13. Pelvic Floor Relaxation – with Dr. Whitney Sippl

On today’s episode, Elle and Taylor sit down with Dr. Whitney Sippl, a women’s health physical therapist and a women’s clinical specialist. They discuss pelvic floor relaxation, how to prepare your pelvic floor for birth, and easy steps and actions you can take to help get your pelvic floor health back to normal after birth. She uses a ton of easy to understand metaphors to explain all of the concepts she talks about, and makes it super easy to understand, even if you don’t currently know anything about the pelvic floor!

Whitney starts by explaining what the pelvic floor is, and its importance before, during, and after birth. She dives into the myths surrounding the pelvic floor (that it’s “normal” to have pelvic pain during pregnancy, to have incontinence issues postpartum, and painful sex after delivering), and how these can be addressed with a pelvic floor physical therapist.

“We don’t have to just live with annoying or painful symptoms during pregnancy or postpartum, and that it’s common to have this symptoms, but it’s never normal.” – Whitney Sippl

Busting Myths:

“Kegels don’t fix everything.” – Whitney Sippl

“Tightness doesn’t equal strength.” – Whitney Sippl

“[During birth] our pelvic floor doesn’t do the pushing.” – Whitney Sippl

“Strength is great to have, but for birth we actually want really good relaxation of the pelvic floor.” – Whitney Sippl

“Our body’s natural response to pain or discomfort is to tense and guard, and a tense muscle is more likely to tear. So if we can relax the muscles as much as we can during labor, then that’s one way that we can help prevent tearing.” – Whitney Sippl

Whitney then discusses perineal massage and perineal prep, the goal of perineal preparation, and how to do it. She talks step by step through perineal prep, how to do it, how often to do it, how long it should take, and the differences between the birthing person doing it themselves vs the birthing partner helping with it.

She also talks about the correct way to do a Kegel. She explains several different visuals to help you find the proper muscles for a Kegel, how important it is to relax fully in between Kegels, and how to make sure you are doing Kegels properly.

Listen to the episode here.

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Today’s guest:

Dr. Whitney Sippl is a women’s health physical therapist and a women’s clinical specialist.  She treats women in their homes throughout Orange County and at a clinic in Costa Mesa through her company Restored Physique Physical Therapy and she teaches free monthly classes at OC birth centers and speaks for various moms groups.  She also provides two online classes for women, one discussing topics related to Prenatal physical health and labor prep and one discussing Postpartum recovery.  She’s passionate about promoting awareness, well-being, and healing with a goal of empowering women during the prenatal and postnatal periods to address discomforts or concerns.  Many women are told that symptoms such as incontinence, painful intercourse, scar pain, pelvic or back pain, pelvic pressure or abdominal separation are normal during pregnancy or after having a baby; however, though COMMON, these conditions are not “NORMAL” and there are many ways to address these concerns.  Whitney loves teaching women ways to take care of themselves during pregnancy and how to get their bodies back after childbirth and she is also the mom of two little ones.

You can find her on Instagram @restoredphysique and Facebook (Whitney Sippl) and on her website restoredphysique.com

Resources related to today’s episode:

Hypnobabies

Dr. Whitney’s Prenatal and Postnatal Classes

Who are Elle and Taylor?

Elle Kennedy is a maternity, birth, and family photographer and doula based in Orange County, California. She’s a mother of two, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and an advocate for consent and respect for personal preferences during pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum. She homeschools, is polyamorous, loves tea and scones, and loves using her free time to create and bake.

Dr. Taylor Garcia is a Webster Certified Chiropractor located in the Orange County, California area, with a family practice that focuses on pregnant persons and babies. She is currently going through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s certification program and plans to have that completes by 2021. While not a mama yet, she is the consummate “mom friend,” and hopes to adopt with her partners in about 5 years. She is part of the LGBTQ+ community and polyamorous. She believes in focusing on health and wellness from before birth, and using that as a firm foundation for health and wellness throughout life. She believes in the importance of connection and consent in all aspects of life. She is a dancer, a writer, a bookworm, and a fan of music and musicals.

Contact Elle:

Instagram: @elle.kennedy.photography

Website: ellekennedyphotography.com

Facebook: Elle Kennedy Photography

Contact Taylor:

Website: birthandbeyondchiro.com

Email: taylorjgarcia@att.net

Facebook: Dr. Taylor Garcia, DC

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