Flow of the Day

This is a glimpse into our BIRTHFIT Breath and Flow Class. We start on our back, intentionally roll to a desired side, and then evolve our movement pattern from there up to crawling, lunging, or standing. These types of movement are available to all humans. These flows are our movement meditation daily and sometimes multiple times a day. Flow with us! 

#FOTD 

 

The BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 85 Featuring Dr. Irene Tobias

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[0:00:00]

 

Lindsey: Hello, BIRTHFIT. This is Dr. Lindsey Matthews, your BIRTHFIT founder. Today, we have a live episode. That means, the conversation was recorded live. And I am talking to the lovely Dr. Irene Tobias.

 

Dr. Irene Tobias works with Dr. Andy Galpin down at Cal State Fullerton. If you don’t follow either of them on Instagram, go do that now. They’re doing tons of research in muscle physiology that’s probably way over my head. But they’re definitely leading the charge as far as research goes.

 

Dr. Irene Tobias is a PhD biochemist and an MIT alumnae, I think that’s what you say for a female, who is a part of Dr. Andy Galpin’s team, like I just mentioned. She is studying a molecule called AMPK. That’s all I really know about that but we dived into it on this episode. We also get into a little bit of training as it relates to the female cycle. We get into muscle repair, ligament repair, all things like that.

 

Probably nobody is surprised, there is limited, limited amount of information out there as it pertains to a young adult female, let’s say, between the ages of 16 through about 45. It’s really interesting. And I just can’t wait for you to listen to this. You’ll enjoy this. Let’s talk afterwards.

 

Welcome. Welcome to the BIRTHFIT podcast.

 

Irene: It’s great to be here.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. I’m sitting here. We have a live guest which we had not had in quite some time unless we were on the road and recorded without [0:02:37] [Indiscernible]. This is bringing back memories. Just a year ago. But I’m sitting here with Dr. Irene Tobias. Did I say that correctly? I’ll let her give a little intro as to who she is and what she does.

 

Irene: All right. I’m a post doctoral researcher. That means I finished a PhD and doing research after that. Hopefully, you’re doing more of the science that you want to do or the questions that you want to go after. Sometimes people use it as a segue into becoming a professor. In fact, that was more of the traditional route of what people did a post doc for but now especially in life sciences it’s becoming much more common to have to do that even if you want to go into industry or use it to go into other routes, maybe federal regulatory routes, all sorts of things. There’s a lot you can actually come out doing with it. But basically, you get to publish more.

 

But I’ve been working with Dr. Andy Galpin who a lot of people are familiar with from many different podcasts related to strength and conditioning. That’s how I got familiar with him too. I was listening to him on Barbell Shrugged and I was maybe six months out of finishing up my PhD and I was really frustrated with research. Everyone that has gone through that knows what I’m talking about. You’re like, “I hate science. Get me out of there.” Reviewer number two, all these things, when you’re trying to publish something and get out of grad school.

 

And then I heard him speaking to the Barbell Shrugged guys and he comes in and he’s got this science is logic going. He goes on about all this Aristotle stuff. And then I found out actually what his research was. Because I’d heard him speaking about muscle physiology. And then when I heard he actually took biopsies out of people and then you can study the muscle at the molecular level, at the cellular level, so really delve into that type of thing, and I was doing a PhD in biochemistry, so I was already studying all those proteins that you’d want to analyze.

 

Lindsey: Okay. So, you reached out to him. Did he reply right away?

 

Irene: Yeah. I think it was six minutes, ten minutes or something like that. It was just an email.

 

Lindsey: You got a reply right.

 

Irene: We took a little while last summer to actually meet up and figure out. I was traveling a lot. And then it just seemed like — I mean, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do and I had always thought I was going to go back into industry and then was sort of like, “I don’t think I want to work for a pharmaceutical company right now. I want to go work for this guy I heard on the radio. That sounds more fun.”

 

[0:05:28]

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Irene: Yeah. It’s been wild but it’s been the right choice.

 

Lindsey: Did you always want to be in research or in the lab side of things?

 

Irene: I mean, it’s hard to say. I’ve gone through a journey of many different scientific areas and studied engineering as an undergrad for a bit. There’s so many different directions you can take on science and engineering degree. I like doing the lab work now. I like writing things up. I like figuring out what to do, where to go next, that kind of thing. But I could transition away from that at some point as well.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. If there’s another fork in the road.

 

Irene: Yeah. You never know what it will lead to.

 

Lindsey: So, what does life look like right now for you?

 

Irene: For me, I actually manage — I actually do a lot of my work from home. People don’t often think about it but science actually is a lot of writing, which I actually like that part. The part I don’t like is when you’re doing the same experiment over and over again and trying to figure or trying to troubleshoot and figure out what went wrong.

 

There’s also a lot of literature review to figure out what you’re doing. A lot of times you’re putting together presentations, you’re trying to go after funding, you’re writing grants. I’m helping him out with a lot of those things. But then again there’s the experimental work too which you come in and do. Yes, I could move up to Fullerton but I love my life in San Diego and I didn’t really want to move away from that. It works, actually. It’s been working for a year now.

 

Lindsey: That’s awesome.

 

Irene: Yeah.

 

Lindsey: What exactly are you working on any projects or experiments right now?

 

Irene: So, we just wrapped up a paper which I submitted about a week ago which was exciting because we’re excited about the data we got with it. It was more of a paper oriented around a new method we’re using. In his lab, he does a lot of work related to muscle fiber type. A lot of people have heard him talk about this subject. People may be familiar with slow twitch versus fast twitch muscle fibers.

 

You will find different proportions of them in different type of athletes. It was traditionally thought that it was genetically determined, what type of fibers you had, but it’s actually becoming a lot more apparent from lots of research in the past decades and even some of his stuff that it has a lot more to do with your training and you can change your fiber type over time. It’s pretty cool. Muscle is this what we call a tissue of plasticity, that we can change it by our actions.

 

Lindsey: Epigenetics.

 

Irene: Yeah. There’re not a lot of other tissues in your body that you have that type of control over.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. That’s pretty awesome.

 

Irene: I can’t grow more brain cells if I really put my mind to it. I mean, maybe there’s some ways we’ll figure out in the future. You can get a better idea how to grow more muscle or if you orient yourself around that or lose fat or that type of thing. It’s a very interesting tissue to study in that regard. And the fact that we can study it out of humans which is really, really rare. I mean, you can’t take biopsies of somebody’s brain.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, if you think about that.

 

Irene: No. But you can take muscle biopsies and it grows right back. You can do it before and after exercise or an acute exercise or take people initially and then have them train for a while and see how that changes.

 

Lindsey: How big is the biopsy usually?

 

Irene: Oh, it’s tiny. It’s about the size of like the head of a pencil eraser. It really isn’t that much. It seems like, yeah, but no it’s not bad.

 

Lindsey: So, that’s what you all are working on right now?

 

Irene: Yeah. The first study we wrapped up was actually a single subject study. It was really just looking at a new method we’re doing for something. Those papers are actually really useful for other investigators that, “Oh, that’s a better of way of doing this. Now, I can orient my research around that.” But it was fun because I got to use my own muscle tissue which was exciting.

 

[0:10:09]

 

Lindsey: You find out a lot about yourself.

 

Irene: Yeah. I mean, there’s some of that in there. But, I think, for me, it was more after five years, six years of graduate school where everything in your study is like a cell culture in a dish. If it’s human cells they have 82 chromosomes. They’re not really human anymore. They’ve been growing in a laboratory for decades now.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. And it’s hard to maybe relate to that.

 

Irene: Yeah. I mean, you can learn some basic function things for proteins. I mean, there is a lot you can do with them that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise or you can’t do for obvious ethical reasons. And then there’s stuff you can study from mice and rats that gives you the basic idea of things. But when you get to study real humans, it’s got a whole different dimension to it. Yeah. We did that paper and now we’re starting another one with multiple subjects. We’re going to do a population of men first, trained men, because that’s the standard way of doing things.

 

Lindsey: She rolls her eyes.

 

Irene: Yes.

 

Lindsey: Which I’m going to ask you about in a minute.

 

Irene: For sure. But we also want to add a population of trained women. Because some of the questions we’re going after, the women are kind of rarely studied for a lot of reasons.

 

Lindsey: A while back whenever, I actually ran into Dr. Andy in person, I asked him, which basically comes from a number, I would say — I at least get one or two questions a month from women reaching out via BIRTHFIT saying, “Hey, have you studied the functional progression in postpartum women? Have you studied muscle tissue on postpartum women? Or training in pre-natal women?” I’m like, “Absolutely not.” The studies out there are so limited.

 

Irene: It’s very wide open, yes.

 

Lindsey: Then I go to him, I’m like, “Hey, can you run any of these studies?” He’s like, “You need to ask Dr. Irene about this and why.” Yeah. Can you share a little bit about why it’s so limited?

 

Irene: Sure. So, yeah, you’ll read a bunch of these studies, papers that are done and typically they’re almost maybe 80%, 90% of the time done in college aged men, typically recreationally active, which–

 

Lindsey: Can mean anything.

 

Irene: That can mean a lot. Or some other studies, they’ll do with diabetic patients, because there’s a lot of funding for going after that. It’s a very informative system in terms of diabetes, looking at somebody’s muscle. But the thing with the women is that there’s the uncertainty of the menstrual cycle, is the bottom line.

 

Lindsey: That’s what he said.

 

Irene: Yes. Women are complicated.

 

Lindsey: Yes, we are.

 

Irene: There’s a lot going on and scientists have, well, as I have it, as I like to say, there’s the tendency to go after the lower hanging fruit. So, the things that you don’t have to worry about controlling so many variables for that are more routine, standard, easier to publish, faster, that kind of thing, and men are the lower hanging fruit.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. For sure. Women are away.

 

Irene: In many ways, yes. It isn’t so much of a sexism thing. I mean, people could certainly read into that. But it’s more of this is the way it’s been done and we want to try and do something new but we don’t want to have to re-work all these other things.

 

Lindsey: Right. Or break the bank.

 

Irene: Yeah, yeah. But it’s still very interesting to — We can’t really understand everything about humans if we’re only studying men.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, one sex.

 

Irene: Yeah, yeah. And there’s got to be some very interesting things physiologically and related to the hormones as well that could be different about female muscle physiology than male muscle physiology. And what are some of those things that could inform women better about their training or things like fertility and related to, like you said, postpartum? It’s interesting there are — The few studies that you will see done in women typically tend to be more with post menopausal women.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. When they’re way far down the line.

 

[0:15:01]

 

Irene: Sure. But it makes sense with the hormone thing because now their hormones are kind of–

 

Lindsey: Like plateaued.

 

Irene: Constant. So, the variability thing. The reasonable concern is when you’re doing studies with human subjects there’s a lot of scheduling. You don’t have the humans living in the lab like mice. You actually have to work with their schedules, the investigator’s schedules, and you could imagine if you’re doing a study with women where you’re trying to normalize over the course of the menstrual cycle, whatever, 21 to 35 days or something like that, and you’re trying to say, “Okay, the women will come in day one through six.” That’s going to be really hard because everyone’s cycle is always–

 

Lindsey: All over the place.

 

Irene: Yeah. And then there’s also birth control, of course. A lot of women in their 20s and 30s are going to be on hormonal birth control. So, how does that factor in? But we want to work around those things. I mean, a lot of the — By the time it sort of the question of what you’re studying, does it even matter, the hormonal variability? If you’re just probably going after fiber type, our inclination is that it doesn’t.

 

But right now, we’re investigating an enzyme that’s activated by exercise. And it turns out that it’s activated by a lot of things. It’s a really interesting enzyme that’s called AMPK. It’s been somewhat tied to improving aging and some of the — Like metformin, for instance, is this drug that’s been used for decades now to treat type II diabetes. And they’ve also seen in some clinical studies that metformin was improving aging and they were tying it to that the drug actually activates this enzyme AMPK.

 

Lindsey: Like exercise.

 

Irene: Yes. And what does exercise do? It often improves aging really well. It could be — We still don’t really understand the molecular mechanisms very well of what exercise actually does and so it’s really interesting to study it from that lens. I mean, like the same thing as a lot of drugs. We still don’t understand exactly what they do. We know that they work or something like this. So, that’s a really interesting thing to go after.

 

But since this enzyme is very, very much involved with all sorts of signaling pathways, metabolic pathways, there’s also been some studies showing that estrogen could activate it. And again, not really in humans yet but in mice and rats and cell culture models. So, that does kind of throw a wrench into the system. It’s an interesting thing, of course, but it sort of — In my mind, if we do go after the female population, which I really want to do and we’ve got to make sure we have the money for it, of course, but I probably actually be more inclined to pick a population of women that are on the same type of birth control.

 

Because you do find more popular means like IUD and Mirena. It’s very popular these days. Or the NuvaRing. And then they’d be on basically a constant hormonal concentration. Hopefully, in that case, you would normalize against that. But in the future, it would also be really interesting to study this from the perspective of a natural cycle and how are these things changed throughout the month. There’ve been some studies I’ve seen that — We still don’t understand a lot about training for females.

 

Lindsey: Right. Because I was going to ask if — Is there anything out there that relates the cycle of a female to training or when to train and that sort of thing?

 

Irene: Yes. So, I’ve actually have found some interesting things in the literature. Again, very few. This is still a very wide open area and still not very well understood. But there was one study that stood out to me where they actually took women and they compared strength training more focused in the follicular phase, so that’s the first half of the cycle, from day one until ovulation essentially, versus the luteal phase, the second half of the cycle.

 

The hormonal patterns are very different in these two stages. Progesterone is very, very low in the first phase where then it peaks in the second phase because it’s sort of the hormone that’s all about pregnancy and maintaining pregnancy. It’s always the hope that, okay, maybe we got pregnant and let’s get ready but, no, we’re not so we’ll go back down and start over again.

 

[0:20:04]

 

Whereas estrogen peaks in the first phase and is able to trigger the ovulation response, essentially the follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone when that peaks and then that triggers that. It’s very interesting, at least to me, from perspective of hormones or so tightly regulated and they’re so precise and they’re very effective. And there’s a reason that hormonal birth control when you take it right is very effective. And then when you take it away things go back. It’s mind boggling how it works.

 

But in any case, the study I was mentioning, they compared focusing your strength training in one half of the cycle versus the other. And they found that the women that did more training during the follicular phase where there was more concentrated sessions during then actually got better gains out of it. And they could measure that both by the actual strength gains, by the size of the muscle, by the fibers looking at all sorts of different factors there that they could measure.

 

So, that was particularly interesting. Because it brings into all sorts of questions. Is it actually beneficial? If you’re very competitive female athlete–

 

Lindsey: Like if you’re a lifter, cross fitter, something?

 

Irene: Sure. I mean, would you actually even want to target doing competitions that fall on one phase of the cycle or another or do you want to — Is it advantageous to be on birth control or not? We don’t even know.

 

Lindsey: How will that affect your training?

 

Irene: Yeah. And again, this is probably for the really higher level people that are just trying to find those incremental advantages kind of things. Yeah. A lot of wide open questions there. There was another study I found that was showing on the other side, the luteal phase, that the women were recovering better after high intensity interval training, where they were looking at the spaces in between.

 

And some of the reviews who summarized these studies have sort of implied that the first half of your cycle might be a more of an anabolic signaling pathway. So, more towards strength and gains and building muscle. Whereas the second half may be in a more of a catabolic state. Again, in this day and age where we have a lot of women competing in cross fit where you have to train for both strength and conditioning or high intensity intervals or endurance and stuff like that, I mean, there’s a crazy idea what if you periodize your training around your period?

 

I mean, people could definitely experiment with that on their own. It’s certainly nothing harmful. Yeah, there’s a lot of open questions related to female physiology that we haven’t really delved into at all.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. And part of me thinks you are somebody — I listened to a podcast you’re on previously but somebody mentioned, it’s either you or Dr. Andy, about we don’t even know the body’s capability. So, it’s even simplify the female hormone model into this is down, this is up. That’s crazy to me. There’s probably a lot more going on that we don’t even see.

 

Irene: Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot that’s been known about, or much more known about testosterone relative to performance and it’s a more simple system because it’s kind of like what’s the absolute level of free testosterone? Are you high or are you low? But with women, it’s a lot more complicated because the hormones are meant to fluctuate over the course of a month and it’s more about how responsive are they. That’s kind of the better indicator of fertility health or maybe — Again, we don’t know about the performance side of things but maybe there’s part of that as well. We do know that when female athletes in the past that were in sports where they were really under pressure to have lower weight to be gymnastics or–

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Like running, like endurance.

 

Irene: High endurance. There was a lot of instances where women would — They call it in exercise science the female triad. I had no idea what that was when I first heard the term. I was like is that related to triathlon or something?

 

[0:25:04]

 

But it’s basically a trio of symptoms that these women would get, one of them being losing their period, another one becoming anorexic, all sorts of bad things that would happen. It happened very commonly in these female athletes that were very, very underweight. And one of the treatments for them was actually being put on hormonal birth control to try and get the hormones working again.

 

Now, it’s kind of we’re living at more of an age now where women are going more after strength sports and competing in things like weightlifting and cross fit and power lifting where they actually do want to have muscle mass.

 

Lindsey: Times are changing.

 

Irene: Times are changing. Strength is cool now for a woman. That’s pretty awesome. But now women are also fueling themselves better. I think we aren’t really seeing that pathology essentially coming across in female athletes that we’re more familiar with. Yeah, there’s a lot of interesting things relative to how the hormones act and what’s advantageous and that sort of thing.

 

I mean, I hear all these podcasts where there’s some expert about hormones but it’s all focused on testosterone. The really interesting ones relative to sleep deprivation and losing testosterone from that. But it’s like where’s the one about the female hormones? Who’s going to talk about that? I guess, I’ve tried to–

 

Lindsey: It’s got to be you.

 

Irene: Yeah. Learn it myself as much as — They’re very little right now.

 

Lindsey: So, you mentioned about the female athlete triad. There’s one book called Exercising Through Your Pregnancy which touches a little on — I mean, for us in BIRTHFIT, that’s like the best book we found as far as research goes. But it touches very little on fertility or infertility and it was related to, like what you said, lack of just weight, lack of weight more than anything and not contributing fertility issues to exercise.

 

Irene: Yes. That’s another very interesting area and, of course, very relevant to a lot of women and very relevant to a lot of women in their 30s that are now realizing — Women are getting pregnant or even–

 

Lindsey: Yeah, even their 40s.

 

Irene: Later. And it’s a great change in society because it’s often that women are going after careers and that’s great but biology doesn’t keep up with society. These eons of evolution that’s come now, I mean, we’ve been learning that our diet, our bodies haven’t changed based on — We’re still more inclined to behave in a way that was like our ancestor. The fertility thing, again, follows that sort of pattern. Again, it’s sort of the question of what can you do to maintain your fertility longer? What can you do to avoid infertility problems?

 

Lindsey: Just like exercise really affect it.

 

Irene: Yeah. And exercise has a huge component to it. It’s inclined to go either way.

 

Lindsey: Right. I could see positive and negative.

 

Irene: Yeah. Because on the one end, if people are obese or they’re suffering from diabetes or metabolic disorders, there’s actually probably the most common cause of female infertility is this condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome where women’s ovaries, they contain a lot of cysts. The follicles which hold the eggs are quite large and they start secreting androgens actually. There actually would be higher levels of testosterone in the women.

 

But the condition also is very well correlated with insulin resistance. Typically, those women also have those types of problems, metabolic problems as well. And recently it’s been looking at treating this condition by strength training, high intensity interval exercise, things to improve your insulin resistance. And then in turn with that you improve your–

 

Lindsey: Fertility. Your quality of life.

 

Irene: Your sex hormone pathway signaling as well.

 

[0:30:01]

 

So, that’s certainly very interesting. And then on the other end, there’s the, like I talked about, more related to the female triad where women have gone amenorrheic. So, essentially, they were either very, very low in body weight or it’s also been tied to low body fat percentage. Again, women have a higher body fat percentage than men typically. And that’s for certain reasons. It’s more important to have the fat actually secrete hormones that signal to your brain and it’s sort of like is this a healthy state to be pregnant or not? And if the fat reserves are too low–

 

It’s almost like an evolutionary mechanism that if you’re in a state where there’s abundant energy, there’s plentiful food, that sort of thing, that’s a good time to get pregnant. If you’re in a time of energy shortage or you’re on the verge of starving, that’s not really a good time to get pregnant.

 

Lindsey: No. Your body is going to be like, “This is a stressful situation.”

 

Irene: Sure. So, it’s interesting that female fertility is very much tied to energy and metabolism whereas male fertility, actually, on the other end isn’t.

 

Lindsey: Would they be more related to gene?

 

Irene: It’s unclear. I haven’t been looking into the men as much. They’re not as — Well, no. But, yeah, male and fertility is certainly a problem as well but it doesn’t actually correlate. Like men that are either overweight or men that are underweight don’t actually have a correlation with infertility like the women do in certain way. It’s kind of interesting in that regards.

 

Yeah, exercise is, I would say — I’d say, in most cases, it’s going to be beneficial, for sure. If you are very, very competitive female athlete and you have a low body fat percentage it’s kind of indicative of are you losing your period or not and there’s ways to get that back if you start, if you’re feeding yourself better or maybe you get a little bit of body fat percentage back and, in that case, when you’re trying to get pregnant then that works. It’s kind of, hopefully, a simpler solution.

 

Lindsey: We do get a lot of questions. I would say it happens more and more now, like you were saying, because it’s becoming more common for women to wait to get pregnant or to put their career or maybe freeze their eggs and then come back to it. And so especially when they — Let me stop myself and back up. One of the biggest things I hear is that women get off birth control and then have a hard time getting their period back. But that could just be women reaching out to me and that’s the population that I hear.

 

Irene: Sure.

 

Lindsey: If you know anything about that.

 

Irene: Yeah. I mean, I think in that case, if a woman has been on birth control for a very, very long time, she doesn’t actually have as good knowledge about what her fertility is like. That comes if you are amenorrheic, I think that’s how you say it. Those words are really — They’re horrible to spell. I can never–

 

Lindsey: They all sound the same.

 

Irene: If it’s two Rs or if it’s two Ns, I always spell it wrong. But if you’re not on any birth control and you’re having regular periods or are they regular or are they consistent, that type of thing is very informative. The best ways of actually sort of diagnostic of fertility, there’s a blood test you can get on day two or day three of a menstrual cycle. So, when your estrogen is very low and when another hormone, follicle stimulating hormone which is sort of responsible for kicking off the, maturing the follicles. So, the little sacs that hold the eggs in the ovaries.

 

So, a certain population of those follicles get chosen every month, about 20 or so in each ovary of say a healthy woman in the prime of fertility. And only one of those follicles out of the two ovaries gets actually chosen out of those 20 to fully mature and release away and then the rest of them all die off. They actually compete with each other for that. It’s kind of interesting.

 

[0:35:00]

 

This follicle stimulating hormone, you want to have very low at the beginning because it’s kind of indicative of what your reserve is like. As women start to get older and the feedback loops aren’t working as well or the signal is getting lost or there are fewer eggs, she’ll start secreting more follicle stimulating hormone from the brain to just continually try. And it goes on past menopause. It’s like the brain is still trying to get pregnant. That’s a good indicator. Another indicator is how low the estrogen is at that point.

 

Lindsey: These are blood tests people can do on their own?

 

Irene: Yeah. It’s kind of silly that you would need a prescription these days.

 

Lindsey: I know. I still sometimes do.

 

Irene: Yeah. But those are blood tests when you’re not on birth control that you can certainly get. Another one which you would need an ultrasound and a physician’s office is to actually look at the follicles and count them. So, do you actually have 20 in your ovaries or are you down to five, which is as you get older? That’s going to be more commonly the case. As best as you can try and do the right things health wise, there’s still the limiting factor. The eggs themselves.

 

Lindsey: What you’re born with.

 

Irene: What you’re born with. That’s a big thing that differs between us and men is that we’re born with everything and then they continually make new ones all the time and dump them out. We’re kind of stuck with the age of those eggs. That was kind of an interesting, I guess, personal story that I went into a year ago. You get frustrated in your 30s. You meet all these men who — It’s like they have a different attitude about things. It’s always like, “Well, I can always marry a younger woman.” It’s kind of the thing.

It’s a different mentality and I kind of noticed how it starts to affect different parts of your life. And a lot of women start to realize that when am I actually going to get pregnant and I’m under this ticking clock kind of thing.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. And do I want a family? If I do, yeah.

 

Irene: Sure. And when is the optimal time to do that kind of thing? And then I read about — People have always heard about freezing down their eggs and you always–

 

Lindsey: Yeah. I’m so glad you’re talking this.

 

Irene: Yeah. You’d always heard that maybe it was some new experimental not really well proven sort of thing. But I actually read into it and just recently it actually made a lot of progress scientifically. In 2012, because one of the biggest problems was the actual freezing of the eggs. The egg is a very large cell and it has a lot of water in it. And so when you freeze water you get ice crystals. And so when you thaw those you kind of think about like ice cube putting into a glass of water and you hear all these crackling noises.

 

In the egg, what’s going on in that state is not so good for the egg actually surviving the thaw. So, what they were able to do is they figured out a way to essentially freeze dry the eggs. They call it vitrification. Essentially, they extract all the water out of the egg when they’re freezing it down and then it loses, it doesn’t have that problem of the ice crystals essentially.

 

Lindsey: And then they still freeze it after that?

 

Irene: Yeah. They freeze it and then when they’re thawing they have a much better survival rate essentially. It’s about 80% now survival.

 

Lindsey: What was it before?

 

Irene: I’m not sure entirely.

 

Lindsey: Like 20%?

 

Irene: But the thing is like with each step of this process — I should point out this is essentially in vitro fertilization process. But you’re doing just half of the process now and then waiting until later on.

 

Lindsey: Mr. Right comes in.

 

Irene: Yes, sperm charming or whatever you want to call.

 

Lindsey: Sperm charming?

 

Irene: Or if it’s the time in your life when you actually are ready professionally, personally, all those sorts of things that you could come back to those eggs essentially and use them. And the interesting thing is that women in their 40s, their uterus still functions well if you’re in good health and that sort of thing. It’s really the eggs that are the biggest limiting factor of the whole pregnancy.

 

[0:40:02]

 

Lindsey: Got it.

 

Irene: So, I read about this and I read about how in response to this improving technology Apple and Facebook had actually started offering benefits to their female employees to do this. And so now that it’s starting — And now a lot of other companies have followed suit. I think a couple of the banks. I think Google maybe as well now. It’s starting to become the future because it’s clearly in these companies interest.

 

Lindsey: They want to keep them working.

 

Irene: Yeah. Or if they have a lot of women that are in their peak of their careers and their 30s and they don’t want to slow down. There was actually a lot of controversy when this got announced. I read into a bunch of articles. Because I would look on it on the outside. It’s giving women the choice. It’s kind of like another way of birth control where it’s giving you the choice through the power of that sort of thing.

 

Other people were interpreting it as, “Oh, the company is trying to enforce this on the women,” or imply that this is what you’re supposed to do. But I honestly don’t think they were going to fire somebody because she wasn’t going to freeze down her eggs. It just seemed a little farfetched. Again, I think the majority of the women that choose to use this are often single where they don’t actually have the choice of getting pregnant then and having maternity benefits, all that sort of thing.

 

In the end, the company saves money by paying for — Because later on, if you’re trying to get pregnant and you’re going through rounds and rounds of costly IVF failures, which are an incredible burden emotionally and very expensive, that sort of thing, it saves something for everyone. And being that technology, you can kind of always predict that things are going to get better with it over time. So, whatever the success rate maybe now which I should point out it’s not like a done deal or it’s not–

 

Lindsey: You’re not guaranteed.

 

Irene: You’re not guaranteed. And no doctor will actually tell that it’s going to be guaranteed. But it’s sort of a probability thing. The more you can get the better your chances are. And with improving technology, the better the probabilities that each step of the in vitro fertilization cycle, they freeze the eggs then they thaw them then a certain number get fertilized and a certain number survive that and then a certain number survive the next stage and on and on. So, there’s a lot of things that need to come into play there. I went ahead and did it a year ago. It was a fascinating process.

 

Lindsey: How was it?

 

Irene: It’s not an easy thing. It’s not like how it is for men.

 

Lindsey: You don’t just go in the office and spend two hours and then done.

 

Irene: Yeah. I’ve even heard — I read about Tim Ferriss did this with his sperm. He froze down his sperm and he has a very chapter, I think, in one of his books describing that experience. And he had a lot of the same rationale. I don’t know. Male infertility is still an issue although I would say that a big difference, I think, between men and women in the workplace these days is that the majority of men in their 40s can have kids and even to their 50s and 60s. It’s sort of something they can almost count upon. Whereas the majority of women in their 40s can’t have kids.

 

Lindsey: It’s not guaranteed.

 

Irene: Yeah. And maybe at the very beginning of their 40s but then it’s sort of — it’s a big difference and it plays out in the work force and mindset, all sorts of different things.

 

Lindsey: Was the process like a couple of days?

 

Irene: It’s a time commitment. So, the actual doping process, because you’re essentially injecting yourself with hormones and lots of different hormones. I mentioned before that follicle stimulating hormone. Normally, your body secretes that from your pituitary to your ovaries. And the idea is to mature just one follicle or maybe two, in the case that you have fraternal twins or something like that. With egg freezing, because you want to try and get all of those eggs that are in the state, there was the antral follicles. There are about 20 of them or so each month that you could mature and release an egg.

 

[0:45:17]

 

The strategy now is to mature all of them so that they could all release an egg. You go through injecting that hormone, also some luteinizing hormone, which is another hormone of the cycle. And then some other drugs that are supposed to keep you growing the eggs but not releasing them to protect you from that. There’s all sorts of intriguing complicated endocrinology that people thought about in this whole process.

 

And they measure them every day. You have to go in every day, get your blood checked to make sure that you’re not over stimulating the ovaries because that can be a risky condition. I mean, it is a process that isn’t entirely risk free. And then at the end you have a surgical procedure but it’s pretty much outpatient and they remove the eggs, extract them and then freeze them down essentially.

 

Lindsey: Do you know where your eggs are?

 

Irene: Yeah. They’re somewhere in La Jolla in deep freeze.

 

Lindsey: Wow. That’s crazy to think about it.

 

Irene: Yeah. It is kind of crazy to think about. The other crazy thing to think about is that they don’t even actually know how long those eggs could theoretically–

 

Lindsey: They’re good for?

 

Irene: Like you could come back maybe 150 years from now and then somebody could have your kids.

 

Lindsey: Wow. That’s like Jurassic Park stuff.

 

Irene: I know. I mean, you’re the one that owns them essentially and the clinics recommend that by the time you turn 51 if you even hadn’t decided to use them you either discard them or you donate them to somebody else. They don’t recommend keeping them, trying to get pregnant past 51.

 

Lindsey: At 71 years old?

 

Irene: No. Yeah, it was a very interesting kind of — Yeah. On one end, I really kind of look at it as, even if I never use them, it’s changed a whole lot about my mindset in the past year. That’s been very positive. A lot of women who have done this think about it kind of in the same way. It’s an empowering experience to a lot of them. Being able to set that aside and then work on your life and go about things–

 

Lindsey: Career wise.

 

Irene: Yeah, career wise or personally wise. Maybe you want to build a relationship more before you feel that pressure of having kids. It’s a liberating idea that I could have kids in my 40s and, hopefully, that will continue to be more the future. I certainly hope that it does because, on the one end, you can look at it as, well, if it’s the highly educated women that are going after their careers who are the ones that are running into this problem, do we really want them selectively eliminated from our gene pool?

 

Lindsey: That’s a good question.

 

Irene: Yeah. It’s something that I — I definitely want to follow it. I want to see where the technology goes. I want to see where the social acceptance of it goes. Because there’s still does feel like a bit of a stigma. Of course, when you do this, everybody is incredibly supportive. But there’s still a lot of women out there that feel a stigma against doing it. Whatever you can do to make that more accepted.

