BIRTHFIT Podcast Features Chief Life Podcast
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Matthias: Welcome to the Chief Life podcast. I'm Matthias Turner joined by co-host, Stacey Lee Harris.
Stacey: Hey, guys.
Matthias: And we've got Dr. Lindsey Mathews on from BIRTHFIT. Lindsey, thank you for joining us. It's awesome to have you.
Lindsey: Thank you all. It's good to see your faces again.
Matthias: Yeah, it definitely is. It's crazy what friendship you can build just within a few days, right. I felt like we got to know you guys pretty well within -- like literally, had a few dinners and we got to walk and hang out for a few days and that's about it. It's crazy.
Lindsey: Yeah, embrace the thinnest lifestyle.
Stacey: Yeah, so good.
Matthias: But so for those who don't know you, you are the founder of BIRTHFIT, which is your little baby. And then from there, you've also -- previously to that, you're a doctor in chiropractic and I believe you had a lot of games athletes for quite a while. You were kind of the helper of Lindsey Valenzuela, Sam Briggs. And was Val one of yours as well for a bit?
Lindsey: Val was for a short time, but you all may know another athlete, Ruth Anderson Horrell.
Matthias: Yeah, from New Zealand, of course.
Lindsey: Yeah. Yeah. I love her accent and I can't get enough of it.
Stacey: That's awesome. So you treat her when she comes over to compete?
Lindsey: Yeah. And I'm so sad. I haven't seen her in quite some time because she had an injury last year. So we'll see.
Matthias: Yeah and the year before. She's had a bad run, yeah.
Lindsey: I know. She's one of the most awesome, genuine human beings in this world. I love her.
Matthias: That's awesome.
Stacey: Yeah, she's really cool.
Matthias: So do you still practice in chiropractic?
Lindsey: I do practice chiropractic, but now all my practice is predominantly prenatal and postpartum. So I call that motherhood transition window. And those are my athletes. That's my specialty. I love treating those women and caring for them. So that usually happens Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Matthias: That's unreal. So what drew you to that to start with?
Lindsey: Oh, well, it's kind of a long story. So I basically traveled out to California following my heart, following my dreams and kind of like being a young college student not knowing what the hell to do with my life. And when I graduated from Texas A&M University, my initial thought was I was going to go to medical school.
And I had a trip of a lifetime. I went to Tanzania, Africa and I did a medical mission trip there. And we basically traveled. I wouldn't say traveled. We walked to remote villages and did a bunch of triage. And then on the weekends, we would have a clinic which would be like usually the size of deuce, like the inside part. We would have a clinic like that big.
And there would be like eight of us doctors in there. And the doctors were basically anybody that was going to med school or already in med school. And so at that time, I was accepted into med school so I qualified. And then we had an overseeing medical doctor.
And people would come. Like if we found them in the villages, we would give them a ticket to come into the clinic or they would wait outside for hours upon hours. And if we got through the list, then we would start seeing patients that were waiting.
And long story short, I was there for almost two months. And this mom brought her son to me and he was probably about six or seven years old. And he was paralyzed on one side of his body. And she mainly complained about his seizures. Like he had seizures just randomly.
And she didn't know what was going on. Maybe he was possessed. She just had no idea. And she had other kids so her hands were full. And it took everything she had basically to walk to clinic that day. So I think they probably walked 90 minutes to get there.
And long story short, he had I think it was bacterial meningitis when he was a baby. And they couldn't make it to the hospital in time to basically treat the meningitis in time. And somehow that and some other accidents contributed to what was going on with him.
But at the time, the overseeing doctors, which bless their hearts, all they have in their tool chests were pharmaceuticals, like drugs. And they wanted to prescribe him something that would just knock him out whenever he had the seizures. And after a few times of that, they would basically run out of the medication because we wouldn't be there.
And something just hit me. And I was like, "I don't know if that's like -- this doesn't strike me as the right thing to do." And I'm a big believer in following your gut, following your intuition and maybe some instances that led me down maybe the rebel path or staying out late.
But in this case I was like, "I can't do this." And so I brought my translator out. I brought the mom out and I brought out the son and I basically said, "Look, he's the same. His spirit is the same." He was a very sweet boy. "And when the seizures happen, you just have to keep him safe and just love him like the rest of your kids."
And from that moment on I was like, "I'm not going to medical school. I can't prescribe drugs." I don't know. And I think I realized in that moment that those were the tools that medical doctors had to offer. And the medical doctors I had in those moments in Africa, they were awesome. Like they were the sweetest, kindest people. But they didn't know how to use their hands. They didn't know how to touch people. And at that moment, the best thing I could do for that mom was hug her and we just cried and it was like a magical moment.
Stacey: I'm getting tingles listening to this story like I almost want to start crying just listening.
Lindsey: Yeah. It was just such a turning point in my life. And I went back and we didn't have cellphones. Like this is in 2005. So I don't think I traveled with a cellphone. I went back and found the nearest payphone and I had a calling card and I called my stepdad and I told him, "Look, I can't go medical school. That's not the path for me."
And basically he said, "Well, you need to figure out what you're doing because you're a grown up. And you can't come home like you don't have a dog. You don't have more schooling. Figure out your life." And so I thought about it the whole rest of the time I was there and on my plane flight back. And I basically made a deal.
