0:00:01 - Emilee
All right, welcome back to the show, Rebecca. Hi, I'm so happy to be here.
Yeah, I'm glad you're here. I'm glad we're doing this a bit spontaneously. We are celebrating a collaboration between you and I, and this is an episode to name that collaboration and really to get into. Well, let me back up. I have wanted to do an episode on the postpartum pelvis for a really long time and I haven't known who it was going to be with, and so I'm really excited that this has come into my sphere.
And for any of you who are new to Rebecca, she's been on the episode before, or sorry, she's been on the show before and you can find that in the show notes and I'll be sure to link it. The last episode you joined us for was around your shift from being an OBGYN into moving into the holistic field after taking RBK, and so the previous episode was all about that journey. So it's really it's a it's a fan favorite, so go listen to that if you haven't. But today we are going to talk about Rebecca's very personal journey with her postpartum pelvis and how that paired with her just giant well of knowledge from working with women for so long.
So we're celebrating Rebecca's course through Free Verse Society. We're calling it your postpartum pelvis and the big stuff we're going to be getting in today. So listen up. If this is you or if you work with postpartum women, we're going to get into diastasis, we're going to get into prolapse, we're going to get into tearing and all that Rebecca has learned, or a snippet of what Rebecca has learned in this arena, and then we're going to get you all jazzed up so that you can go buy this course because it'll change your life. This is, this is must have information. Welcome, thanks.
0:01:50 - Rebecca
I'm glad to be here.
0:01:53 - Emilee
So let's start with your story, because you were texting me some crazy shit the other day, and that was when I was like we got to record this. I mean, like we just said beforehand, you know, part of my intention with with bringing this onto the show is you and I both are acutely aware of how depressing and hopeless feeling women can feel after their births, particularly in these realms, you know. Is my body broken? Can I heal? Am I stuck with diastasis forever? Is this prolapse? What do I do? And so, yeah, this is such an important topic and and I'm just so glad to have you here, so why don't we start with your story of some of what you were sharing with me privately?
0:02:44 - Rebecca
So just my background, if you haven't listened to the other podcast, as I was trained as a more medical midwife and then went ahead to medical school, and I was trained in family medicine and then did further training and obstetrics, and so I was also having my own children during that time and I'm a mother of nine. But I birthed five of my children and the others came to my family through adoption, and my first son I had during residency and at the time. And so I think the big thing is and what I was telling Emilee is is that for one thing, I had blocked out a lot of this, even though this was the beginning of my swing back to holistic care was to begin to figure out how to take care of myself, and so my first son I had during residency, and even though I was in family medicine residency at that time, as in taking care of the family, that was back before now. Actually, congress put through residency hours like that you can only work so many hours, but at that point in time you there were no residency hour caps, so I had four weeks to the day after having my son to these like 100 plus hour work weeks. So I'm still a little bitter about it actually, because I realized at the time like how difficult that was and I just couldn't believe I was getting the support not getting the support from my residency program. It was awful.
So he was my first one. It was a 40 hour labor I he was a big kid like all of that and I went back four weeks to the day like back up on my feet, back up, working 100 plus hour work week. So we used to do like 36 or it was between 34 and 36 on, and then like 12 to 14 off and then 36 on, 12 off, like that, and then we would go through these rotations. So I, I everything like the diastasis and the split that I had and you know I I tour with that one and all of that. I'm moving right along.
So my second one I had following my training. I finished my residency, finished my post, my fellowship training, and she came super fast. She was a super fast labor at home like under two hours came out super fast and I had no clue how to take care of myself and that felt great. Comparatively I felt great and I was a runner and I used to run on concrete and within two weeks I was out running, no, and then I went back to my residency again to like it. Yes, so the American College of obstetrics and gynecologists or you know the quote, unquote expert the College of obstetrics and gynecologists, the cult, the cult of obstetrics and gynecology.