 

Lindsey: At least have the conversation.

 

Irene: Yeah, have the conversation. Again, I feel like things can be very tough sometimes with how women treat other women in states like this. I think it’s always been an issue between women that choose to have kids earlier and then women that are focusing on careers and women on both sides.

 

Lindsey: All the emotions attached.

 

Irene: Yeah, the emotions attached to that and women on both sides can find a way to just be not kind to women on the other side.

 

Lindsey: Not nice, yeah.

 

Irene: Okay, it’s your personal choice how you choose to live your life and it’s a great choice either way. Like a lot of things, I often feel like it’s women sabotaging themselves more often than we’d sometimes admit.

 

[0:50:12]

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Rather than building up.

 

Irene: Yeah, yeah, exactly.

 

Lindsey: So, do you know anything about — Let’s say women get pregnant via IVF and they want to start training because this is another common question I get. Can I work out? My doctor said I can’t do anything. Or I get some doctors that say don’t do anything until 12 to 15 weeks. Then I get other doctors that say do what you’ve been doing. Some of them have no idea that they’ve been doing cross fit or whatever they’ve been doing. I don’t know if you’ve checked into that at all.

 

Irene: Well, I can certainly say that while you’re doing the whole hormonal stimulation protocol you do not want to work out during that ten days and particularly after the ten days are over. They do put restrictions on you for exercise and it’s actually for a very good reason because your ovaries are basically growing to be the size of a cross ball. It’s remarkable that they can do that and then come back down to their regular size. It’s a very plastic physiology. But you could imagine with ovaries that are just the size of a cross ball.

 

Lindsey: Little uncomfortable.

 

Irene: Yeah. You can get bloated very uncomfortably. But then there’s also the risk of ovarian torsion, actually. Just like in men, there could be the risk of testicular torsion. That can be a very, very life threatening, fertility threatening scenario there. Again, that’s something they monitor you. They make sure that the rate that you’re stimulating the ovaries based on how much estrogen you’re producing.

 

Because you produce a ton of estrogen in the process too. I actually even got kind of high off of the estrogen. It turns out it has legitimate dopaminergic and serotonin signaling effects of the brain. Yes, side note there. I mean, it is really interesting how hormones are so related to your mood and so many different aspects. With women, again, it’s more complicated because there’s the two hormones, the two principal hormones. Going back to your question, sorry about that. Yeah, definitely don’t train while you’re doing the stimulation.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. It doesn’t sound comfortable at all.

 

Irene: No. I mean, it really wasn’t that bad. I think it was more after — I think it was one night that I went out to celebrate with a friend. It was after the eggs had been extracted or whatever. And it’s actually at that point, the five days after they trigger the final maturation process of your eggs that your ovaries are the largest. So, five days later after that hormone. I had gone out with a friend and I think I got this goat cheese cake which was incredibly delicious but I was incredibly bloated afterwards. When your stomach is pushing against ovaries or pushing against everything else, it’s not so — Yeah.

 

Lindsey: Not so comfortable.

 

Irene: No. Not so good. Not so good. But I was really fascinated the whole experience because I was training for a power lifting meet at that time and, obviously, I took some time off then. I kept wondering if I was going to get some testosterone increases out of it, which I did. Because testosterone is actually made through the same pathway then you convert it to estrogen in the process. If you are making a lot more estrogen you get more testosterone.

 

Lindsey: So, we are more complicated.

 

Irene: Yeah. And it’s interesting, our testosterone levels are actually, if you compare them in a direct concentration comparison to estrogen, which is sometimes difficult because they measure them in different units, but if you do the math and make the units the same, you actually have equivalent testosterone concentrations as you do estrogen concentrations.

 

Lindsey: As a female?

 

Irene: As a female. The difference with men, of course, is that your testosterone levels are about tenfold lower than a man’s normal range of testosterone.

 

Lindsey: Ours are?

 

Irene: Ours are, of course. And then the men’s estrogen levels are a lot lower than ours. So, they have a much more divergence between the two hormones where ours actually a little bit more similar.

 

Lindsey: How does that change — I mean, you may not know — throughout pregnancy and postpartum?

 

[0:55:00]

 

Irene: So, I do know — Again, I don’t know much about pregnancy. I’ve never been pregnant. I don’t know much about the process.

 

Lindsey: We could find you some test subjects, at least for muscle biopsies.

 

Irene: Yeah. But in pregnancy both estrogen and progesterone rise quite a bit. And, in fact, the level of estrogen I experienced during the stimulation was akin to what a pregnant woman might actually have in their blood. The main difference being that I was still very, very low progesterone level, kind of like in a normal physiology state. Whereas in pregnancy, because progesterone is like the pregnancy hormone, it’s responsible for a lot of the processes that maintain pregnancy is very, very high as well. And a lot of things have to do with the ratio of these two hormones.

 

Lindsey: Where is testosterone? Does it stay the same?

 

Irene: I’m not sure. They don’t usually check levels of testosterone in women for comparison during pregnancy but it’s — Yeah. But again, the ratio of the estrogen and progesterone can determine a lot of things relative to mood, of course, because that’s kind of where effects from PMS come from. So, at the end of your cycle, when your estrogen starts dropping a lot, and if the progesterone is still high, then you may be inclined–

 

Lindsey: Bigger discrepancy.

 

Irene: Yeah. You may be inclined to have more mood effects from that. And again, that can be variable with all sorts of different women that experience all sorts of different side effects.

 

Lindsey: I’m just going to keep asking you questions.

 

Irene: Sure, sure. I’m sorry. I kind of stray from the question sometimes.

 

Lindsey: What are your thoughts postpartum wise? Because there’s a huge dip in hormones, right?

 

Irene: Yeah, a huge dip in hormones and then, of course, problems with depression in that state as well. Again, that’s a side of things that–

 

Lindsey: Not studied enough?

 

Irene: Not studied that well. It’s something I don’t know as much about. I haven’t looked into it. It’s certainly interesting questions and it’s certainly a problem for a lot of women and it’s a really strange phenomenon because you would think that after you’ve given birth and–

 

Lindsey: You’re like at a high.

 

Irene: Yeah. You should be at a high, right? You should have all this energy to care for the kid at such a — when they really, really need you. But then why do you have that incredible dip?

 

Lindsey: And I usually find it’s like anywhere from four days postpartum to seven days postpartum and that’s when I’ll check in with a patient or client and I’ll be like, “How are you doing?” “Well, the first two days were easy but now it sucks.” But, yeah, it’s super interesting.

 

Irene: Yeah. I mean, female sex hormones are really interesting.

 

Lindsey: Too complicated.

 

Irene: I know. And a lot to understand about them. I mean, one thing that’s always fascinated me also from a performance standpoint is how, as humans, and maybe as other primates, there’s such dimorphism or difference between the performance capabilities of men and women. I mean, yes, you have women outrun a man and circumstances here and there. But on the whole, men as a whole are going to be stronger than women and that’s why we have different sport, different–

 

Lindsey: Weight classes.

 

Irene: Different weight classes and different divisions for men and women to compete. But you look at other mammalian species and that’s not so much the case. So, best example being horses because they’re the most athletic animal out there that we actually keep data on for reasons of breeding and all sorts of other things. I looked into the hormone thing with horses. I mean, I guess, first stating out that we keep the performance state on them. In humans, I think the difference between the top male mile time versus the top female mile time is about 29 seconds, 29-30 seconds.

 

Lindsey: And I was sure it’s under five minutes.

 

Irene: For horses?

 

Lindsey: Oh, sorry, no.

 

Irene: Yeah, yeah. I think the female’s time is like 4:13 or something like. Insane. And then the men did like 3:45.

 

Lindsey: So, what’s horses?

 

Irene: With horses, for running, say, a race of nine furlongs, which is about a mile and an eighth, kind of like a mid distance horse race, the top male and female times differ by two-fifths of a second.

 

[1:00:06]

 

I think this was from one of Secretariat’s races that he won and then another mare filly that won it a number of years later and they compared. It was like the same track, the same conditions, everything. Again, the stallions do tend to win more often but the fillies compete with the stallions or with the colts. What’s going on in their physiology?

 

With the hormones, they’re actually, in stallions, they’re way, way lower in testosterone concentrations than human males, almost about tenfold lower in a way. You could kind of think about why that is and it’s probably making sense that it’s kind of like maybe a balls to body weight ratio, would probably be my hypothesis. Seems to make sense. But then, of course, anabolic steroids can be used in horses and that can also increase their performance.

 

It may be that they’re more even on the testosterone signaling but there could be plenty of other reasons as well. It’s an interesting thing, I guess, thinking of like comparative physiology standpoint. But, yeah.

 

Lindsey: So, I’m going to shift into more muscle. We get a lot of questions about how long will it take my abs to heal? I don’t know if you’ve heard that one.

 

Irene: After pregnancy?

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Or repair muscle tissue, ligament tissue. What would you say about that?

 

Irene: To be honest, I have no idea.

 

Lindsey: The answer is still unknown.

 

Irene: Yeah. Or it’s not something I’ve looked into.

 

Lindsey: I don’t think there’s anything out there. But that is like one study that people are like, can you test how long it will take to heal my abs?

 

Irene: Sure, sure. One thing that Andy has looked into or has done, I think, some research with one of his collaborators on is kind of — So, within the question of you take some time off from training then you come back to it and people often find that it’s easier to get back to where they were quicker than it was when they started.

 

Lindsey: From ground zero?

 

Irene: From ground zero. And they actually found pretty plausible interesting mechanism for why that is so. So, in your muscle cells or your muscle fibers, you have tons of what they call myonuclei. So most cells only have one nucleus which controls everything. It’s got your DNA. It tells you replicate, grow this protein, shut this off, all that sort of thing. Kind of like the brain of the cell, if you want to visualize it that way.

 

Muscle cells are very unique is that they have tons of myonuclei. So, tons of control centers distributed throughout the fiber. And what they found is oftentimes you can increase the number of those myonuclei as you start growing the fibers. Andy gives the analogy of like expanding a business. Because if you start spreading into more territories you’re going to need more managers.

 

But then if you start detraining or you take some time off, maybe you got injured or got other things to focus on in life, maybe like getting pregnant, the fiber size decreases but you actually keep all the myonuclei that you started off with. The cell cease the — I don’t know. There’s a benefit in keeping all these managers around. And then when you’re ready to start growing again it makes it an easier process.

 

Lindsey: Wow. That is interesting.

 

Irene: Yeah. Again, we always think, oh, we figured out the mechanism. And then later on–

 

Lindsey: Something else.

 

Irene: Something else pops into and it ends up being more complex than we initially perceived. But it seems plausible.

 

Lindsey: How long would you say it takes a muscle to heal or like a biopsy to repair itself?

 

Irene: That’s a good question. I’ve had tons myself. They can be sore for a while. You might feel them sometimes in different stages. But again, the soreness is definitely nothing as bad as what you would experience through certain types of training or certainly would never be as bad as some of those types of [1:05:02] [Indiscernible] that we’re all familiar with.

 

[1:05:05]

 

But, I mean, it’s such a small part of the tissue that you take out that it doesn’t really affect the 0.001% of whatever you’re working with. And your muscle is always breaking itself down and building itself back up. So, it’s a mechanism. It’s a regenerative tissue. I mean, unlike other tissues in our body, cartilage being probably the worst in terms of its ability to regenerate, that we have different capacities to build back certain types of tissue but not others.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. It would be great if we could rebuild cartilage.

 

Irene: Yeah. That would be like — I don’t know. Sometimes you think about, okay, the end of your life and you get to meet your maker and you get to have a list of suggestions, handy suggestions of how to improve life in the next universe. One of them could probably be make cartilage regenerative.

 

Lindsey: [1:06:11] [Indiscernible].

 

Irene: Yeah. Make women keep their fertility longer in life.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. At least through their 40s. Before we get off, can you share a little bit about why it’s such a pain in the butt to do studies, funding, everything related.

 

Irene: Oh, yeah, every scientist’s favorite thing to bitch and moan about.

 

Lindsey: Right. But I don’t think people realize what a pain in the ass process it is.

 

Irene: Yeah, for sure. I mean, Andy and I, that’s probably our number one struggle or challenge to overcome but we’re finding a lot of new potential routes. Again, everything is sort of a potential route until you actually see the money. But for ours, a big problem is that we’re not directly studying disease. A lot of the federally available grants from the NIH, for instance, or even from other sources like the DOD always wants to fund cancer research or you want to fund diabetes research, of course, because those are two of the most costliest diseases out there. It’s pretty clear in the government’s interest to fund those sorts of studies.

 

But when you don’t have an immediate direct link to disease, it’s often very, very difficult to pitch those funding stints. Where on the other end, we look at it as, well, there are very, very few people studying the opposite end of the health spectrum, studying in athletes or studying people that are doing really, really well at some aspect of health or whatever be.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Testing human limits, basically.

 

Irene: Yeah. It’s a much more intellectually stimulating subject to study, I think, as well, the best of humanity in a way. I think there’s tons of things you can learn about studying those people that you could potentially use to help other people in the future.

 

Lindsey: Totally. I agree.

 

Irene: The NIH doesn’t exactly have that or visionary thoughts process to it. That’s the struggle with federal funding. With private funding, you often run into the issue of, well, we’re the supplement company and we want you to test our supplement but what the data, they obviously have a vested interest on what the outcome of the data might be. And it may not really be what you want to study or that kind of thing.

 

You get caught into all sorts of problems with that but we’re also very interested in the potential for crowd funding. We actually did this a year ago. We did a small crowd funding grant campaign just to get the funds to finish building a microscope. Their collaborator, the one that does all the myonuclei, the imaging studies on muscle fibers, needed to complete that so he could run more of his studies.

 

It was like money that directly went to, you know, not just messing around in the lab to fund a very critical piece of equipment. But, yeah, I mean, we’re looking into other sources. There’s tons of people, I think, out there that are interested in these same questions, the capacity of studying elite athletes, learning more about human physiology from a performance spectrum, what are limits of–

 

Lindsey: Female physiology.

 

Irene: Yeah, female physiology, all those sorts of things. It’s kind of like in this day and age there starts to be more unconventional alternative approaches to things and we’re already learning that with media now.

 

[1:10:08]

 

We’re straying away from the mainstream types of media. Maybe we’ll also be able to stray away from the mainstream types of funding. So, who knows what will happen?

 

Lindsey: What’s like an average cost of a study?

 

[background conversation]

 

Lindsey: Do you know the average cost of funding?

 

Irene: It depends on what you’re doing.

 

Lindsey: Loads of study?

 

Irene: Yeah. It really does. But it gets way more expensive when you start adding in the biochemistry stuff.

 

Lindsey: Okay. So, where can people find you on social media?

 

Irene: Well, definitely, if you want to follow the science, probably Andy’s Instagram because he posts all sorts of stuff. I occasionally post a picture of me doing something fun somewhere. I do want to get more into social media and using it in the right way and connecting with people through that. I am Dr. Irene Tobias and I hope to expand it more in the future but follow Andy’s for now @drandygalpin on Instagram.

 

Lindsey: Thank you so much.

 

Irene: Thank you.

 

Lindsey: This is awesome. All right, BIRTHFIT listeners, I hope you enjoyed that episode. We stopped abruptly because our memory card was running out. So, if you have any questions, please do email them. We will definitely link up with Dr. Irene Tobias again in the future. We would love, love to have her back on the show. Like I said, if you don’t follow her or Andy Galpin on Instagram, go do so. They are leading the way as far as research goes.

 

If there’s something we can send home about this episode, it’s that research needs funding. Research needs funding so that it will happen. I get a ton of questions, emails, “Hey, can you research ligament muscle healing as it relates to the postpartum period? Or diastatis rectus abdominis healing?” This is exactly why it is so damn hard to make studies. As she mentioned, it relates to the female cycle, it relates people’s schedules. And then, ultimately, it comes down to who wants to do the funding.

 

So, they do a lot of work on their own and they do some crowd funding so go follow them and definitely help them out financially, if you can, in the future as far as making research happen. I hope you enjoyed this episode. And let us know if you have any questions. Ciao.

[1:13:51] End of Audio

The BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 84 Featuring Lane Gauntt, BIRTHFIT Volusia County

BF-web-1200x500-podcast-no-button.png

[0:00:00]

 

Lindsey: All right, guys! Thanks to our sponsors, Original Nutritionals. Our friends at Original are on a mission with us to walk the walk when it comes to human betterment. They’ve created a brand founded on pure basic essential supplements that have ingredient labels you can understand. I like small labels, I’m from Texas, I don’t like big words, so this works for me. Their third-party-tested omega-3 is free of heavy metals and toxins and to standards higher than that of drinking water. What? Ladies, that means no mercury issues, which is good news since most fish oils on the market are poor quality, oxidized and actually don’t taste too good. Functional O3 comes in two sizes and it tastes yummy.

 

To make things better, Original Nutritionals has created a snack. This snack is awesome because we actually use this during labor. Imagine coconut butter, cashew butter, raw cacao, sea salt and little coffee grinds in a little pouch like for endurance athletes. That’s Coco Java Nut Butter and it’s healthy fat, ready to go in your purse, gym bag or birth bag when you’re in a pinch.

 

In true Original Nutritionals fashion, they’ve recently developed whey protein from pasture-raised animals that aren’t ruined with fake flavors and sweeteners, just the good stuff. Our favorite is their whey protein from goats which doesn’t come with allergy issues many experience with dairy.

 

So if you want to find more Original Nutritionals information, products, go to originalnutritionals.com. Use the code BIRTHFIT for 15% off. That’s BIRTHFIT for 15% off.

 

Do you ever need help planning meals? Do you ever run out of time for prep work, things like that? I know I do and life gets a little crazy. That’s where Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty comes in, brought to you by Sam Rodgers, the mom behind the plans. Her company Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty offers three different plans which you can sign up for only $13 a month or $99 a year. There’s a Super Clean plan, there’s an 80/20 plan, and then there’s a Quick Prep menu, which is basically 60 minutes or less of prep time at the beginning of the week.

 

So check it out, eatingcleancookingdirty.com/birthfit, and all BIRTHFIT listeners will receive a 14-day free trial and a 15-minute jumpstart call with the one and only Sam Rodgers. So BIRTHFIT moms or dads, or anybody else listening, this is a super simple solution to maybe if things are boring in the kitchen, you run out of time, you just need help spicing things up in the kitchen with a little creativity, Sam Rodgers of Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty has some answers for you. So go check her out.

 

All right, guys, I’m super excited to announce our new sponsor, Well Labs. Well Labs is an online nutrition company working to make high-quality nutrition and preventative medicine available to everybody. Well Labs will take complicated functional medicine and they put it into terms that you and I can understand. Well Labs are evidence-based. They’re high quality and there are no fillers, dyes or sugars. And want to know the cool thing? Part of every Well Labs purchase funds preventative medicine for kids who cannot afford it. This is anything from music therapy and yoga to meditation and cooking classes because we’re all convinced that healthier kids will make healthy adults.

 

You can get health and give back at the same time by trying out some of Well Labs bestseller products. These are the tasteless and odorless liquid vitamin D and K combo or the powdered probiotic which is very easy to sneak into a toddler food or baby bottle, or you can try the Well Mama Prenatal that is conveniently packaged in daily pouches for you to throw in your purse or your gym bag.

 

You can find out more information by visiting mywelllabs.com or you can find them on Facebook or Instagram. BIRTHFIT community, please support Well Labs because they support us. Thanks for the love.

[0:05:00]

Hello, BIRTHFIT. This is Dr. Lindsey Mathews, your BIRTHFIT founder. Today, I have a very special guest. She is a member of our BIRTHFIT regional director tribe, Lane Gauntt. She is the regional director for BIRTHFIT Volusia County.

 

But before then, before we dive in to the conversation, I want to give you a few announcements. By now, all of our seminars have wrapped for the year. That means no more BIRTHFIT Professional Seminar 2017, no more BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar 2017, and the crazy freaking thing is that all of our seminars sold out in 2017. Like we cannot be more stoked about that, we cannot be more stoked to bring you more seminars in 2018, but we want to just thank everybody that we met throughout the year either at the BIRTHFIT Professional Seminar or the BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar, mainly because I don’t know if you realize how much we learn from the interactions that we have with all of you. We learn a ton. We are able to connect with each one of you and to put faces with names and just share space. Each seminar we do has its own unique special energy and I thank you all for showing up as your true authentic self and sharing your stories with us. So 2017 seminars, you’ve been super rad.

 

On to 2018 seminars. In January, we will be at United Barbell, which is in San Francisco. We will be hosting a BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar there. United Barbell is also home to BIRTHFIT San Francisco. You can sign up for this seminar online now. There’s still space available. The seminar is January 13th and 14th. So go sign up because at the rate we’re going, everything sells out about a month in advance. In February, so February 3rd and 4th, we will have a Professional Seminar in Atlanta, Georgia. That’s right, Hotlanta. This is sign-up should be available on the website as well. And then, February 10th and 11th will be a BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar in Houston, Texas. This will be at Behemoth CrossFit in Houston, Texas. I do believe that one is about halfway full now. So go sign up for these seminars. They fill up, prices go up, like be aware, there’s not much we can do if they fill up because space is limited, and we need all the space to move around with, hug, touch people, that sort of thing. So yeah, get your booty in there, and I hope to meet each of one of you and I will see in 2018.

 

All right, for all of those interested in joining the BIRTHFIT tribe, you can. If you’re interested in joining as a BIRTHFIT professional, this would be a chiropractor, a PT, an acupuncturist, a nutritionist, a doula, an OB-Gyn or a midwife, you can do this by attending a BIRTHFIT Professional Seminar and then submitting your application within 30 days. It’s the same thing, same kind of protocol for a BIRTHFIT coach. You will need to attend the BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar and then submit your application within 30 days.

 

Now, if you want to be a extremely involved and have all the responsibility and able to use the BIRTHFIT trademark, then you will need to apply to be a BIRTHFIT regional director. All regional director applications are due by December 1st. So, December 1st, write that down. Check online, go to the tab that says Regional Directors, and underneath it there’s a little other tab that says “Become a Regional Director.” Click on that and there you will find all the information. You will need to gather all your things that you’re submitting, and put in a Google Docs folder with your first and last name on it, hyphen, regional director application. You will share this folder with info@birthfit.com. So get everything together and submit it by December 1st. Regional director applications are due by December 1st every calendar year, and every calendar year, I always get somebody at some time in December that says, “Oh, I missed the date.” There’s not much I can do, so write that down. December 1st, regional director applications are due.

[0:10:28]

Those are the biggest announcements I have. In the meantime, if you could, if you could show us some love, go to iTunes, give us a rating, we would greatly appreciate that. And then, yeah, show us some love on social media, give us any feedback. We are constantly trying to improve ourselves to put out better information, better experiences, and just serve women in the motherhood transition as best we can. So we love feedback and we look forward to hearing from you.

 

So, now, you have a beautiful discussion with the one and only, Lane Gauntt of BIRTHFIT Volusia County. I hope you enjoy this.

 

Welcome officially to The BITHFIT Podcast. Give a little intro to the audiences to who you are and what you do.

 

Lane: Okay, awesome. So thanks for having me on. My name is Lane Gauntt. I am the BIRTHFIT regional director for Volusia County here in Florida. I own a CrossFit gym here. I work with lots of female athletes in the postpartum, prenatal, even some preconception periods, which is awesome. I love doing it. I am also an aspiring chiropractic student myself, so I’m kind of segueing into that as well. I’m a mom of soon to be two girls, one two-year-old and one little one coming in February, so pretty exciting, lots of balls in the air.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, love the moving part. Oh, my goodness. So where is Volusia County for those that don’t know where exactly that is?

 

Lane: Sure. So Volusia County is about 60 miles east of Orlando. That’s the big marker. Or you’ve got Daytona Beach, which I hate saying, but, yeah, I think everyone thinks of like ’90s spring break, but fortunately, that’s the other landmark for us. But yeah, so Daytona Beach, Orlando, Central Florida, right here on the coast. It’s so pretty.

 

Lindsey: So how were you all with the hurricanes?

 

Lane: Totally fine. Actually, we lucked out.

 

Lindsey: Oh, good.

 

Lane: Yeah, South Florida didn’t fair too well, and then the Caribbean did not do well at all. But it’s just kind of like luck with the draw. A lot of people stay and just ride it out, hoped for the best. But when you’re pregnant, and you have all these hormones and a mom, like as soon as I heard category five, I was in the car. So I’m a total…

 

Lindsey: Peace out.

 

Lane: Yeah, I don’t like to play the odds like that.

 

Lindsey: No, I don’t blame you. Well, dang, I’m glad you’re safe and everybody around you is safe.

 

Lane: Thanks. Yeah, I appreciate that.

 

Lindsey: Well, one reason we wanted to have you on, and I think, I guess it was Lindsay Mumma who was like, “Get Lane on so she can talk about sex.” And I was like, “Oh, okay.”

 

Lane: Yeah, that’s awesome.

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Lane: When you asked me, I was like, yeah, this is great. I’m like definitely really flattered, but I’m also like not sure where we’re going with it. So I’m excited for the opportunity.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. And I think what intrigued her as was a lot of people is your perspective, maybe that’s a better way to say it, your perspective on how you communicate having sex, maybe even what the future conversation may look like with your daughters? Because, wow, daughters, that’s crazy.

 

Lane: Yeah.

 

Lindsey: But yeah, if you look back, do you remember the first conversation your mom or dad or guardian at that time had with you about having sex?

 

Lane: Sure. As I think I mentioned before back at the summit in LA a few months ago, we were kind of talking about just different upbringings and how that inform how we think about sex and decisions we make with our bodies, birth control, what have you. And for me, it was growing up in a household primarily run by my mom, so kind of a matriarchy. And she really encouraged me to make my own decisions when came to what I wanted to do with my body. I can’t pinpoint to sit down birds and bees because that’s not really her style.

[0:15:08]

But I think a lot of it really came from me watching her not being married for a large majority of my teenage years, just watching her kind of expressing herself and having relationships and just watching her discover and kind of navigate through that on her own and then having impromptu conversations around that and just being able to kind of talk on a level playing field without ever feeling like we’re child-parent, I guess.

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Lane: We’re pretty cool. It was free of like religious pressure, needing to conform to a certain set of ideals of anything like that. It was kind of just like we were all in it together. And it was weird at that time, but now, like looking back on it, I’m really thankful for it because I really feel like I got to make my own mistakes. I got to experience things kind of free of all of that like stronghold of traditional parenting maybe like in a mother-father household, which I don’t really know because it’s not what I had, but it was really kind of, like I said, a laissez-faire style of caretaking, which was like good and bad. But looking back on it definitely now, like there is a lot that I am really appreciative of.

 

Lindsey: Do you remember any like one or two learning experiences in which maybe you or your mom or maybe you ask the question about your body or her body?

 

Lane: Yeah.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Do you remember any of those experiences?

 

Lane: Yeah. I haven’t really thought about that, but then like two just like kind of popped up, which is cool. So like one I think would be she had this one boyfriend that she was with for a while and we all loved him and he’s a great guy. She was always very adamant about being a mother of three girls and one boy, I’m just trying to think, a lot of siblings, but yes, three girls and one boy, she realized, felt like a great deal of responsibility to like set the right example in terms of how they interacted around us and also like how things were allowed to progress when we were all around.

 

So if we were visiting our dad or away and we were all there, like he was very much like he’s in our house visiting with our family and he’s on my terms, and I also felt that was so cool because it was like her turf and it was her body, and it was like my kids come first and I’m setting an example here for three young girls. So like there was no like sneaking away going upstairs, making everyone feel awkward. It was always super like everything was out there and everyone respected each other. So I just always thought that was cool, like the guys knew, and I say guys because she had multiple boyfriends throughout the years. But it was never like anyone was being disrespected, and I always thought that was cool that she made a point of that.

 

And then another thing, I think my sister, she’s about two years older than I am, so she was maybe 18 and I was 15 and we were just on a girls’ trip, the three of us, my older sister, myself and my mom. And she sat us down to tell us about a relationship that she had again like another really serious relationship that she had after she was married to my dad and she got pregnant, and they decided between the two of them that they weren’t going to keep the child, and so she went to have an abortion and he never came to pick her up.

 

So like that always resonated with me for lots of reasons just because to me it really showed like a level of transparency and trust that we had as a family and as like a real tight group of women to be able to talk about that kind of stuff, and I guess just feeling like we were at an appropriate age to really be able to like understand when five or ten years before like obviously would be inappropriate to even expect us to be able to even start to digest that kind of information. But I just thought that it showed that she was a mom, but she wasn’t a ruler. She was just like one of us and she was a normal person. She made mistakes and she wasn’t ever trying to hide anything about that.

[0:20:10]

So for me, that was big just because it was never something that we couldn’t talk about. So for me, it also opened up that as her daughter, wow, she is willing to share that with me. I don’t ever have to feel like I have to sugarcoat anything or hide things that I may not want to share with my parent because I just kind of felt like, hey, I can share with her and we’re going to still be cool.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. She was able to be vulnerable while still being a strong mom, it sounds like.

 

Lane: Yeah, and I think it was really also too like a healing thing for her to be able to share it, because before that, who would she have shared that with maybe? So for me, it just brought us so closer because we were all able to, like my sister and I are able to see her in a different way than we had before or her, and we were ready for that. She just shared her feelings of loss and grief, and we know that we would have another sibling and it wasn’t something she wanted to tell us. But she just felt like it was a good thing for us to all share together and it wasn’t a secret, but it was definitely like a circle of trust thing that I would never have expected, I guess, at that time. So it was definitely, I think, a positive thing for me as a maturing woman and also for her like as a mother like just to feel that connection do her daughters. It might not be full, but I mean it was huge for all of us.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, I think, yeah. So when she told you all about the abortion, because that’s a — I mean my mom actually did a very similar thing, but it’s so interesting to hear your background because we grew up with like very religious don’t have sex till you’re married, like religious rules, you know.

 

Lane: Sure.

 

Lindsey: So I remember the first time my mom sat me down to talk about the birds and the bees, and I was 17 or 18 and I was like that ship has sailed like it’s too late. And then when she communicated about she had an abortion in her life, that was much later. So I think, like you said, the circle of trust was built from such a young age. I’m curious as to what types of emotions you experienced whenever she told you or communicated about the abortion because it’s not something that people talk about freely.

 

Lane: Right. Yeah. I mean I think for me, I never really had strong beliefs for or against abortion really. For me, I was just really like neutral when she told me, and I just really felt for her, like I was kind of coming into womanhood and thinking wow, like that’s something that I could potentially go through one day. I mean really like my heart went out to her. So I think it was maybe just because we knew where we both were in our own lives felt like it was the right time to share it, and I thinks she nailed it because it was like spot on. It wasn’t scary. It wasn’t wow, I really wish I had that brother or sister, like it wasn’t like a selfish reaction or anything like that. It was just us like letting her share and then we all kind just like processed it and move on, and we really haven’t talked about it since. We talked about it once.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Because it sounded like it was dwelled upon. I mean for her it’s got to be healing, like you said, and kind of completing the circle.

 

Lane: Sure.

 

Lindsey: So looking back at maybe your first sexual experiences, and you don’t have to talk about it like super in detail, but was that something you can share?

 

Lane: I put it in my notes. I was like I need to jot this stuff down because I’m about to talk about sex for 45 minutes, like I need to dive deep into the past here. It’s probably what you want to know.

[0:24:55]

Lindsey: So going into it, was it something that you wanted to explore your body or was it something that you felt safe and that you could communicate with your sisters and mom about? Because I know, I’m thinking about my experience, like it was super secretive, and it was almost pressured into like, okay, everybody else is doing it, I might as well do it, you know.

 

Lane: Sure. Yeah.

 

Lindsey: So it sounds like yours could be quite different.