I was like, "Look, if I come home after I graduate. I'll be home for three months. I'll wait tables and I'll figure out my life. I need some time." So that bought me some time and I basically shadowed some chiropractors, some acupuncturists. I looked into like basically every alternative healing and I went with chiropractic.
And I had an awesome chiropractor in high school that I was exposed to. And I shadowed him and he's still in practice today in New Braunfels, Texas. And so I applied to a school in California, schools in Texas and I basically chose California because it was the furthest one away. And I was like, "Let's go."
Stacey: That's so cool.
Lindsey: Yeah, so fast-forward through chiropractic school and on that route I thought I want to do the sports med route which led me to the CrossFit athletes. And I before that, I interned down at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego. And I had some really awesome mentors.
And right out of chiropractic school, I was on set and I was treating the world's biggest actors and actresses and preparing them for their stunts, jumping off buildings. And for them, their stunts, their CrossFit games or their regional performance. So like you go into it and you get them ready and then you recover. Because then they got to do it the next day and the next day until the shot is perfect.
And so at that time, I was working with three male chiropractors and then one female, which was me. And we would be about two or three weeks on set and then two or three weeks off. And so in my off time, I was back here in Los Angeles. And by default, I would just get females that had "female issues" and I say that in quotations because it was like anything related to pregnancy or postpartum or cramping or just female-is.
Like they didn't know what to do so they would just put the females on my schedule. And basically BIRTHFIT came about whenever this one actress came in and she has a long standing TV show. And I think she was in like her sixth or seventh season. But she was like, "Look, me and my husband want to get pregnant in the next year and I basically have this window." So it was like her off season to have this baby and then to come back.
And I was like, "Oh, okay." So that related to me like the on season, off season thing. But at the time I was like, "I don't know anything about having a baby or pregnancy or postpartum. I know about kids because my mom had two daycares growing up. And that was really good birth control." I was like, "I don't want to have kids right now, but I don't know anything about this motherhood transition."
So she had been with me for a while and she was like, "Look, I trust you. Let's research this together. Let's figure this out." And so from that point, I basically did all the -- anything that had the word pregnancy or postpartum or birth. Like did every training I could. And I came back to her and I was like, "Look, I think the best way to go about this and, again, you're my first case study."
Stacey: Guinea pig.
Lindsey: Yeah. I was like, "I think we need to get you as healthy as possible, your most optimal version of health, get you pregnant and then do everything we can to support a natural, vaginal birth, un-medicated birth. And then give yourself time and space to heal. And then we'll just rehab the body and by that time --" I think they would give her two months off after having the baby.
Then she would be on set again. And so then we'll just start rehabbing and moving again and go from there. And she was like, "Okay." So she ended having un-medicated vaginal birth with a midwife. And it was a beautiful birth experience.
And then her second birth was at home with a midwife and I still see her today. But that whole experience was like, "Oh, women, like we need to get birth fit like ready for birth." And just through that, like I wasn't even exposed to proper CrossFit or like what I was doing at the time was just general go to the gym, basis strength training stuff that I had learned just through chiropractic school, my athletic background.
And nothing like what I know now. And it was a really cool experience and I'm super grateful that she trusted me because out of that blossomed this whole thing. And that's where the blog started and people were like, "Hey, what are you doing? I want in on this."
Matthias: That's really cool.
Stacey: It's amazing.
Matthias: So who's BIRTHFIT for then? I feel like it's not only for ladies. It's for everyone in a sense.
Lindsey: Yeah, for sure. It's funny you ask that because I get a ton of questions and emails from guys as well. And these are either partners or boyfriends or husbands. And they're like, "I need you to talk to my wife." I'm like, "Well, I think she's got to make that decision."
Matthias: Exactly. Make it her choice first.
Lindsey: Yeah, our target is definitely women that are either in the preconception phase, pregnant around the birth time and then first year postpartum. So that whole motherhood transition window, like that would be out target audience. But definitely males can be birth fit as well.
Stacey: It takes two to make a baby, right?
Lindsey: Sure, for sure. There's two sets of genes that go into making this baby. So if mom's over here are getting birth fit, why can't dad? Like he can be the most optimal version of himself for sure. And then both go into that with that conscious conception in mind for sure.
Stacey: And magic babies appear.
Lindsey: Magic babies.
Matthias: So something you guys do is actually run like a coach's seminar as well. And I see that you did have males and females there in regards to coaches. Can that be for anyone within the fitness realm or who's that for and what is it?
Lindsey: For sure, for sure. The BIRTHFIT coach seminar is geared for anybody that works with women as far as strength training, lifting, CrossFit, triathlons, anything like that. Like the BIRTHFIT Coach Venice Seminar, there was six guys there. And they were just awesome to have. They had so much wisdom and so much intuition to share.
Like we kind of huddle up every day to start the day just to check in and see where everybody's at. And one of the guys on the first day in the huddle, he was like, "I don't know why I'm here. My buddy just told me to be here and I feel like it's the right thing to do. My wife is pregnant."
