How It Got Started
Why "Maternity Leads"?
I first became passionate about women’s health issues when I myself was a doctoral student in Boston. I had been referred by my OBGYN to Pelvic Floor physical therapy for pelvic pain and painful intercourse. I could not believe I had not known about all of the things pelvic floor therapy treats and the importance of a healthy pelvic floor! My passion to help other people with pelvic dysfunction grew from there. After graduating with my doctorate in physical therapy, I worked in many settings including acute care, outpatient orthopedics and women's health. During that time, my own father had been experiencing severe pelvic pain, which completely resolved with PFPT. This led to me treating all patients with pelvic health issues, regardless of gender. Along with working as a pelvic floor specialist, I am also a certified Pilates instructor, who loves to blend the world of Pilates and functional movement with my pelvic health PT treatments.
However, I find myself frustrated by the lack of education and resources available on these essential topics. Too often I hear patients state “I wish I had found you sooner”, and the truth is I do too. Because not only have they been suffering for longer than necessary, but they’ve likely developed chronic behaviors in response to their lack of intervention. This is problematic because chronic issues are generally more difficult to treat and take longer to resolve than more acute cases. Fortunately, most of what I see is preventable with education. I truly believe through education we can not only decrease these issues, but prevent them from becoming debilitating and chronic by helping patients advocate for themselves and seek proper care earlier on.
Most people only hear about the pelvic floor when they’re postpartum or when something is wrong. But what if we started educating people early on about their pelvic floor, bladder health, bowl health and sexual health? Imagine educating our children early on during potty training about what normal bladder and bowel habits look like? Imagine educating our teenagers about sexual health, so they know that sex shouldn’t be painful and feel empowered to speak up if it is. Educating our teenagers with painful periods about what’s normal and what’s not. Too many of my patients have been dealing with pelvic pain due to endometriosis for years to the point where they’ve lost jobs or had to drop out of school, when we could have done something about it. And too often I hear it’s normal to urinate during a track meet, or sporting event, it’s not. We need to start educating our parents, children, significant others, and friends on what normal pelvic health looks like throughout our lifespan so they know when things are dysfunctional and warrant seeking care. Starting these conversations early on with our kids allows them to feel comfortable speaking about these issues that are common but not normal so they can advocate for themselves and be the driver of their health AND healthcare.
To clarify, EVERYONE has a pelvic floor that is essential for urinary, bowel and sexual health. The fact that the majority of people don’t even know that the pelvic floor exists is unacceptable. Often no one speaks to you about your pelvic floor until something has gone wrong. Research has shown socioeconomic status, geographic limitations and race often can further contribute to this decreased information accessibility. Understanding your health shouldn’t be a luxury. It’s a right that all people are entitled to, and most importantly deserve. Pelvic floor dysfunction can be debilitating, which is why we cannot and should not ignore it. I believe it starts with educating and taking care of our mothers. Healthy mothers lead to healthy children, who grow into healthy members of society, ultimately making up our communities and leaders. I chose Maternity Leads as the name for this platform because
I truly believe Maternity Leads to a better tomorrow.
Ultimately, Maternity Leads is a safe space to talk about "taboo topics" such as sex, urinary & bowel habits for all genders and cultures. Education is power, and my goal is to empower you with this essential information. I hope to create a space where awareness is not only created but also where questions can be asked and answered. Hope will thrive through education and supporting each other.
We can tackle these issues together.