 

Lane: Yeah. So I think like, this is going to maybe sound wrong, but my family always saw me as like this, like free-spirited, like wild and crazy child. So I was like it’s just a matter of time. It was like, “Just tell us when it’s happening” because they already figured it was, and it wasn’t. That was just kind of like this, like not having to feel bad or scared or like nervous about telling anybody. It was like once it was happening they were like, “Oh, yeah, we figured.” All my sisters were like, “Yeah, that’s cool.” But, no, my first time having sex was with a guy that I ended up spending five years in a relationship with. So it lasted a long time.

 

Lindsey: Wow, yeah.

 

Lane: It was really awesome. It was an awesome relationship. Actually, one of my good friends, one of my best friends that I grew up with ended up marrying him. He’s a good guy, and she’s a great girl. It’s just funny how they ended up being together and like I can totally get it, and totally I think it’s great because we had an awesome relationship and really he was just great, like kind of let me take the reins and I love that. In terms of a partner and in terms of where I was at in my life, definitely I felt ready and everyone around me felt supportive of that readiness.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Okay, this is good because I almost, I feel like what do you think we need to instill or teach young women so that they I don’t want to say treat their bodies as a sacred temple, but almost, you know?

 

Lane: Sure, yeah.

 

Lindsey: Rather than the background of religion, and it’s fine if you do believe in that stuff, but for my experience and talking with other people, it’s almost like the rules, like I’m going to try to break all the rules, like that’s where I come from. My relationship didn’t last and it was heartbreaking. Well, you, it sounds like you really fostered. It was a mutual support between each other, trust and an awesome relationship.

 

Lane: Yeah, I am. It had its ups and downs like any teenage relationship. Of course, like I mean, yeah, there’s a lot of growing pains associated with it. When I went off to college, I was just kind of done with it.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, you grew.

 

Lane: Like I was just ready to go and experience something new, just like man, I don’t know, I feel like there’s got to be some other stuff out there I need to just try. And then if this is still what it’s supposed to be, then it will still be there. So we just kind of grew out of each other.

 

But I think you think about like the two opposite sides of it. It’s like you have that very strict, like just don’t have sex. I actually went to a Catholic high school and we took a course in it, and we were all looking at each other, thinking the same thing of like who are they talking to? What does this look like? Who’s the audience? Because it’s not us. Everyone in that class was having sex and it’s just, well, maybe not everybody, but I’d say, you know, 75% to 80%, or at least we’re thinking about it. So to even think that information telling you that you shouldn’t even be thinking about it was just like asinine.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, in denial.

 

Lane: Yeah, it’s crazy. And then you have like the other side of it where you’ve got girls that are just made to feel terrible about having sex especially in high school. People are just mean. And I think it really sucks that it starts from such a young age that guys are glorified for having sex and then girls are meant to feel like, “Oh, my gosh, don’t tell anyone that you’ve done that.” Or if you’ve had sex with more than a handful of people, you need to play that down because…

 

Lindsey: Right. Or they start slut-shaming and then a reputation is ruined. It’s wild.

[0:30:00]

Lane: It’s crazy, it’s crazy. But I’ve always been more of a keep things close to the chest kind of person, so I think back until like when I was in high school and I really didn’t share a ton with my friends about it just because I always kind of liked that, it was my own thing and it was like mine. And no one could take it from me and I didn’t want to make other people feel good, bad, or otherwise about what they were doing, or I didn’t feel a need to compare my sex to their sex, or his wiener to his wiener. I just like it wasn’t for me. So I was kind of like I just really developed a really strong relationship with my own thoughts and feelings about because I didn’t need a whole lot from other people, which I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but that was just my experience. Like I was just navigating the waters on my own and you know, I’m happy where it got me because it really like just put the emphasis on what I wanted and what I didn’t want, not necessarily what other people wanted and didn’t want.

 

Lindsey: Totally. Yeah.

 

Lane: So I think especially, being a mom of two girls now, I started thinking about this. One is not even born and the other one has just turned two, but it’s like you start thinking about that kind of stuff of like how’s their experience going to be different, and especially just the world we live in now with social media and everything like that, it’s a little overwhelming to imagine that they would be able to process and experience these things on a more private level. I don’t know.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. It sounded like or it still sounds like you’re very sure in who you are or were at that time.

 

Lane: Yes, yes, right.

 

Lindsey: Would that come back to your mom and dad or siblings or, what do you think are the biggest values that they taught you?

 

Lane: Sure. No, that’s cool because I’ve never really connected them to anything, but this is good. I don’t know. I mean I have always felt like my parents, they didn’t get along. It didn’t work out with them. But individually on their own, they’re fantastic, and I love them both. And my mom is like the nicest person you’ll ever meet but also the person that you don’t want to cross. She’s got that sweet Southern way to her. She’s from Alabama and very charming, but also very able to stand on her own two feet, which I think coming out of that, like Southern culture is very rare. But she has always made decisions and stuck behind them. Whether they were wrong or right, she’s always made a decision. She’s never looked to anybody to help her make those decisions, and that’s definitely something I learned from her probably since I was toddler age. Just make the decision, like take the first step, like swing the bat, whatever it is. Get out there, fall flat on your face, whatever you have to do, but don’t go around looking for people to hold your hand and help you figure it out. Like she had always just made decisions and I always respected that about her.

 

My dad, it’s funny because when we started talking about conversations, I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation with him about sex because he just wasn’t a physical day-to-day part of my teenage, like that pre-teen years. He lived in New Orleans, we lived in Florida. So there was physical distance. But I always felt like I could have talked to him about things if I needed to. I just never really wanted to. I don’t know. Like I said, I just felt like a man’s opinion wouldn’t really fuel a lot for me, but maybe it would have. I don’t know. It’s hard to say.

 

But I just always felt like looking to women and my mom and my older sister was really all I needed because they were my two rocks. Like my sister is very dry, but she’s also very emotionally in tune. So she’s like the grandma that I never wanted. And then my mom was like always wild and fun and very spirited and life of the party, but was the person that I knew would always be there for me. So I just always felt like between the two of them, I had everything I needed.

 

Lindsey: For sure. Sounds like it, huh? Do you remember when your sister started having sex?

[0:35:05]

Lane: Oh, my gosh, yes. Oh, yeah, she might kill me but I don’t think [0:35:09] [Indiscernible].

 

Lindsey: We haven’t reached her yet.

 

Lane: Yeah, it’s okay, she’s not there yet. So, yeah, my sister is actually — she’s a lesbian, she’s married, been married to her partner now for going on two years.

 

Lindsey: Is she in Florida?

 

Lane: Yes, she’s in Florida:

 

Lindsey: Oh, okay.

 

Lane: Yeah, she was in New York for a while, and yeah, now she’s back in Florida. So she started having sex about the same time as I did. She was little bit more of a late bloomer. I just remember she started having sex with her boyfriend, and then I think throughout I was kind of watching her grow and evolve as a sexual person, and just watching her change throughout when she went to college, and just seeing her preferences change a little bit. But it was really cool because she never labeled herself straight, gay, or bi. She kind of just liked what she liked and just did that. And if it was a guy she liked, it was a guy she liked. Or if it was a girl she liked, like she really didn’t make any bones about it. Like she just wore her heart on her sleeve and eventually led it to where to she is now, and she found the love of her life and it happened to be a woman. I think she was always very open to it being whatever it was, but she just wanted like real raw love. So that was always cool for me because every partner she had was just really genuinely being there and with her, and they just had these awesome guitar jam sesh like pot, smoke, incense burn. I don’t even know, but I was like, that’s rad, that’s cool. And whatever she’s doing, like that’s awesome. So when she was in high school, college, she definitely explored. And it was just me. It was cool to have an older sister that was just so open.

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Lane: Yeah, we’re an interesting household.

 

Lindsey: I was jealous in you all’s house.

 

Lane: Oh, my God.

 

Lindsey: Do you feel like either your experiences or experimentation, whatever you want to call it definitely makes you a better lover, wife, mother, person now?

 

Lane: Yes, definitely. Not a wife.

 

Lindsey: More on mother.

 

Lane: Yes. I feel like that is something that I feel strongly about too. It’s like if I want to be a wife, then that’s a choice I want to make, and definitely would do it with a whole lot of intention. So we’re kind of doing things backwards, but I’m so happy with it because it’s like I don’t want to put extra added pressure on something that really I don’t feel like is super necessary to accomplish the things I want to accomplish as a family and as a couple right now. So, yeah, so I think for sure that’s helped me like just feel like even that decision is totally justified because that’s what I want, and I don’t really give a shit what anybody else thinks about that.

 

So as a partner, through all my experiences, high school, college, and even after I graduated, just allowing myself to have lots of different types of partners without fear of judgment has allowed me to learn a lot about myself and what I like and what I don’t like. I wouldn’t know any of that if I didn’t allow myself to have those experiences. So I feel like now I can really share those things and have my own voice and occupy space confidently and communicate those things to him and vice versa, like I’m all about it, like tell me what you like, tell me what you don’t like, and let’s meet in the middle.

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Lane: We don’t need to get carried away one way or the other, but like I think it’s all about those open lines of communication, and like people just saying, like what they want. I think that’s a huge step in the right direction for any couple is just to open up the dialogue and trust. That’s been huge. Through pregnancy and then postpartum after I had my daughter, everything has been a little bit different. It always will be, but it’s just kind of learning how to evolve with that and like make it fun. For us, it’s been a really cool ride. It’s been fun.

[0:40:15]

Lindsey: Yeah. So wait, your daughter is two or three?

 

Lane: Yeah.

 

Lindsey: Two.

 

Lane: So she just turned two.

 

Lindsey: So how would you say you bring sexy back postpartum? Everybody, they’re like, “I’m never having sex again.” They say that like two weeks postpartum. And then they’re like, oh, I just cleared for sex postpartum and it’s six weeks, and then the first intercourse or whatever happens and it’s oh, that was painful. I don’t know if want to do that again. I mean these are all things I hear or read in the inbox and I’m like, oh dear. There are so many emotions and everything attach to this.

 

Lane: Totally, yeah. It’s an interesting time, that’s for sure. I mean so I guess for me, it really started and it never really stopped, but I’m like all about self-exploration. Catch my drift? So I think like if more women kind of started there, that might be what segues into wanting their partner to be part of that because I think you can reconnect with yourself or maybe even hopefully never lose that connection just with you and yourself and finding pleasure without a man or a woman or whatever your relationship is. But I mean for me, I think especially postpartum, and I read it was funny because I went on the BIRTHFIT website. I was like, okay, what do they have out there that’s about sex? And I’m like looking on the blog, and I think the only thing I saw was what was it that you had posted? It was of feminine touch, but it was cool because I just realized like man, there is really nothing out there about this.

 

So I wanted to share that I think a lot of times we put a lot of emphasis on what your partner can do for you, but there’s so much that you can do for yourself. Unfortunately, like in our society, I think masturbation just gets glorified for men and it’s like totally taboo for women, but it doesn’t even have to be that. Like maybe it is that, but I think like through just maybe dancing naked or just spending time naked. I love walking around my house naked. People probably want me to put clothes on, but I just like don’t. I just don’t. I don’t know. I don’t like sleeping with clothes on. I just love being naked. I’ll put clothes because I have to go outside and I understand that’s a rule. But I mean for me, that’s just totally normal. No matter like how big my body gets when I’m pregnant, I always feel good naked, and I don’t know why. Sometimes close can just make you feel like they’re tight or they just don’t look right, and you get so into like how they look. Versus like when you’re naked, you start to just see things all the time and they become like well, that’s mine, like okay, that’s cool. It’s getting bigger. Or yeah, that was a lot bigger before. So now like damn, I look good. I mean I remember walking around in those underwear they gave me. They were like the ones where you have…

 

Lindsey: Oh, the mesh?

 

Lane: Oh, God, they’re awful, like the high-waisted. Awesome. And I was like so pumped on wearing those around the house because it just felt like this is amazing, like I felt light as a feather. Even though Mark was like, “It’s just really nice to see walk around the house in your underwear and like you look good.” And I was like, “Damn right, I do.” That’s awesome. It was like yeah, it was almost like to me I wouldn’t have known that things had changed because I got a chance to see them change so gradually. It wasn’t like, oh my God, I took my clothes off and stood in front of the mirror for the first time. It’s like I got to like watch it evolve. So I was just like part of it and then I was like oh, here I am today enlightened. It’s good.

 

Lindsey: That’s so powerful like what you just said about I got to watch myself evolve and it wasn’t just a shock one day. I think that’s like being naked and being comfortably naked is so key, especially for women. Like when we talk to a postpartum women, like some of the exercises we give them are to like look in the mirror naked, find one thing you love about yourself. For some women, that’s the first time they probably looked at their naked body in months.

[0:45:20]

Lane: Yeah. Their reaction to that exercise is always so interesting. Some of them confess they just hate it, and I get it. Maybe from what I learned is like just to give yourself a chance to see it every day, and then just really seem like normal and beautiful and how they’re supposed to be because it’s not like I’m hiding from myself every day and then all of a sudden there it is. It’s like it’s there every day. And whether or not you want to celebrate it or just acknowledge it, like sometimes just acknowledging it is all you need, like not everyone celebrates their body every day. But like just to be aware. It can be like really cool and I just think sometimes it just gets blown out of proportion of like what you’re expecting, these drastic changes. But if you experience it on a regular basis, I really feel like you give yourself a chance to kind of understand and just digest the changes that are happening and like they serve a purpose and it’s really cool.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. So much respect for the body.

 

Lane: Yeah.

 

Lindsey: This may be a random question but —

 

Lane: Okay, cool.

 

Lindsey: I’m all for masturbation. How long should a woman wait or did you wait, or after birth, like what would you say is appropriate?

 

Lane: Okay.

 

Lindsey: That’s a question people…

 

Lane: No, like I’m just not sure like the rating on this podcast. So I’m just like not sure what I…

 

Lindsey: It’s explicit.

 

Lane: Okay, great, so late night edition. So I just feel for me, it was like something that I allowed and gave myself to do as like a little treat like later on in pregnancy towards the end. Maybe my partner wasn’t like as jazzed about sex as I was because you can’t get into this intriguing position easily, and they aren’t experiencing your body on a daily basis like you are. So even though I may have always been up for until the very end, like he started to slow down a little too because he’s like oh, my gosh, the baby is right there, and there’s that whole thing going on for the guy, which I don’t get at all. Yeah.

 

Lindsey: I’m going to poke baby’s head. No, I think baby’s cool.

 

Lane: That’s insane. So for me, it was something that I did throughout the end of my pregnancy just because I don’t want to just pleasure a man, I still want pleasure too. I feel like what the heck. So I’m going to take matters into my own hands. It’s not only empowering, but I also feel like it’s another way to just connect with yourself and find out what you like.

 

Then after you have your baby, and you eventually start to get like a little more sleep and you even remember that you want to have sex, whenever that happens because it’s different for everybody, and you’re not totally exhausted, I mean I think that’s just the cool time to just like get some time to yourself and just hang out in your naked body, and like see what you’re feeling up for. And then like gradually start incorporating your partner into that. At least that’s what I found comfortable was like, okay, until I can be comfortable with myself, touching myself, then I’m not going to want him touching me. So for me, it was like that was the first step in feeling comfortable.

 

Lindsey: Oh, that’s so good. Yeah.

 

Lane: Yeah, yeah. Like I want to touch myself and I want to feel good, but I don’t know how to do that and how to communicate that to him because I don’t know if he’s going to be as gentle or as sensitive or as understanding. So it’s like I need to get a handle on what it is I’m looking for right now before I can tell him how to do it. Does that make sense?

 

Lindsey: Yeah. When you say that out loud, like I’m hearing this from you, and for me it’s like, oh, that is definitely a precursor or something that all women should look for before having sex again after baby.

[0:50:00]

Lane: Yeah, yeah.

 

Lindsey: Just like you said, it’s like how would I know what my body needs or desires or is appropriate, how soft, how gentle, that sort of thing.

 

Lane: Right.

 

Lindsey: That’s so smart.

 

Lane: Oh, man, I don’t know about that. But, yeah, I just felt like it’s funny because whenever we’re in a postpartum series and we ask like, okay, let’s all try to perform one act of self-love for the next time we meet and then we’ll talk about it the next time. And it’s funny because I’ll always be, I’m like, come on, someone say it, like someone just say it, and they never do. And I’m like, should I just be that icebreaker? And now, just through talking to you, I feel like damn right, I need to share that.

 

Lindsey: I think you are going to be the icebreaker.

 

Lane: Yeah. So I think so because people are like, oh, I took a bath or I went to yoga, and it could be that’s cool, but this could be like cool, you know.

 

Lindsey: There’s probably at least one person thinking like I masturbated, I hope that’s cool.

 

Lane: Right, yeah. Or like, yeah, we just don’t want to talk about it, so like I need to be that pioneer.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, so relevant.

 

Lane: Yeah, it’s so awesome. And like then from there, it’s just like, yeah, all about communicating and going slow. I think it’s really cool and this is just me, like separate of pregnancy, postpartum, all of that, like it’s really cool for your partner to see that you know what you want and it’s really like they gain a whole different sense of respect for you. I feel like as a woman and as a partner, like, wow, she knows what she wants. She can pleasure herself, but also she can communicate what she likes. So we’re not just all shooting in the dark here. We’re like this is teamwork, and everybody is getting what they want out of it. It’s not like after like, oh my God, that was just awful, and I never want to do that again. It’s like I see it as like we have the tools to change it, but we just need to connect that home first before we even know how to talk about it. Because if we’ve never done it, then we just don’t, it seems really weird to put that kind of stuff out there.

 

Lindsey: Right.

 

Lane: It can be really scary. What if I say I like something that he doesn’t like or she doesn’t like?

 

Lindsey: Right, you don’t want to be judged.

 

Lane: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, for sure. But I mean, I think so there’s that. And then foreplay is like huge, like for couples, you don’t even have to have sex like the first couple of times. I feel like maybe that’s what the guy is thinking, and that’s fine. But like, I think if they understand where you’re coming from and can get really on board with the idea of like maybe you guys are just together and you’re kind of doing your own thing, but if you’re appreciating each other’s bodies in like how they look and how they sound and like all those awesome senses that get in there, you don’t necessarily have to be like go with all at it.

 

Lindsey: Have intercourse, yeah.

 

Lane: Yeah. If you can kind of be together and like rediscover in a totally different way. Even if that wasn’t your norm before, it could be an opportunity to completely change the game at home, which is so cool because you kind of get to start over. It feels that way.

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Lane: It feels like if sex has always been scary or it always sucked, it’s like use that time to totally like pump the brakes, take a step back and look at the whole thing.

 

Lindsey: Recalibrate.

 

Lane: Yes. See where you want to make changes.

 

Lindsey: Oh, I love this.

 

Lane: Yeah.

 

Lindsey: This is great information. I think you should do a webinar.

 

Lane: Oh.

 

Lindsey: In 2018.

 

Lane: That’s so funny. Yeah, I feel like I’m rambling and I don’t know how much time we have.

 

Lindsey: We’re probably right at time, but there’s like three or four questions that I know that I could ask you. I’ll shoot for one.

 

Lane: Okay, I’ll try to get it straight.

 

Lindsey: What is one or two things that hope to teach your daughters as they grow up?

 

Lane: As it relates to sex or just as women?

 

Lindsey: Yeah, as women. It’s all probably sex-related. I think we’ve realized that now it is.

 

Lane: At this point, there’s no turning back.

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Lane: Yeah. So for my girls, I would definitely encourage them to put themselves first always. That sounds selfish, but I think it’s okay because I think when you do that, you set yourself up for experiences that are going to be equally as gratifying for you as they are for the other person. It’s never this backseat approach or I’m just on the receiving end or anything crazy like that. It’s like you’re an active participant not only in the choices you make but in the few things that you want to do with your body and with your partner. So that’s huge, I think, just being selfish. It’s okay. Just do it.

[0:55:35]

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Lane: Yeah. Because I think if more women were selfish when it came to sex, like we would have less fear, less shame because they would just own that experience. Like walk away like that was great. I was in the driver’s seat which I think is like awesome.

 

And then I would say something I think about all the time, and I have the younger sister as well, but just like birth control, without like going to into like one side or the other. I just think weighing out all the options is huge.

 

I think I said this at the summit, education before medication. It’s definitely like it’s something that I think it’s really important. If it’s conversations or if it’s exploration on your own, you don’t just need to get in line with everyone else because you have the first sign of acne and that means that you need to take birth control, like not at all. I think when you get into your 30s and you’re a mom and you have kids or you’re thinking about having kids, now all of a sudden, you see the impact of those types of decisions can have on your body long-term. I feel like whoa, people are just making these decisions face on this short-term of like I want to get rid of my acne or I want to get pregnant like right now. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I just think that instilling in them that the decisions that they make, whether it be with sex or with birth control, have huge long-term effects, and it’s really something that you want to think about of like what does this birth control going to do to my body 10, 15, 20 years from now and is that in line with what I might want then, which is a hard and heavy thing to think about. But I think if we start to like help people girls at a young age understand that it’s not just something you have to do or something that doesn’t come with outside effects, then we’ll have some definitions and some different conversations.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, it’s almost like everybody avoids the tough conversations.

 

Lane: Yeah, right.

 

Lindsey: With sex, birth control.

 

Lane: Yeah, you’ve got to kind of just go for it. I mean as long as you know your kids and you know when those conversations are it’s the right time to have them, I really don’t think you can go wrong. I think you can only go wrong when you just like hide it from your body, hide it from the conversation, hide it from your partner, like all that to making decisions based out of fear. And then we all know that’s not [0:03:34] [Indiscernible] place.

 

Lindsey: So before we get off, and mainly because I’m selfish and I want to know you opinion, but I just had a conversation with Logan about marriage and we definitely — so we’ve been together seven years, and in the last year we’ve decided to get married, but like you, we know it’s a choice. So I’m just curious as to what your thoughts are about marriage and maybe how you’re breaking societal norms there.

 

Lane: Yeah. I think that’s awesome, and if anyone wants to get married, I would say you and Logan, for sure. So that’s how I think about that. And I really think it’s great when you see two people get married like you guys for an example, and it’s like wow, that really makes sense. Even to somebody so far away, it’s like I can feel the importance and the beauty of your relationship all the way on the other coast. And I think when you have that depth and that connection between two people, that is a great way to decide, okay, we want to get married because we want to make that forever commitment to each other. Even though we know that we already have that forever commitment, I think there’s really something beautiful about like making it official, whatever you want to say. I think it’s really great.

[1:00:10]

Now, for me, I’ve been married before, so I’m a little bit more hesitant because I’ve just felt that pressure of it before, and to me it felt like a weight. So I’m just very like almost still in the stage of the fear, and so I don’t want to make a decision right now because I’m afraid of how it will change our relationship, even though our relationship is changing all the time. But it is like to me I want to be sure that we are where we want to be to make that jump if and when we decide it’s time to do that, and I really want my girls to be able to be part of it. We’ve talked about just waiting until they could really have an opportunity to experience it with us because we want to do it as a family unit, not just have them walk the aisle and throw flowers on the ground. We really want them to understand this is our family forever. So that’s what it means to us, but I just don’t feel rushed to do it. I don’t know. It’s like I want to and then I’m like, “No, that’s good.”

 

Lindsey: Yeah, I’m totally like you. Well, my mom has been married five times so I was very much like you in that I didn’t want to change us. We constantly revisited the conversation because Logan comes from a mom and dad that’s been married over three decades. So I’m like, “I don’t want to mess this up.”

 

Lane: Yeah. Well, I feel like you see so much of like how a marriage can change relationship for the worse. You hear stories and then it’s like so that just goes into like is that your reality or is that just stuff floating around. Everybody is different. Like I have a sister, my oldest half-sister from my dad’s first marriage, she is with her guy and they are freaking awesome. My sister is married to the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, and like I would totally marry her too. It’s like I get at it when people find that person, and I just want be damn sure that we are those people for each other, kids, no kids, whatever. Just because you have kids, in my opinion, does not mean that that has to be. Because people do it all the time and they realize well, this really wasn’t my person and we just did this because we have kids and now it’s not working and we need to get up. So it’s like we’re still kind of learning a lot about each other and so we’re just taking it day by day. I think like as long as you just can be present and do that, then married or not, you’re going to be fine.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, you can figure it out along the way.

 

Lane: Yeah, for sure, for sure.

 

Lindsey: I’ve loved talking to you and I probably went over, but this is great.

 

Lane: No, no, no, that’s awesome. I’m hearing my daughter like rumbling around, so I think that means like dinner is maybe in the making or everyone is waiting on me to make it.

 

Lindsey: They’re waiting outside the door.

 

Where can people find you at like online and social media?

 

Lane: They can find me on Instagram at BIRTHFIT Volusia. We also have a Facebook page, same thing, BIRTHFIT Volusia there. Yeah, so social media.

 

Lindsey: What’s your gym name?

 

Lane: Gym name, crossfit386. That’s in Port Orange. Yeah, it’s great.

 

Lindsey: Awesome.

 

Lane: Yeah. We’re definitely around and I’m excited to be involved with BIRTHFIT for many years that come and grow with you guys too. Thanks a lot.

 

Lindsey: I’m so glad you’re in the tribe. Yeah. I love it. I love you. You’re great.

 

Lane: Ah, I wouldn’t want to be in any other tribe. I only do very few tribes.

 

Lindsey: We made it. Yes. All right, go enjoy your family.

 

Lane: Thank you so much, Lindsey. I really appreciate it.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, I appreciate you and I’ll talk to you soon.

 

Lane: All right, take care. Tell Logan I said what’s up.

 

Lindsey: I will. Bye, Lane.

 

Lane: Bye, take care.

 

Lindsey: All right, everyone. I hope you enjoyed that conversation. I think I could have sat on I was about to say the phone, but on the microphone podcast Skype dealio with Lane for a few hours. If there’s one thing you take away from this, maybe two things, I would like to remind you what Lane has said and that’s to be selfish. I think that is really, really important as women in this world because so often we put our needs and desires as second, third or fourth in line. And I think what Lane said, when you’re putting yourself first, when you maybe are a little selfish, experiences just kind of unfold for themselves and everybody has a great experience. I think that’s very important.

[1:05:27]

The second thing would be curious. Be curious, embrace that, especially in the bedroom. And like she said, communication is key. So curiosity with communication. I think that goes a long way. Maybe the last thing, don’t be afraid to touch yourself.

 

Until next time. Ciao.

[1:06:32] End of Audio

Dysfunctional Breathing: The Whys

This blog was originally posted on drlaurenkeller.com and has be adapted by the author for this website.

Dysfunctional Breathing: The Whys

“Breathing becomes dysfunctional when the person is unable to breathe efficiently or when breathing is inappropriate, unhelpful or inefficient in responding to environmental conditions and the changing needs of the individual.” (4)  Dysfunctional breathing and it’s effects can be found here:

BUT WHY?

One thing in health that is sometimes over-looked is the why. Why do we have dysfunctional breathing or what are the causes? There are three main causes of dysfunctional breathing:

1. Developmental Adaptations

During the first year of life, our bodies should go through an ideal developmental pattern that helps create a stabilization system and helps form posture. Two studies (Vjota and Prechtl) both indicated that 69.7-72% of children develop normally while ~30% have abnormal development. (5)  

 

bf Screen-Shot-2017-11-19-at-4.31.48-PM.png

https://www.rehabps.com/REHABILITATION/Home.html

 

This is one reason developmental kinesiology and the work of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) are important. Both address the ideal developmental pattern that can be adapted as an adult for the 30% of the population that may not have developed a strong stabilizing system in infancy.

2. Physiological/Medical

Hyperinflation of the lungs causes air to get trapped in the lungs. This hyperinflation, often seen in COPD, asthma or emphysema and severe pneumonia, and congestive heart failure causes the diaphragm to shorten and lose its power and efficiency. (3)

In 2001, Hodges et al stated that the coordinating function between the diaphragm and transverse abdominis are frequently reduced in respiratory disease. (2) When the diaphragm contracts it is unable to properly lift and expand the lower ribcage and instead the lower ribs are pulled inward during inspiration creating what’s called a Hoover’s sign.

 

3. Emotional

Both psychological and emotional stress can alter the diaphragm’s control. Dysfunctional breathing has been shown to be present in 11% of the normal population, 30% of asthma sufferers and 83% in people suffering from anxiety. (4) It has been reported that voluntary breath modulation accounts for 40% of the variance in positive feelings such as joy and negative feelings such as fear, sadness and anger (7).

bf breathing-mind-body.jpg

 

In 2001, Umezawa found that breathing modification is the most common self-regulation strategy for relaxation and stress management. (6) Chaitow stated that in “Overbreathing: A Mind-Body Vicious Circle” that over-breathing and anxiety go hand-in-hand as anxiety increases the sympathetic system which causes an increase in breathing rate which leads to excessive carbon dioxide loss and in the end lead to a decreased pain threshold and more anxiety and overbreathing. (9) In 2010, Meuret stated that reducing hyperventilation “has emerged as a potent mediator for reductions in panic symptom severity and treatment success.” (8) Furthermore, studies have shown that conscious control of ones breathing can improve anxiety, depression and panic disorders. (11)

 

 

Lauren Keller, DC, DABCA

BIRTHFIT Chicago

@BIRTHFITChicago

www.birthfitchicago.com

 

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2546439/
  2. Hodges et al. Postural activity of the diaphragm is reduced in humans when respiratory demand increases. J. Physiol. 2001 Dec 15; 537(Pt3): 999-1008. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2278995/)
  3. Hoover CF. The diagnostic significance of inspiratory movements of the costal margin. J Am Clin Sci 1920: 633-46
  4. Courtney R. The function of breathing and its dysfunctions and their relationship to breathing therapy. Int J of Osteo Med. 2009;12:78-8
  5. H. F. R. Prechtl and B. Hopkins, “Developmental transformations of spontaneous movements in early infants,” Early Human Development, vol. 14, no. 3-4, pp. 233–238, 1986.
  6. Umezawa A. (2001) Facilitation and Inhibition of Breathing During Changes in Emotion. In: Haruki Y., Homma I., Umezawa A., Masaoka Y. (eds) Respiration and Emotion. Springer, Tokyo
  7. Respiratory feedback in the generation of emotion. Pierre Philippot, Gaëtane Chapelle & Sylvie Blairy. Cognition and Emotion. Vol. 16, lss. 5, 2002.
  8. Meuret AE, Ritz T. Hyperventilation in Panic Disorder and Asthma: Empirical Evidence and Clinical Strategies. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology. 2010;78(1):68-79. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2010.05.006.
  9. Chaitow L Gilbert C Bradley D. Recognizing and Treating Breathing Disorders. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2013.
  10. Ley R. The Modification of Breathing Behavior Pavlovian and Operant Control in Emotion and Cognition. Behav Modif. 1999;23(3):441-479.
  11. Chaitow, Bradley, Gilbert. Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Breathing Pattern Disorders. Churchill Livingstone; 2002.
  12. https://www.rehabps.com/REHABILITATION/Home.html

BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 83 Featuring Mark Krassner

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[0:00:00]

 

Lindsey: All right, guys! Thanks to our sponsors, Original Nutritionals. Our friends at Original are on a mission with us to walk the walk when it comes to human betterment. They’ve created a brand founded on pure basic essential supplements that have ingredient labels you can understand. I like small labels, I’m from Texas, I don’t like big words, so this works for me. Their third-party-tested omega-3 is free of heavy metals and toxins and to standards higher than that of drinking water. What? Ladies, that means no mercury issues, which is good news since most fish oils on the market are poor quality, oxidized and actually don’t taste too good. Functional O3 comes in two sizes and it tastes yummy.

 

To make things better, Original Nutritionals has created a snack. This snack is awesome because we actually use this during labor. Imagine coconut butter, cashew butter, raw cacao, sea salt and little coffee grinds in a little pouch like for endurance athletes. That’s Coco Java Nut Butter and it’s healthy fat, ready to go in your purse, gym bag or birth bag when you’re in a pinch.