And then I went to this day, if you look up because I looked him up when I was rerecording this course, like with a guideline say, they still say the same thing, which is what I was taught, not only in my medical training but in my midwifery training, was if you feel good, then return, like you can return. And it says, the quote says if you had an uncomplicated pregnancy and normal spontaneous vaginal delivery, you can return to exercise soon after birth. That's what it says, that's all it says, that's the whole guideline. Soon after birth, it says if you had a cesarean, ask your physician to return. That's like the sum total. And so I feel like I felt good and I was out running on concrete.
So then Now you go to my third pregnancy. So my third pregnancy, no surprise. And actually I would do want to say after my second pregnancy, and I was having like all this lower back pain and my yoga instructor said to me, and this is again within the first month for postpartum, because I'm already out attending yoga classes. I think you take more rest and I remember at the time I was like, I mean, I listened to her, but I was also like I was the quote unquote expert on yeah, you know, I was an OB, you know, and okay, and so now my third pregnancy, it's my fourth day after pregnancy, and I bear down in a poop and out comes my uterus, like out comes my cervix, right through, of course, because it comes your uterus or your cervix, my cervix, so my cervix, just my cervix, like poking down through my vaginal opening as I'm pooping, right, and that kind of freaked me out. Uh yeah, I got back into my bed and I called my friend slash colleague, who was an OB, and he was an older guy who I you know, and I called him, you know, because I had a cell phone. I'm like my uterus, just like, came out, my cervix just came out while I was pooping and he said well, honey, just tuck it back up in there. So, you know, I just tucked it back up in there. So that was day four postpartum.
Day 10 postpartum happened to be Halloween and I was strapping my 10 plus pound baby on and trick or treating with my other kids I had. The point is is I had no clue. So my fourth same thing again, but it wasn't a big deal this time. I remember, like bearing down, and I remember my mom came into the bathroom and I was sitting there and my cervix was hanging out the opening and I was like pulling some memories out of it and she was like what are you doing? And I was just like, don't worry about it, mom, go away. I got this, go away. And so that was my fourth, and then I went on to have a fifth.
So that's my prolapse story, in short. And so I was well, if you can heal, anyone can, right. So I was pregnant, nursing or both, for 11 years straight. Right, I had those kids, one after another after another, and so here I was, having prolapse not only of my uterus, but I also had a cystocele, which is where the bladder prolapses into the vaginal vault, and erecticeal, where the rectum prolapses into the vaginal vault. So I had all of them. I used to joke with the other obese in my office that I worked with that my seals were barking, which was just like I could feel my prolapse coming down.
Right, yeah, and so I went to the OB that I worked with and they recommended a hysterectomy. I was 36 years old at the time. 36, 37 years old, I went to the urogynecological surgeon that I referred people to you for surgery. She told me. I went to my family practice doctor who put her arm around me and said, honey, that uterus has done so much for you, it's time to get her out. Right, yeah? And so I actually went and made. Oh so, the OB that I went to. By the way, when she felt up inside and did an exam, she told me your sidewalls are blown. That's what she was talking about. My vaginal sidewall. She tells me your sidewalls are blown. And I believed her. I heard and I believed her. So the OB sent me to do pelvic floor therapy, which is not helpful, and I just ended up feeling guilty because I didn't feel like I was doing those right or enough or anything like that. So, basically, I decided that the move for me was to have a hysterectomy and a bladder tech.
Well, you, I mean, and you barely decided it you were told it by every single person in your life that you had any sort of trust in my two different OB's, your gynecological surgeon, my family practice physician, they all sort of recommended that, and so I was trying to decide, timing wise, like my kids were going back to school and probably be better to do it after they were back to school. And then I also wanted to take this course, this holistic pelvic care course from Tammy Lynn Kent, who does holistic public care, and that was sort of my weaning present, was like I would be able to go to this conference and spend a week out in Portland, and so I was at that course. Oh, thank God, I know, I know, and I was trying to time it right and my day two weeks later my God that my hysterectomy was two weeks later.
So I was at that course and the mind frame was such a shift and my work was such a shift, and we practiced, of course, on each other. And so one of the I remember her name's Abigail Regan. She's a midwife and a practitioner in California. She was my partner and so I confessed to her as she was doing my inner pelvic work. Well, my sidewalls are blown and she's like what she was just like. And I go, oh my, you know, ob told me my sidewalls were blown and she looked me right in the eye and she said, well, that didn't serve, you Did it. And I was like, oh, I can let that go.