He's a coach up in San Francisco. He's like, "So I'm here." And he spent the whole weekend with us. And then on the last day -- I love sharing this because on the last day, we'd go around the circle and kind of check in. And he shared, "You know, all of this I knew, but it wasn't -- like society pushed it down, like put it underneath and just buried it inside of me. I know the strength training and my gut is telling me this is right or this is acceptable and this.
But all of the fear and just scare tactics we put on pregnancy and postpartum." He was like, "I was just so brainwashed." And his experience was really beautiful and I'm so glad he shared that. But yeah, the coach experience or the seminars are open to anybody that works with women basically.
Matthias: That's unreal, which is pretty much a lot of the population you coach really.
Lindsey: Yeah, for sure.
Matthias: And so with BIRTHFIT, you guys talk about the four pillars of BIRTHFIT: fitness, nutrition, chiropractic and mindset. Can you kind of dig into each one of those for us, Lindsey?
Lindsey: Yeah, for sure. So fitness, nutrition, chiropractic and mindset. And I didn't pick chiropractic just because I'm a chiropractor. These were all based on my birth experiences as a doula and witnessing and watching these experience unravel whether it'd be a vaginal birth or caesarean birth.
Matthias: Can I pause you for a sec? Yeah, I was going to say can you explain what a doula is?
Stacey: Doula is such a new word for Aussies. So I think some people who have looked into alternative medicine know what a doula is or those that maybe have gone through pregnancy. But for some people, they might not know what a doula is. So can you explain that?
Lindsey: For sure. I think it's a relatively new term here as well. A doula's basically a woman or male, like I know male doulas now, that will support you like if you're a couple and you're going through this birth experience, to support your wishes and your choices. And basically my choices and my opinion doesn't there. I'm there to support you emotionally, physically. And just have your choices be upfront of the experience.
Yeah, so I like to say we slow things down. We help dad, give dad tips for like, "Hey, it would be awesome if you could go rub mom's back right now or squeeze her hips or maybe help her to the shower or dance with her. Just tell her something, like tell her she looks beautiful." So all that happens throughout labor and delivery.
Stacey: It's like marriage counseling during pregnancy.
Lindsey: Yeah which is like super intense and like a 24 hour period. Because you're going to go through -- like in labor and delivery experience, mom's going to go through all these emotions like happy, laughing, super pissed, angry, doubting herself, lots of fear. And dad's like, "I don't know what to do. Like how do I support this?"
And dad, to his defense, he just wants to fix the situation. And he doesn't want to see his wife, girlfriend, partner, whoever in pain or discomfort. But this transition it's like the backbone of humanity. And it's such a magical rite of passage that the woman has to go through and dad just has to protect the cave and make sure she's safe and let her do her thing. Yeah, so the doula basically protects the cave that's surrounding dad and mom and everybody there.
Stacey: That's so cool.
Matthias: It's cool, yeah.
Lindsey: Yeah. Okay so the four pillars: fitness, nutrition, chiropractic and mindset. Fitness in our opinion basically means to train in a way to prepare your physical body, your mental state for birth. And we do this -- I don't know if you've seen like the ten physical traits that Dynamex or CrossFit puts out. But if you've ever been to a level one, they go over it.
But strength, flexibility, which we call range of motion because flexibility is so related to like the yoga world. And basically, you should be as strong as you are flexible. So if your shoulder range of motion can go through the whole thing, then you've got to be able to have a strength base through that whole shoulder range of motion.
Endurance and stamina because we don't know how long labor will be. And at the very end of labor and delivery, you have this pushing stage which will require little bit of max effort from mom. And of course dad's there like supporting and probably been up all night, so he needs to be in shape too.
But yeah, strength, range of motion, endurance and stamina and then balance. So those are the top five out of the ten that we focus on. And we use balance because mom's center of gravity's changing. Her proprioception is getting a little bit altered. So we do a lot of single leg training, lunge training, even just shoulder balance, stuff like that because that's going to help stabilize her joints and let her know where she's at in space.
So that if she's I guess walking across the street or unloading grocery bags, that if she gets a little off, that she's able to catch herself and not fall or be a little bit clumsy. She's able to support her weight in space. So those are the five physical characteristics that we focus on.
And we want to be ready for a three hour labor as much as we want to be ready for a three day labor. We just don't know what a birth is going to throw at us. So that's where fitness come into play. And as much as we are preparing physically, the training that we do helps us prepare mentally.
So for example, if you take like some interval training or EMOM type stuff. Mom can focus on one movement at a time and just have that such focused time and movement, then she can translate that into maybe a contraction or labor and delivery like, "Hey, mom, focus on this contraction right here, right now. And then let it all go, let it all pass and then move onto the next contraction."
Matthias: Yeah, it's really cool. We often say it's interesting, you can see how someone almost reacts in the outside world compared to how they act within the gym. So it's like if they can push through that EMOM, then they're probably going to be able to push through the birth quite easily.
Stacey: Not easily.
Matthias: Not easily, no. But it's like compared to that person who's always, always quitting inside. They're probably more likely to quit in day-to-day life when it seems to get tough.
Lindsey: Yeah. And that's a really great point because whenever I'm working with clients before, I ask them, "What's the hardest thing you've achieved or overcome in your life? Maybe what's some type of adversity you've dealt with?" And even if they don't do any kind of strength training or they haven't yet or anything like that.
