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The Importance of Having a Team

Happy Wednesday, Freya Fam!


Today we're talking about the importance of a team approach to health, education and your overall wellness during the prenatal and postpartum period of your life.


As fitness instructors who work specifically with the prenatal and postpartum population, we quickly learned that we're fortunate enough to see our clients more often than their doctors, in many cases. If you're seeing us 1-3x a week in classes or private sessions, especially in the beginning of your pregnancy, you're seeing us way more regularly than you're seeing your doctor.


In addition, personal experience has taught us that within the healthcare world, and especially within the women's healthcare realm, the role that OB/GYNs play, while wonderful and incredibly useful for all hands-on and technical health care, is a very specific and targeted role. Meaning, OBs generally do not have the time to answer each and every one of your nutrition questions, nor are they able to give you the most up to date and all of the detailed information that you can learn in a childbirth education course. We even know that, again generally speaking, many OBs will see you at your 6 week postpartum visit, look at you and ask you how you are feeling, and then determine you are "cleared" to exercise... without an in depth assessment or hands on external and internal evaluation.


This is why we are HUGE fans of building a strong and reliable TEAM of professionals who make you feel taken care of, supported and, frankly, amazing throughout your journey to parenthood.


Your team could consist of your OB or midwife, and a doula, an acupuncturist, a massage therapist, a nutritionist, a mental health professional, a pelvic floor PT, a childbirth educator or class, a lactation consultant, a child's sleep guru, your partner and/or BFF(s) who are holding you up during this time and, of course, fitness professionals who are highly specialized in training prenatal and postpartum bodies ;) ... plus anyone else you find to be helpful to you and the structure of your life and your family's needs as you prepare for welcoming your little one.


We are here for you throughout your journey. We LOVE building relationships with all of our Freya family members and seeing you all learn, move and grow through your pregnancies. We love answering all of your questions and helping you get to know your body better in class. We also love sharing our resources with you should you be looking to bring any of the roles above onto your team but are unsure where to turn.


Since we're already on your team - we wanted to leave you with three team members we hear our clients have often overlooked, either due to being unaware they exist and/or not fully understanding the impact someone in one of these fields can bring into your life at this time:


1. Pelvic Floor (or Women's Health) PT


Even if you don't have any specific concerning pain during/after your pregnancy, and especially if you do.


Did you know that in Europe it is standardized care for all people who give birth to receive a prescription to Pelvic Floor PTs who can literally touch your pelvic floor to evaluate, troubleshoot and provide bespoke treatment plans and rehabilitative exercises? Meanwhile, if this is the first you've heard of a Pelvic Floor PT, you are not alone in the US.


Pelvic FloorPTs are highly trained, specialized physical therapists who have chosen to undergo extra training to work with anyone who experiences pelvic pain or issues related to bathroom and bedroom functions.


Even if you give birth via c-section, there are tons of ways a Pelvic Floor PT can help you heal and feel at home in your body again post baby. Your baby created many changes in your body for 10 months and Pelvic Floor PTs can also treat c-section healing and scars as well.


This is the type of professional we refer out to most often as trainers. If you are experiencing chronic or worsening pain throughout your pregnancy anywhere between your shoulders and your knees, and especially in your pelvic region, we will highly encourage you to get in touch with one of our Pelvic Floor PT friends. In our dream world every pregnant and postpartum person would experience at least one visit for an evaluation with a Pelvic Floor PT in the US!


2. A Doula


For the prenatal time period or/as well as, the lesser known type of doula we are trying to spread the word far and wide about, a postpartum doula.


Doulas are the superheroes of the prenatal and postpartum wellness community. Doulas are a wealth of knowledge and every doula we have ever met has been an endless vessel of nurture, care and love.


Doulas are trained to serve as a first line of support during pregnancy, labor and delivery (and, surprise, can be included postpartum too!), and to be an advocate for you and your partner during labor and delivery. As you may know, many doulas work with expecting parents leading up to the arrival of their baby and are frequently available to you via text or email (all doulas offerings will vary slightly).They can answer questions about symptoms, diet, and lifestyle. They can give you information that your doctors may not detail about the L&D process since they have witnessed it many times. They can coach you and your partner though physical methods of comfort before and during L&D and help you know what to put in your hospital bag as well as your freezer for when you return home with baby.


There are also postpartum doulas who are specifically focused on helping new parents navigate the process of bringing their newborn home, getting enough rest, setting up a successful routine for you and baby, helping to make nourishing meals for mom during recovery... and even just keeping an eye on baby while you, finally, shower... and so much more!


3. A Lactation Consultant


We've heard so many clients and loved ones say they wish they had met with one before their little one arrived because once they were here getting in touch with a lactation consultant who was a good fit was a lot to coordinate in the midst of their first few weeks of parenthoood.


If you have the goal of breastfeeding your little one the process may or may not be a challenging one for you and baby... regardless of birth order and how the process went with a previous little one.


If you experience challenges with breastfeeding, know that you are absolutely not alone. While we find it to be one of those topics that isn't talked about enough, we know MANY moms who have been there too.


We know that when you're getting ready to welcome a baby there are SO many things on your to-do list that you may feel like it's putting the cart before the horse to scope out some education about how to breastfeed (we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, right?). However, if there's one piece of advice we can offer as something to add to your pre-baby checklist as a preemptive measure that may pay off in dividends (less stress for you and baby, less self blame, *a little* more sleep), we suggest doing some research, asking around and maybe even meeting with or making a plan to be in touch with a lactation consultant before or very shortly after you give birth.


Looking for a new member of your prenatal and postpartum team right now? Want some vetted recommendations for a position you're looking to fill?


Shoot us an email and we'd be happy to send you names of someone we know and love. If we don't know them yet, we'll ask around and make some connections for you.


Thank you for having us on your team!


xo

Jenny & Amanda

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