And by the second day, by the time I was doing the work, I really knew I remember like the exact hallway I was in on break and I was like, number one, I'm going to start doing this work when I come back and close my conventional medical practice. And number two, I'm not going to have to have that surgery Like I knew it, even though I didn't quite know which. And so I began on a deep journey of healing there, from holistic pelvic care to learning about my abdominal therapy, to learning about proper women's pelvic alignment, and it was so at the time I was wearing a pessary. Do you know what the pessary Pessary is like a diaphragm on steroids, like a big doughnut kind of that you stick up to hold your uterine organs up. I was still, by the way, going to the gym lifting weights, running on concrete. I would just like pop my pessary up there, right. And so I learned how to do appropriate exercise for the female body. I also had a six finger diastasis at that time, so, like all of my plus one, nobody had ever talked to me the whole time. But not only had nobody ever talked to me about that, but I as a physician, as an obstetrician, had no clue, right.
Women used to come in and tell me that stuff, like tell me something doesn't feel right down there or something, and I would kind of really honestly not know what to do. You know, stick my two fingers up and feel their womb and whatever. I didn't even know, like to examine them standing out. I didn't know, and if they kind of complained about it enough, I sent them to PT. But other than that I had no clue what to do. And women were coming to me. When I think, not only about myself, but when I think about all of the medical patients who were with me as their physician all of those years, and all of the women that I saw, like you see them for vaginal delivery in the hospital and you see them six weeks later. And Laura looked at me and she was like, well, you didn't do that, did you? And I was so embarrassed, but the answer was like yeah, I appreciate it.
0:14:30 - Emilee
I have a question how disembodied did you feel with all of that Like? I understand the like top layer of survival and this is just how it is. But like now, now that you have a reference point or many reference points like, what does that feel like?
0:14:57 - Rebecca
Yeah, you know it's so, all right, I'm going to go. Okay, it's so interesting because, like when I first learned holistic pelvic here, I had already done thousands of pelvic exams or whatever. You know, with this like right hand, like this, I hate this I hate this.
And when I switched, it was actually the first or second day Tammy said to me, you know, as she was walking around she said switch to your left hand. So suddenly I switched to like one finger with my left hand and I was feeling, and so it was totally different, like feeling the muscles, feeling the tissues, feeling the energetic layers and all of that. And so when I was first doing my own, like vaginal massage and my inner pelvic work to help my organs align again, I had no clue. I had no clue Like what? Oh, I had checked myself in labor for dilation with my right hand, fingers right, but I had no clue other than that, like super directive, here's your ovaries, poke around, do they feel normal? Where's the cervix, in and out? Like I had no clue and so not even on my own body, like I wasn't even, much less the women's bodies that I was touching, to have that sense of that. So for me it's like this delightful coming home. It's really a coming home.
And you know, I still technically have prolapse and it's not like I have zero prolapse, but I still have my uterus. I no longer wear a pessary, I no longer am thinking that I need a hysterectomy and if I do have symptoms, then I modify what I'm doing to help with my symptoms, kind of like if you have migraines. Like if you have migraines and you get migraines all the time, which is another thing like throughout medical school and stuff, I was having multiple migraines and then now I have them a handful of times a year because I've learned how to take care of my body and but people, when they have migraines, they learn how to manage their migraines. And then, but there's something about prolapse. Like people when they have prolapse, it's like, oh, I am broken and that's what I felt. Like, oh, I screwed up and I actually got super into weightlifting and powerlifting and I was like deadlifting 200 pounds and stuff, and then then, my surprise, my proap symptoms started coming back and I even went through that all over again, like three or four years ago, where I was like I had gotten disembodied again.