If they've dealt with some kind of adversity in their life, I have a lot more confidence in them going into labor because they've been uncomfortable. They know how to kind of just, "Okay, let me focus on my breath. Let me focus on me. Let me tune into me." And get to the next step.
Whereas if they just lived a peachy king life and you know. And I've had these clients where they haven't dealt with any kind of adversity. The moment that labor starts they're like, "Holy shit. This is the worst thing ever." And like pump your brakes. Let's just focus on breathing. Let's go there.
But yeah, the gym is a really great tool to get people uncomfortable and see how they do in that type of situation. If I get a client or if Embo gets a client as a doula and they haven't trained before, we usually like almost mandatory make them train twice a week. And a basic strength training twice a week is really going to support that changing frame.
And strength training plus chiropractic, I mean those women some of the fewest aches and pains that out of any of the pregnant population that I've seen. It's just more and more that's mandatory for us.
Stacey: Are there specific movements that you encourage them to avoid completely? Like as in they're going to be more flexible because of the relaxin hormone and are there certain ranges of motions you encourage them to avoid?
Lindsey: Yeah. So it's funny you mentioned that. We go over like trimester or week-by-week in the BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar. So in the beginning, relaxin's at a big surge. And hormones are going crazy. Your body is adjusting. So even if the woman feels like -- more times than not, she feels like shit and she's like, "Morning sickness, this is all day sickness. Like are you kidding me?"
So at that time like if maybe she doesn't want anybody to know that she's pregnant. We immediately take out things like sit-ups, crunches, toes to bar, any kind of flexion type of movements just to -- for pregnancy or postpartum, there's no point in doing any of those. But once you become pregnant, you're fully pregnant.
So we're already thinking like we're training for labor and delivery. We're training for birth. We're training for the postpartum period. And maybe she doesn't want people to know so we may disguise it as like a shoulder injury or just something. And we'll also throw in rest in those workouts because she probably feels terrible and it's everything she got just to get to the gym or show up and move.
So we may do something like five or six rounds of Cindy, resting 60 seconds between. Or we may do it strict and just go at her pace, something like that. That's always in the first trimester. We love box squats. So using that to really emphasize the posterior chain.
So posterior chain, the glutes, the hamstring and lower back. That's going to support the pelvis. And once the first semester kind of chills out and we start to transition into the second trimester, relaxin kind of stabilizes. So this is where moms start to feel great and she starts to become super human.
And pregnant women, they are super heroes and we were actually talking about this at our seminar in Dallas and one of the guys brought it up. He's like, "Look, I think our society has it backwards. Like they treat pregnant women as these fragile things when they are like seriously super heroes.
Once their blood volume and their physiology adapts, they're almost like an Olympic athlete doping, but they're not doping. They're becoming so efficient at training and it's an awesome thing. So by the end of pregnancy, their bodies run like a machine like a Ferrari or a Tesla now. And they're so efficient at moving and oxygen intake and blood volume.
And by the end of pregnancy, it is so hard for them to get their heart rate up and or break a sweat. So it's like they may come in and do Cindy and be like, "All right. What's the next workout?" And you're like, "Whoa. Pump your brakes. Not the time."
So that time we have to really put reigns on people as well. But through that second trimester into the early third trimester, we train. We train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. And we do either like lower extremity focus, upper extremity focus. Then we get back in the lower then we get into upper.
But we'll do squats. We'll deadlifts. And we kind of transition into a more powerlifting type of programming as the belly grows. Because once the belly grows and the bar path is altered, we take out any type of Olympic movements like cleans, power cleans, power snatches, things like that. Because our bodies are smart and they're not going to let us hit the belly.
So if you watch women like if they post on Instagram or wherever you may see that they go around the belly. They may not open their hips. They may do early pull. And those habits are going to be stored in your primitive brain. And those habits are going to be super hard to break on the postpartum side of things.
And obviously, that's not from my experience. That's from the whole BIRTHFIT tribe experience. Like we have women on the team that had three and four kiddos and they're like, "Oh, my god. I was lifting and way sooner like back up to my one rep maxes within 12 months as opposed to two years." Just by taking out the barbells sooner and focusing on lifting and accessory work rather than, "Oh, let me just keep Olympic lifting."
Stacey: That makes sense.
Matthias: Yeah, I've never really thought of it like that. It's obvious now that you say it, but at the same time it's like, "Ah, of course. Yeah."
Lindsey: Right. And it's funny because everybody at the Dallas seminar, they're like, "Oh, yeah, that makes sense." And pregnancy and postpartum in the big window, it's not that much time. And our BIRTHFIT Colorado, Melissa, she just wrote a beautiful blog about take the postpartum period as a gift. Like when else do you slow down and actually focus on movement?
Like all the time, especially moms or women and you're career driven -- if you're type A, you're career driven. You're like, "I got to get this workout in. I got this much time." Then you're probably drawn to things like CrossFit because you get in, you get out and you get a really solid workout.
But this period of, let's say, 20 weeks on through pregnancy and then the whole first six to nine months postpartum, it's not that long. It's maybe 18 months total. And it would be a brilliant time to focus on movement and just bettering yourself.
Stacey: Yeah, definitely. That's amazing.
