help that were willing to share their stories with the onsite participants and the online community. It starts with the idea of “let’s try…show me” and then we clinically reason from there to use their fitness as their rehab for pain (it doesn’t get more biopsychosocial than fitness), pelvic health, and performance health. Come see how their stories unfolded and join the clinical conversation at home. Stay tuned here for more details about the launch sale or join my newsletter for the best deals (link in profile). My whole library will be on sale! #physicaltherapy #physiotherapy #biopsychosocial #dpt #continuingeducation #professionaldevelopment #letthemplay #bridgethegap #returntoplay #pelvichealth #pelvicmafia #pistonscience #educatedhope
Who: Brianna is a strength and conditioning coach, former water-polo player, and Cross Fit athlete in Southern California, USA. After the birth of her first son, and some misguided postpartum advice, she went searching for a better way. A self-described “dot connector”, she reads, thinks, networks, and uses what she learns to empower coaches, instructors, and professional athletes to provide better care for perinatal women who love intense, competitive sport.
Follow for: Information from a woman who understand the “athlete mindset”, and manages to provide useful information while still respecting the need for individualized assessments and care. I’m currently taking her Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Course, and it is changing the way I teach and coach all of my clients – not just the perinatal ones! Brianna has literally built and trained a community of coaches who have the skill set to properly care for perinatal populations in competitive gym environments.
Post to Highlight: June 6, Pregnant Brianna pushing a sled (From an ad I saw: “Pregnancy is not an excuse to let my body and health go…”_)
From an ad I saw: “Pregnancy is not an excuse to let my body and health go.” “By making it (exercise) a priority you’ll maintain a toned physique and recover faster.” The tone and examples are misguided, even if the intention is supposed to be motivating and encouraging. . Sanctimonious #fitpregnancy and #bodyback #fitmom examples and messaging like this is everything I try to rally against. . We can encourage health, fitness, strength, awareness and decisions without the sanctimonious attitude. . The most experienced athletes and coaches understand how to appropriately channel their competitiveness and athleticism for whatever chapter they’re in. . They understand needs analysis and specificity- not the need for maintenance or proving something. During pregnancy and postpartum, they recognize that their needs analysis changes, as it should, and there’s no way to productively counter that change. This is why I get to work with a variety of athletes- they know things need to shift because they’re outside of their realm of experience and circumstance. They allow and welcome the new, even when it’s intimidating. Their experience allows them the humility to seek guidance, surrender and adapt. . Ego, fear and an attitude of exemption is a result of insecurity. Willingness to learn, adapt, pause and re-build comes from experience and trust. . So no, pregnancy isn’t an “excuse”…🤦🏼♀️it’s an opportunity to learn NEW things about your life, body and tendencies…it’s a reason to find out why you are of more worth than your athletic ability or physique. It’s a reason to let go, lean in and realize this chapter is temporary with nothing to prove to anyone, especially yourself. #pregnancyandpostpartumathleticism
Who: Katy Bowman is a biomechanist and movement ecologist who explores human movement as a researcher, teacher, student, and parent. While pelvic health is no longer her main focus, she has researched and written extensively about diastasic recti, and all of her movement education is designed to support long-term pelvic floor health.
Follow for: Inspiration to move more, and to build a life for yourself and your family that’s centered around movement. Katy’s choices might seem more extreme to some, but she works tirelessly to brainstorm ways to help us all – ages 1 to 100 – move better, and move more. She’s smart, silly, and my greatest respect for her comes from how she 100% “walks the walk” (literally) that she advocates. She is the reason that our family has a furniture-free living room!
Brilliant day in Cambridge, England yesterday! Many thank to everyone who came out to the core and shoulders workshop and book signing–it’s always a pleasure to connect in person! Many thanks to Lotus Publishing for making my books available in the UK and also, if you’re in the UK, check out this UK-specific (no customs, easy returns, quick shipping) MINIMAL FOOTWEAR LIST by @activebalanceuk http://www.theactivebalance.co.uk/ukbarefootshoedirectory/. If you attended please leave a comment below so you can all connect–there’s nothing like #VitaminCommunity to give your movement a boost! #MoveYourDNA #diastasisrecti #kbtours
Lead image by Brianna Battles