Emilee, honestly, I was like no, and then I was like, oh, I really broke myself this time and I didn't. It's all fine, it's all back up there, and so it's a. It's a continued journey with myself and conversation with myself and truly like this type of care that we give ourselves is honoring ourselves. It's a continuing decision to honor ourselves and honor our bodies, and then it's all out there like what we can do. And that's why I was so excited about putting this course together, because the things in the course are the things that I did like 10 years after of having prolapse, like 10 years of after having all those kids, 10 years later. These things I did 10 years later to help heal the prolapse.
0:18:41 - Emilee
Let's get into some of that. So we had said we're going to touch on prolapse, diastasis and tearing. Let's do tearing first. You said something kind of wild before we started recording, so you know my intention is to share some real helpful tips and tricks, you know, on this episode so that it can go far and wide. I really want you know those of you listening who have struggled with these things or are afraid of them happening, just to know that it all is so healable and repairable and, from my lens, where I have sat in birth work, any woman that I can think of that I've ever seen work on this with the right framework and roadmap, with commitment, has healed, you know. So you're not broken, it's not ruined.
I have a hard time believing anyone needs their womb out and so, yeah, I hope you'll find some solace here and some comfort and inspiration, because it does take what's the right word Like it does take stretching out of our comfort zones to choose healing and it's vulnerable and it's scary and it's expansive and this is such a common issue. Obviously, women are blowing out their pelvic floor with traumatized, you know, fucked up, directed, pushing numb, getting cut Like, okay, yes, don't do that. You know. If you're listening to this podcast, you already know. Just don't go do that. But you can totally have a sovereign birth and do all the postpartum stuff that you referenced, so okay, so let's take it away. Let's start with Terri.
0:20:33 - Rebecca
Yeah, so, terri, so you know, you and I have talked about this a lot the sort of the really bad tears and I'm not willing to like never, say never, that that would never, ever happen on a physiologic birth but you were like I haven't seen it, I haven't seen it yet, like the really big, bad ones. And then the other where you might need, you know, some help to bring those tissues back together. So the other thing is that I sutured everyone. Like I sutured everyone all of the time. I just did, and I had my own experience. It was actually after that third to where I had an allergic type reaction to the suture material when you were sutured.
When I was sutured yeah, my third child I was sutured and I had an allergic reaction to the type of suture material she used, and so my body really had this within. I can't. It was around two weeks, so somewhere like 12 days to two weeks, like the stitches were all like coming apart in my whole. You know Yoni was red and all of that and I ended up going in and again having a colleague like help, cut them out of me, and it kind of, and like what I know now I'm not going to be able to do that Kind of look and like. What I know now is that if I didn't, I feel like if I didn't get sutured and knew how to do proper postpartum care and lay up in bed and keep my legs together, and what I understand now about the healing of the tissues, I know I would have been better off and yeah, and so it's been amazing for me to witness the healing of the body rather than do sutures on everyone just because that's what I was always taught to do.
When you haven't, you know, when there's a medicalized birth and the majority of the women that I my birthing experience have been with still was women with epidurals and their legs have been stirruped, and then they push that table over with all the instruments, you know, and I glove up and put my stuff on and there's always suture material there and it's always open every single time.
And so sometimes immediately like the baby was born and before the placenta even came out, I'd be looking because the mom doesn't feel it and I'd be looking and throwing stitches in to see if I could get done real quick before the placenta even came out, right. And so this prevalence of hearing about our mothers, our sisters, our friends, who all have sutures. Just because they received sutures doesn't mean they needed sutures, and I had the experience myself of having sutures and causing this like inflammatory reaction in my body to spit all these things out and that to really stay open. And actually ultimately, after I had all my children, I did go in and get that repaired and I chose to get a repair later because of how bad that had been with the suture material at the time.
0:23:44 - Emilee
So yeah, yeah, I mean, hopefully people that listen to this podcast already have those dots connected for them. Like, if you're having a medicalized birth where you're laying, you're numb, you're on your back, directed, pushing on drugs, da-da-da-da, it is incredibly likely that you are going to really I would use the word like rip, you know, not to mention that all of the medical hands that are stretching you, that are inside of you, I mean it's so violent and it's so, and then obviously people do episiotomies and actually cut the perineum and then that rips as well.