Matthias: I would say, for me personally, bringing power lifting into my day-to-day structures actually made me injury free. Like for the first time where I've been niggle free and it's like, well, there's a big thing to say about that if like obviously you can get pregnant women to be injury free or niggle free to some extent. And then athlete to be doing the exact same thing. It's like, "Huh, there's maybe something to gain in accessory work. Who would have thought?"
Lindsey: Yeah. When I took the -- I don't know if you have taken the conjugate seminar or the power lifting seminar.
Matthias: Yeah, loved it.
Lindsey: Yeah, it's brilliant. And it's been a few years now since I've taken it, but I was like, "Wait a sec. You're the strongest woman and you went nine years without an injury like Laura Phelps?" I was like, "You're onto something."
Stacey: She's my idol.
Lindsey: Yes. And so I was exposed to that programming and then I basically adapted it to our needs. I was like, "This is brilliant. Nobody needs a musculoskeletal injury during pregnancy or especially postpartum. Like there's just no place for that. So yeah, the power lifting stuff is brilliant.
Stacey: Yeah, for sure. Actually, Mattie's following a program from Shane Sweatt.
Matthias: Yeah, I love it.
Lindsey: Uh-huh, smart guy.
Matthias: Yeah. So in regards to chiropractic, on the website you've got this as a description for it. So to be structurally balanced, free of subluxation so that the nervous system can function ideally and communicate with all systems of the body, which I think is a really cool way to explain it. I've never really heard of chiropractic like that.
And then obviously you hear of things like sciatic pain, pretty common within pregnancies. Is that something that as a chiropractor you can help people through?
Lindsey: For sure. I'm sorry. I totally got sidetracked and didn't talk about any the four pillars.
Matthias: No, it's cool. It's good to come back around to it. You got two of them.
Lindsey: Yeah, we got two of them so we're good. Yeah, a lot of time, it's funny you say that. When I see new patients, the most common reason they'll come in is for sciatic or low back pain. And then the second reason is that their baby is breach.
And more times than not, this is related to the position of their pelvis. So if a woman has sciatic type of pain, she's probably shifted or restricted one way in her sacrum. The hip on one side is externally rotated. That piriformis or those glute muscles on that side are trying everything they can to kind of help support the pelvis. But they're just getting tighter and tighter and they're pressing on that sciatic type nerve.
So that's the most common presentation and it's usually women will call it sciatic type of pain when the piriformis pressing on the sciatic nerve is just called piriformis syndrome. But it feels almost the exact same. So it's usually very muscular related and or you have a few adjustments that you can do and they'll feel great in like one to three visits.
Breach presentation as well. So if the baby is not head down. Like for labor and delivery, the most optimal position is to have the baby head down with their spine out. So basically away from mom's spine. And if they're not, if they're botty's down or if they're sideways, they'll call it breach or transverse if they're sideways.
So that's another reason why moms will come in to see me. And usually like honestly it's related to the position of mom's pelvis and the rest of her body. So for either of those cases, whenever a mom comes in to see me I usually ask, "What do you do? Like what do you do day-to-day? What is your life look like up until now? Did you train one-sided or one-dimensional even as far back as high school?"
Like if I have somebody that played tennis all through high school or played softball or golf or something that's super one sided. Then their musculature is going to be overdeveloped on one side and underdeveloped in the other. And if I have a mom that sits a lot for work, then her tailbone is going to be a bit tucked under and that's going to decrease the space in the pelvis.
So baby's head is the biggest thing and babies going to want to go where there's the most real estate. So mom's seated a lot and or if she's had an old hip injury, then there's not a lot of space in the pelvis so baby is probably going to go up under the ribs or go sideways.
Yeah. And so we just kind of look at the whole picture and I find out what she does day-to-day, what she has had injury-wise or fractures in the past, any kind of surgeries, any kind of scar tissue that may contribute to that. And then we just start to get the body moving as a unit, as a whole together. I also find if the left hip's messed up or restricted or just not great, then you have stuff going on in the right shoulder, maybe right lat area, back of shoulder, scapula. So that whole sling could be off.
Stacey: So are you able to get a baby that's breached or laterally positioned. Are you able to get them facing the right way round through chiropractic?
Lindsey: Well, I can't technically say that. There'll be lots of people on my ass. But I am trained in a technique called Webster Technique. And basically it's a chiropractic analysis of the sacrum and what's going on. And that technique's had a lot of success in basically opening up the mom's pelvis and allowing a lot of room so that baby can move and go head down.
I use that technique in conjunction with a lot of muscle and energy work and then a lot of movements. So let's say at the end of our chiropractic session, I'll go into this movement area with my moms and we'll do some inversions. We'll do some bear positions and we'll just basically get baby out of the pelvis so that when mom comes back upright, she can use gravity to help bring baby down into that pelvis.
Stacey: That is amazing.
Matthias: That's really cool.
Lindsey: Yeah. So everything's related like the shoulder, the hip, everything. And if we think about it, the definition of our chiropractic term that you read, our brain and our spinal cord is within our vertebral column. So if something is restrictive one way or the other, let's just say like the light switch or the dimmer's going to be on and it's not going to be functioning optimally, let's say, from the nerves exciting that side or whatever side is restricted. Yeah. So as a woman, your body is your vehicle for birth, whatever type of birth that is. So chiropractic just makes complete sense for me in that sort of way.