 

In true Original Nutritionals fashion, they’ve recently developed whey protein from pasture-raised animals that aren’t ruined with fake flavors and sweeteners, just the good stuff. Our favorite is their whey protein from goats which doesn’t come with allergy issues many experience with dairy.

 

So if you want to find more Original Nutritionals information, products, go to originalnutritionals.com. Use the code BIRTHFIT for 15% off. That’s BIRTHFIT for 15% off.

 

Do you ever need help planning meals? Do you ever run out of time for prep work, things like that? I know I do and life gets a little crazy. That’s where Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty comes in, brought to you by Sam Rodgers, the mom behind the plans. Her company Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty offers three different plans which you can sign up for only $13 a month or $99 a year. There’s a Super Clean plan, there’s an 80/20 plan, and then there’s a Quick Prep menu, which is basically 60 minutes or less of prep time at the beginning of the week.

 

So check it out, eatingcleancookingdirty.com/birthfit, and all BIRTHFIT listeners will receive a 14-day free trial and a 15-minute jumpstart call with the one and only Sam Rodgers. So BIRTHFIT moms or dads, or anybody else listening, this is a super simple solution to maybe if things are boring in the kitchen, you run out of time, you just need help spicing things up in the kitchen with a little creativity, Sam Rodgers of Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty has some answers for you. So go check her out.

 

All right, guys, I’m super excited to announce our new sponsor, Well Labs. Well Labs is an online nutrition company working to make high-quality nutrition and preventative medicine available to everybody. Well Labs will take complicated functional medicine and they put it into terms that you and I can understand. Well Labs are evidence-based. They’re high quality and there are no fillers, dyes or sugars. And want to know the cool thing? Part of every Well Labs purchase funds preventative medicine for kids who cannot afford it. This is anything from music therapy and yoga to meditation and cooking classes because we’re all convinced that healthier kids will make healthy adults.

 

You can get health and give back at the same time by trying out some of Well Labs bestseller products. These are the tasteless and odorless liquid vitamin D and K combo or the powdered probiotic which is very easy to sneak into a toddler food or baby bottle, or you can try the Well Mama Prenatal that is conveniently packaged in daily pouches for you to throw in your purse or your gym bag.

 

You can find out more information by visiting mywelllabs.com or you can find them on Facebook or Instagram. BIRTHFIT community, please support Well Labs because they support us. Thanks for the love.

 

[0:05:00]

 

Hello, BIRTHFIT. This is Dr. Lindsey Mathews, your BIRTHFIT founder. Now, today’s episode is quite unique. It was recorded while I was in the upper east of the United States. I don’t know if you want to call it that, but the East Coast. I spent some time in New Jersey, New York and Brooklyn and this episode, in which Mark, the founder of Expectful, joins me, was recorded in Brooklyn. So I hope you enjoy this episode. I hope you get to know Mark a little more and can relate to him a little bit. He is an unmarried man with no children, so he’s kind of unlikely that he’s Expectful’s founder, but I think the universe is looking out for each of us, and I do believe his life’s path has led him here. Expectful is an awesome app for women looking to meditate throughout the motherhood transition. So check it out. Enjoy this episode and get to know Mark a little more.

 

For those of you listening, this is not live. This is in Brooklyn and I’m sitting here with Mark Krassner. Did I say that correctly?

 

Mark: You did.

 

Lindsey: Usually I butcher everybody’s name. He is the founder of Expectful, a meditation app for the motherhood transition. So Mark, do you want to share a little bit about your intro if I missed anything? Who you are?

 

Mark: So who am I? I am somebody that makes people go “What?! Who is this guy? Who is this guy?” I’m the founder of Expectful, as you mentioned, and it’s an app that makes it easy for women who are trying to conceive pregnant and new moms to meditate. I have no children and I’m not married, and so oftentimes people are just like confused when they meet me. It’s like what’s going on over here?

 

What I share is that I started Expectful because I have a mom who struggled with anxiety and depression when I was growing up and my mom loved and loves me very much, but during that time didn’t always have the tools that she needed to show up the way that she wanted to all the time. And just that growing up in an environment like that had such a profound impact in my life, and it was really the reason, the driving force behind my desire to start Expectful today. So I’m a guy that doesn’t fit into your average box who cares deeply about motherhood, pregnancy and the next generation. So I’m very passionate about that.

 

Lindsey: When was this conception of this idea? When did this happen?

 

Mark: Meditation changed my life pretty significantly, and it’s actually really fitting that we’re doing this podcast here in Brooklyn because it’s actually just a few blocks away from here that about four years ago I was getting out of a really significant relationship with somebody I lived with. The relationship, for those — I don’t know how many of your listeners have been there, but like when you go through a breakup, it’s horrible, and the relationship that I was in with this amazing woman, Jessie, was just going in hell in a handbasket really quickly just up the road. Jessie took a meditation course to try to cope with all the stress she was experiencing as a result of the deterioration of our relationship. After this four-day course that she took, I asked her what she learned and she told me and the principle she shared seemed relatively simple to me and I was like I could do that, and I decided to start. About a week later the relationship had transitioned. We’re no longer together. I was in an immense amount of pain and I clung very tightly to my meditation practice hoping that it would help me cope with all the challenging feelings that came up for me as a result of some really heavy heartbreak that I was going through.

 

About six weeks into my practice, I didn’t know if meditation was actually doing anything for me or not. I felt a little more calm and relaxed, but I didn’t have like — my whole life hadn’t changed at that point. I was biking to an appointment that I was running late for, and when I pulled up outside of the appointment, I went to go to lock my bike up with one of those wire locks and I couldn’t get one end of the bike lock to connect to the other. In that situation because I was rushed, and I really wanted to get to the appointment and the bike lock was just being really annoying in that moment, my typically go-to would have been frustration and I would have started grunting and breathing heavily and I would have just started smashing one side of the lock into the other as hard as I could trying to make it connect.

 

[0:10:03]

 

But in this situation, I remember I just looked at the lock and I remember feeling the beginnings of that frustration bubbling up inside me, and I had a conscious thought. It was I don’t want to get frustrated. I don’t want this. I took a deep breath and I focused more intently on the lock, and I slowly but surely made one piece connect to the other and I left and I walked towards the building I was walking into. When I touched the handle of the door, I had a moment where I was like wow, that whole situation occurred completely differently because of meditation. That was the beginning of meditation has been this amazing foundation for very significant transformation that my life has taken on over the years.

 

So I knew after about a year of meditating that it was something that I wanted to see more people experience. It was something I became very passionate about. I started to do research on how meditation affected children because I mean if I got to meditate sooner I couldn’t imagine what my life would have looked like. I found these breadcrumbs on pregnancy, which I thought was so interesting and I want to see what people were saying about that online, and I came up totally short. There was like no content on this.

 

Lindsey: It’s like anything in the maternal motherhood world.

 

Mark: Oh, my gosh, yeah, the content was like garbage and it was unbelievably poor, poor content. I mean it surprised me because meditation is such an intuitive practice for pregnancy, right?

 

Lindsey: You would think.

 

Mark: Yeah. So I was like, gosh, there’s got to be more here. There’s more to this story. So I ended up hiring a PhD student and had her look into all the available research on the topic of meditation during pregnancy and how stress and anxiety affects the pregnancy as well. When I got the research back about a week later, I connected with it so deeply because I read about basically how emotional states and mental health during pregnancy has such an enormous impact on the mental and physical health of a human being that’s gestating during that time for its entire life. It’s so significant.

 

I also read about how it’s really a very neglected part of pre and postnatal care. I mean pregnancy and new motherhood are some of the most stressful things a human being could possibly go through, and that stress has a direct impact on the health of a baby. Yet, nobody is doing anything to help support women during this time. I read about that in the studies I read about on stress and anxiety and how they affect pregnancy. Literally in those studies, researchers in there were saying more needs to be done. There’s almost no intervention. Nothing is done to help support women during this time. And then I read the studies on meditation and how meditation has been shown to do all sorts of amazing things like reduce the chance of preterm birth, reduce the chances of different risk factors from arising, reduce the chances of postpartum depression, enhance fertility and all those stuff and I’m like wow! This is such a great opportunity because there’s all the science and research on meditation and how it could help with emotional states and have a healthier, happier pregnancy and motherhood journey and fertility journey. There’s all this research on how stress and anxiety can negatively impact the pregnancy and nobody is doing anything about it. Wow! Whoa!

 

Lindsey: Let’s connect the dots.

 

Mark: Let’s connect the dots. But what really connected for me, the dots that I connected first was my relationship with my own mom who had, like I said, her own very traumatic life that she went through. She was the child of parents that who lost a lot of their own siblings and nieces and nephews to the holocaust and she just grew up in this incredibly tough environment, and she’s like the most incredible woman who’s like the most resilient person I know today but who, again, just didn’t have all the tools that she wanted to show up in the way that she wanted to in my life and I got really connected to how different my life might have looked if somebody showed her this research and gave her the tool to make the practice of meditation really easy.

 

So when I put that together it’s like this is what I want to be doing with my life, with my time. I want to put something out into the world and really we say make meditation as common as prenatal vitamins because there’s so much women already do. If you’re listening and you’re pregnant or you’re a new mom, you’re probably dealing with a ton of stuff for your body and that’s awesome because we’ve come such a long way. I forgot a long ago. It wasn’t even that long ago that women were cool to drink during pregnancy or smoke cigarettes. It was a thing.

 

Lindsey: Or eat for two.

 

Mark: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that’s right, and over time we’ve really honed that in and we’ve come to understand the significant impact that nutrition has on the process and exercise has on the process and it is very front of mind. But again, there’s just so much being done for the body. It’s awesome, but what’s being done for the mind? To me it’s been the missing link in the pre and postnatal care because it’s so important to get it right because again it could affect the health of a human being mentally and physically for its entire life.

 

[0:14:50]

 

Lindsey: Yeah, that’s 100% agree. For those of you listening, if you don’t know, our four pillars are fitness, nutrition, chiropractic and mindset. Mark just high-fived me. I used to say all four of those pillars were equal. But now, especially as we’re going around and doing seminars pretty regularly, like twice a month, I like to tell everybody mindset, mindset, mindset, that is the foundation. I just shared, like I’ll share a little bit about how my mind works. There is absolutely nothing, no support in any of those four categories as far as research and support for women through the prenatal and postpartum period, but more and more is coming out, and those are things that women can do in each of those categories — fitness, nutrition, chiropractic, mindset — to enhance their pregnancy and overall well-being. In fact, anybody can do those four pillars.

 

But what I share at some of our seminars is that basically, during pregnancy, a mom has to embrace the feminine energy and she has to go more in tune with her body and be really confident in her soul power, and for many of us it’s been neglected, and we’ve almost been taught at such a young age to depend on somebody else for support and care and for saving. I think we were talking a little bit about this or about our lives before this podcast, and I was sharing with Mark that I had to basically find my soul power again and that’s where BIRTHFIT came about. If I didn’t go through the dark shit that I went through, BIRTHFIT would not be here. But I almost view birth as this — and you may think I’m crazy, he’s looking at me with big eyes right now.

 

Mark: I don’t know what you’re about to say, but it’s unlikely, it’s unlikely, but I’m curious. Maybe you’ll throw me off.

 

Lindsey: So I view pregnancy as this training that we have to go inside. Like we have to go inside for training and mindset is the training there, where the physical training can enhance the mindset and be something that we cultivate more and more so that we give access to the mindset. People that train in a CrossFit gym or running ultra-marathons or hiking or whatever, you say things to yourself, you breathe, you moan, you do whatever. But in pregnancy, we start to direct that when we train for birth, and then during labor and delivery we start to climb this mountain and we go on top of this mountain.

 

Here’s where our conversation after my cat passed, all those listening know my cat, Angel, passed.

 

Mark: And Lindsey and I got on the phone and we were introduced. Just like have a chat, Expectful BIRTHFIT, let’s like have a little business chat to see what’s going on and what was it? Like an hour later we’re just…

 

Lindsey: Yeah, it’s all about life and death. But this is where this clicked for me because I view labor and delivery as climbing this mountain, and whatever birth you have, the peak of this mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro or whatever, and literally mom is up there maybe on one foot, maybe on two at the peak of this mountain, and she has to literally reach through and pull this being from another portal into this world and then she has to go back down this mountain. That’s the postpartum period and that’s where she has to recalibrate. We have to get grounded again. So in my opinion, we’ve been training or we’ve been viewing pregnancy and postpartum especially in the training sense so ass backwards like pregnant women are superheroes and they need this support tribe so they can climb this mountain, and they also need things like mindset training so that they learn their soul power. This freaking app is genius. I love it. I don’t think I’ve ever shared that with you, but that’s why I was like oh, my God, this makes so much sense. Life and death.

 

Mark: I think so too. I really do. That’s really what we’re about. I mean there are so many layers to Expectful. But another thing I learned about when I started to get just like crazy fascinated about this whole space, it’s just the most interesting thing to me, so many pregnancies happen from the top. It’s like there’s a head in the body and there’s a separation and this lack of connection like oh, the baby is growing and on my mind and it’s sort of like they’re not two things that are in harmony.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, I’m just checking the boxes.

 

Mark: I’m just checking the boxes. And there’s been this like — I think it’s society in general. I don’t think this is just a pregnancy thing, but there’s just been like this major, I think, disconnection from our bodies from our hearts, and what meditation allows people to do is to tap back in. The average human being in a given day has about — I’ve heard all sorts of different numbers, but the lowest number I’ve heard is 50,000 thoughts in a given day and 2% of those thoughts are new. The rest are just like rumination, all the same crap rolling around in your head over and over and over.

 

[0:20:08]

 

Oftentimes, people are like, “What is meditation?” The way I define it is it’s the attempt to focus on just one thing for a predetermined amount of time, whether that’s a guided meditation and an audio like Expectful or another app or your breath or a mantra, staying present, being in the present moment. Whatever it is, it’s the attempt to focus on a particular thing for a predetermined amount of time. What happens is inevitably, in that attempt, thoughts are going to come up because just like your heart beats and your hair grows, your mind thinks. It’s just what it does. Your mind will never stop thinking. It’s a big misconception. Listeners, if you think meditation is about not thinking, you’re incorrect. Let me break it down for you. If you’re not having thoughts, you’re dead. You’re not listening to this podcast from this dimension right now. You’re always going to have thoughts anytime in your life, including during a meditation.

 

But what inevitably is going to happen is you’re going to be attempting to focus on one thing, and then you’re going to be thinking about something else, whatever it is. So you’re trying to focus on a guided meditation and suddenly you’re thinking about your shoes or your email inbox or whatever it may be. Something comes up and what will happen is you’ll realize that you’re thinking about something that you weren’t meaning to think of. At some point you’ll go, “Oh, I’m thinking about my inbox,” and you’ll bring your mind back to whatever you were trying to focus on. That is actually meditation, showing up in like what happens is the brain like lifting a little weight every time that you catch yourself having a thought because normally you have those 50,000 thoughts in a given day.

 

Lindsey: And you’re trying to keep up with them.

 

Mark: You’re trying to keep up but you’re not even realizing you’re having them. They just run you because they’re just coming through. You have no control over them. But over time with meditation, as you start to catch yourself thinking and bring your mind back, again, most people think catching a thought is a bad thing, that there’s like failing a meditation and that’s a win. Every time you realize you’re thinking, that’s awesome. Even in regular life, when you’re not meditating, if you catch yourself having a thought, that’s a huge win because you’re training yourself to be more present with your thoughts so you can exert more control over them and have a happier life. So what meditation does, to go back to this whole thing about the disconnection between the body and the mind, is it helps people slow down and have more control over their mental chatter. And what that also does is it helps people get out of their head and get more in touch with their bodies where all the real answers are. That’s where their intuition is and that’s where all these natural amazing things that we have as human beings, especially moms, that help guide us, that help give us answers are there.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, makes so much sense to me. You’re just talking about catching your thoughts. For me the most practical sense, it’s like in labor moms experience contractions and if they’re distracted or if they’re waiting on labor to start, maybe baby is late according to their estimated due date or maybe there’s stuff going on, like what comes to mind is Erica, if she’s listening, she literally could to start labor because she kept thinking about payroll that she had to do. So literally, she went to the office, like she started labor on a Monday, labor stopped and then the next morning she went and finished payroll and then labor restarted again and had a beautiful home birth. But it’s like yes, you’re catching those thoughts or you’re shifting into focus at the task at hand which is a contraction, or okay, that contraction’s done now; that’s behind you. Bring on the next contraction, which is the next task at hand, which is pretty awesome.

 

So if you ran into a mom like at a grocery store or anywhere around Brooklyn do you share with her about Expectful? Because I’ve seen tons of pregnant women around here.

 

Mark: There are. It’s stroller central. It’s a fine line to walk because who likes unsolicited advice, right? Who likes unsolicited advice, especially pregnant women?

 

Lindsey: Everybody is giving them an opinion.

 

Mark: Everybody is giving you poor women advice. I’m so sorry, that sucks.

 

Lindsey: But we got the best advice.

 

Mark: There we go. That’s right. But people are coming to you for it. It’s for inquiries. It’s not being offered out of nowhere, you know what I mean? But I’m like really well aware of that. That said, I’m like no one in my team laughs me because I’ll meet people there is like almost single flight that I take anywhere there’s always an email that follows it. I email our ops personally and I say, “Hey, Leah, can you set this person up with a free subscription to Expectful?” and it’s inevitably a pregnant woman that I met on a flight or something. But I’m really careful. I think it’s important not to be prescriptive and to think that there’s one right way. I think just presenting it as like an opportunity. It usually starts like, “Hey!” like asking about the pregnancy and “Oh, do you meditate?” and then usually that there’s like a story ensues. But I always make sure that whenever I bring this up that I make sure to say, “Hey, look, this isn’t advice. This is just something that we offer that you might enjoy.” But be super careful not to be like righteous about it because it might not be the right thing for everybody.

 

[0:25:20]

 

Lindsey: For sure. It was funny, after our meeting yesterday, Bender and I went to a coffee shop and we literally were a part of a like stroller gathering there. We’re like oh, my goodness! They’re everywhere here.

 

Mark: How about when you did? When you see pregnant women, how’s that for you?

 

Lindsey: No, I’m a lot like you. If the conversation comes up, I’ll share and I’ll definitely share my experience with BIRTHFIT. I usually share about my experience as a doula because people like to hear positive birth stories because so often people share, “This traumatic thing happened to me” or “Watch out for this” and the trauma and the negative stuff is just like gossip. That’s the stuff that get shared more often. The positive birth stories need to be shared just as often because they’re all out there.

 

Mark: Totally.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, that’s why we put some on the podcast.

 

Mark: Oh, I think that’s great.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. What does meditation look like for you right now?

 

Mark: Oh, my gosh. The first thing I do in the morning after I brush my teeth, I sit for at least 20 minutes and I focus on my breath. Sometimes I like to get in at least half an hour really. But if I can’t, 20 minutes is my go-to. And then I like to get in another 20 minutes if I can midday. Like around 3:00 is the perfect time. It is ten times better than a cup of coffee. At 3:00, I don’t know about you, but I get pretty drowsy, and I love meditating then because it blasts me through the rest of the day. I have so much natural energy. So I love doing it. And it used to be something that I resisted or it was uncomfortable for me and a challenge, and now it’s just such a blissful experience to get to tap into that on a daily basis. Yeah, it’s been really cool.

 

But what’s better than meditating actually is like we’ll go on a platform of Expectful and see on any given day hundreds, sometimes thousands of people in a week are meditating on the platform, and it’s just like it’s the best feeling to think about. All of those women and couples, because we offer couples meditations, and their children getting exposed to this practice that’s had such an enormous impact in my life and I really believe has the potential to so significantly impact other people’s lives in ways that — meditation is such a funny thing because it seems like it is a such a simple thing. You’re just sitting focusing on one thing for however long, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 5 minutes, whatever, but it’s one of those things where it’s so subtle but really has the power to change everything, that simple practice.

 

Lindsey: Right. I think so often people feel like they’re not doing it right or that they’re grading themselves. Have people said that to you or I just can’t do it or it’s not for me. What do you say to those people?

 

Mark: I’ll use the words of my meditation teacher and our meditation expert on the platform, Emily Fletcher, who’s incredible, who says, “Thoughts aren’t the enemy of meditation, effort is.”

 

Lindsey: True.

 

Mark: So whenever you’re making yourself wrong or saying that you’re not doing it right, that is like the enemy of your meditation when you’re muscling, trying so hard to get it right versus just like accepting the thoughts that come and being gentle with yourself and gently returning back to whatever it is that you’re attempting to focus on. It all comes down to understanding that it’s all an attempt. There’s never going to be a moment where there are no thoughts. You’re always in the process of attempting to do it and the attempt itself is successfully meditating. You can’t unsuccessfully meditate.

 

Lindsey: That’s awesome. Love it. Were there areas in your life — well, let me back up. Are there areas in your life right now where you’ve seen meditation help or take a pause or space before you react or how does it show up right now for you?

 

Mark: Oh, my gosh! Well, I’m going through a breakup right now, another breakup that we’re talking about just before this podcast, before we ever record. I can’t believe I’m sharing this, but I’m going for it. So I got into a relationship with somebody who was — I started seeing somebody who was like two weeks out of something else and it was like the most intense connection I think I have ever experienced with somebody. It was amazing and we jumped head first into the relationship.

 

[0:30:17]

 

And fast forward two months later, it’s been like an amazing, amazing experience to be with this incredible woman, and I’ve never felt things so quickly ever in my life. And now it looks like our relationship is going to transition because suddenly she is actually beginning to grieve the relationship that ended just before we got together. And instead of it hurts, I love this woman so much. Like I love this woman and still think regardless of everything that’s happening that she is somebody that I might spend the rest of my life with. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But instead of getting mad about it or getting upset, I can really see like I have so much compassion for the situation and I could really, one, drop my ego because there’s this little voice inside me that wants to go oh, you’re not good enough, man. Like you want to be in this relationship and this person doesn’t want to be with you right now. So there’s a little voice in my head that could be a lot louder telling me all the areas that I’m inadequate, all the areas that I could have been better, done better, been more, whatever, and I get to notice that that’s there but also choose not to really listen to that or give it space in my life.

 

I also get to show up with like a ton of compassion for this amazing woman who has the absolute best intentions and is just like feeling things that are very natural for a human to feel. And instead of getting angry, I get to show up for myself with love in this situation and I also get to show up for her with love and I get to, instead of making her wrong or getting upset, I just get to love her and how special she is and how I hope she gets everything that she needs. So that’s like one way that meditation has totally shown up in my life because the experience of this breakup would be completely different, how I showed up in her life would be completely different, the things that I would say to myself would be completely different, this conversation would be completely different, maybe I wouldn’t be able to be so vulnerable to share something so, so, so personal with your audience. You know how many people are getting to hear this podcast?

 

Lindsey: Uh, a lot.

 

Mark: Yeah, but meditation, it’s this thing where I get to show up in the world more the way what I want to. I’m really proud that I could be on this podcast and actually share something so incredibly personal to me because maybe somebody listening to this, maybe it gets through them and maybe they see an opportunity for themselves to start a practice that could help change their life. Or maybe they just feel more understood because I share this story and I’m sharing my heart with them. So that’s just like one example of how I think the practice impacts things because this conversation would not be going this way, my life would not be going this way of me sitting with you, I wouldn’t care enough about other people even to have started this company if I didn’t start meditating, to be honest with you. So it shows up in every way of my life, in every area.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, that’s pretty powerful.

 

Mark: Thanks. Do you want to talk about some of the research that’s behind this stuff? Yeah?

 

Lindsey: Yeah, go for it.

 

Mark: Okay. So there’s some really interesting stuff that’s out there around meditation. I’m just talking about my own personal experience here, how meditation shows up for me in that way. But if you’re pregnant, you’re wondering like what are some practical things that it does for me. So we can start with the beginning of the reproductive cycle. Before pregnancy actually there’s fertility. So meditation has been shown to balance hormones. It makes conception more likely. It’s been shown to reduce stress because high levels of cortisol and stress have been shown to reduce likelihood of conception. So women that meditate and also do yoga are much more likely to conceive. And then pregnancy, the research is showing, I think I mentioned this, but it reduces the chance of preterm birth.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.

 

Mark: Right. So there’s one study that’s been done. It was done at the University of Thailand. They took, I believe, it was 200 pregnant women and half the women had no intervention. They just were like their pregnancy proceeded without any intervention as a normal woman would in Thailand and the other half got meditation training at the end of their first trimester, beginning of their second trimester. They followed these women through pregnancy and the women that didn’t have an intervention had a preterm birth rate of around 15%, which is a really high rate. It’s about, I believe, around the rate of, unfortunately, minority preterm birth here in the United States. And the women that meditated had an 8% preterm birth rate.

 

[0:35:17]

 

Lindsey: Well, almost half.

 

Mark: I mean huge, almost half, almost half. Unfortunately, that study was done in Thailand. It’s not taken as seriously here in the United States. So we’re actually right now working with the University of Colorado with an amazing research team to do research on the same thing. We’re working with women to see how meditation and the Expectful app can reduce the incidence of preterm birth and also their level of stress and anxiety during the pregnancy, which is like really cool. But preterm birth has such an enormous impact on the health of a baby, and there’s been all these interventions that the medical community has tried to help, and really we haven’t significantly moved the needle on preterm birth in decades. So we’re really optimistic about this study and what that could do. Let’s see what else.

 

Lindsey: That’s pretty awesome because if you combine that with consistent exercise, exercise also, I don’t want to say causes, but is associated with the mom delivering more around her due date than not. Since fitness and mindset, they’re both part of the four pillars, why not try them both out.

 

Mark: Totally.

 

Lindsey: And that puts baby around the estimate due date rather than early or extremely late.

 

Mark: Totally.

 

Lindsey: Or some possible need for an intervention.

 

Mark: Yeah. And what’s really interesting about it is it sort of makes sense from this one perspective, right? So when the baby is in the womb, it’s trying to figure out what kind of environment it’s going to get into in the outside world. Is this dangerous place? Is this a safe place?

 

Lindsey: Because this feels pretty good in here.

 

Mark: Totally. So what happens is if there’s a lot of stress — and I want to preface this, by the way because we spoke about stress and anxiety and how it isn’t necessarily the greatest thing for pregnancy. But I just want to say everybody experiences stress. Your body is more than capable of handling stress and anxiety during pregnancy and producing a very healthy happy baby. The studies have been done that show that it could be challenging to a pregnancy or increase risk factors when it’s like high, high levels of trauma that the mother experiences or very prolonged periods of chronic stress and anxiety. It’s not your typical day-to-day stress. Chances are, I think, the average woman pregnancy is like totally fine with an average amount of stress.

 

But anyway, what happens is when the baby is gestating, it’s in the womb, it’s trying to figure out the environment it’s getting into. And if the signal that it gets is that it’s a very stressful environment based on the mom’s emotions, what will happen is the baby will do what’s called adapt ahead of time to its environment. So it’s going to develop the regions of the brain that are responsible for hyperactivity much more than the region of the brain that’s responsible for focus and intelligence. The other thing it’s going to do is, from a physiological perspective, it’s going to send more resources and develop more of the fast twitch muscles in the body than it will what’s called the viscera or the main organ systems of the body, like the heart, the liver, the lungs and things like that.

 

So what’s happening is if there’s a stressful environment, the baby’s adaptations are actually in most cases maladaptive because the baby is getting ready to run from like saber-toothed tigers that it thinks might be on the outside, that it thinks it’s getting into a world with a lot of predators. What’s really happening it’s getting into a world with overflowing inboxes and deadlines and to-do lists and stuff like that. So it’s like a maladaptive thing that when the baby experiences stress it thinks that it’s getting into a dangerous world. That’s where also preterm birth comes in because research shows that high levels of stress and anxiety lead to a way greater chance of preterm birth occurs.

 

Again, from an evolutionary perspective, that makes so much sense because the longer that a mom stays in a pregnancy in a dangerous environment where there are predators, the more that her and her baby are at risk because she’s immobile during that time. So if the baby is thinking that it’s getting into stressful environment, it’s going to birth itself, like birth is going to occur quicker because it’s evolutionarily the best chance of survival the baby can possibly have. Conversely, if there’s a calm environment, if there’s happiness, there’s love, there’s connection, then the baby gets the message oh, I’m getting into a safe world, and what happens is the organ system develops in a much more healthy way.

 

Lindsey: A little longer.

 

Mark: Yeah, more resources go to that and it’s made for the longevity because it thinks that’s going to keep — fast twitch muscles will keep you alive longer in an environment with predators than a healthy organ system that’s made to last a long time, right?

 

Lindsey: Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.

 

Mark: So what happens in the good environment is like all the organs get developed in a way where much more resources go to that to keep that human being that’s going to be born alive for as long as possible. And also less resources go to the part of the brain that’s responsible for hypervigilance and hyperactivity, and that goes to parts of the brain that are responsible for focus and intelligence and make it so when the baby adapts in the womb it’s actually adapting to the most successful human entity that it could possibly be in the environment that it’s actually getting into.

 

[0:40:33]

 

Lindsey: That’s pretty powerful. That’s huge. I’m thinking about my own birth experience. Like I revisited that within the last two years, like I said. My mom and my dad and my aunt all had like questionnaires about the experiences and it was really interesting, which if any of you have not asked your parents, even if you don’t talk to them, ask them about your birth experience because it’s very enlightening. But I sent them all this questionnaire and they either called me or wrote back or did both and it was interesting to hear. My dad, my real dad, and my aunt were pretty similar in their stories and my mom was like totally left field. So different perspectives, right?

 

But I was born a month early and I’m definitely more of a fast twitch. I used to be very hyperactive person, squirrel type thing. But yeah, that plays a role in the kid’s development, in their schooling, in the activities they participate in in life and their social circles, if they’re accepted or not. I’ve just seen everything as you said that, which is pretty wild.

 

Mark: It’s amazing. Life is amazing. It’s such a powerful thing. And it’s simple. It makes so much sense from a high level perspective of life why stress and anxiety doesn’t necessarily serve the baby who is just like operating with the knowledge that it has to get into a world it doesn’t like. But we already know love, connection, like all these things, like well, is it in service of the baby? Both during pregnancy and after too, because the first three years where the baby is exposed to, the type of environment it’s in has a significant effect on it. It’s actually the pregnancy. And for a woman listening, maybe you had a stressful pregnancy and you’re concerned about that. That’s okay because everything that gets kind of coded in during pregnancy, you have an opportunity to undo it and redo it and change things in those first three years that the baby is alive.

 

Lindsey: Our lifestyle can influence the gene expression.

 

Mark: Yes, in a very significant way, especially in the first three years, and then beyond that the first seven years of the baby’s life. I’m not scientist or anything, just should preface this.

 

Lindsey: But you should be.

 

Mark: I should be, right? But I have spent so much time geeking out on this stuff because I think it’s so fascinating. Yeah.

 

Lindsey: Okay, so you just said the first three years and then the first seven years. So it takes a baby’s gut about two to four years to develop, and then the blood-brain barrier about six, seven years to kind of mature, which is pretty amazing. We’re at a healthcare crisis. I would for sure say for the children in our country, like we are going to be at a 1 in 32 autism rate pretty freaking soon if we’re not there yet. We spend $100 billion a year on maternal care. This window from conception to the first year of life is called the primal period or the critical period because there’s so much that influences. Like all the neuroplasticity, just the exponential growth that happens and everything, all the systems happen in those periods. So for us it seems like common sense, like why would we not meditate, why would we not exercise, why would we not get chiropractic care or pay attention to nutrition? But it’s probably not a moneymaker for the big systems out there, huh?

 

Mark: Yeah. Well, I think that it’s also like up until now nobody has really had a tool to recommend. The thing is doctors, it’s been amazing to see because you think something like meditation will be a real uphill battle with Western doctors, but they get it. It’s really cool to have that. There are a lot of doctors here in the United States. What’s that?