0:24:26 - Rebecca
So we're really kind of have to talk about tearing in these two separate paradigms, because- I was gonna say because you said oh, in a medicalized birth with an epidural on your back, no, no, no. I had homeburst, though with a more medicalized midwife who still did directed pushing, of course you kind of get your knees back so you don't have to be in the hog. It's just medicalized pushing, directed pushing, purple pushing, thinking that you even have to push rather than waiting for your body.
0:24:56 - Emilee
Well, sutures are happening on a spectrum in the medical, under the purview of medical providers, right? So medical midwives suture even in a normal closer to the mark of a physiological birth. Not all medical midwives will insist on directed pushing every time, but as far as I've ever tracked, almost all of them do routine suturing, and so, of course, everything exists on a spectrum. But there's two separate paradigms, you know, around tearing versus forced, violent, you know ripping. That, like we already said. I just wanna say again, it is my observation as well as Yolanda's, and we've both attended, you know, many births in the sovereign birth paradigm and we've also tracked thousands and thousands of birth stories, right, and never have I ever seen a physiological tear that didn't heal.
Does the Yoni change, of course? Of course, yes, as things do and as our bodies do, but actually require surgery to bring, you know, everything back together. No, I don't. I mean, of course I could be wrong, like it might exist, but I've never seen it. It can take way longer than you want, which opens up a different conversation we don't necessarily have to get into. But you know, I had a really bad tear with my first birth and it didn't even start to feel like it was really healing in a way that I could really grasp until seven weeks right, like okay, that's actually normal, but anyway. So suturing and tearing don't necessarily have to go together. They do go together in the medical paradigm, but anyway, what else do we wanna say about tearing as it relates to, like, postpartum healing and the postpartum pelvis?
0:27:00 - Rebecca
Yeah, so there's a lot of great tips for helping tears heal and one of the things that I wanted to say that I think is really interesting that I hadn't come across this until I was really researching to pull some of this together for my course. But the pelvic floor muscles you know, when I was looking at them to get the good diagrams and all that I put in my course they are really really well studied by physiologists. Physiologists are fascinated with the pelvic floor muscles. It's called the levator anion muscles because, compared to any other muscle in the body, they have been shown to stretch without damage and repair without damage, and so they're interested in these muscle fibers and how they are. And so there was actually I geeked out on that and went down this rabbit hole like reading all about the muscle fibers and how they work, but how interesting that like muscle physiologists are, and so it's for me.
It was so amazing to read that and for the stretch to come back in the studies where they've ultrasounded women's stuff and looked at all that it's eight weeks for the beginning, but really up to six months. So realize that too. But the takeaway is they have been shown to stretch further without tearing and to repair themselves without damage. Was the studies used? Yeah, and so, of course, like if any muscle in our body was going to be made to do it, it'd be that one, but there's actually sort of the research behind it to figure it out.
0:28:43 - Emilee
Yeah well, there's also just logic. Like a deer, a deer is not going to walk around with some like giant, irreparable tear. It just doesn't, it doesn't make sense, yeah, yeah. So I mean, the course that you've put out will go into quite a bit of depth around tearing and if you find yourself with tearing in a physiological way, what to do? Anything else you want to drop about it before we shift to diastasis.
0:29:16 - Rebecca
No, I you know, not without. I go a lot into it in the course. You know herbs and postures and ways to take care of the body and all of that yeah.
0:29:27 - Emilee
Yeah, but I think at least for the purpose of.
Yeah. Of this episode I want to say physiological tearing is okay, it's not anything to be afraid of, it's all designed to heal. It's quite. It's actually quite an important part of the postpartum process, I think, to contend with the changing of your yoni and then experience the healing. There's something in that for women who choose, you know, to heal and to not be sutured and to have physiological births. I found a lot of surprising embodiment available for me in realizing I can heal and that I did heal and that I could even feel better on the other side than I did before. And it just is the total counter narrative to oh, thank God you had a C-section, thank God you're pussy didn't have to go through that, like all this disgusting misogynistic mistruths. It's just not true.