Stacey: Absolutely. And so then what stands do you take with the nutrition side of things as one of the four pillars?
Lindsey: Yeah. I definitely believe in eating real food. And we support quality meats, fishes, veggies, fats, fruits, vegetables. Like all of these four pillars, I've had specific experiences in which moms maybe tested my allegiance towards them. And I will say with the nutrition one, I had a very, very wonderful patient of mine who I've had for years and I still have her for years. And she's my only patient that is still vegetarian.
And she, by far, had the worst case of postpartum depression. Yeah, for the whole initial six months. And she worked with doctors and everybody. And they ended up putting her on medication, but through some of the research -- I don't want to say this is -- vegetarian leads to postpartum depression, but through talking to some of the midwives and docs in our area, they were like, "Yeah. We definitely have our eyes open for moms that are vegetarian because they're not getting enough omegas. They're not getting enough fat-soluble vitamins."
And your body is recovering. So if you think about it, when you -- like I tore my ACL and that's you tear a ligament. And when you have a kind of connective tissue injury, which birth is, labor and delivery is. You're going to need extra, extra protein, extra nutrients. And so that just made sense to me and this mom wasn't getting it.
And she could do all she could through supplementation, but it wasn't enough. We're designed to eat quality meats, fishes and things like that. And I totally respect where she's coming from because for her it's just an ethical thing. So I was like, "You've got sip bone broth. You've got to do something." So she started a little bit, but yeah.
Matthias: I actually listened to a psychiatrist the other day who specializes in brain. He was talking about protein affecting the size of the brain. So it was like the more protein that you actually have can affect the size of your brain is. And I wonder if that would have anything then linking to depression afterwards.
Stacey: And then even the baby's brain growth.
Matthias: Yeah, I wonder. Yeah, it'd be interesting.
Lindsey: It makes sense. I think there's so much that's going to come out with nutrition and pregnancy and postpartum. I've been reading into ketosis and prenatal. And I don't want to say, "Go ketogenic in your pregnancy." But it makes sense to add more fats. Just load up on the fats especially when you're breastfeeding. Make sure you get all the fats. But I think there's going to be lots of stuff come out in the future. I'm waiting.
Stacey: It's an exciting time I think with new research coming out.
Matthias: It is. A lot of moms come to us and a lot of time they're just undereating because they're like, "I don't know what to eat let alone for myself, but now you're feeding another person." It's like, "No, you need to really jack your whole intake up." Yeah.
Lindsey: That's a really good point. I'll share this story because this is probably super relevant for your population. I just had this mom give birth and she's a triathlete and she does strength training twice a week. And she had a beautiful home birth, awesome experience. But towards the end of her pregnancy, her midwife got concerned that baby wasn't growing or that she wasn't big enough.
And there's all this scare out there about if you're working out you're going to decrease the baby's weight or if you're working out too much, I've heard that kind of wives' tale. And it's like, "Well, let's think about this. How much are you eating? What are you eating?"
And long story short, she could have added a few more snacks to her day. But then we went back and compared her to her first pregnancy where she didn't work out as much and the midwives will usually do measurements around the belly and then do an ultrasound if they need to. But she was the exact same as her first pregnancy.
And I think just working out alarms people now. And so because she's naturally think, like she already does not look pregnant. She's tall, thin, lean. So of course they're going to freak out in that situation. But when they came onto her about that, she totally upped the food intake and added more snacks throughout the day.
And I think that's a really, really big thing to tell women. It's like, "Hey, it's okay to eat, like chow down. You are making a human and you're making an organ. You've got to eat."
Stacey: Yeah. And the good quality stuff like you mentioned because I think some people go, "Oh, well, I'm eating for two now." And then some people they'll use as an excuse like, "Oh, I get to eat this cake and I get to eat this popcorn."
Matthias: Which actually leads into gestational diabetes which I wanted to talk about with you, Lindsey. In Australia, it's increased 20%.
Matthias: Yeah, like by 20%. That was an older study. So I don't know. Like do you see a lot of people with this or…?
Lindsey: Yeah, I would say it's fairly common. But we do live in a bubble like here in Los Angeles where people are a little bit more health conscious. But I will get if they haven't been training with us or they are new to the BIRTHFIT world or my practice. And they come like halfway through their pregnancy, I'm thinking of one woman in particular.
She came at like 25 weeks. This was a few months ago. And she had gestation diabetes and just a whole slew of other things. But I think the mom's health and the condition that you're in, like you can influence that a lot through your nutrition. And I think that's something to really hone in on prior to conceiving.
And that's really hard because that takes a lot of personal responsibility. But if somebody is labeled with gestational diabetes, I usually tell them, "Hey, it's one test. Let's a) get a second test and then let's really take a look at what the heck you're eating."
Stacey: It's really cool what you said sort of prepping for even conceiving or pregnancy. We had one lady who -- she has polycystic ovarian syndrome and she'd been trying for a baby, was it nine years?
Matthias: Nine years, yeah.
Stacey: And she did six weeks on one of our meal plans and she conceived. And yes, she's now, I think she's five or six months now. So it's really, really exciting.