 

Lindsey: They’re coming around.

 

Mark: They are, they are. And I’ve never had a single doctor push back to me on meditation. I’ve never had, shockingly so. I’ve never had somebody say, “I don’t think that this will work. I don’t believe in the science that you’re presenting here.” So we have doctors all over the United States that are now recommending meditation through these Expectful brochures, which is like it’s the coolest thing.

[0:45:10]

 

Lindsey: That’s awesome. Do you know anything about the study in Colorado like what that looks like?

 

Mark: I should off the top of my head. I forgot. It’s going to be women who we’re trying to get them around their 15th week of pregnancy who are going to use the app from that point going forward. We’ll be able to track usage and see that.

 

Lindsey: Is it mainly hospital births or birth centers or home births?

 

Mark: Oh, good question. I think it’s going to be hospital births, but I’m not sure. I should know more. Yeah, I should know more. I know that the high level stuff, and then I have somebody on our team, Leah, who is incredible. She put a PhD program on hold to come work on the team. She thought what we were doing and so she’s working really.

 

Lindsey: Is she in Colorado?

 

Mark: No, but she’s working really closely with the team to take care of everything. So Leah, if you’re listening, thank you for making my life easier so I don’t have to worry about these details which could eat me alive. But yeah, we’re just super excited about it.

 

And then we have another study coming out of University of Missouri to test, to see how our meditations affect milk production of women who have children in the NICU because that’s one of the main factors of healing the baby make it in a stressful situation. So yeah, we think that our meditations could really help with.

 

Lindsey: So tell me a little bit more about the meditations that you have available on the app.

 

Mark: Sure.

Lindsey: I know you shared some at the summit, but share for all those listening.

 

Mark: I’d be happy to. Have I shared the fact that Expectful is an — I think people have picked up probably that there’s a team involved here, but it’s like right away.

 

Lindsey: You can name them all.

 

Mark: Anna, Deanne, Leah, thank you so much, Charyl, Emily, Lisa, Lucy, Jaclyn, thank you. These are all team members and advisers.

 

Lindsey: You’re the only guy?

 

Mark: No, there is also Francisco, our developer.

 

Lindsey: Oh, awesome.

 

Mark: Consequently, there was moms and midwife.

 

Lindsey: Amazing.

 

Mark: So everyone on the team is like super connected to this. Anna and Deanne are — Anna was on this podcast before, actually.

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Mark: Anna was on our beta and joined the team when she became a mom. She’s an incredible, incredible woman. And, Deanne, our head of social media, the same thing. She’s on our beta and joined the team when she became a mom and fell in love with the product. So just to preface this here, you’re going to hear about all these meditations and they weren’t cooked up by the man with no kids. I very quickly surrounded myself with incredibly strong intuitive insightful women that helped create this and listened very intently to the community. But the meditations that we offer on the platform are trimester specific and mother specific and fertility specific. We have things like couples meditations to listen with your partner and walking meditations because it’s a big thing during pregnancy, meditations that help you connect with your baby, meditations that I call like trusting the body that you can listen to if you really want to get connected with your body and how amazing it is. We have meditations for preparing to deliver, for during delivery. Basically, we’ve mapped to every single emotional desire and need that women are telling us they have during this journey and we’ve created meditations specifically around that in our library. So women go in, they could choose and they could say, “Oh, how am I feeling today?” and that there’s very likely a meditation based on how they’re feeling, what they’re desiring, what they’re challenged with that really speaks to them in that particular moment and time. Everything is available in 10 and 20 minutes.

 

Lindsey: That’s cool. What about postpartum?

 

Mark: So postpartum in the motherhood library, we have the two most popular meditations is surprise, surprise, letting go of expectations.

 

Lindsey: Oh, brilliant.

 

Mark: Yeah. Well, actually, let me preface. The most popular meditation in every single one of our libraries is sleep through the whole thing. Whether it’s from fertility, all three trimesters of motherhood, sleep is the most listened to by far. People love our sleep meditations. So we developed one to get you to bed and one if you’ve woken up at night, so it’s specific to that. So there’s sleep.

 

But beyond sleep, the most popular in motherhood is letting go of expectations because oftentimes, from what I understand, this whole vision of how motherhood is going to look and it turns out to be a little different a lot of the time. So we’ve created a meditation to help specifically with that. We also have nursing meditations, so they could listen to a nursing meditation to help again with the milk production and also calm down and be present during a beautiful and sometimes stressful time.

 

Lindsey: Awesome. Amazing. What about anything for loss?

 

Mark: I’m glad you asked. We developed meditations with the bereavement counselor and our team of meditation experts and hypnotherapists to help women who have experienced a loss. So if you ever hear about it, like anytime anybody ends their subscription with us, they get an email asking hey, like saying oh, we’re so sorry to see you go. If you could just give us some feedback so we can make the product better for people. Can you share with us?

 

[0:50:00]

 

A lot of times we hear it’s heartbreaking like oh, I unsubscribed because I experienced a loss. When we hear about that, we have like the little care package that we send with these guided meditations for loss specifically both for the woman for her and her partner to listen to.

 

Lindsey: Awesome.

 

Mark: Yeah. I’m so excited about this, but there’s a woman, I don’t know if you know her, Jessica Zucker? Do you know Jessica Zucker?

 

Lindsey: Yes. I haven’t met her met her.

 

Mark: Oh, you should. She’s in LA. I’ll connect you two.

 

Lindsey: Awesome.

 

Mark: She’s very special. She started what’s called I Had a Miscarriage Campaign, I think you call it, to destigmatize all the shame and silence that often exists during this time and she’s been just incredible. She’s a PhD who’s gotten a lot of press as a result of her work in this area. We teamed up with her for infant — we’re recording this on October which is perfect because it’s Infant Mortality Loss Awareness month right now. So for this month we purposely teamed up with Jessica and we did an interview with her on the best way to cope and handle and move through a loss. We’re launching that on our website. We’re launching the whole resource library with the meditations that I mentioned and the interview with Jessica and best practices women and couples can use to move through loss.

 

Lindsey: Oh, I love that.

 

Mark: Thanks yeah, it’s really cool and it’s cool to team up with Jessica because he’s just such an incredible woman and has so much value to add. So we just love that we’ve created this thing that’s like a whole thing to support a women during this and a couple during an incredibly challenging time and a very common time.

 

Lindsey: It’s so common.

 

Mark: It’s not talked about too often. It’s one in five, some people say even more.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, maybe one in three.

 

Mark: Yeah, either way the number is, it’s a high number.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, probably at least one of your friends.

 

Mark: Yes, definitely, for sure. I mean for me, I know many, unfortunately. But yeah, so we created this resource center to just like help with something a lot of women very commonly struggle with.

 

Lindsey: And like how to just deal with that. Sometimes it’s just how do you start your next day. It’s a great way to start, with a meditation.

 

Mark: Totally.

 

Lindsey: So if somebody is listening and they haven’t found Expectful yet, I know they can go on the BIRTHFIT website, but what is your website?

 

Mark: Expectful.com. It’s spelled just like it’s pronounced, expectful.com. Also, if you’re a medical professional, there’s a place if you want brochures for your practice. There’s a link on the site in the footer where you can request brochures. You can find us in the App Store on IOS under Expectful, same thing. You could find us on Instagram @expectful. Yeah, so lots of different ways to find us.

 

Lindsey: Can they find you in social media world?

 

Mark: Sure. I’m on Instagram as Mark Krassner. And you can email me — I love emails — if you want to get in touch.

 

Lindsey: You do.

 

Mark: Yes, I do. I mean I shouldn’t say that. I don’t necessarily love emails, like I don’t love checking my inbox necessarily. It’s not the highlight of my day, but I love to hear from people.

 

Lindsey: That’s cool.

 

Mark: Yeah, I want to know if I touched your life in some way, if you have questions, if you have some ideas for us and some way we could support you. We have what’s called a three-for-one program where anytime somebody gets a meditation we reserve — or anytime somebody gets subscription, a paid subscription — our platform’s $9.99 a month. I don’t know if we discussed that, but any time — after a free trial. But anytime somebody pays for one, we hold one for somebody in need and we call it three-for-one.

 

Lindsey: Oh, that’s cool.

 

Mark: Yeah. It’s three-for-one because every time a woman purchases a subscription, she’s helping three other people. One is her own baby, whether she has it or it’s coming or on its way, and then another woman and that woman’s baby. So one person is helping three people in that. So we reserve the subscriptions.

 

We have this amazing collaboration with the Motherhood Center in New York City. They help serve the postpartum population. There is an incredible center just made for postpartum care, which is so generally lacking in places. They’d done such an amazing job. And to their credit, they could only see affluent patients, but they don’t. They also see Medicare patients. So we work with them to provide all their Medicare patients free subscriptions to Expectful. But if you’re listening and you know about other people that can use subscriptions to the platform, please let us know. We’re always looking for good partners because we have more people paying for it than we have subscriptions that we’re giving away and we would love to be giving away as many subscriptions as we’re being paid for.

 

So mark@expectful is my email. If you have advice, suggestions, like a collaboration where we can do something to help other women that are in need, I’d love to hear from you.

 

Lindsey: Awesome. What has been the greatest email since you said you love hearing from people, email or story that you’ve heard about someone using Expectful?

 

[0:55:09]

 

Mark: I hear a lot of stories from our community guide, Anna, because I’m not like — you’ll see on the About Us page on the website, but I’m not like the face of the company, so I hear a lot about this stuff tangentially. But I could read one if you want to hear it.

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Mark: Actually, I have one that was like — oh, wait, I got to grab my phone.

 

Lindsey: TV timeout.

 

Mark: Okay, so I get feedback all the time and I don’t always like save it or a lot of times it’s given to me verbally by Anna. I want to hear from somebody, I’ll read it in like the App Store, which is really cool to read different reviews that come up in there. But this one was like really, really cool.

 

So I got a text from Emily, our meditation expert that’s in the app. “How are you friend? Just got this message. She said I could share.” So here’s what it says: “Emily, it’s been so long and I was so pleasantly surprised to see your gorgeous face in the Expectful app. I stumbled upon the app about a month ago. My husband and I, Tony, who you met at that [0:56:13] [Indiscernible] too, have been struggling with infertility for a few years and we were finally preparing for IVF. I honestly have never liked meditating unless I was moving like yoga or something. While I wasn’t allowed to exercise and my mind, of course, was so anxious about the procedure and I happened to find the app and gave it a try and wow! It seriously changed my life. I’ve now been meditating for 20 to 30 minutes every day and absolutely loving it. And great news, the procedure worked and I am now pregnant. So anyway, thank you for your incredible work and I hope you’re well. XOXO.” That’s just one example.

 

Lindsey: That’s awesome.

 

Mark: Yeah, to touch a life like that, to touch a life like that is like — and to know it’s not just me. It’s like a whole team of people who came together who all really care. It’s like the best feeling, Lindsey. It’s incredible. I’m sure you too.

 

Lindsey: Very powerful.

 

Mark: Yeah, it’s such a beautiful thing to know to impact lives.

 

Lindsey: Well, thanks for sharing. Is there anything else you want to share before we hang up?

 

Mark: I’ll share a story to wrap this app. I’ll share a story.

 

Lindsey: Okay.

 

Mark: I took a personal development workshop. There was a weekend where I took a personal development workshop. The workshop looks at — like it was just something to help you have a better life and one of the things that they explore is a relationship with mother and father for everybody there. They did this exercise to help explore that, which was they had everybody close their eyes and get into this meditative state that everybody take deep breaths and relax and release any stress in their body, and then they would ask questions to you, first with your mother and then with your father. So it would be like, for example, how did you see your mother treat your father, how did you see your father treat your mother, or how do you wish you saw your father treat your mother or your mother treat your father, how do you wish your mother or father treated you or something like that, stuff like this. They would ask these questions and you shout out the answer. So everybody has like got their eyes closed in this meditative state, and they’re asking well, what about this and what about that and people were just yelling out answers all at the same time. So it’s just rapid fire responding to these questions out loud. Have you ever said something you just surprised yourself?

 

Lindsey: Like how did that come out of my mouth?

 

Mark: What? I didn’t know that. So they’re asking these questions, and the question that really stuck with me was what did you need your mother to be and my response was happy. It was happy. I think that it’s just that simple. Like my mom is such an incredible woman, but I think that she thought through her suffering somehow for the family that it was doing us a service. And looking back, it would have been so amazing to just grow up with a mom who figured out a way to like have a family, really, who were just happy. So beyond meditation or any of the stuff we talked about, it’s like I just want to share that story.

 

I’ll segue into another thing, which is the list of greatest regrets of the dying. Have we talked about that, the greatest regrets?

 

Lindsey: No, not on here.

 

Mark: So there’s this amazing article in The Guardian about a hospice worker who recorded the greatest regrets of the dying and it’s an amazing list, but number 5 always hit me the hardest, which is the regret of I wish I had allowed myself to be happy. I wish I had allowed, and the word allowed says it all.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, permission.

 

[1:00:00]

 

Mark: Permission, that’s right. So just like what I’ll leave everybody with is just the message of if you not already like consider whatever you need to do to just allow to give yourself permission to be happy. Because beyond all the advice anybody can give you, it’s like that. I think it just comes down to that. Like it’s the best thing you could possibly do for the next generation is to just be happy.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, give yourself permission to just be who you are. I love that.

 

Mark: Yeah, totally, totally.

 

Lindsey: Awesome. Thanks for hanging out.

 

Mark: Oh, my gosh, it’s just been such a pleasure.

 

Lindsey: All right, go to expectful.com, Expectful in Instagram.

 

Mark: And Expectful in the IOS store.

 

Lindsey: Okay, got it. Until next time. Bye, everyone.

 

I hope you enjoyed my chat with Mark while I was visiting the East Coast. Now, if there’s one thing you can take away from today’s episode or that I hope you take away, it would be to try meditation. Try meditation, try creating a mindset, an awareness practice and it doesn’t have to look like any certain thing. It doesn’t have to look like humming, sitting on a yoga block, chanting and that sort of thing. It’s just slowing down, connecting with your breath or maybe walking and connecting with your breath. That’s all you got to do to start. I’d encourage you to try anything, any kind of mindset, awareness practice for at least ten minutes a day from here on out. Start tomorrow and let us know if anything changes, what you become more aware of, just anything that shows up for you, and enjoy.

[1:02:30] End of Audio

BIRTHFIT: Before Birth, Before Pregnancy

I found BIRTHFIT back in 2015.  Unlike many others in the tribe, I was not pregnant looking for guidance to continue exercising throughout pregnancy.  I was a chiropractor specializing in pregnancy and postpartum with a fire inside to educate men and women that eating good, whole foods and exercising did not need to stop when a woman found out she was pregnant.  To me, BIRTHFIT was a lifestyle for everyone:  nourish your body with whole foods, move with intention, and take care of your body AND your mind.  I was one of a few Regional Directors who had never been pregnant or have children.

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So much of what it means to be BIRTHFIT is a lifestyle that can be adapted by anyone.  A lot of the education that BIRTHFIT provides may seem ideal for a woman who is pregnant.  BIRTHFIT also has a ton of valuable information for women who are in the pre-pregnancy state.  The day you pee on a stick and see the double lines, there’s a huge mindset shift that begins to happen.  You will have so many questions that you didn’t know you could possibly think of:  “Is this movement safe?  Can I eat this?  Is this normal?”  It is an incredibly exciting, yet very scary time.  To top it all off, you may feel a little alone as your partner may be the only person who knows about the pregnancy for a few weeks (and I’m not sure how much he knows about being pregnant).

On April 21, 2017, I found out I was pregnant.  This was unplanned so the news was a pretty big surprise to my partner and me.   I had already made plans to go to the gym that afternoon.  We were testing 3RM deadlifts: my favorite lift.  Before walking into the gym that day, I had to give myself a little pep talk. I needed to remind myself that my training goals have officially changed.  I was now training for birth.  I felt pretty prepared as I had already read the book “Exercising Through Your Pregnancy” by Dr. James Clapp, knew all of the BIRTHFIT recommendations for exercising through pregnancy, and knew that I couldn’t exercise myself into having a miscarriage.  Yet that day, I still felt slight hesitation and uncertainty overcome me.  I could not imagine how someone would feel at this time if they didn’t do some of the research I already had.  I constantly repeat to my prenatal clients that “we only take lifts we know we can make.”  That day, to hold back from pushing myself to attempt a lift I did not know I could make was harder than I ever thought it would be, especially when my peers were continuing to push themselves.

Over the next few weeks, workouts started to get a little harder. I was getting out of breath a lot quicker than normal and feeling much more fatigued.  Instead of feeling scared because I had no idea what was going on in my body, I reminded myself that this was normal.  The chambers of my heart were getting bigger to prepare for the increase in volume of blood that would soon be circulating.  I was taking more breaks in workouts and moving a bit slower, listening to what my body was telling me each day.  

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It took some time for my pregnancy “bump” to become more prominent, but around 19 weeks it “popped” out a bit and during a clean warm-up, I noticed that I was looping the barbell around my belly.  Mid warm-up, I confidently, yet sadly (I am a big fan of barbells and Olympic Lifting) switched to dumbbells.  I have had multiple women and men come to me and ask why I am making the substitutions I am.  There’s a lot of information on the Internet that says that knees to hips, Olympic Lifting with a “bump” in the way, and kipping “anything” are safe.  Well yes, these exercises are not going to cause harm to your baby, but are they are effective for the pregnant athlete?  Definitely not.  These movements are going to make the postpartum recovery more challenging.  Through the knowledge I have obtained through BIRTHFIT and the support from #BIRTHFITtribe (both globally and locally in Cleveland), I can say that I have felt very confident in advocating for both myself and my baby on this journey through the motherhood transition.

I cannot stress this enough: BIRTHFIT is not just for those who are pregnant, those with a baby earthside, or those in the immediate postpartum phase.     

 

Xoxo,

Dr. Candace Gesicki

BIRTHFIT Cleveland Regional Director

@birthfitcleveland

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BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar 2018: Two Locations Released!

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The BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar is back in 2018!

After selling out every single BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar in 2017, we are pumped to bring the BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar to various cities across the United States again in 2018. We are starting the year off in San Francisco, CA in January and Houston, TX in February.

If you are a strength and conditioning coach, a doula, someone that works with pregnant and postpartum women, then this is not to be missed. “You think you know, but you have no idea.” But seriously, this seminar will rock you at your core, and the bonus is that you will walk out with tools to implement with your clients, male and female.

This is a strength and conditioning seminar for those that coach and train pregnant and postpartum athletes. However, this information can be applied to any population that chooses to intentionally move. Many gym owners have taken our seminar and gone back to reflect and improve their own intro sessions or on-ramp classes and overall structure and programming within their gym.

Seminar participants will discover birth history in America and how it relates to the present state of birth in our country. Participants will gain a better understanding of anatomy and physiology as it relates to a woman, her cycle, conception, pregnancy, and postpartum. We will explore the origins of BIRTHFIT and how transferable and relatable everything is in life. We will dive deep into developmental kinesiology, breath work, and our principles around the term “core”. (Yes, we discuss diastasis rectus abdominis and pelvic floor.) Participants will take a movement journey with us through different stages of pregnancy and postpartum, while also discovering movement and programming options to enhance the wellbeing of a pregnant or postpartum woman. We will explore the phrase “active birth” and relate the power of positions. We close out the weekend with a Queen In Training discussion and what exactly what it takes to be a BIRTHFIT certified coach.

A ton of information has been compacted down into two full days. The seminar will be from 8am to 6pm Saturday, and Sunday in the designated location.

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You are strongly encouraged to sign up nowas history has shown that our seminars do sell out. And, the price of our seminars will increase in 2018. The BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar is currently $399. As of January 1st, 2018, the price will be $549.

CLICK HERE to SIGN UP NOW! 

We are leading the way for educating and empowering women in the Motherhood Transition.

Join the BIRTHFIT Tribe!

Lindsey Mathews, DC

BIRTHFIT Founder

BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 82 Featuring the Modern Mamas

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BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 82: Modern Mamas

 

[0:00:00]

 

Lindsey: All right, guys! Thanks to our sponsors, Original Nutritionals. Our friends at Original are on a mission with us to walk the walk when it comes to human betterment. They’ve created a brand founded on pure basic essential supplements that have ingredient labels you can understand. I like small labels, I’m from Texas, I don’t like big words, so this works for me. Their third-party-tested omega-3 is free of heavy metals and toxins and to standards higher than that of drinking water. What? Ladies, that means no mercury issues, which is good news since most fish oils on the market are poor quality, oxidized and actually don’t taste too good. Functional O3 comes in two sizes and it tastes yummy.

 

To make things better, Original Nutritionals has created a snack. This snack is awesome because we actually use this during labor. Imagine coconut butter, cashew butter, raw cacao, sea salt and little coffee grinds in a little pouch like for endurance athletes. That’s Coco Java Nut Butter and it’s healthy fat, ready to go in your purse, gym bag or birth bag when you’re in a pinch.

 

In true Original Nutritionals fashion, they’ve recently developed whey protein from pasture-raised animals that aren’t ruined with fake flavors and sweeteners, just the good stuff. Our favorite is their whey protein from goats which doesn’t come with allergy issues many experience with dairy.

 

So if you want to find more Original Nutritionals information, products, go to originalnutritionals.com. Use the code BIRTHFIT for 15% off. That’s BIRTHFIT for 15% off.

 

Do you ever need help planning meals? Do you ever run out of time for prep work, things like that? I know I do and life gets a little crazy. That’s where Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty comes in, brought to you by Sam Rodgers, the mom behind the plans. Her company Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty offers three different plans which you can sign up for only $13 a month or $99 a year. There’s a Super Clean plan, there’s an 80/20 plan, and then there’s a Quick Prep menu, which is basically 60 minutes or less of prep time at the beginning of the week.

 

So check it out, eatingcleancookingdirty.com/birthfit, and all BIRTHFIT listeners will receive a 14-day free trial and a 15-minute jumpstart call with the one and only Sam Rodgers. So BIRTHFIT moms or dads, or anybody else listening, this is a super simple solution to maybe if things are boring in the kitchen, you run out of time, you just need help spicing things up in the kitchen with a little creativity, Sam Rodgers of Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty has some answers for you. So go check her out.

 

All right, guys, I’m super excited to announce our new sponsor, Well Labs. Well Labs is an online nutrition company working to make high-quality nutrition and preventative medicine available to everybody. Well Labs will take complicated functional medicine and they put it into terms that you and I can understand. Well Labs are evidence-based. They’re high quality and there are no fillers, dyes or sugars. And want to know the cool thing? Part of every Well Labs purchase funds preventative medicine for kids who cannot afford it. This is anything from music therapy and yoga to meditation and cooking classes because we’re all convinced that healthier kids will make healthy adults.

 

You can get health and give back at the same time by trying out some of Well Labs bestseller products. These are the tasteless and odorless liquid vitamin D and K combo or the powdered probiotic which is very easy to sneak into a toddler food or baby bottle, or you can try the Well Mama Prenatal that is conveniently packaged in daily pouches for you to throw in your purse or your gym bag.

 

You can find out more information by visiting mywelllabs.com or you can find them on Facebook or Instagram. BIRTHFIT community, please support Well Labs because they support us. Thanks for the love.

 

[0:04:57]

 

Hello, BIRTHFIT. This is Dr. Lindsey Mathews, your BIRTHFIT founder. This week, I wanted to share an episode with you in which I was the guest on the Modern Mamas podcast. The Modern Mamas podcast is co-hosted by the lovely ladies and mommas Jess Gaertner and Laura Bruner.

 

So check them out if you have not listened to their podcast yet. But in this episode, I will share with you in which I was a guest on their show, just to confuse you a little bit. Enjoy.

 

Laura: Before we dive in, let’s do a quick question, ice-breaker question.

 

Jess: This is my favorite part of the interview.

 

Laura: What is your favorite place on earth and why? I have a guess, but I want to see.

Lindsey: Well, oh, mam, favorite place on earth. It’s like a no brainer if I say Fiji like Toberua. That’s like a special, special place I think. I could get away, shut down from everybody and just not be connected to social media, the computer and just be connected with Logan and the earth and the people there. That’s been my place lately.

 

Before that, I took a super special trip to Africa. I went to Tanzania. And this place was part of my journey, changed my life. And I felt very similar there like being connected to the people and to the earth without all the filth of just the world, society that builds up on you. And then I would say Austin because even if I can’t get away, anytime I go back to Austin I feel at home there. So it feels pretty special.

 

Laura: That’s awesome.

 

Lindsey: I picked three.

 

Jess: I love it. I think — where’s Laura?

 

Laura: I’m back. I’m back.

 

Jess: We lost you. Okay. I was like, “Oh, my gosh. Where did she go?” I feel lost without my partner.

 

Laura: I was like listening in and so in tune and all of a sudden everything went black. I tried to press mute and I hung up. I’m sorry, everybody. Momma brain. Anyways, proceed.

 

Jess: So she told us about three of her favorite spots.

 

Laura: Oh, I know. I have Fiji, Tanzania and the third is Austin. Okay, that’s right.

 

Jess: Yeah.

 

Laura: For those of you who don’t know, Logan proposed to Lindsey in Fiji and just the pictures and the story. And you don’t share that much when you’re there because like you said it’s so special. But I get goosebumps when I think about that whole experience and like what I’ve heard from you about that place meeting too. I think it’s cool that there’s like the trifecta of like the place that kind of helped to get you to where you are now.

 

And then Fiji is like your special disconnect place and then Austin is where I don’t know. But I know that’s where the summit is next year, and I think it’s…

 

Lindsey: Yes. It’s where I feel at home. Like your bones and your everything feels settled there. It’s funny like we started going to Fiji I think four years ago. And I have a patient. His name is Kelly Slater. He’s a surfer. And at the time, he was telling me like, “You have to take time for yourself even if you can’t afford it right now.” Because at the time there’s no way. I was like, “We can’t spend this on a trip around the world.”

 

And he was like, “Just do it. Trust me.” And we went and we’ve been making it happen ever since. Like we’ll put away money and not buy a new bed or whatever, new towels, this like that. Because it’s much more important for us to have that experience and to detach and put energy back into us.

 

Laura: That’s so awesome. Well, the amount of energy you put out into the world I think that everyone benefits from you going to Fiji.

 

Jess: Yeah, totally. You have to take care of yourself.

 

Lindsey: If I can take all you with me, yeah.

 

Laura: I love it.

 

Jess: That’s awesome.

 

Laura: That’s awesome. Cool. Well, you mentioned Tanzania a little bit. So why don’t you give like a brief — this is always hard because your story is so magical — but a brief [0:09:23] [Indiscernible]. You don’t have to. Brief-ish. I’m going to cut you off if you keep —

 

Lindsey: Yeah. You’re like, “You’ve got 40 minutes.” No.

 

Laura: Yeah. Tell us about yourself and how you got where you are.

 

Lindsey: Well, yeah. You can interject and ask questions, whatever. Yeah, born and raised in Texas, spent a little time in Atlanta which I barely remember. Then moved back to Texas. I share a little bit about my kind of outer body experience and that was in fourth grade. And I honestly just started talking about that probably within the last two years.

 

[0:10:04]

 

And it was pretty trippy. I had a gnarly asthma attack since I was born or probably since age of like two. I was diagnosed with asthma and just loaded up with medication. And so having that label, you’re kind of freaked out. And anytime something happens you go straight to the doctor. So that was part of my programming then.

 

And when I was in fourth grade, I had a gnarly asthma attack. I couldn’t breathe, ended up in the hospital, ended up in ICU for a whole week, six, seven days. And at that time obviously I was having this gnarly experience. But then I told my mom was that I wouldn’t live. Like it was very doubtful. And then I kept hanging on to the next day and the next day and then I came back.

 

But what I remember about that experience was all these hands and the bright lights and my brother and sister. And it was just really trippy. And ever since, which I was really young I didn’t share that a lot with people. When I got older and started seeing a therapist and stuff I was like, “By the way, I had this experience.”

 

Yeah, so I just kept that at the back of my mind. And I was like I know I’m here for a reason. Like why the hell else would God or whoever is ruling this place, why would they bring me back here? So I was like, “I’m on a mission.”

 

And fast forward to high school, I had a typical high school experience in Texas. I played soccer. I was a cheerleader. Friday night football was everything and drink all the beers, all the Dr. Peppers and all the bare food, yeah.

 

Jess: All of it.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, all of it.

 

Laura: You two understand that. Anyway, I never will.

 

Jess: I do. Because you’re from New Braunfels, right?

 

Laura: Yeah.

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Jess: Yeah, I’m from Bandera.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

 

Jess: Yeah, yeah. I’m from Bandera and I lived in New Braunfels for a while. So I totally get it.

 

Lindsey: That’s so great.

 

Jess: Yeah. Sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt your story. Continue.

 

Lindsey: I was just going to say where did you live, what did you do. But I was like, “We’ll save that for another time.”

 

Laura: Save it for this weekend. Yeah.

 

Lindsey: But yeah. New Braunfels is a great experience and I wouldn’t have changed the high school experience for anything on earth, definitely had a great time. And tore my ACL my junior high school. So this was like another pivotal point. And I went around to three different surgeons for consults.

 

And there was one surgeon, Dr. Jesse Delee who might actually still be practicing in San Antonio or turned it over to another associate of his. But he wore scrubs. He wore cowboy boots. And he, at the time, was the only doc that said, “You’ll be 100%, but you have to put the work back into it before surgery, after surgery.”

 

And everybody else at that time was, “Hey, you can only be 80% with an ACL.” I was like, “Wait. This crushes all [0:13:26][Indiscernible] I’ve ever had.” So I was thinking I was going to go to play soccer in college, be the next Mia Hamm, that sort of thing.

 

I believe things like injuries, like divine intervention comes in and just does — here’s the path you go to on now. So when I had that injury, I was exposed to training before surgery, training after surgery. And now that I look back, it’s totally how we prepare the body for birth whether it’s a vaginal birth of cesarean birth.

 

When I was exposed to that type of mindset way back in the year 2000, whenever this orthopedic surgeon who was ahead of time said, “Hey, I need you to go to this chiropractor. I need you to go to this Rolfer. I need you to go into PT.” Like he made this holistic team for me.

 

And I mean surgeons still don’t do that today. But he was like, “You need to be doing this, this and this five days a week prior to surgery, like six weeks leading up to surgery.” Then when we came out, we had a plan. And looking back on that and then what women have now for let’s say a cesarean birth, they don’t have any sort of direction.

 

And I was given the keys to the city at least with direction for an ACL knee surgery in 2000 which is wild. But yeah, that was a huge pivotal —

 

Jess: Yeah. [0:14:56] [Indiscernible].

 

[0:14:57]

 

Lindsey: Yeah, which is crazy. So I took that experience and I thought I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon so I went the premed route at Texas A&M. And in my last — junior year, sorry, junior year semester I went to Tanzania, Africa. And that was just random trip. Like I was in my adviser’s office and all my friends were studying abroad.

 

And they were going to like Italy or Spain or wherever. I was like, “Man, I need to go to somewhere.” And I was in my adviser’s office waiting to talk to her about this. I was like, “Pick anywhere. I’m ready to go.”

 

And she was like, “Have you taken a look at the medical mission trip out there?” And it was like a flyer and the flyer had elephants and lions and everything on it. And I was like, “No, but that looks dope. Let’s go there.”

 

She’s, “Well, it’s Tanzania, Africa.” And I was like, “What?” I was like, “Okay. Sign me up.” So I left on a plane right after Christmas for that spring semester my junior year. It was almost two months. So you had to take off that semester, but it was actually perfect.

 

So I stayed in Africa, came back. Continue — like I had two jobs at A&M, worked through college and that was the semester I studied and took the MCAT. And then I finished my next year. But while I was in Africa I realized that, “Oh, I don’t think med school is for me.” This is it. I’m prescribing medication even when we were there. I would just do basic triage and this mom brought her son to me who’s about six or seven, paralyzed on the left side of his body, had seizures.

