"Hi, my name is Jessica. I'm a childbirth educator and birth doula. As a woman who's given birth twice myself and had issues with diastasis recti and abdominal separation, chronic lower back pain. Also as a childbirth educator and birth doula, I could relate to it in so many ways because there are so many women several years postpartum who are still having chronic issues that we just write off because, oh, yeah, you're a woman. It's a part of living. It's a part of nature. Just deal with it - when there are much better options to being proactive about our health and our care.
(00:35) I was very interested in the program, because I really wanted to be involved in helping myself, but also being able to provide a resource for the families that I work with.
(00:46) The first thing that really surprised me about the program was how simple the exercises were. I was really honestly dumbfounded. I'm a gym rat myself. I love the gym. Even having personal trainers correct my form and critique me and things I was doing in the gym and knowing that my form was correct, I was still dealing with issues with chronic lower back pain.
(01:12) When I started doing this program, I was amazed at how simple and easy the exercises were, and then really understanding the whys behind the moves and the exercises that we were doing. It just was like, Oh, yeah. It just totally made sense.
(01:32) There were times, weeks at a time, where honestly, I would forget about it. Then I would notice that my back pain would start very slowly, not as severe as it was before, just reemerging. Then I would be like, Oh, I really need to do my pelvic core exercises again. I would do that, and that muscle memory is already there. It's really quick. I do it probably at least 2-3 times a week, and I teach group fitness classes at my gym. I try to do these exercises in the morning before I do any weight lifting or I teach any group fitness classes because I know it's going to help keep me safe in the long run.
(02:09) They're both (Jenn & Christina) very easy to talk to, very approachable. They're very sweet. They're both very knowledgeable, and they both bring their own perspective and insight to the work. I never felt intimidated. I never felt silly or stupid for asking any questions. They were both easy to work with and really helped me understand the process. I never felt lost at any point in time.
(02:36) I think it's wonderful. I think it should be mandatory for all moms. As a childbirth educator and birth doula, I see women have amazing and beautiful, wonderful births, but sometimes I've witnessed some very traumatizing things where women's bodies are really put through the ringer, including their pelvic floor and their abdominal muscles. And years later, they're having to deal with the fallout from that, whether it's a bladder prolapse or pain with intercourse. They just live with it because we're women, and we're told that's just a part of being a woman, and there's not much you can do.
(03:18) But now we know that there are things we can do to be proactive rather than catching things years down the road that may need surgical intervention or living in pain constantly. There are very simple things that we can do proactively beforehand and then in the immediate postpartum period, just to make life a lot easier and better and safer for moms, physically and emotionally as well.
(03:42) I mean, even in the gym, I hear women often like, "Oh, I'm not going to do jumping jacks because I'm going to tinkle myself," or you see the Poise commercials constantly on TV. They're like, I'm just not going to do that because I'm a woman, and I'm like, It doesn't need to be that way. No, that's not normal. There are simple things. There is help. There are resources.
(03:59) I really believe that in our maternity system, if we would deal with these things head-on as they're happening in pregnancy, in labor, following birth, that we wouldn't have to deal with so many issues on the back-end that are ultimately more expensive to deal with. I tell so many people about it (the Program). It's wonderful!"