Lindsey: That's awesome.
Stacey: So testament to it.
Lindsey: The first mom that I ever had, the one that got me on the BIRTHFIT thing, when she cleaned up her eating, her goal was to get pregnant in a year. She got pregnant in six months. I was like, "Sorry."
Stacey: Too effective.
Lindsey: Yeah. When you eat clean and you eat intentionally, if you think about it, what you put in your body is either going to help it or hurt it. There's no in between. If you pay attention to that and you just have a little bit of awareness and get a little bit intentional with it, then I think you're going to shift the way, like shift your relationship with food.
And going into pregnancy and even birth, if you are eating crap and you're creating inflammation within your body, this inflammation's going to be in your tissues. And that's going to be in your vaginal tissue. And things like your cervix and vaginal wall and all wonderful lady parts are going to swell sooner and more rapid in the labor and delivery and that's going to cause for alarm especially if you've been labeled with gestational diabetes.
You're already going to be high risk. And then if the cervix is swollen and can't open, then that creates a whole another issue. Like that's tough. So there's a lot you can do just to support yourself through what you put in and on your body.
Stacey: Yeah, that's awesome. That's awesome. Okay, so I want to actually go back to mindset as one of the four pillars. Because I know that that's something that you guys are big on. We talked about mindset coming from fitness and how your training can kind of influence your ability to be mentally ready for pregnancy or labor. But do you have a specific, I guess, framework for mindset stuff?
I know you're a very spiritual-minded person and you talk about intuition. And I resonate deeply with that, but is there sort of an area that you specifically guide people to, mediation or anything like that?
Lindsey: Yeah. We usually start with just breathing. And we have these things called two minute drills that we teach in our BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series. I was about to say postpartum, but I was like, "No, prenatal." And we teach these in the Prenatal Series.
And through BIRTHFIT, we give a lot of sport metaphors or training metaphors because it's so relatable to people especially nowadays. But when I was growing up, I was playing soccer. And my coach would always have us do these two minute drills and it was basically juggle the ball for two minutes.
So this was the easiest way for me to think of it and then it caught on as I would tell more couples. And they were like, "Oh, we did two minute drills last night." I'm like, "Oh, great."
But basically, you pick a song because songs are somewhere around the two minute range and you just breathe for a whole song. And then when you start to get your partner involved, maybe you dance for two minutes together and partner's supporting you. You're swaying, but no talking. Nobody can talk during the two-minute drills.
Or maybe you're breathing together, maybe laying on the ground or maybe partner's holding you up or whatever. But it's basically no talking, breathing for the two minute drill for the length of a song. And sometimes it turns into a whole playlist for people and it just catches on. That's like the easiest thing we give people in the beginning.
If people want to further their mindset education, we tell them to read these two books and these books are almost mandatory for anybody on the BIRTHFIT tribe. And the first book is called Mindset by Carol Dweck. And it talks about growth mindset versus fixed mindset.
And the easiest example I can give you like relating to birth is that we'll have women come to us and they're like, "Why should I get a doula? Every woman in my family had a C-section. I'm going to have a C-section." It's like, well, C-sections, they're not in your DNA.
There's a lot of steps we can take to go another path. But if you already have your mind made up that way, then you're going to go on that path for sure. So that book. And then the other book is The Obstacle is the Way, which is a beautiful book and it's super simple to read. And you know how it's laid out where the chapters are two to three pages.
Like I'll try to get moms, partners, everybody just to read a chapter a day. But basically, we don't know what labor and deliver is going to throw our way. So if we hit those obstacles, right, if we hit those and we run from them or we're like, "Oh, no, I've been labeled diabetes. I might as well schedule my C-section."
Like let's take this as a learning opportunity. Let's go into this with a growth mindset and figure out what the universe is trying to tell us or what I'm trying to learn. And then we'll dive deeper into our self through that experience.
But those two books are super, super crucial for anybody on BIRTHFIT tribe. And then we kind of sprinkle those things into our BIRTHFIT Prenatal Series. And when we go through like our birth plan worksheet, we have a nine-page worksheet that we go through. And we go through it with that like obstacle way mindset.
And we start to get them thinking like that. Okay, so if your water broke and you're presented with this, let's think how we would go about this in that situation, like different scenarios.
Stacey: That's awesome.
Matthias: I think that's really cool.
Stacey: And so for those listening, The Obstacle is the Way is written by Ryan Holiday. It's an awesome book, very cool.
Matthias: Is there anything that -- like women commonly come to you and they're missing it. They're not just doing it when they're pregnant. Is it like a common thing that's like it sticks out to you?
Lindsey: Well, I would say like the biggest thing is movement. And also I think it relates to who they're surrounded by, who their caregiver is. Because there's a lot of caregivers that are still like, "Don't lift anything over 25 pounds. Don't raise your heart rate above a certain thing." When everybody's heart rate varies.
Their DNA can cause different fluctuations in your heart rate, the training that you do, the training that you don't do, your age, everything. Yeah, so I think if everybody would just move during their pregnancy, I think that would just solve a few more problems.