 

And all they wanted me to do was prescribe a sedative to him. And something just stopped me in my tracks, divine intervention again. And I was like, “Hey, this probably isn’t the answer that you deep down like in your inner compass you probably didn’t want to do.”

 

So I talked to the mom, had my translator and I was like, “Yeah, your son he’s the same spirit like he’s awesome. But occasionally as he seizures it might be due to a few things that happen within the first year of life, maybe second year of life for him. I don’t know because I wasn’t there.”

 

I told her, “I just don’t feel comfortable prescribing medication that’s going to run out in 30 days. And we’re not going to be here to help you out.” She cried, I cried. I found the only payphone in town. And I was like, “I can’t go to med school. Take me out of the running.”

 

But I knew I was coming home — I think this is the next year. And my stepdad was like, “If you come home, you got to have a job because you’re an adult and you’re paying bills.” And I’ve had a job since I was 16 and slowly took on more and more responsibility. Like when you drive, you pay for your car, your cellphone, that sort of thing, any extras.

 

And then I was hoping to get a free place to stay when I came home, but the deal was I had to have a job so I can save money. So yeah, I made that deal. Finally, I came home and I reconnected with the chiro that I saw back with my knee. And I shout at him and I was like, “Oh, you actually put your hands-on people. You heal through your hands. I amend to that.”

 

And the more I saw, the more I really appreciated that connection and that healing modality. So then I applied for chiropractic school and got accepted and I took the invite to California because it was the furthest one away and never looked back. So that was what brought me out to California.

 

And then just different experiences led to BIRTHFIT. I don’t know if you all want to go into this far, but BIRTHFIT started basically as a blog in 2011.

 

Laura: [0:19:00] [Indiscernible]. It’s like a perfect segue, right. Let’s talk about BIRTHFIT.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. And at the time, I was working with three male doctors, three male chiros. And we would get contracted out for movie sets or for professional sports games or either by the actor or the athlete directly or by the company. And so it was nice whenever we would — one would be on the road, maybe two would be on the road and then the other two or three would cover patients.

 

So it was like a nice synergy what we had going on. But at the time, I started getting more and more females that had female type of issues like postpartum or pubic bone pain or, “I’m pregnant. Now what?” At the time like I’m 28 years old Lindsey and I’m like, “I have no idea. Like I’ve never been pregnant.”

 

My exposure to kiddos was my mom. She owned a daycare while we were growing up and that was it.

 

Jess: Birth control right there.

 

[0:20:03]

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Best birth control. I was like, “I’m pretty good at babysitting.” So one woman came in and she was like, “Hey, I was wanting to get pregnant in the next year.” And I was like, “What? So that’s kind of a new way to look at it. I haven’t been exposed to that.”

 

Usually it’s, “Oops, we’re pregnant.” But she was like, “But I want to be back on my TV show. I want to have the baby around this time.” I was like, “Oh, well, I don’t know if you can plan nature, but we’ll figure out.”

 

So I started taking more and more courses. Like I started the ICPA diplomat program. I did doula training, did doula training twice because I enjoyed so much. I did hypnobirthing. I did sacred pregnancy, ICEA childbirth educator training. 

 

Laura: He’s like, “What’s going on over here?”

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Laura: Sorry.

 

Lindsey: I just became so fascinated by birth world in our country and I just started writing blogs. And the more I read, the more I was like. “Oh, you can have a baby in the hospital or at home. You have a choice.” But the choices are kind of underground or, “Oh, you can eat healthy and you don’t have to eat for two and eat shitty donuts and things like that.”

 

Like that’s the generation that we grew up with. It’s like we grew up where the womb was a completely separate environment from the mom. But so much research has been done to show, “Oh, you’re actually teaching your kiddo stuff. You’re actually sharing energy. You’re sharing nutrients and even movement patterns.” Like it’s crazy.

 

So yeah. I was like, “This is where I need to be. This is where my heart is.” And one thing led to another and I slowly, slowly taken more and more steps into being like full time BIRTHFIT and now here we are. It’s crazy.

 

Laura: Yeah. It’s so incredible. And for those of you guys who don’t know, I’m BIRTHFIT Regional Director for Santa Cruz. And the more I learned from Lindsey the more I realized this was also a calling for me. And so it’s a powerful, powerful thing and BIRTHFIT is so much more like a movement like we kind of mentioned in the intro. And it’s based on four pillars. So do you want to dive in a little bit into what those pillars are?

 

Lindsey: Sure. Yeah. So our four pillars are fitness, nutrition, chiropractic and mindset. And I dabbled so much with like, “Oh, should it just be fitness, nutrition, chiropractic or fitness, nutrition, mindset or mindset, chiropractic, fit? Like three looks good, four is like I don’t know.”

 

But what really solidified me in the four pillars was my doula experience with actual people in the birth scenario. And the more I got to witness and share the birth experience with these women, the more I realized how important dabbling and having a practice within each of the four pillars, how important that was going into birth or even going into the postpartum period and transitioning into becoming a mother.

 

So yeah, there’s one in particular that solidified my mind with chiropractic is if you think about it not everybody’s been to a chiropractor. Sometimes they hear horror stories, or they get freaked out. But think about it. Your pelvis is your vehicle for birth. And even just on the musculoskeletal sense, if one side is restricted, then that baby is hanging out in the uterus inside the pelvis and the space on that side is going to be decreased, not as much surface area for baby to move around in.

 

And you want like the grand scheme of things. The baby is like a parasite or a college student, that’s a little more appropriate. Like a college student that’s renting this house that’s going to do whatever they want to this house within this house. And they’re going to get in the most comfortable positions ever.

 

So yeah, I would want my hips and my pelvis and my lumbar spine functioning as dynamically and stable as possible. Because that’s the vehicle for this growth, this health stage and for labor and delivery.

 

Yeah. And then nutrition, I mean I’m kind of balancing around, but if you think about it nutrition. Like eat real food. What kills me is I have people that come in and they’re like, “Oh, my diet is great.” Like, “Oh, what’s your diet.” They’re like, “I order these premade meals and you look at them and they’re like tofu or vegan or all the sodium.”

 

[0:25:05]

 

And I’m like, “Holy shit. This is a nightmare.” Or all the shakes in the world and I’m like, “Oh, my god.” But yeah, we love diet that’s real food. And if you think without even being pregnant, what you put into your body is like medicine. So you have to take care of your body and give it the nutrients, give your tissues the nutrients that it needs.

 

And the birth process whether it’s vaginal or cesarean is an inflammatory state. So if you’re already inflamed, if you’re tissues are already inflamed through the crap you put into your body then that immune response or that inflammation response is already going to be heightened. And it may decrease the amount of time that mom can labor before she feels exhausted or blood pressure rises or things like that. So yeah, you’re feeling poor performance basically.

 

And then yeah, fitness. Fitness.

 

Jesse: Oh, fitness.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Coach’s BIRTHFIT coach seminar.

 

Laura: Seriously. Seriously though. No, no, we mean it.

 

Lindsey: Like I love and I get emails all the time and I say this like I love these emails because I can share so much. I get emails like, “Oh, my nutrition is good, but what moves can I do during my pregnancy?” Or, “I know movements so what can I do for nutrition?”

 

And like, “Well, do you really know movement and programming? Are you really that in tune with your body?” And for us, like the movements are the most tangible way to start to connect with your body. And we don’t know if labor and delivery is going to be three hours or three days. It’s going to require at least the three main metabolic pathways, the energy pathways.

 

And the number one reason for, let’s say, home birth transfers from home birth to the hospital is that of exhaustion. So either the mom hasn’t stayed fueled or she isn’t in physical shape to have those energy stores for labor and delivery. So yeah, functional fitness through all ranges of motion, strength, endurance, stamina, balance range of motion.

 

I say range of motion instead of flexibility because I want the person to be strong throughout the whole range of motion rather than just let’s say the concentric portion of the lift. So yeah.

 

Laura: I know for myself I’m like hypermobile. And I had chronic back pain and stuff. And working on this more like focusing on stability versus flexibility. And like you get mobility in the right ways when you work on stability. And I think that’s one thing especially when women are pregnant. That’s so huge because all of the relaxin or we get extra mobile.

 

Though stability is important in ensuring that things kind of like stay where they’re supposed to and expand where they’re supposed to, but not the other way around I guess. It’s really powerful.

 

Lindsey: Right. Yeah, it’s so true. You can’t have flexibility or the range of motion without the stability first.

 

Jess: Absolutely. As you’re talking, it’s just I’m so excited about this weekend. But I think my birth story will have gone live before this episode airs. But my first birth was like a marathon birth. It was over 24 hours, like three hours pushing. It was a birth center birth and I almost had to transfer at the end because the baby was posterior. So it was just like the perfect storm of all these things happening.

 

But just hearing you say like — throughout my pregnancy, I continued to work out. I continued to eat well and all of that good stuff that really if I hadn’t have done that I can almost — I mean because at the end I was just like, “Please. Oh, my gosh. Let this be over.” I was so tired.

 

But knowing like if I hadn’t done all that stuff in preparation and I didn’t even know I was doing it in preparation at that time. Because I didn’t know about BIRTHFIT or anything, but it could have been way different. It could have been a way different outcome.

 

Lindsey: For sure. Yeah.

 

Laura: And I had the nurses and midwives at my birth were like — once they found out the preparation I had done, now they’re asking me for a card and they want to start to share what I did with other women. Because it was very obvious I think when a woman is prepared mentally and physically for that experience and how they go into it. I had been up for 28 hours at that point, no sleep at all. But because you prepared, you can be okay and you can get through it. It’s pretty powerful stuff.

 

[0:30:11]

 

Jess: It’s powerful.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Through the physical training, you’re training the mindset, but you’re also learning to surrender to movement. Okay, what is my body telling me right now? And like all of labor, all 24 hours I’m sure wasn’t just charging up the mountain. There are probably a little rest time.

 

The midwife or whoever is probably saying, “Hey, I need you to lay down right now or eat something right now.” And so then okay that’s your rest in between intervals. It may not feel like rest, but you’re trying to gather your breath. You’re resetting. Okay, conserving energy. Okay, here we go again. There it is.

 

But yeah, it’s so powerful. So fitness, nutrition, chiropractic and mindset, yeah. And I don’t know what the majority of the audiences that’s listening, but a lot of what attracts women to fitness is their super, I don’t want to say type A, but just get shit done type of personality, which is what attracted me to the training world in the beginning.

 

And especially the CrossFit world. I was like, “How efficient is CrossFit?” Somebody else decides the workout for you, you come in and you don’t even have to think and there you go. Sixty minutes, boom, we’re good.

 

So I love that, but part of the biggest challenge with that type of personality is the mindset. Like learning to surrender to the whole motherhood transition period, the phase, this chapter of your life. And birth is one of those things that yes you need to be in shape for, but you can’t out work it or work out, out do it, you know.

 

Jess: Yes.

 

Laura: We had a lot of discussions about this, Lindsey, while I was pregnant about the word surrender resonates so well because that’s me to a T. I want to control everything, and I want to have my workouts and I want to, you know. And so learning to listen to my body and to take breaks when I needed to and push a little harder when I needed to. And all that really helps with the actual birth process and that learning to surrender at the right times.

 

And Evie is sitting here just smiling at me as I say this. It’s really funny. She’s like, “Yeah, mom.”

 

Lindsey: Yeah. I already taught you so much, mom.

 

Laura: You have.

 

Jess: I love hearing all this coming from you two because it’s like I — even and again my postpartum experience after the first go-round, suffering from probably undiagnosed postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety. I had worked so hard on the physical aspects like what I was putting in my body and how I was working out and even chiropractic care.

 

I think I was missing that pillar. I think that’s why it’s so essential you have to have everything. I didn’t have the mindset pillar. I had such a hard time transitioning into motherhood and letting go of control. It was so tough for me.

 

And then the second go-round is completely different. But I love that that is a key part of what you’re doing is that mindset piece because it’s so huge, so huge.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. I used to think they were all equal pillars, but I think for sure mindset is the foundation. And then you got the other three.

 

Jess: Yeah, right, right.

 

Laura: I think mindset allows you to fully experience the other three. Once you get your mind right done, you can understand fully like what chiropractic will do for your body. You can understand fully what then this is doing and nutrition and all those things. And then you’re doing it more for like the benefit of your baby and your body and the whole journey versus aesthetics or whatever it is. And that’s why I think it does kind of reign supreme.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. I know I’ve shared these books with you, but for anybody listening like Mindset by Carol Dweck and The Obstacle Is The Way. They’re not birth books, but they are totally relevant. Because as both of you experienced I’m sure like you can have this dream birth and this birth plan.

 

But we do a birth preference worksheet in our Prenatal Series. And then we come up with our birth preferences. But at the top, we have this birth mission statement of how we want this birth to feel. Because you can’t say, “Hey, I want this and I want the lights dim and I want this smell.”

 

Because when labor starts, you may want no talking, you may want rap music and that all of a sudden everything is out the window. Or like for instance like you said you thought about transferring. Like okay, you have to have a plan for when you want to transfer, and you have to be okay with that.

 

So knowing what the overall intention is and knowing that okay, the obstacle is not here to slap us in the face. It’s here to teach us. And if we go straight through the obstacle, we evolve as human beings. We learn something. We embrace something. And we actually come out more antifragile on the other side.

 

[0:35:16]

 

Jess: Oh, my gosh. You said that — have you read that book, Antifragile?

 

Lindsey: I have not read the whole thing. Logan’s read it like five times. So I hear the close notes from him.

 

Jess: I know. My husband — I literally have it right on my coffee table. He’s like, “You have to read this.” I’m like, “Ugh.”

 

Lindsey: Yeah, it’s good, it’s good. Yeah.

 

Jess: Okay.

 

Laura: And we’ll link to all these books and the show notes too.

 

Jess: Awesome. I know. We have a couple listener questions. Do you want to dive into that?

 

Lindsey: It’s okay. Yeah, yeah.

 

Laura: Sweet.

 

Jess: Awesome. So I will go with the first one. So —

 

Laura: Can you hear her snorting?

 

Jess: Yes. It’s hilarious. So our first listener ask, “If using midwives,” and her husband will be her support person. “Do you still recommend a doula? What about a postpartum doula?” And this is for a home birth specifically. Because you’re a doula, correct?

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Jess: Okay. What are your thoughts on all that?

 

Lindsey: Is it a first birth?

 

Jess: It doesn’t say. I’m assuming yes.

 

Laura: Yeah, first birth.

 

Jess: Okay.

 

Lindsey: I usually 100% recommend a doula in a hospital. First birth I would at least 80% recommend a doula for a home birth. Because some states honestly if you need to transfer, some states have rules against midwives entering the hospital or who can be your companion when you enter a hospital.

 

But midwives they’re in the same category as doctor as in receiving the baby or some people may say catch the baby. But that’s their responsibility. Their responsibility for bringing baby earth side, helping you do that.

 

They won’t show up to help you labor which a doula will show up maybe 20 hours before and help you labor. Give dad some rest time. Maybe go get you some food if you don’t have any food. They’re basically your assistant and they’re going to keep your birth desires at the top, number one priority.

 

So it’s always good to have somebody that’s been around the block, seen this a time or two. You definitely agree with their energy. Like your energies connect. And somebody that is not non-judgment. They’re there to support you and your partner and help you through that motherhood transition of that laboring phase. So yes.

 

Second time I would say this is home birth second time. You got a midwife, you got your husband, maybe not. You’ve done this before. You kind of know what to expect. But first time, definitely.

 

Postpartum doula, I would definitely say if you’re having twins. Like set aside money for a postpartum doula at least just to help you get your sanity back. And with the feeding because once you fed one you got to feed the other. Once you change the other, you got to go back to the other one.

 

It’s like juggling and you’re juggling probably your partner too, everybody’s feelings. So definitely, definitely, definitely with multiples.

 

Laura: Right on. I’ve responded. She messaged me and I was like, “We’re going to pick Lindsey’s brain about this.” But I will say having a doula was a game changer for me. But I did, I had a hospital birth.

 

So for me, having her come to the house allowed me to stay there as long as humanly possible. And that was so huge for my mind and the whole experience. But with a home birth — and it also depends on her midwife I’d say like depending on what kind of relationship they have there. If it’s more just like a medical kind of relationship or you know.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, go ahead.

 

Jess: I was just going to say I had a doula my first birth too. But I think where I went wrong just like you said, I was just like, “Yeah, I’ll just get a doula. I’ll get any doula.” And so I had one. I don’t know if we necessarily connected as well as we probably should have. But I don’t even remember her being there. But I don’t know if that’s just because I was so like inward.

 

Lindsey: You’re so out of it. Yeah.

 

Jess: Yeah. Like I was just like in it and my husband was the only person that I wanted to see. But I also didn’t have a hospital birth. And so I would definitely — I could see like if I had transferred, he and I being so focused on each other in trying to get this baby out and not having to navigate the politics of the hospital and not having to voice what I want to happen.

 

[0:40:14]

 

Like having someone there to hold this base for me basically to let my needs be known. That would have been invaluable I know for sure 100%. So yeah.

 

Lindsey: Absolutely.

 

Jess: Do you want to ask the next one, Laura?

 

Laura: Yeah. The next question is from a soon to be mama. And she is curious as to your thoughts on having a new baby in for adjustments. How soon? Anything to know around that? And I’ll just say that on our end that Evie’s nine weeks and she’s been in for four. She’s seen the chiropractor four times at this point.

 

And I noticed like an immediate response. And her eyes seem brighter and she tends to sleep better. And it’s pretty authentic. And she doesn’t have a lot going on. So I imagine even with that difference, if the baby is colicky or has sleep issues or whatever, I could see it being huge. But I’m super curious to hear your thoughts.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. I mean I think you said it very well. When you take a baby in for their first chiropractic check or adjustment, they’re basically looking to see if there’s any tension throughout the spinal cord. So the birth process, let’s say, if baby is vaginal birth, they go through the canal. That’s part of the head molding process. It’s part of being a human and that has to happen.

 

If baby was born via cesarean, then definitely some cranial work I recommend all the time just to help with that head molding, skull molding process. If there are anything like latch issues right away, I would say get a chiropractor.

 

There are tons and tons of chiropractors now around the United States that are no an associate with BIRTHFIT and or ICPA. So they have some pediatric experience. And they either go to people’s houses or they’ll be like, “Okay, bring your baby in after hours.” That way you’re not exposed to everybody and it’s a lot more of a calm environment.

 

Latch issues, colicky, gassy, anything like that. I haven’t been part of, but I’ve heard some amazing stories where baby just wasn’t thriving maybe. I don’t know if thriving is the right word. But not feeding, not doing anything. And within two or three adjustments, like Laura said baby is fine totally doing baby things.

 

Laura: Like snorting.

 

Lindsey: Like snorting. I usually tell people if birth and everything went okay, baby can latch then try to see me within the first two weeks. I don’t want them to stress out like getting to me or me getting to them. Adding more stress is not part of the deal here. So within the first two weeks, but if something’s going on like that try to make time to a) get to mom or I have a great, great referral in my neck of the woods for a cranial pediatric chiro. And if I know it’s going to require her, I’ll send her right over.

 

Jess: I don’t want to take up too much time either too. But I saw Dr. Stamps for my second one. Dr. Stamps was your guy, right?

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Jess: So I used to work there. I had my second one and she had to get a bunch of tie revision because our nursing relationship was not starting out too good. So after the revision, he was like, “Come in.” He let me come to his house.

 

But I mean I have worked with him for a long time. And just so to let people know, like he basically held her, was looking at her, talking to her and he’s doing his thing. And she doesn’t even know what’s going. She’s just like, “Aah.”

 

Lindsey: It’s so gentle.

 

Jess: It is. It’s not your typical you’d expect of like if adult walked in. You’re not going to hear cracks. It’s very different. It’s very gentle, but it’s very effective.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. And they’re so responsive. Like if you think about adults, we’ve had years and years of just grime and stuff build up in our joints, in our systems. So we may take six visits before we see change. Where a baby, it may be like, “Oh, she slept great tonight after that adjustment.”

 

[0:45:05]

 

Laura: She would always have like a giant poop after the adjustment. It was like things are free again. So it was amazing.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. That’s it, mom, and that felt great. But yeah, within the first two weeks I would say come in, get baby checked, get mom checked.

 

Laura: Awesome.

 

Jess: Right on. We have some questions. I know we’ve got like six minutes.

 

Lindsey: Cool. Yeah, we can do some.

 

Laura: At least one more, yeah.

 

Jess: So this one asked, she’s six months postpartum. She’s returned to work already. She’s found that her energy level has really tanked. She is really asking what she should be focusing on and prioritizing to not get overwhelmed by everything. She really strives to focus on the positive. Her nutrition is solid. She wakes up at 5:00 a.m. to exercise for 20 minutes and then walks 30 minutes on her lunch every day.

 

Laura: And I didn’t add that the 5:00 a.m. she only does that two or three times per week. So she’s not doing that every day.

 

Jess: Overkill, okay. So she wants your take on really how to kind of get the energy level more stabilized and what to really focus on at this point in her postpartum journey.

 

Lindsey: So she’s six months postpartum?

 

Jess: Uh-hmm.

 

Lindsey: So here’s what I would say first is your bodies can’t see everything that’s healing on the inside. It takes ligamentous tissue somewhere on average I think of like 270 days to heal. So at the six month mark, that is still not near 270 days. So your energy stores, the nutrients that you’re consuming, all of that is still going to heal your body.

 

You might need more sleep and I’m glad Laura interrupted and said she only does that two or three times a week. Because if you’re doing that every day, I’d definitely be like, “Okay, how much sleep are we getting?” If sleep isn’t happening, I would pay attention to how you’re recovering like sleep, what you’re doing on your off days, are you still mentally engaged on your off days? Because that’s pretty draining as well.

 

And then fats like eat tons of fat. Make sure you’re eating enough. And if you haven’t had a blood panel recently, I would go the blood panel route. Because now would be a great time to get a glimpse, a window of what’s going on inside your body right now.

 

And if you can do that with a functional medicine doctor or a naturopath or whoever in your area then I would definitely do that. Because they can help find the right supplements that are suitable for you and what’s going on within your body. But usually, sleep and recovery is a big issue and the not eating enough. Does that help?

 

Laura: Yeah, that’s awesome.

 

Jess: That’s great. And she doesn’t say if she’s breastfeeding too, but I know that like you said not eating enough that can play into it especially if you’re breastfeeding. I know I still eat tons more than I ever did.

 

Lindsey: Eat tons, yeah, yeah.

 

Laura: I met with a friend of ours who had a baby at the same time yesterday. And now, we do earlier dinners like 5:00 because she wants to nurse a lot in the evenings. And by 8:00, I could eat like a full another dinner. It’s so great. I’m starving, but I love it. It’s my body telling me what it needs.

 

Especially now that I’m exercising a lot more. Adding that back in. Just paying attention to what your body needs. And there might be a week where 5:00 a.m. sounds atrocious, then don’t wake up. Don’t do those 20-minute workouts. It’s kind of like there could be an ebb and flow I feel like week-by-week in terms of what she needs.

 

Maybe one week, she needs more sleep. Maybe one week, she needs to move more. And then also nutrient needs are going to change. Maybe more fat one week, maybe she craves more glucose, carbs the next. It’s interesting. Paying attention is huge.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Pay attention to your cycles. Mel just did a little webinar on rhythm, like finding the rhythm, eating with your rhythm. And especially with women, we operate in cycles. Like even when I’m on my period or maybe this woman has started her period again, I don’t know.

 

But maybe don’t exercise right now especially during the first nine months, 12 months postpartum if you have your period back and you start to see cycles starting to happen. Use that period as a rest and recovery type of space. Like okay, my body is going through a lot. We’re getting back in our rhythm connecting with earth.

 

So I’m going to recover during this time. This five or six days, I’m going to get chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture. Whatever makes me feel nourished inside my body.

 

[0:50:04]

 

Jess: Yeah, love it.

 

Laura: This last one I feel like is an awesome way to wrap up because I think I know your answer and I know my answer. And I think Jess has an answer for this too. But this woman asked, she’s in Canada and cares about maybe becoming — like started to become a BIRTHFIT coach and maybe a regional director someday. And she says, “Do you ever lose your passion for working with this population with a kid or without? And as you age, do you see yourself doing this for a while?”

 

And I think I know the answer, but I feel like this is a good one. I know for myself, having diven and dove, dive into this a little bit.

 

Jess: Diven, I like that one.

 

Laura: I truly feel like this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. And Lindsey and I and Jess, we’ve talked about this, this concept of like there’s a lot of junk, crap going on in the world that is very unnerving and can be depressing and scary. But I feel like one of the best avenues I have to make a change is to empower moms and support moms who are then having children, who are then going to raise these children to be citizens of this world.

 

And so by empowering them and having babies in a place of self-love, I think that’s one of the most impactful things we can do. And we’re supporting moms who are in a — we’re supporting a population who’s so under supported. So I feel like there’s such a need for this and I don’t see it ever getting old. That’s my thoughts. Lindsey, what about you?

 

Lindsey: Yes, you nailed it, huh?

 

Laura: I learn from the best.

 

Lindsey: Oh, yeah. The biggest thing for me is service, like service to others. And like Laura said, this population is so underserved. And I don’t see the fire going out anytime soon. In fact, I think it will evolve. And maybe after I have kids, if I have kids, when we have kids, whatever that looks like. Maybe 20 years, BIRTHFIT has menopause stuff going on, more women’s health.

 

Jess: Look at that. I love it.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. But I think there’s so much fluff out there. And just in the last week, there’s a super terrible NPR article about breathing and sucking in. And the media is just bought out and it just makes me so frustrated.

 

And women are fed junk during the most vulnerable time of their lives. Like this motherhood transition where there — it’s so much exploration and it requires so much soul searching. But then they’re marketed towards, they’re scared into all these decisions, these purchases.

 

And I view BIRTHFIT as the truth. I view BIRTHFIT as, “Hey, we’re no bullshit. This is going to be here. This isn’t going anywhere.” So after you entertain the idea of a $1,000 stroller, we’ll still be here. And if you have questions we’ll still be here. We’re not the people that are, “Hey, let’s get the body back after baby.”

 

Because no, that body, it’s not there. It’s a different chapter in your life. We’ve evolved we are in the queen in training phase. We are embracing the queen in training phase. We are transitioning into higher beings. And if we try to go back to who we once were, it’s just we’re going to be met with resistance and that’s not part of the journey.

 

Each of our journeys are meant to be lived and part of that is us as women. Maybe that’s embracing the birth process or the motherhood transition and getting all we can out of that. And then transitioning into parenthood and embracing that with a big open heart.

 

And then aging. And the aging process is so — people may view this as like the downhill. But I’ve been reading a lot lately about it. And to me, it’s like the plower and you’re just blooming. There is me blooming at 26 or 25 or even 18. I thought I was blooming, but no.

 

I didn’t know my head from my butt at that time. So I’m blooming as I age. And I think women are just to graceful and such beautiful creatures. And when we begin to accept our soul power and what’s deep down inside. And like Laura said, when we pass that self-love onto the next generation, we’re not only setting that next generation up in a much — like starting off on a better foot.

 

[0:55:03]

 

But we’re also healing years of — I don’t want to say trauma, but trauma in maybe our maternal side, lineage or even grandparents and so on. Like there’s a lot of trauma that’s happened within the past —

 

Laura: Genetic kind of, like what gets passed on, yeah.

 

Lindsey: Totally, totally, that gets passed down to the next generation and the next generation. So yeah. Once we embrace that soul power as women and we charge for, then we’re going to make shifts in this world. And I think that’s super powerful.

 

Jess: I’m going to cry.

 

Laura: I know. I’m getting goosebumps.

 

Jess: I can’t help it.

 

Lindsey: There’s a quote I just posted on Instagram and it was about embracing. Like just imagine if a woman whether she has a cesarean birth or a vaginal birth. But imagine that she leaves that experience and she feels empowered and ready to freaking rock motherhood.

 

Yeah, she’s got some recovery to do. But imagine that. Like that’s way more powerful than being scared into decisions, into trauma. Just shit that shouldn’t happen, you know. So I think that’s pretty powerful.

 

And when we can sit back and observe the birth process and watch it unfold and watch these women unfold into these beautiful beings. That they have to go on this journey. Like as doula, I’m just there to support them throughout this journey and to watch them turn into this awesome rose or flower that they become. It’s magic. There’s not another word for it.

 

Jess: Oh, my gosh.

 

Laura: I love it.

 

Jess: If this is even like a snippet of what this weekend’s going to be like, I’m going to be a boring mess. Oh, my god.

 

Lindsey: People cry. It’s okay.

 

Laura: I cry a lot.

 

Jess: Okay. I don’t want to be the only one.

 

Laura: I just wanted to think back because I was 22 weeks pregnant when I did the coach’s seminar. It was so fun.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, yeah.

 

Jess: Well, Lindsey, where can people find you?

 

Lindsey: Oh, yeah. Well, they can find me in Venice, California usually.

 

Laura: Yeah. Go to DEUCE. It’s magic there too. That’s one of the coolest gyms out there.

 

Lindsey: Yeah. Or they can find us at BIRTHFIT, on Instagram or Facebook. Yeah, my personal Instagram is gigemlindsey. Yeah. And then if you’re looking for a regional director, you can look on our website. There’s a map there. Or if you just type in BIRTHFIT, you’ll see on Instagram all the other names will pop up whether it’s Santa Cruz, Dallas, Austin, things like that. But yeah.

 

Laura: Sweet. And as always, you can find me at laura.radicalroots, jess.holdthespace on Instagram. And then feel free to directly message us. Also, you can email us at modernmamasposcast@gmail.com. And this has been awesome, Lindsey. Thank you so much. We’ll let you go because we know you got to catch a flight and do amazing things. I’ll see you soon.

 

Lindsey: Thanks. [0:58:16] [Indiscernible].

 

Laura: Yeah. Thank you for coming.

Lindsey: Yeah. It’s great to see your faces.

 

Laura: Awesome. All right.

 

Jess: Well, bye, guys.

 

Laura: I’ll see you soon and thank you so much and thanks for listening guys.

 

Lindsey: Okay, bye.

 

Laura: Bye. Have fun.

 

Lindsey: Hello, lovelies. I hope you enjoyed that chat in which I was on the Modern Mamas Podcast with Jess Gaertner and Laura Bruner. So if there’s one thing you can get from this whole episode, I hope you get what BIRTHFIT is. BIRTHFIT is a movement. It’s a complete mindset shift. It’s a choice. It’s a style in which we approach the motherhood transition.

 

But in all seriousness, I hope you gained a little bit more insight into the big picture of BIRTHFIT. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. info@birthfit.com and we will get back to you. Bye.

[0:59:38] End of Audio

I AM BIRTHFIT!

When most people hear BIRTHFIT they think of the obvious- fitness during your pregnancy, birth or postpartum period. What they may not initially think of is the time before conception, which BIRTHFIT entirely incorporates.

As a BIRTHFIT Regional Director, most people would think I know everything about the birth process, and most think I have been through it personally.  But, the truth is, I have not had any pregnancies and haven’t started trying. Even though pregnancy is not currently, nor previously, a part of my life, this doesn’t mean that BIRTHFIT is not a part of my life. I live the four pillars every day, and practice many of the BIRTHFIT practices. I want to be in tune with my body before I am pregnant, and stay connected with myself once I am. The four pillars of BIRTHFIT are extremely important for anyone even considering to become pregnant; here is how they have impacted me.

Fitness

Fitness is important in my life because it helps me think about and look towards the future. Even though I need to have strength to be a good chiropractor, the main reason I continue to build up my fitness is because I want to be able to stay active during a future pregnancy. It is this thought process that has helped me maintain an active lifestyle, which will continue once I become pregnant. An important part of BIRTHFIT fitness is the functional progressions as a warm up. I make a point to do these nearly every day, with each workout and workday starting with them, ensuring my core is functioning optimally. This will continue through pregnancy and the postpartum period, preparing me for the best possible birth and recovery.