0:30:36 - Rebecca
Yeah, and Emilee, what you just said about feeling better on the other side, I hear that in my practice women doing holistic public care with women you don't hear. You're exactly right, you don't hear about that as much. But I have heard many, many women and I love that word embodiment and the healing and how, yeah, they love their, like Yonis, after, yes, women that have torn and women where it doesn't you know, look in the mirror, the same, or whatever.
0:31:11 - Emilee
They love it and yeah, there's just, there's so much depth, there's so much misogynistic depth to untangle around why we think our Yonis should never change, why they should look like the maiden version of us, why, you know, it's quite the rabbit hole of self-exploration, should you choose to try it on. And if you are someone who is in recovery mode from birth trauma, you know birth violence, you know needles threading your perineum. It's also healable and I also want you to heal, to hear that that it that doesn't mean there isn't any coming back. And there's a lot of cool stuff you know to say about it where you know, I've been with women who will be sutured in a previous birth and then their perineum will reopen, sometimes, not always, but will re-tear at the same point where they were sutured in a physiological birth and then will heal it in a very real way and it will actually become more intact. There's that midwifery adage of like I'm gonna mess it up, but it's like you know, rest in bed in the walls, we'll find each other something like that.
0:32:28 - Rebecca
It's the I go into this a lot in the course the actual physiology of our pelvic floor muscles and how they overlay and they weave back and forth like a nest and so when they find that re-weaving together, it's strong. Yeah, it's really strong.
0:32:44 - Emilee
Yeah, that's a great point. Yeah, okay. So diastasis, oh my goodness, you know, I think, like you said, it's in some ways not that big of a deal. It is so healable, really, even if yours is jacked up. It is so healable. I have, literally before my eyes, watched women do the exercises and really commit to again. I really just this word, embodiment, has been coming up so much for me lately. It's like, isn't that what this is? You know, to choose ourselves, to choose the health of our body and to actualize the path of healing. So what should you say about diastasis?
0:33:27 - Rebecca
Yeah, so if we could hit Rebecca I'm like such the good example on all of these things, because I did so I had, you know, the kids and I never, ever thought about healing it at all.
I just didn't and I wasn't directing you but I wasn't mentioned or any of that.
And so by the time I had my five children, I had a six finger, so a six finger spread, so all five of the fingers from one hand plus another one could go in there, and I didn't even really understand how to engage my core. And so I started working with some really great, and actually, who I first learned about healing diastasis with was a PT that I became friends with from that holistic pelvic care course, like back to that one course where she first told me about diaphragmatic breathing and pelvic floor breathing and abdominal breathing, like just setting the breath right, and how much that helps. And then that started the journey with that and I don't have one anymore, like I don't have one and I care one for 10 years, and so it's all. Yeah, that's it, it's all healable and our bodies are meant to do this. And also, if you are going like the OBs aren't going to be able to tell you I was an OB and I wasn't able to tell you.
0:35:03 - Emilee
Obviously do not recommend.
0:35:07 - Rebecca
And so if you go to them they're going to say surgery. I did have actually a surgeon friend say that she would be willing to do umbilical hernia and stitch my muscles together, for no, I didn't do it.
0:35:25 - Emilee
My God, I know she's just so, so, so weird it's so what is the?
0:35:32 - Rebecca
word like sick, it's happening. All it's happening and the other thing is that's really taken off is labiaplasty and plastic surgery for vaginas. It's wild how common it is and it used to be like, oh, just big cities and porn stars, and now it's like there's multiple people that do it and you know some plastic surgeons in my town used to be no, I'm from Louisville, kentucky Plastic surgeons that are not even GYNs in my town who do like tummy tucks and chin lifts and will also do labiaplasty, which is insanity. But when you asked me about my personal disconnect, like the disconnect in general, like from women to be that disconnected to not even understand what real yonis look like, I'm so sad.
0:36:33 - Emilee
Yeah, yeah, it is, and just to hate yourself so much and to be so yeah. I mean you can only be disembodied if you're going to augment yourself in that way for, like, the public approval or whatever.
0:36:50 - Rebecca
But it's so sad. It's sad. It's feeling broken when you're not broken.