Nutrition

Nutrition is the foundation for which all health is built upon, which is why it is a BIRTHFIT pillar. I have taken this to heart and have been eating a well-rounded, nutrient dense diet, with little to no processed foods. I know it is what my body needs because I feel better and I have more energy than when eating a Standard American Diet! With good nutrition you can decrease the overall inflammation in your body, and allow for faster healing and better function. Proper nutrition can’t be solely looked at as only having an immediate effect on the body, because it has a cumulative and long-lasting effect. Proper fetal development requires adequate amounts of certain nutrients that must be in place before pregnancy. I want to make sure my body is at its optimum level for when I become pregnant. It is because of this that I have been on prenatal vitamins: not because I am pregnant, but because I know it is beneficial to have these nutrients for when that time comes.

Chiropractic

As a chiropractor, I know how important proper movement and stability are. If one area doesn’t move very well, compensation will occur at other areas, increasing your risk for potential injuries or dysfunctions. Proper movement is not a singular event; it is shared over multiple joints and areas of the body. In my practice, I treat all of my patients with this model of movement. If I can get them moving better, through chiropractic, they are more likely to keep feeling well or begin feeling better.

Mindset

This is probably the one that I have most recently implemented. Mindset does not come easy for me. My life is often times all over the place, but taking a few minutes to connect with myself every day has helped greatly to reduce my stress. It has helped clear my mind so that I can function more efficiently, and been a great tool to help with some of my fears and weaknesses. With practice, I have become more comfortable with presenting to groups of people and - more importantly - with the person that I am.

I want people to know that even though they aren’t pregnant or recently postpartum, they can still utilize the principles of BIRTHFIT.

Although I’ve never been pregnant, I am proud to say I AM STILL BIRTHFIT.

Dr. Kenzie Wood-Burgei, DC

BIRTHFIT Milwaukee

Mamas of the Mountains sharing their Postpartum Series Experience

We are moving into our 3rd Postpartum series for the mamas of the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado. I have had the amazing opportunity to work with some strong moms that are borderline superheros. As each PPS comes and goes we are building a tribe of women who not only workout together, but are a support system for each other! Lindsey and Ashley are mamas who are now on their 3rd PPS with me and I have watched them flourish as an athlete, mom and person. I have watched as their goals have changed from soley body focused  to all them healing their mind, body and soul  through this postpartum journey. Every class they comes ready to work their butts off and I am so thankful I have had the opportunity to work with them! Here is what they had to say about their experience thus far;

 

“ I stumbled upon a BIRTHFIT ad on my local swap events page on Facebook. I was 7 months postpartum and was tired of working my butt off and not seeing results and feeling disconnected with my own body. I’ve always wanted to try crossfit style workouts so I thought this would be a good introduction. This program turned out to be so much more than that for me.

    I’m currently on my 3rd BIRTHFIT postpartum series and I never want to stop! After each classI leave feeling strong and empowered. Mondays and Wednesdays have become my favourite days of the week and I look forward to going to class each week. Dr.Jill is an amazing coach. She really gets to know you as a person and focuses on each person’s strengths and goals. I love how the class is small and all moms, in my same position and we can bring our babies (and occasionally older kiddos too:)

    I started the class just wanting to lose the typical “baby weight”. Now, I feel like I’m not even focused on that at all. I want to be strong and absolutely love seeing my improvements each week. This program has changed my life.”

  • Lindsey BIRTHFIT RFV Postpartum Series

 

Jill Cameron and her BirthFit classes have been a game changer!  As a new Mama, I am so grateful for her offerings and instruction. The BIRTHFIT program has helped me to rebuild my stamina, strength, and overall muscular balance.  After 2 months of classes, I feel more connected, agile, capable, and freer in my body than I have in a long time. I personally have several old injuries that I have struggled to overcome but due to Jill’s training I am finally making true progress and rewiring old muscular patterning.

Jill is passionate, knowledgeable, professional, and supportive.  She has created a welcoming and supportive environment for Mamas and Babies to come together and share in the journey of building the lives we want.  Both her and her program are incredible and I recommend that all new Mamas in the Roaring Fork Valley come join us.

  • Ashley, BIRTHFIT RFV Postpartum Series

 

If you are a mom to be or postpartum check out the BIRTHFIT regional directors tab to find coaching or educational events in your area.

 

 

 

With love,

 

Dr.Jill

@birthfitrfv

BIRTHFIT Roaring Fork Valley

www.birthfitrfv.com

Top 5 Movements To Do During Pregnancy

Squat

The squat is a full body movement. This movement not only requires adequate range of motion throughout your entire spine, pelvis, and lower extremities, but also trunk stability (aka core strength) in order to maintain an upright posture against gravity.

Compared to the lithotomy position that is commonly used in hospitals for the second stage of labor, the squat actually opens the birth canal by as much as 30%.

In general, we usually encourage our mamas to squat (with no load) daily, a minimum of 25 beautiful squats. These can be spaced out throughout the day or all in one effort. If you are training with us, either online or with someone on our team, then you know we will incorporate some variety from load to volume to different styles of squatting.

We love Ina May Gaskin’s quote, “Squat 300 times a day, you're going to give birth quickly.” However, if you have not been squatting at all, start with our minimum of 25 squats a day.

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Lunge

The lunge is one of our favorite movements because it will, without a doubt, reveal any pelvic issues or discrepancies from side to side. The lunge, just like the squat, opens up the pelvis, but more specifically on one side versus the other. The lunge, just like the squat, will build strength and enhance range of motion in the lower extremities and posterior chain.

The lunge is also a common position used in labor. So, when a mama tells me that doing lunges is uncomfortable or there is more discomfort from one side versus the other, then I know, as a doctor of chiropractic, that something is off within her pelvis and/or associated ligaments and muscles.

In general, we usually encourage our mamas to lunge (with no load) for ten reps on each, for a minimum total of 20 a day. Again, if you are training with the BIRTHFIT tribe, you know our lunges will vary from day to day.

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Crawl

When we say crawl, we literally mean get down on on all fours (table top) position, and crawl around. We wrote a whole blog dedicated to crawling last summer, because some fitness trainers in this world actually think crawling will worsen the conditioning of their ab (rectus abdominis) muscles. It does not. Crawling is as innate in us as blinking.

Crawling is especially useful around weeks 25-34 when baby is starting to get in position for birth. Crawling gets baby out of the pelvis while also demanding some trunk stability from mom.

If you sit or drive a lot or work predominantly on one side of your body (dental hygienist), then, without hesitation, add five minutes of crawling to your daily movement routine.

Mumma-Quadraped.jpg

Bear

The bear is a higher skill version of the crawl. The bear requires strength and flexibility in your posterior chain as well as shoulders and mid to upper back. Unlike downward dog, where the majority of the people will dump their bellies and chest forward, our bear position is done with a neutral spine and bent knees. Our goal is to maintain spinal neutral so that the rib cage and pelvis are stacked in line with each other. In this position, baby has the most room to move around in a semi-inverted, non-weight bearing position.

Bear.jpg

When in the bear position, we can focus on our diaphragmatic breathing or we can walk and get more of a deep core ( “ab”) workout. Just as in crawling, we prefer to see this movement incorporated into our moms’ daily movement routine for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Walk

Slow life down and go for 20-30 minute walks at least three times a week. We live in a sedentary, fast-paced, technology-enhanced world. Take time for yourself and the special spirit growing inside of you. Walking allows for movement within the lumbar spine and pelvis and associated musculature while also increasing blood flow to these structures and the organs within them (hello uterus!). Use walking as a time to slow down and connect with the present moments. We recommend not listening to music or using your phone during this walk, but rather connecting with yourself and your baby.

All the movements mentioned above are actually part of a human being’s developmental progression. These movements are innate to us, meaning these are natural movements. We actually learn many of these movements from the first few weeks of life throughout the next 18 months. If any of these movements are challenging for you, then reach out to your nearest Regional Director or BIRTHFIT Coach for support.

Below are free YouTube videos of our Functional Progression (based on DNS principles and designed by Dr. Erica Boland, BIRTHFIT Wisconsin) to help mamas move throughout their motherhood transition:

Move a little bit each day!

XO.

Lindsey

BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 81: Female Business Owners

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BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 81: Female Business Owners

Vol. 6 of the BIRTHFIT Summit 2017

[0:00:00]

Lindsey:All right, guys! Thanks to our sponsors, Original Nutritionals. Our friends at Original are on a mission with us to walk the walk when it comes to human betterment. They've created a brand founded on pure basic essential supplements that have ingredient labels you can understand. I like small labels, I'm from Texas, I don't like big words, so this works for me. Their third-party-tested omega-3 is free of heavy metals and toxins and to standards higher than that of drinking water. What? Ladies, that means no mercury issues, which is good news since most fish oils on the market are poor quality, oxidized and actually don't taste too good. Functional O3 comes in two sizes and it tastes yummy.

To make things better, Original Nutritionals has created a snack. This snack is awesome because we actually use this during labor. Imagine coconut butter, cashew butter, raw cacao, sea salt and little coffee grinds in a little pouch like for endurance athletes. That's Coco Java Nut Butter and it's healthy fat, ready to go in your purse, gym bag or birth bag when you're in a pinch.

In true Original Nutritionals fashion, they've recently developed whey protein from pasture-raised animals that aren't ruined with fake flavors and sweeteners, just the good stuff. Our favorite is their whey protein from goats which doesn't come with allergy issues many experience with dairy.

So if you want to find more Original Nutritionals information, products, go to originalnutritionals.com. Use the code BIRTHFIT for 15% off. That's BIRTHFIT for 15% off.

Do you ever need help planning meals? Do you ever run out of time for prep work, things like that? I know I do and life gets a little crazy. That's where Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty comes in, brought to you by Sam Rodgers, the mom behind the plans. Her company Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty offers three different plans which you can sign up for only $13 a month or $99 a year. There's a Super Clean plan, there's an 80/20 plan, and then there's a Quick Prep menu, which is basically 60 minutes or less of prep time at the beginning of the week.

So check it out, eatingcleancookingdirty.com/birthfit, and all BIRTHFIT listeners will receive a 14-day free trial and a 15-minute jumpstart call with the one and only Sam Rodgers. So BIRTHFIT moms or dads, or anybody else listening, this is a super simple solution to maybe if things are boring in the kitchen, you run out of time, you just need help spicing things up in the kitchen with a little creativity, Sam Rodgers of Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty has some answers for you. So go check her out.

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You can get health and give back at the same time by trying out some of Well Labs bestseller products. These are the tasteless and odorless liquid vitamin D and K combo or the powdered probiotic which is very easy to sneak into a toddler food or baby bottle, or you can try the Well Mama Prenatal that is conveniently packaged in daily pouches for you to throw in your purse or your gym bag.

You can find out more information by visiting mywelllabs.com or you can find them on Facebook or Instagram. BIRTHFIT community, please support Well Labs because they support us. Thanks for the love.

[0:05:00]

Hello, BIRTHFIT community. This is Dr. Lindsey Mathews, your BIRTHFIT founder. Just like last week, we have a special episode from the BIRTHFIT Summit. This week we explore the topic of being a female business owner. So many of our regional directors are either chiropractors or coaches or nutritional therapists or acupuncturists that own their own business in their city, state, wherever they live. And that's tough. That's tough being a female business owner. It's tough being a mom. It's tough being a woman. You literally have to wear a million different hats, multitask, and plan your life.

In this episode, we ask a ton of women on our tribe basically to share some insight as to how they do this. For those of you listening, I hope you gain at least one thing you can take away and integrate into your life this week. In this episode, you will hear Tracey of BIRTHFIT Lincoln, you will hear Molly of BIRTHFIT Fox Valley, you will hear Nast of BIRTHFIT Hawthorne, you will hear Josiah of BIRTHFIT Oklahoma City, you will hear Candace from BIRTHFIT Cleveland, Elise from BIRTHFIT Puget Sound, Abi from BIRTHFIT Atlanta, Chelsea from BIRTHFIT Kansas City, and Autumn from BIRTHFIT Hampton Roads. I hope you enjoy the episode.

You get the question: I'm not pregnant but I'm preparing my life to be pregnant. You know that you own a business or you own a gym or you own a practice. How do you start preparing for that, both business and lifestyle?

Female:I'll start. My big sister, Erica Boland, I've talked to her a little bit about this just knowing that something probably within, I would say, three years I hope to have a family. I think the biggest thing is time and how valuable that is and making sure that even now I have a plan set in place for I don't need to be in the office killing myself 40 hours a week. I want to spend time with my kids. I want to watch them grow. So that would be the biggest thing, figuring out how I'm going to do that with my business.

I plan on writing out a plan for that but right now just kind of figuring that out for myself. But beyond that, I would say the biggest prep for me has just been these four pillars, kind of what we talked about last time. I think they can be incorporated with anybody, pregnant or not, female or not. I've just been trying to work on all of these as best as I can before I have a family someday.

Female:I'm going to use the word delegate. There's an article that's been making the rounds recently on Facebook about sort of the hidden workload for women, that we tend to be the ones that track what everybody needs or that the gym needs toilet paper, whatever it might be. We can be really good at that. And I know personally I think sometimes it's my super power. I know what people need and I keep track it.

But I also need to be aware of it because if those are the things that I'm constantly working on then I'm not necessarily working on the things that I want to work on. So, being aware of what your highest goals are and making sure that you're having time for those things whether it's to grow your business or to make sure that you have good coaches that can take your place while you're gone or growing classes versus is there a toilet paper in the gym? Delegate.

Female:Can I say something? I think to go off of that, I think it's important to -- You have to value your time and what you do but one of the ways to do that is to get organized. I think I mentioned something about SOPs, standard operating procedures, and just having that written out. I remember my husband asking me to write out what is your role? What is it that you do? And I said, "Well, I think that's a waste of time." And so I didn't do it.

He's really smart. Until the time came and where that actually did happen. We also at the same time had a family emergency and I couldn't be at the gym but I needed someone else to step into my shoes. Can you X yourself out of the equation and have somebody else do what you do? Especially running a business, does the whole business shut down when you leave? Can it continue to go?

[0:10:10]

So if you have something written out with what are your roles or who can I delegate the roles to if I'm not there, I think that's really important. Does it take some time? Yes, time that you probably don't have. But just getting a little bit more organized is insurance for you, your business and your family.

Female:Yeah, I'll just build off of -- Is this turned on? Just building off of that, organization and also just planning ahead. Usually we have nine, ten months to figure it out. What we did was figure out what's my schedule going to look like after the baby comes. Like what Nast said is huge. What do I do in the day to day that we don't even think about because I just do it? But then if I'm not there who's going to do it?

And so really just planning that out and knowing ahead of time and then being really realistic in your plan and very intentional and prioritizing and knowing, okay, I do want to come back to work but it's not going to be exactly like it was before but just with a baby on my hip. Knowing that, okay, when I came back, I had to build time into my schedule for whatever baby wants to do.

I'm there this many hours but about halfway through we have Josiah's not available time and that's when I go back and I feed her or we just have time together or whatever she needs. And we have that flexibility. And I'm very fortunate in our practice that she had pinkeye the other day and so I was like, I'm here but, no, I'm not because she needs me and so I just left. I just closed my door and Daniel picked up the slack and everyone was okay.

It's important to have those plans in place, like what's going to happen in this situation and just to be prepared for it and know that it's not going to be what you envision in your head, that strap your baby on your back and just do whatever you were doing before. Not that you can't return to those things. That's why I love being a chiropractor and having my own practice because in school I knew I want my own practice because I want to set my hours because I want my family to be here together. I have that flexibility. But also there's a lot of give and take with that. A lot of planning and just being realistic about what the future is going to look like.

Female:For me, I'm a chiropractor and I decided to open my own practice after school for this reason. I run a boutique sale office. I do everything. I had a plan, a five-year plan, just with making sure to save enough money, hire associate, and then when that time came, get ready to start a family, take some time off, have maternity coverage, all of that. Three months ago, I found out I was pregnant, which is very exciting but that kind of changes the plan entirely.

Really, I think, my biggest thing is just to -- Because I think the biggest struggle that we are dealing with is just like the finances of my business not necessarily personal life but just making sure that all of that is put in order to be able to when I come back I want to stay at home more, to be able to keep the business going at whatever pace I want without being in the office as much. That's all for me.

Female:I'm going to say something just a little bit different. I think where I started was visualizing what success meant to me as a woman and as a business owner. I call myself a one-woman show. It's just me. I do all the front desk and everything. And I like it that way. It's fun and crazy chaos but it's what I do. There are a lot of chiropractic coaches out there that tell you how to run a business, tell you how to make a million dollars, and a lot of them are dudes. I feel like they don't understand from a mom point of view that when your kid has pinkeye, you got to go. From the very beginning my goal was what does success look like to me?

[0:15:01]

For me it's I work two and a half hours and then I go home. And so I built that into my practice being pregnant. I spent a lot more time there, like hours when I was pregnant because I had the time but I let my practice know sort of what was coming and I built the hours around what I wanted. I thought mornings are easy, I'll work a couple of hours in the morning, and then I'll have the afternoon to spend time with my kids and do things, spend the time with them that I want to do.

And everybody's version of success is different whether it's how much money you make, how many clients you're helping or those sorts of things. But just really having a good viewpoint of what success means and if that feels right in your heart then build your plan around that, I think is where I started.

Lindsay:Awesome. I like that question. What does success look like for you? And I'll give an example. I've played this game with myself and my version of success is where I can spend the money to fly all of my dysfunctional family out for Thanksgiving and pay for each one of them to have their own hotel room. Because they're not staying with me. And then for all of them to come to a dinner where I don't have to cook. I can pay somebody else to cook. And then they can all go back to their hotel room. That's when I know I've made it. We can't do that until then. So, what does success look like for each of you or maybe people in the audience too start thinking about that? Anybody want to share?

Female:Just based on your experience, I have a very similar experience. I'm one of those people that if I don't see it or if I don't see it coming to fruition, sometimes I got a little downhearted specially just from a mindset standpoint, is what I do on a daily basis just to feel like I'm getting towards that goal. I found a bunch of pictures. I am originally from Boston. I live in New Jersey now. I'm a big Red Sox fan. Any Red Sox fans? One. Yeah, thank you, Nicky.

Lindsey:She's so excited.

Female:She was. And it's not even, honestly, like I couldn't even tell you who the second baseman is right now. It's just the idea -- Actually, I could. The idea of, same thing, flying out my family. I'm one of four children. There's six of us total. For us to go out anywhere is just a lot. It was always a lot of money. It has a financial goal to it as well. But being able to fly my family back to Boston and all go to a Red Sox game and sit in some of the best seats and exactly what you said, everyone has their own hotel room. That to me is success.

It involves my family and my closest friends and just keeping that vision out in front of me constantly. I have to talk about it. I have to put it out there and I have to do it, replay it in my head over and over again, kind of like visualization if you've ever played sports. I had to envision myself succeeding. It's strange to take that from an athletic world and apply that into life. That's that mindset practice that I also need a lot of practice but I'm excited that I get to do it daily.

Female:So, I think, success for me would probably be a day full, and by day I mean like probably four or five hours that like a solid work day, full of my ideal clientele or patient base versus people that maybe aren't valuing your time as much as you value it. I think that's what I would say.

Female:I'm going to go a little less big picture. For me, success is like at the end of the day I got to do what I love. I was adjusting people for a few hours, I was spending time with my baby, I was spending time with my husband. Life is good.

Lindsey:Life is good.

Female:I guess, for me, I'm in a slightly different stage of life because my kids are older. I have one that's almost 18 and a 14-year old and an 11-year old.

[0:20:01]

First of all, right now, my family is the most important thing. When I look at my time, I want to be sure that I'm spending the most amount of time with my family. But the business is part of what makes that happen and I love my business as well. For me, a successful life would be my kids go off to college, they're happy, and then I have freedom to travel and go see them wherever they are and that the business supports that.

Female:Success for me, I think, is kind of what Mumma said earlier today about feeling financially free and not feeling burdened anymore. I grew up with parents that always fought about money. I get emotional. I don't want that for myself in my relationship. So, I would say that success would be to feel not burdened by money and just be able to enjoy life and be comfortable in that life and have an argument be about a spoon left out instead of finances because that's tough. Sorry for crying.

Lindsey:Anybody from the audience want to share? Chelsea? Chelsea's like, "Got it."

Female:So, the way I show my love is by feeding people and organic food cost a lot of money so success to me buying all the organic crazy supplement weird shit and thinking like, "Here's $4,000. I got it. Done." And just like sharing it with anybody who I possibly can. That's success.

Female:Laura, I'm going to steal something you told me earlier. After Mumma shared about financial freedom you said you wanted to have time freedom. Basically, being able to control when you have to show up where and not have someone else telling you, "You will show up at this time and you will do such and such." Which is not to say that you don't have time to have be somewhere. If you own a gym and you don't open the gym for a class, that's going to be a problem.

I had been a public school teacher, taught high school, and having to show up and be in my classroom at 6:30 in the morning because class started at 7:00, the time freedom was obviously not there. But, I think, the bigger struggle for me was not being able to be authentic about what I really cared about. I'm going to start crying now. I couldn't tell people about BIRTHFIT because I didn't want to be seen as not dedicated to teaching.

If I'm going to get paid crap anyway, I want to be doing something that I love because I don't think any of us are here for the money dollars. Financially, I would love to be debt free, Mumma, but the first thing that I have control over is time freedom. I'm giving not teaching a try.

Female:I thrive off of connection and I think, for me, being here and being connected to people I've never met before. Connection with my family, that's a given, but I love seeing other people be connected to something as big as this or whether it's in the gym. I love it when somebody -- People come into my gym and they're working out and they figure out just through talking to each other that they have something in common and then they instantly create a bond. Just like we all came here, maybe some of us didn't know each other, but we're instantly connected and we have this bond and we're going to leave here feeling ultimate love and trust with each other. We've never each other before. For me, success is in every part of my life like how can I grow that connection, how can I spread this, the feeling that I have when I'm here or in my gym or with my family, how I can help other people feel that way.

[0:25:05]

Lindsey:Somebody behind me. Mel?

Female:Okay. I love what Abi was talking about with time freedom. That's huge. I currently have a job in the Air Force that demands a lot of time, a shit ton. I'm a captain in the Air Force. And it's crazy to try and balance that and then the BIRTHFIT Colorado and then just being a wife and mom. One of the things that's really helped me is to create what I call Einstein time which is cultivating presence to help time dilate.

So, my husband told me this back in college. He was like freaking genius. He doesn't even remember telling me but it stuck with me for a long time. He said be 100% where you are. And no matter whether that's at work, as mom, and as business owners and as professionals, you go to the job and you're like, "Damn, I'm not with my kids. I should be doing this." And then you're like a lesser professional during that time.

And then you go home and you're like, "Man, I dragged ass at work today." But if we could just settle into the being 100% where you are, like be the best professional at work, go home be the best mom, leave work at work, that's really helped me to find that balance and to help cultivate that time freedom.

Female:I'll just add to what everybody said and what I said before. I think it's interesting because everybody kind of thinks success comes with money and we all talk about finances all the freaking time. But you know the richest people in the world are often very unhappy, I think.

Female:I'd like to think they are.

Female:Those buy good coffee, so.

Female:But if we're going to talk about being rich in the sense of having just like a super kickass family that follows all these pillars as best as we can, we're under a roof where there's ton of love and we spread all that love, we get connected like you were saying, I don't think there's any dollar amount that can buy that. I think maybe that was the missing part growing up was just that feeling of love. It was a lot of crap. Yeah, I would say beyond dollar amount. That's the goal end of success, I think.

Lindsey:Awesome. Each of you don't have to answer this one but what do you think the hardest thing is for a female business owner? Gina knows.

Female:This is something that was such a huge personal issue with me and then upon talking to other friends and colleagues who had a baby, maybe a little bit after me and they would call on me, there'd be lots of tears, lots of phone tears. How did you do it? How are you at work still when you have a baby and how is this not happening? I just felt terrible and how can do you it? Apparently, I put on a really excellent facade about handling all because I was like, "What are you talking about? The shit is in the fan all the time. I'm always late for this and I'm not home for this and the baby's crying for this and I didn't turn this and I didn't even write a note for a week and a half." Which is not okay. After you see your patients you have to write your note. That's a big deal.

And so then the more this went on and the more off label counseling I did for peers, the more I was like, this is a major issue. This is a huge thing that nobody talks. All I know is chiropractic in terms of professional, but what I do know is that in our business classes in school they are predominantly run by men whose wives sometimes took a maternity leave and life carried on. Our input is you make your business and you can be an associate or you can own your own business and have a nice life and good luck. And then we get out there and you're like, holy crap, if I had a baby I have to leave or close the office or find somebody and then I still have to pay lease and I still have to, money still has to go out but I can't bring it in and that's a major breakdown.

When I developed the women's health series, which is a whole post grad thing, that was one of the first things we did was try to help women just address what are you going to do? I think one of the biggest lines that came out of it, which I did not make up and I will not take credit for but it is so spot on, is that it is far more common that women are asked to sequence their lives and it is more common that men are not asked to do that.

You have to think where is my business in line with my family, in line with my house, in line with my payments? Did I take the kids to the pool enough and did I get my work done? And a lot of times it's like the guys are more expected to go to work and come home when they're done and the kids see you on the weekend, that's normal, because he had to go to work. Whereas we're supposed to be in all those shoes all the time 100%. It's the sequencing of our lives, I think, that is very hard.

[0:30:12]

Female:I think, adding on to that, is just this is what I've been struggling with a lot lately, just thinking about expectations. I have a lot of expectations around myself and, I think, my husband has expectations of me whether he does or doesn't. So, just really trying to navigate what our real expectations and what are just in my head floating around dictating my day to day life. Thinking about that and then -- I just lost my train of thought.

I think trying to manage that is a lot. Going back to like how we grew up, because, I mean, I grew up in Illinois and it was very much like our mom stayed home, our dad went to work. I don't want that. I want to be home with my son definitely the majority of the time but I also want him to see that I have goals and that I'm accomplishing things and I love the work that I do. Trying to figure out how to balance that and where I came from and how does that shape where I am now and how I think about things, I guess.

Yeah, I think I'm just navigating all that but, I think, a lot of women go through that. When you see your mom home all day, that's what I think a good mom is. When it all comes down to it, I know that's not true. I know I'm a good mom for working. But at my core I feel like a good mom stays at home because that's all I saw.

Female:Can I add on to that?

Lindsey:Yeah, I was just going to ask you.

Female:Yes. I feel like whether you work 40 hours a week or eight, whatever you do, once you have kids you're a full time mom and if you're a business owner, you're a full time business person. There's no part time work ever. And then you just add more kids and it gets crazier. I think what my biggest challenge was, I was always like, oh my gosh, I'm just being pulled in all of these different directions. And like you said, the expectation is here you got to keep people alive and you've got -- It's probably in all of us that we care about other people. Otherwise, we would not be here. It's innate in all of us that we're giving people.

One of the biggest challenges for me that I've recently found is that I have to give to myself in a real way. And when I give to myself in a way that matters more than just getting my toenails painted then I actually can give to other people and feel so good about it, I feel that I've met that expectation. I also ask my husband to do the dishes and the laundry sometimes. We all help.

Lindsey:What are some ways that some of you give back to yourself? You don't?

Female:No. I was just saying I say no. I have to say no and just -- Exactly what you all are saying and just even, I think Mumma mentioned it earlier too, sometimes you have to be selfish and just put your foot down and say, "No, I cannot do that. You do it." Or it will get done. It will figure itself out. Just trusting that everything's going to be okay. It's going to be fine. That word no, I've struggled with it because I used to say yes to everybody and everything because I felt like I had to be all things to all people. But it's amazing when I stop showing up to things or I said no to going to different events, we actually had more success. It's almost like people valued my time even more so. And then they would actually show up to things. That was a big light bulb for me. Because I valued my time, as Mumma said. Yeah, for sure.

Lindsey:Awesome. Anybody else have questions, comments, concerns about boss ladies? Mumma has got one.

Female:So, a couple of you got to meet my friend Roslyn Ross yesterday. She's an author and she wrote the book Raising Children as an Act of Philosophy. She was a very transformational influence on my life because she had this idea that you can actually take your kids to life with you.

[0:35:07]

I think that was one of the very freeing things for me as a mom-business owner. My first son would never take a bottle. Never did. I was kind of freaking out a little bit because I had planned this huge six-week maternity leave after he was born. I did longer with the second one. You live and learn. Growth mindset. So, I was like, "Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?"

And my nanny, who we had hired, said, "Well, we can just come to the office and I can be with him there." I was like, "Yeah. I own the place. I can do whatever I want." I started that and then I came across Roslyn's stuff and her approach to child rearing that is very respectful of meeting everyone's needs and so making sure that your needs are being met as well as your child's and working together to find a way that is going to keep everyone's needs met, and bringing your children to life.

I'm more than happy to come and hang out with you if my kids are coming too because I'm not going to pay for a babysitter and leave my kids so I can go and do something that I'm not super excited about. But I love to hang out with you if my kids are coming too because they're part of my life now and I couldn't have known that before I had kids how much I wanted them to be part of my life, but I think I have now made it normal when the Mummas are coming to something, there are kids involved.

And I've set that standard that you just know it. The kids come because I want them to see our life and I want them to see the incorporation of the four pillar's entire life and I want them around for as much of that as they can be. I think, as moms, it's good to give yourself permission. Josiah has her daughter at the office and it's like, okay, I got to shut the door, I got to be with her and we're together. We're a package. We're a team. We're a unit.

Female:Can I add something?

Lindsey:Yeah.

Female:I like how you said that she's an author, she's a good friend of yours and you guys spend some quality time together. I think, for me personally, it's really important for me to see other female business owners, other successful female business owners for a while they were all across the country. I think Liz mentioned earlier that you feel alone a lot of the time. And I've been able to, speaking to my friend Kim, a lot of you don't know, she just sold her first business to a major company which is really cool, or even Jenny.

And just seeing what they do. And even seeing Erica. In my mind, I'm like she has four children. How the bleep does she do it? It's amazing to me. I know when I'm at a different season of my life, we would really like to have a family, I'm sure I'm going to have to call people and glean off of what do you do? How do you do this? And I use to feel like I had to be my own little island and have all of my stuff together by myself. But you don't have to do it alone. You are not alone. I think you have to set the standard wherever you are, a high standard, and that's going to feel lonely but just making sure that you reach out to other successful women. And not just anyone but women that have fruit on the tree, people whose life you want to emulate. I think that's something to keep in mind.

Lindsey:That's great, Nast. Thanks, you all. Sorry.

Female:Something that ties a lot of things I heard over this discussion together. I had a really hard time when I first -- I've had my business. It will be seven years in August. I had a really hard time in the beginning because I'm very forward thinking and I had eight things that I was going to accomplish always and it kept me out of the present and so the idea of starting a family was really daunting because I still had ten more things five steps ahead of me and I was never really present.

A really random thing that I learned was I was always like, "I'm going to be wonder woman, I'm going to be wonder woman." And I found out, random fact, that the guy who created wonder woman had three women in his life. He had a woman who helped him in business, random fact, a woman who helped raised their collective children, and a woman who was his mistress. Here's this person who is creating the standard for a feminine superhero that so many women today still love to look up to and he was leaning on three women to create this one person.

[0:40:13]

And so I spent my whole life trying to be all the things at the same time and the most valuable question I learned, and this kind of goes back to what Mel was saying, what do I actually want my day to look like? What is a successful singular day? How do I want to spend my specific time? I want to spend this much time doing what, this much time doing what?

Now, I can actually envision what it is to have kids because I know I want to be there when they go to bed. It's so specific that I now know what it means to be successful as a business owner, be present when I'm there, and then go home and shut that door and separate those things. It's like a really random revelation but, I don't know, [0:40:50] [Indiscernible] for me.