0:36:56 - Emilee
And yeah, oh yeah, man. And also, you know, for women who haven't yet birthed, you can prevent diastasis quite easily. You know, there isn't. None of this stuff is like a sentence, like having a baby and going through birth doesn't equal prolapse and diastasis and all of this stuff. You know I've never had diastasis. I've had two babies.
And you know, I know that I'm nourished, I know that I rest, I know that I'm not self-sabotaging myself in early postpartum. I also am obviously enormously privileged to allow, to have like been able to create an environment in which I can be self-healing and self-protective. You know, it's been really my highest priority since I was, you know, in my 20s. So I've worked really hard to create postpartums where my body can heal. You know, and I know that some women feel very victimized by their lives and that that's not on the table for them. And I would challenge that a little bit because you don't need to pick up your 40 pound toddler on day five. You don't need to. You don't need to move your mattress. You know, like the stories I hear, like, come on, girl, just give yourself some time to heal and know that you will, and then we don't have to do all of this after the fact corrective.
0:38:27 - Rebecca
Right, yeah, Right. So there is. There's so much preventative stuff with how you move during pregnancy that would be a great another person and then how to take care of yourself postpartum. But in my case, where I didn't do any of that and just like who really sort of betraying my body and so far as that again and again and getting the stuff in that became inflamed and made it all work, Like all of the things. Even with all of that, I am whole and healthy and fit at 50, you know yeah.
0:39:07 - Emilee
You're not 50. Are you, yeah, are you really Love that? Yeah, yolanda has dealt with prolapse with a number of her children and it's gotten pretty dramatic and she has healed it every time and it's so cool.
It's so cool to see that. So let's talk about prolapse. So you know, first of all, if you're two weeks postpartum, please don't diagnose yourself with prolapse. I mean, I'm not sure if you're going to get prolapse. I'm not sure. I'm not sure. My friend, my darling, just relax, it's okay. This is not for you, this is for Some much, much, much more postpartum. They're further into their postpartum window.
0:39:51 - Rebecca
I mean, because we see that right, we see it in the Totally. I've had people drive into my office and, you know, carry in their newborns in the car seat when they need to be in bed and they're not in the car. So we're going to be in the car and those muscles are meant to stretch and open and that opening stays open so that the uterus can shrink and move back up and if you start like, yeah, so our point is that yeah, actually there is.
0:40:18 - Emilee
There is some physiological prolapse in the beginning, it's okay, get back in bed, do not, do not get in the car and go see somebody, that's, that's the opposite and just calm down and we're really talking. When we talk about prolapse, we're talking about, like you know, really chronic issue that that did not do the physiological healing process that you are designed to do.
0:40:42 - Rebecca
So what do you have to say about it? I have to say that the two things that help the most are probably surprising to many, but it's posture and breath and how you breathe, and that's super foundational, and both of those I talk about a lot in the course, because you can start to work on the gentle breath and the, the entrainment of your breath while you're laying in bed, properly, ideally resting. So those were the two things that were, for me, kind of the hardest what's the breath.
0:41:21 - Emilee
Can you explain it? Let's do it.
0:41:22 - Rebecca
Well, it's diet. It's like diaphragmatic breathing, so that most of the time when we're breathing we're only breathing up here on the top part, and so if we actually breathe to where we're expanding the lower part, you know our diaphragm naturally drops down and our pelvic floor diaphragm drops down in the same, and then when we exhale, then our diaphragm comes up and our pelvic floor comes up, and so there's many reasons for this. But many women will actually try to pull in their pelvic floor and inhale instead. And if you're just sitting there at night, you're doing it. When you're breathing at night, it's happening. So your body knows how to do it, but it's just working with working with that.
So I have a lot of diagrams and practice and all of that. And then then, of course, there's pelvic floor exercises that you can learn how to do. They don't need to be done out of the out of the beginning, and sometimes, if you're doing them in the beginning, you can make that worse. You can make your prolapse worse by trying to do pelvic contractions, aka Kegels but I hate Kegel because that's named after Dr Kegel and that's stupid. We're just going to call them pelvic floor contractions. If you're trying to do them too early, it can actually make it worse, or out of balance, or not doing them correctly.
0:42:44 - Emilee
Well, and everyone can bring it up and like we can't like drop it down, yeah Right, oh the sneeze P. So so that's a form like, that's a, that's a symptom of prolapse, right, it's put sometimes.
0:42:53 - Rebecca
Sometimes, yes, and sometimes that can be a symptom of muscle weakness or muscle tightness. So that's the tricky thing about the pelvic floor yeah, relapse, the incontinence, and I discuss all of that in the course. I discuss your nearing contents, I also discuss fecal incontinence and, like you know, not being able to hold your gas and that shocks a lot of people. That is also normal postpartum sometimes for some women, especially women that have had like precipitous, super fast birth and they it gets scary cause nobody talks about it and if you rest it will heat. You know that heals, but yeah, so I talk about all of those things. But the tricky part is is that sometimes it has to do with the pelvic floor being so tense this is my pelvic floor and it's up like this and I go to sneeze, it can't move to do that. And then sometimes it's like it's so weak it also can't go up to do it.
0:43:48 - Emilee
So, yeah, but there's such a connection between your abdomen and your pelvic floor Huge right. I also had no idea about that.
0:43:58 - Rebecca
No clue, like I had to learn about abdominal muscles Cause that wasn't in any of my training. You know like, yeah, why would it be? We're not whole bodies.
0:44:13 - Emilee
We're just flawed vaginas spitting out humans. What a curve, what a learning curve you've been on and just how humbling to walk with with you know, as you're standing in your profession, to To really wake up to how wrecked your body was and then how freaking cool. I mean. You know you're. You're such a good example, because I know this to be true with so many women. But if you're just like not in the birth world and you just had a baby and you're feeling all messed up or it's your fourth baby, you might not know this, might your mom and your sisters and your friends might all just be living with these Problems and no one knows that it's even like you 10 years later. It is so healable. The body is always orienting towards healing and we just have to learn the roadmap.
0:45:11 - Rebecca
I just had a woman who consulted with me last week. She was pregnant and she said that her mom and her sisters had all told her that you were just good at you would never be able to jump on a trampoline again Because you would lose your pee and that you would just start leaking once you had a baby. And she came in for like a check, like is that right? And I'm like no, that's not right, but that's what she was being told in her family and so she was kind of coming in beforehand, you know, looking for, looking for help for that, and how many women on the other hand hear that and is like, oh yeah, I just need after I have a baby.
0:45:53 - Emilee
That's just what happens postpartum just means you'll be depressed and fucked up. It's just. That's just where we're at. Yeah, come on. So I also just want to say about this course that, if you're a birth worker, it's also like Like stupidly important that you understand all of this, because you're going to be the one that Women ask these kind of questions that Rebecca just you know reference. You're going to be the one that helps dispel these myths, and it's it's absolutely imperative that you have A clear grasp on at least the basics, because this is here, like this is Going to show up in your birth work, as it has already, if you're already on the path. And so you know, rebecca teaches this course in such a way that's like very easy to digest and you can Add this to your toolbox, and I would really say, whether it's this course or somewhere else, you need it, you need to know it. It's, it's not like your, your knowledge base is incomplete without this. Yeah, yeah, yeah, all right. Well, anything else you want to wrap us up with?
0:47:02 - Rebecca
No, I think that's it and I think you know, like the very first Bit, my blurb on my web page is like you are not broken and I think that's the Because and the reason it is that and I put that right away on my web page was because that's what women come to me. They come to me like I'm broken and, as you just heard today, I personally experienced that like, oh, I'm, I'm broken and I need. I was just so entrenched in the medical paradigm that I thought to fix it, that I needed To have my Thank goodness, thank goodness heartbreaking.
Yeah, hopefully this episode goes far and wide and interrupts.
0:47:44 - Emilee
Some of that patterning for some of our listeners. Yeah thanks, all right, well, you can go buy it today. We are celebrating. It is called your postpartum Pellvis with Rebecca Cohen. Go learn and heal and tell us what you think.