Lindsey:[0:40:56] [Indiscernible] talking today. Awesome. Let's give them a hand.

All right. If there's one takeaway, and it is a question and you've heard it already on this episode, I want you to all go and write down, journal, do whatever you got to do, but write down what does happiness look like to you? And then what does success look like to you? This will vary from person to person. And there's no right or wrong answer. This is for you. Once you figure out what happiness and success looks like for you then you can start planning and organizing your life, your business, and putting things into action to make this happen. So, homework, go journal. And we'll see you all next week for another discussion from the BIRTHFIT Summit.

[0:42:47]End of Audio

Now Accepting Regional Director Applications for 2018

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We are always looking to grow and expand, but below is a list of locations where we have requests from women looking for BIRTHFIT support.  We’re hoping to have BIRTHFIT Regional Directors across the globe as soon as possible.

We are currently accepting Regional Director applications for the 2018 Calendar year. All Regional Director applications are due by December 1st. Below is a list of locations in which we are actively looking for Regional Directors because we have gotten a number of requests to have BIRTHFIT in these areas:

  1. Abilene, TX
  2. Arlington, TX
  3. Del Rio, TX
  4. El Paso, TX
  5. Fort Worth, TX
  6. Lubbock, TX
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. Las Vegas, NV
  9. Reno, NV
  10. Long Beach, CA
  11. San Diego, CA
  12. Oakland, CA
  13. Orange County, CA
  14. Sacramento, CA
  15. San Jose, CA
  16. Cape Coral, FL
  17. Jacksonville, FL
  18. Miami, FL
  19. Orlando, FL
  20. Pensacola, FL
  21. Tampa, FL
  22. Tallahassee, FL
  23. Baton Rouge, LA
  24. New Orleans, LA
  25. Shreveport, LA
  26. Birmingham, AL
  27. Mobile, AL
  28. Montgomery, AL
  29. Louisville, KY
  30. Memphis, TN
  31. Jackson, MS
  32. Charleston, SC
  33. Phoenix, AZ
  34. Scottsdale, AZ
  35. Portland, OR
  36. Vancouver
  37. Billings, MT
  38. Minneapolis, MN
  39. Rochester, MN
  40. Detroit, MI
  41. Grand Rapids, MI
  42. Pittsburgh, PA
  43. Philadelphia, PA
  44. Asheville, NC
  45. Provo, UT
  46. Cincinnati, OH
  47. Indianapolis, IN
  48. Rochester, NY
  49. Upper Manhattan, NY
  50. Lower Manhattan , NY
  51. Brooklyn, NY
  52. Syracuse, NY
  53. Providence, RI
  54. Boston, MA
  55. Hartford, CT
  56. Portland, ME
  57. St Louis, MO
  58. Indianapolis, Indiana
  59. Albuquerque, NM
  60. Boise, Idaho

Don’t see your city on the list? Even if your location is not listed, if your area is not currently represented by a BIRTHFIT Regional Director, then we welcome you to apply for the 2018 BIRTHFIT Regional Director class. All applications for 2018 are due by December 1, 2017. The more BIRTHFIT Regional Directors, the merrier, and the quicker we will make a shift in our society’s perception of pregnancy, birth, and immediate postpartum.

We’d love to have you apply to be a part of the BIRTHFIT Tribe! Read below to find out more about the process.

Regional Director Recommended Requirements:

Doctor of Chiropractic

Medical Doctor (ObGyn)

Midwife

Doctor of Physical Therapy

Birth Doula

BIRTHFIT Seminar

DNS (Dynamic Neuromusclar Stabilization) Exercise 1 or Professional Course A

CrossFit Level 1 Trainer

ICEA Childbirth Educator

MORE REQUIREMENT INFORMATION

Submitting Application

All applications are due December 1st for the next calendar year. Each of our Regional Directors are separated by class depending on the year they applied and were accepted. This will be the class in which you learn and grow with under the BIRTHFIT tribe umbrella.

There will be no late applications accepted. You can submit your application at any time; however, applications will only be reviewed from November 1st- December 1st.

Please submit all applications via Google Docs. Create a folder with your first and last name and the area in which you are applying to represent. For example, Kelly White – College Station, TX. Within this folder, you will have copies of your certifications, CPR, insurance, essays, and resume. Please share this google doc folder with INFO@BIRTHFIT.COM.

Interview

Once you submit your application, the BIRTHFIT team will review. If you make it to the next level, you will be contacted via email to schedule a video interview with someone on our Senior Leadership Team. Interviews last anywhere from 30-50 minutes. These will be conducted via video (Zoom or Skype). Please make sure to be on time and be present for this interview. This is a job interview as we are interviewing you to represent BIRTHFIT, something we hold very dear to our hearts.

Acceptance

After your interview, the BIRTHFIT Senior Leadership Team will meet and determine if you proceed. You will be contacted via email to let you know if you’ve been accepted as a Regional Director or not.

Once accepted, you will be expected to pay your Regional Director fee. Then the training begins. Think of your whole first year as research and development. There will be twelve weeks of webinar trainings, Regional Director check-ins, a big sis/little sis mentorship, and the annual BIRTHFIT Summit. There is a ton of learning and support within the BIRTHFIT tribe.

Regional Director Fee

All Regional Director fees must be paid by the following January 1st. The Regional Director fee is NONREFUNDABLE.

Expectations

You are expected to participate 100%. Yes, it will be challenging to launch a new business and to educate your community; however, we believe in you, or we would not have chosen you.

These are some general expectations of all BIRTHFIT Regional Directors

  • Host BIRTHFIT Postpartum Series (5)
  • Host BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series (3)
  • Host other BIRTHFIT Services
  • Attend the Annual BIRTHFIT Summit (Ticket prices range between $250-$350 for 2018)
  • Lead with integrity in your city/community

Interested?

If you truly wish to be part of the BIRTHFIT Tribe, submit your application! We welcome serious applicants and look forward to bringing new members into our supportive and growing community.  If you still have questions about becoming a Regional Director, please set up a consult with Dr. Mumma.

BIRTHFIT is a team of practitioners, educators, chiropractors, coaches, doulas, nutritionists, sisters, girlfriends, wives, and mothers. We are involved in our local communities and striving to make our world a better place every day.

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The Ability to Choose

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Choice is a peculiar thing. I recently caught myself saying, “well, it’s not like I have a choice,” and woke up to the sound of the words leaving my mouth. Not choosing is the reason I’m miserable, not the lack of choice.

Let me explain. Choice comes with ownership and empowerment. Decision comes with a pre-determined set of outcomes, a sense of falling victim to these pre-determined outcomes, and a loss of power. One thing we tend to forget is our ability to choose when it seems a decision needs to be made or when there seems to be no decision at all: an autoimmune condition, a miscarriage (or two or three), a tragic accident, financial difficulty, or the loss of a loved one. Who would willingly choose these things? Who would you be if you did?

Back to the example in the beginning: Baby Hank has an ear infection and has been NOT sleeping in our bed.  Therefore, no one has been sleeping. Work has been especially busy requiring a few 10-12 hour days and it’s all starting to feel pretty overwhelming. Today, many coworkers commented on how tired I looked. I relayed the story about Hank’s ear, not sleeping, and they are very much aware of demands at work. They respond, “wow, I don’t know how you do it all.” And to that I say, “well, it’s not like I have a choice.”

Not choosing drains personal power. It creates victims. It creates suffering. I was a suffering victim until those words came out and I woke up.

I choose less sleep. I choose commitments at work. I choose this season.

As soon as I had reclaimed my power to choose, I stopped feeling tired, I stopped feeling like a victim of my life situation, I stopped arguing with reality. When we stop living in the past by fighting the past, we can finally start living in the now. We can create from chaos; we can grow from setbacks; we can love from heartbreak.

What can you choose today? What possibilities are created by reclaiming your personal power?

 

 

-Melissa Hemphill, BIRTHFIT Colorado

@birthfitcolorado

www.birthfitcolorado.com

BIRTHFIT Podcast Featuring Regional Directors Discussing the Four Pillars

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BIRTHFIT Podcast Featuring Regional Directors Discussing The Four Pillars -

Vol 5 of the BIRTHFIT Summit 2017

 

[0:00:00]

 

Lindsey: All right, guys! Thanks to our sponsors, Original Nutritionals. Our friends at Original are on a mission with us to walk the walk when it comes to human betterment. They've created a brand founded on pure basic essential supplements that have ingredient labels you can understand. I like small labels, I'm from Texas, I don't like big words, so this works for me. Their third-party-tested omega-3 is free of heavy metals and toxins and to standards higher than that of drinking water. What? Ladies, that means no mercury issues, which is good news since most fish oils on the market are poor quality, oxidized and actually don't taste too good. Functional O3 comes in two sizes and it tastes yummy.

 

To make things better, Original Nutritionals has created a snack. This snack is awesome because we actually use this during labor. Imagine coconut butter, cashew butter, raw cacao, sea salt and little coffee grinds in a little pouch like for endurance athletes. That's Coco Java Nut Butter and it's healthy fat, ready to go in your purse, gym bag or birth bag when you're in a pinch.

 

In true Original Nutritionals fashion, they've recently developed whey protein from pasture-raised animals that aren't ruined with fake flavors and sweeteners, just the good stuff. Our favorite is their whey protein from goats which doesn't come with allergy issues many experience with dairy.

 

So if you want to find more Original Nutritionals information, products, go to originalnutritionals.com. Use the code BIRTHFIT for 15% off. That's BIRTHFIT for 15% off.

 

Do you ever need help planning meals? Do you ever run out of time for prep work, things like that? I know I do and life gets a little crazy. That's where Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty comes in, brought to you by Sam Rodgers, the mom behind the plans. Her company Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty offers three different plans which you can sign up for only $13 a month or $99 a year. There's a Super Clean plan, there's an 80/20 plan, and then there's a Quick Prep menu, which is basically 60 minutes or less of prep time at the beginning of the week.

 

So check it out, eatingcleancookingdirty.com/birthfit, and all BIRTHFIT listeners will receive a 14-day free trial and a 15-minute jumpstart call with the one and only Sam Rodgers. So BIRTHFIT moms or dads, or anybody else listening, this is a super simple solution to maybe if things are boring in the kitchen, you run out of time, you just need help spicing things up in the kitchen with a little creativity, Sam Rodgers of Eating Clean, Cooking Dirty has some answers for you. So go check her out.

 

All right, guys, I'm super excited to announce our new sponsor, Well Labs. Well Labs is an online nutrition company working to make high-quality nutrition and preventative medicine available to everybody. Well Labs will take complicated functional medicine and they put it into terms that you and I can understand. Well Labs are evidence-based. They're high quality and there are no fillers, dyes or sugars. And want to know the cool thing? Part of every Well Labs purchase funds preventative medicine for kids who cannot afford it. This is anything from music therapy and yoga to meditation and cooking classes because we're all convinced that healthier kids will make healthy adults.

 

You can get health and give back at the same time by trying out some of Well Labs bestseller products. These are the tasteless and odorless liquid vitamin D and K combo or the powdered probiotic which is very easy to sneak into a toddler food or baby bottle, or you can try the Well Mama Prenatal that is conveniently packaged in daily pouches for you to throw in your purse or your gym bag.

 

You can find out more information by visiting mywelllabs.com or you can find them on Facebook or Instagram. BIRTHFIT community, please support Well Labs because they support us. Thanks for the love.

[0:05:00]

Hello, BIRTHFIT. This is Dr. Lindsey Mathews, your BIRTHFIT founder, and we are back this week with a special interview from the BIRTHFIT Summit. You will be listening to this as if you were sitting there in the audience, live, just like some of the past guest speakers we released. But this is special. This is super special. We have our BIRTHFIT regional directors from all over, answering questions. They're giving their opinion, they're respecting and loving each other, and they're sharing what works for them, what hasn't worked, what they're practicing and just what's going on in their lives.

 

So, this first question that we will release is all about the BIRTHFIT Four Pillars. Our BIRTHFIT pillars are fitness, nutrition, chiropractic and mindset. On this episode you will hear Jess of BIRTHFIT Logan, you will hear Liz of BIRTHFIT Missoula, you will hear Lindsay Mumma of BIRTHFIT North Carolina, you will hear Lacey Wilson of BIRTHFIT Tulsa, you will hear Laura Mattison of BIRTHFIT Atlanta, and you will hear Carla from BIRTHFIT Netherlands. So, I hope you enjoy this as they all share from their heart and give a little bit of insight as to how they go about their daily lives integrating the BIRTHFIT Four Pillars.

 

All right, so, how do the BIRTHFIT pillars fit into your life or your practice or your business, and could anyone integrate them into their life? Take it away.

 

Female: You're looking at me.

 

Lindsey: Yeah, let's go.

 

Female: Okay. The Four Pillars fit into my life in a very applicable way because I want to be BIRTHFIT and it's a choice. So I choose to participate in my own fitness in an intentional way. I choose to get adjusted. I choose my mindset every single day. I choose the nutrition that is going to fuel my body. And because it's a choice, everybody can participate in that to whatever degree that they're comfortable. In the same way, I choose to incorporate the Four Pillars of BIRTHFIT into my practice with my patients because I want them to have the same benefits that I do.

 

A lot of women come to BIRTHFIT because they have had either a really great experience with birth or a negative experience with birth, and I have had great experiences. They weren't perfect or textbook or anything like that, but they were really great and empowering experiences, and I want everybody to have that. It might not look exactly like my birth, but I want them to have access to that so I choose to incorporate the BIRTHFIT Four Pillars into my work with my patients and in doing so, because they're such foundational pillars, I found that I've had a lot of practice growth as a result of that, so.

 

Jess: I'll add to that. I'm very grateful for the knowledge of the Four Pillars. I feel like as a mother, especially I have two boys and one on the way, I fully appreciate those pillars and I feel like, some days, I might need to hone in more on one pillar over the other. I feel like that's where it's like a constant flow of figuring out what I need to do for myself so that I can be a good mom, so that I can offer classes to other women who want to do BIRTHFIT, but it's a constant flow of tapping into one, maybe stronger one day, maybe I am tired and fatigued, and I can realize, oh, I'm super tired, so let's not go to the cupboard and grab crackers to help fuel my body because that's not going to help me. It's not going to help me help my kids. So I really appreciate the knowledge of the Four Pillars and living by them because that helps me be my best self, and it's really hard to serve anyone around us if we're not working on being our best selves.

 

Female: Cool. Is my mike on? It doesn't sound like it. Tap, tap, no. All right, here we go. Yeah, to add to that, I think that the cool thing about the pillars is that they're an evolving aspect of your life. It doesn't have to be, like, I got, I got it, I got it, but that, like you said, maybe one day you're rocking your fitness pillar and then not in your nutrition or whatever but the idea that they're all moving in the same direction. If you think of it like a bar graph, they might not all be at the same height but over a time, so now we're looking at a linear graph, they should be moving up. That's how I think of it is don't be down on yourself if you're like, I really blew it today with this. It's like, hey, you have the next minute, the next hour, the next day to recognize it and move forward. So that's a cool thing about, I mean, that's growth mindset is moving forward.

[0:10:21]

Lacey: And I'll build onto that. As someone who doesn't have any children, but I love all children, I implement the Four Pillars every day and Colten does also. That's why he's here. But I think it's very important that people have a well-rounded in all of the four pillars because there's not one that trumps the other. I have this conversation all the time about it because some people are like, well I'm into the fitness thing but I'm not into the chiropractic thing, or I'm into the mindset thing but I'm not into nutrition. In reality we all need a little bit of all four because, yeah, movement is life, food is life, to me chiropractic is life. How can you function without getting adjusted? And mindset is one of the biggest for me because that trumps all.

 

Liz: Can I finish?

 

Lindsey: Yes, Liz.

 

Liz: For me, to have a successful life, you have to fulfill certain requirements and those are the Four Pillars, whether it's moving your body or moving your mind to higher levels, knowledge base, whatever that is, and then all the others play a part in those requirements to be successful. Whether it is in pregnancy, whether it's post-partum, whether it's business, career or family, they're all requirements to fulfill that successful life.

 

Lindsey: Awesome. Each of you all can answer this, but how have they evolved or changed over the past year or two? Because I know like Mumma has been in BIRTHFIT since the beginning and then some of you are newer. You two started at the same time, Liz and Jess. So maybe how has each of the four pillars evolved or is there one that has definitely evolved more than the others since you started?

 

Jess: I would say mine is definitely mindset but then it has helped every other one involved, which I love because mindset is almost like an umbrella piece and then it helps you get more in tune with the other pillars. I've just noticed a huge difference even in my pregnancies. My last pregnancy, well, my two last pregnancies, I didn't have or know of BIRTHFIT. Now I do and the mindset piece has been amazing to add to that, just a heightened awareness of all of the pillars.

 

Liz: I definitely concur with Jess with the mindset piece. It's something that I struggled with as a business owner that spends a lot of time by themselves. Even though they're seeing clients or patients a lot, they're in and out, so you spend a lot of time by yourself. That's when doubt tends to creep in and you're like, am I doing the right thing, do these people even like me, do they just come because they pity me or whatever it is. So really tapping into that self-power and spending time positively within your mind has been really important over the last year for me.

 

Female: Okay, I have definitely evolved significantly since 2014, and the biggest change for me has been in mindset, similar to these ladies but it's because of how that has impacted the other pillars I think. One of the biggest changes that is noticeable in my day to day life is daily meditation but also in my fitness routine. I have been an athlete my whole life, and I had no problem just going, going, going, going, but I did have a difficult time in the slowdown. Now it's not at all a challenge for me anymore because I'm fully embracing that.

 

So there's a huge difference in my fitness but it's actually because of my mindset practice. With that, my mindset, just surrounding who I am as an eater and all the stuff that I've gotten to learn from Magic Milk, true, my mindset with eating has changed as well, and it's just a much more forgiving and open feeling around my food. I have definitely evolved as a chiropractor because I continue to learn and grow and practice my craft every day. It's called a chiropractic practice. I'm practicing every day. I feel bad for my patients five years ago because what was I doing?

[0:15:30]

But all of them have evolved for me significantly so much so that I look back on my former self and like, hey, that girl, I remember her, but she almost seems like a different person than who I am now. I very much embrace that because I could not have handled being who I am now, then. I like who l am now but I'm also looking forward to five years from now when I don't recognize me because I've continued to evolve, and I fully embrace my queenhood.

 

Female: Are the Four Pillars something you can just check off and do, like, are they complete ever?

 

Female: No.

 

Female: Constantly evolving.

 

Female: Always evolving.

 

Lindsey: Awesome. What happens when you get, maybe you have a client that comes into your office and they're like, I'm good on the nutrition part, I've got that dialed.

 

Female: Red flag.

 

Lindsey: How do you approach that?

 

Female: Waving a red flag at them.

 

Lindsey: No, you don't.

 

Female: No, but when somebody says that they're good on one of the Four Pillars then I recognize that that's their fixed mindset about what they can achieve, like, yeah, I'm good on this because I eat X, Y and Z, so I definitely am fine on nutrition. Okay, well what have you learned about yourself as an eater today? You couldn't have known that before today. You couldn't have known that before this moment so you definitely still have growth there that needs to happen. If at any point in time you're good then you're not growing, so you're never going to arrive. It's a journey. The obstacle is the way.

 

Lindsey: Awesome. Anybody want to add up there? No? Anybody in the audience want to ask them a question about the Four Pillars? Whoa, okay.

 

Female: What's your most challenging pillar?

 

Lindsey: What's your most challenging pillar, for each of you?

 

Female: Just one word answer.

 

Female: Mindset. I think that's where the growth comes because you're challenging it and you're challenging yourself. Well I don't think that's where the growth comes, that's where it comes from.

 

Female: Ditto.

 

Female: It's the shortest answer ever.

 

Female: Brevity is many things.

 

Female: Logan is teaching me things.

 

Liz: On a daily basis, mindset for sure, being able to get in that daily practice and having it become a part of me because I feel like the other pillars are a part of that daily routine already. So that's something that I'm definitely working on right now.

 

Female: Yeah, I would say mindset probably, but I think that --

 

Lindsey: Look to make sure that you know them.

 

Female: No, maybe you wouldn't. For me, I'm in a cool place, weird place, whatever. Fitness has been my thing for so long. I was an athlete since I was five. It's all there, sports, sports, sport. In a sense, yeah, I've got fitness but it's like I'm in a new place where I'm evolving in that. It's like having a different outlook on what does it really mean to move and move well and not be like, I've got to go, go, go, go all the time. So I guess maybe the mindset around how I'm viewing myself as an athlete or as a mover, that has been a recent challenge for me as I apply mindset to my fitness practice. Is that a good answer?

 

Lindsey: Yeah.

 

Female: Good answer.

 

Lacey: I'm going to be different. I'm going to say fitness only because I have been a competitive cheerleader for all of my life and then, I know, girl, and then getting into CrossFit, it's very competitive and egotistic, which I love. Love you all. But BIRTHFIT has actually taught me to, instead of going in the gym and trying to PR everything and just move as fast as possible and beat the person next to me, it has actually taught me to move with intent.

[0:20:00]

Carla: For me, chiropractic, that's the one that I struggle with because I don't know enough of it and I feel like a dog wearing socks when I have to speak of it. Have you seen it? It's a mess. That's me.

 

Female: Kicking their feet up all the time.

 

Carla: It is. It's a Dutch translation, literal translation. But it did the job. You guys got it that I'm really awkward with that because I don't feel like I know enough to talk about it. Fitness, that's my baby, CrossFit included. Nutrition, mindset, something I'm working on but the chiropractic bit is like, whoa, okay, wait, what does that mean? What do I do? What do I say? Considering I'm not about to do that course, I'm definitely borrowing that kind of money. I'm sure there are more people here who are not chiropractors so what I'm curious about is how does that work?

 

Female: Abby and I talked about this before not in the sense of check the box, I'm done, but neither one of us are chiropractors so if you're not a chiropractor, which I would say most people aren't unless you're just in a chiropractic conference or something, here comes the plane, I don't know if they can hear me. In a sense, if you find a great chiropractor and you love them and you know that they're tracking and they're doing the right stuff that they need to be doing, in a way that is an easy way to check the box. This is maybe from a different perspective, not as a regional director or anything, but for our people, it's nice to be, hey, I have my appointment every week and as long as I go, I'm in that practice.

 

Lindsey: Almost delegating responsibility of knowledge to somebody else.

 

Female: Right, and that's the beauty of it.

 

Lindsey: And doing the research of it. That's a great answer.

 

Female: To try to answer your question, Carla, I'm going to ask you specifically what you're asking. You want to know how you can communicate about chiropractic to people as a non-chiropractor. Because you're encouraging women, hey, this is one of our Four Pillars, you need to be getting adjusted. Why? Because I'm wearing socks and I'm a dog, it's not making sense.

 

Your point of explaining this to women can vary. You can go from a structural standpoint. You can go from a nervous system standpoint. The reason why you need chiropractic care during pregnancy is because of the vast biomechanical changes that happen in your body. Any amount of imbalance throughout the body is going to manifest in some way. So if there's imbalance and you have to compensate for that because your brain is going to take you from point A to point B and your body is going to take you from conception through birth, and if there's an imbalance somewhere in the physical system then that's going to translate into compensatory patterns elsewhere.

 

Additionally, we also are affecting the nervous system. You can't touch a person without affecting their nervous system, and that's so important at the time in your life when you are fully expressing life. You are living and you are growing another life and so it's incredibly important to facilitate that for a woman and nobody else can really do that as much as a chiropractor.

 

Additionally, any imbalance that is specifically within the pelvis is going to directly impact the baby's environment. If there's pain during pregnancy then mom automatically has a change in her physiological makeup and that is going to directly impact the woman. So we know that upon adjusting, we're going to increase proprioception, we're going to increase movement and we're going  to be able to better balance the body. Without chiropractic, you don't have those things.

 

So as a non-chiropractor, you can just say, there are these many benefits to it and therefore, it doesn't make any sense that you would just want to stand on these three pillars that we have without getting that last fourth pillar to really complete what it is that you're doing. That's why the Four Pillars exist because all four of them are necessary in order to have this empowered, beautiful motherhood transition even if it doesn't go exactly the way that you want it to because you need all four pillars and that's why they're there. Does that answer your question?

[0:25:11]

Liz: Can I add to that?

 

Female: Well you can have my mike.

 

Liz: I don't think anyone needs the Four Pillars but to have an empowered, educated birth then they want to have them. If you're not a chiropractor to explain it, I think the best way is to tap into your experience with chiropractic and why you see a chiropractor. Why do you go? What benefits do you get? Because, yeah, I can talk about the biomechanical changes and the nervous system changes but that can go over people's head really fast.

 

So talking about your experience maybe with [0:25:47] [Indiscernible], did you see a chiropractor? What did you experience? Why did you keep going? Or with your fitness, why do you do that? I'm sure you use that a lot, why you train, why you eat this way. It's the same thing with chiropractic care, why do you do it? When people can tap into your why, about why you see a chiropractor, they're going to be so much more inclined especially if they are a little bit hesitant about it because maybe they've heard a bad thing or they've read something on the Internet that is fake news or whatever. So tapping into that why is really important.

 

Lindsey: Thanks for sharing about your Four Pillars. I think you all did a really amazing job. This is a choice. BIRTHFIT is a choice. These Four Pillars are a choice. They show up, how you choose to make them show up or practice them in your life, and I think that's really important. So thank you for sharing your experiences and what goes on in your life and your struggles with each of the four pillars. Awesome, great job. All right.

 

All right, everyone, I hope you enjoyed that. I hope you felt like you were sitting there with us at the BIRTHFIT Summit. If there's one thing you could take away, I want you to understand that it is a constant practice. We are constantly evolving throughout these four pillars; fitness, nutrition, chiropractic and mindset. The pillars are not something you can check the box and say, "Oh, I'm good." The pillars are something that we work on, we practice literally every day.

 

For each of them, fitness, nutrition, chiropractic and mindset, the amount or the volume or the intensity at which we practice each of those will vary, day to day, week by week, month by month. If you hit a plateau or you're struggling in one, definitely reach out for some outside help, some support, some eyes that maybe can look at your life, your situation as a whole and maybe offer some nonjudgmental advice. But this is a constant practice and we will be doing this forever.

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5 Ways to Connect with Baby Before Birth... And After!

2 pink lines!? Gaaah! Excitement, nervousness, relief, panic – the emotions are endless and often a rollercoaster of reactions. From the time you find out you’re pregnant until the main event you’ve got a million things running through your head, tons of advice given to you, and lots to learn and plan for. But one thing not many providers will suggest is that from day one you can start to connect with your baby. Creating that special bond and being intentional with the time you set aside for your baby in utero will begin an incredible relationship and help bring you and baby back to a calm place even after birth!

  1. Meditate

Take time to be still. This can be a guided meditation or done in silence. But stop the noise of your everyday life by taking just 5-10 minutes to go inside your being. Talk to your baby as if you have known them your whole life. When you hear the chatter of your To Do List or busy thoughts start to creep into your mind, silence it, and visualize a calm place you’d love to sit and relax. Is it a beach on the ocean? Is it an open grassy field? Is it the sanctuary of a familiar place you’ve been before, or a made up location you dream of going? Picture being there with your baby and invite them into that space. Creating quiet amongst the chaos will calm your system down, as well as help baby find their way through not only birth but the crazy world we live in once they come earth side.

  1. Music

Put on your favorite calming music. Maybe it’s something that makes you feel in love like Jack Johnson or Ben Harper. Sing that love song to your sweet baby and let those hips move! You’ll be surprised as to how this same music may help you relax during your birthing time or even calm your fussy baby down during a witching hour. Familiar music sung by their mama can be incredibly powerful.

  1. Journal

Create a journal for your baby to have one day. Write memorable experiences from your pregnancy like how you felt when you found out you were pregnant, or who you told the good news to first. Write with the intention of sharing this with them one day. Share your hopes and dreams for this little person. Every so often when something strikes you as special, whether it is a fantastic place you’d like to take them to, a restaurant where you hope to have family dinners, or amazing art you want to share with them – write it all down. After baby is born you can continue the journal. You can note the first time you achieved those hopes and dreams with your child and create a lasting keepsake for them to cherish.

4.Belly Mapping/Visualize

Touch your belly! There’s no better way to get in touch with your baby than to literally touch your baby bump. Feeling the different positions your baby is in, the movement you sense, and creating space to allow optimal position for birth is a great way to get connected to your baby. Visualize the position your baby is in and picture how they must feel when you are in different situations: deep belly breathing, on hands and knees, exercising, relaxing. It’s more challenging to use your intuition and imagination to visualize your baby in today’s instant gratification world where we can get a quick ultrasound at every visit and literally see baby. But you may find it’s more rewarding in the end to finally meet the baby you’ve only seen in your mind by limiting ultrasounds.

Check out Spinning Babies- https://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/baby-positions/belly-mapping/ .

5.Tell your baby their birth story – yes, before it happens!

There can be so much fear of the unknown when it comes to birthing. Especially if it is your first birth, and you have no idea what to expect. I love watching peaceful natural birthing videos to get my mindset right and oxytocin flowing. There is so much power in storytelling. It’s been done for generations, so why not tell your baby their birth story? Tell them how much love you are filled with, and what excitement you have for their birth day to come. Obviously you cannot determine exactly what happens during birth, or control it, but telling a peaceful and positive birthing story to your unborn babe will alleviate some of the stress of the unknown to you, as well as give your baby something to look forward to. And once you are holding your sweet love in your arms you can tell them their birth story again, as well as create many other stories to share with them as they grow. It’s more challenging than you might think, so starting now is a great way to hone your storytelling skills! ;)

Elise DeCamp, DC

@BIRTHFITPugetSound

Move Without Judgment

 

I took a Bikram yoga class the other day. It wasn’t the first time I had taken this type of class (it was the second). Let’s just say I am still a rank beginner in all things yoga. The yoga instructor said something that really struck a chord with me. He said, “Work with the body you have right now. The body you have today is different than the body you had yesterday, and it is different than the body you will have tomorrow.”

 

While this seems simple, it was a lightbulb moment for me. I have been involved in team sports since I was 4 years old. My active life has been driven by athletics, competition, performance and in many cases, judgment. Judgment of my performance, my technique, my effort, the outcome. Typically my answer is to “work harder.” It’s hard for me to just “be” and not “do.”

 

Lately I have been craving a balance that I have been lacking. I have driven so hard for so long that I feel my body and mind saying, “rest, be, relax. Move without judgment.” (Hence why I signed up for the yoga class.) My movement has always been tied to an outcome; a score playing soccer and basketball, a time or load competing in CrossFit. While I have found immense satisfaction in these pursuits, I often struggle to move with pure joy because in the back of my mind it’s about performing and proving.

 

Movement is a gift and an opportunity.

 

This newfound idea is leading me to pursue movement each day that is sensitive to my daily needs, physically, emotionally, and mentally. I aim to respect where my body is today.

 

In pregnancy, your body is changing every single day. You can’t compare your today to your yesterday or to your tomorrow. You must work with the body you have today. That means listening to your body, honoring where you are, and not operating from a place of judgment (e.g., “I used to be able to do this no problem, what is wrong with me?”). Our society is concerned with output: what can you produce, do, or prove. Remember that you have absolutely nothing to prove. Remember that, especially in these precious months, your movement is tied to health, well-being, and preparing to welcome your little one Earth-side. In postpartum, we also find a changing body; one that is recovering and changing into something new. Your movement is tied to health, healing, and transformation.

 

Wherever you find yourself in the motherhood transition, you have a profound opportunity to throw off societal expectations of output as well as self-imposed judgment of your abilities. You can move forward while exploring what your body can do this day. Move without judgment of what you did yesterday or last year, and move with joy for what you can do today.

 

-Laura

BIRTHFIT Atlanta

@birthfitatlanta