Stacey: We've had a number of friends actually -- like CrossFit friends go through pregnancy and train the whole way through and they're absolutely fine. And I don't know if you've heard of her, but there's one particular girl over here. Revie Schulz who has suffered a lot of abuse from the media and she's been on the news to kind of explain, "Look, I've been fine going through pregnancy and still moving. It's so important."
Lindsey: We've communicated a little bit via Instagram. Yeah, I saw some people going off on -- maybe this was last year or something and I was like, "Whoa! Whoa! Pump your brakes."
Stacey: Yeah, super crazy. And I mean the thing for everyone to remember is that everyone is unique. Everyone is a unique snowflake. So some people will be able to move more than others. And as you know like where they've come from in their training, how long they've been training for.
All that kind of stuff is going to come into play. So I don't know what your perspective on this is, but if somebody hasn't moved at all obviously we're not going to get them going and then doing like Fran and RX during pregnancy. But they would start with something a little less intense.
Lindsey: For sure. We like to say we'll you where you're at. So there's this one example we always use. And this woman, I think she contacted us and she was like 33 or 34 weeks pregnant. And she was like, "Hey, can I be BIRTHFIT?" And we were like, "Wait. When are you due?" You're due in less than two months.
And she's like, "Yeah, I totally waited until the last minute." And she lives right down the street and we were like, "Oh, my god." But she started and she did twice a week for four weeks and then went into labor. And she had a three-day labor, but she was like, "That training helped me get through." And we're like, "Oh, my god. This is wild."
Stacey: Imagine if she'd started earlier.
Lindsey: For real. But we started with her like with first day was box squats with a 15 pound bar. Second day was standing pushups on a wall. And we did breathing. We did the functional progression and then we did on long walks, yeah. So if somebody -- and I hate to this say this, but there's no research really that supports bedrest.
So usually if a mom is prescribed bedrest from her doctor, then we'll go over, we'll hang out. We'll do some breath work. We'll do some functional progressions, which those videos are all up on our YouTube. And then we may go for some walks. And that's her movement. That's her training day. Her training is not going to be deadlift or box squats, not appropriate.
Stacey: Yeah, for sure.
Matthias: I'd like to add on your website you've got a heap of eBooks as well. So based on first, second and third trimester, so the different steps you should take through that.
Stacey: And the web address is BIRTHFIT.com.
Matthias: BIRTHFIT.com, yeah.
Lindsey: Yeah. So those books are awesome because they're taken from a personal account from Lindsay Mumma, who is our BIRTHFIT North Carolina Regional Director. And she's a chiro, she trained all through her pregnancy and she's beautiful at writing. She's like Logan who can just write so well.
Stacey: For those who don't know, Logan is Lindsey's fiancé. Congratulations.
Lindsey: I know. That sounds funny, huh?
Stacey: And yeah, he runs CrossFit DEUCE or is it DEUCE CrossFit? Which way around is it?
Matthias: And we had him on for Episode 30 maybe, 31? Thereabouts.
Stacey: Yeah, so amazing podcast. Head back and listen to that when you haven't heard it already.
Lindsey: Yeah. He's great to listen to.
Stacey: So are you.
Matthias: Yeah, definitely, super awesome couple. So this is a controversial subject in Australia at the moment surrounding vaccinations.
Lindsey: Oh, I knew you were going to say that.
Matthias: Like, "Here it comes. Here it comes."
Stacey: You mentioned the word "controversy." We've already talked about nutrition. So it had to be vaccinations.
Lindsey: And I was like, "Oh, we're going to go there."
Matthias: Is there like --
Stacey: We don't have to go there if you don't.
Matthias: Not exactly bombing. Is there a place that people can go to look for more information in that? Which way to sway? Like yeah.
Lindsey: I've actually heard about the craziness going on in Australia. It's crazy like California. In the last year, California passed a law. I think it's SB277, where it's basically mandatory for kiddos to receive all, I think it's 68 vaccinations before entering grade school like a public school or private school. So yeah.
Stacey: Oh, my god. They're pin cushions.
Lindsey: They're pin cushions. And for people that rely on the white coat to protect them and to offer them genuine advise, they're going to have to wake up and do some research for themselves. And I'll support whatever decision mom wants to make, but I've been exposed to some vaccine injured kiddos through my practice. And it's one of the more heartbreaking things I've seen in life.
And I always tell moms this, "You can always choose to vaccinate later. But you can never unvaccinated. And the first two years of life are like -- these kiddos are like sponges. And for them --" and this is my opinion. But it takes about two to four years for your gut to fully form. And your gut is a big part of our immune system as you know and probably even more.
Like they'll discover that five years from now. It's 100% of our immune system. But yeah, it's a big part of our immune system and it's designed to have things like breast milk in there first and then fats and then proteins and then maybe complex carbs and things like that. So introducing things like toxins to a very immature immune system of an immature gut system is going to be tough. It's going to be tough for that kiddo.
And I think there's -- don't quote me on this, but I heard this guy speak about two years ago, Dr. Dan Murphy. And he was saying that the blood-brain barrier which heavily influences our brain and our skull doesn't fully mature until maybe seven or eight years old. So if you're doing things or injecting vaccines which have things like aluminum and other toxins and preservatives, that stuff is going to move freely in between the blood-brain barrier, in the gut, out of the gut.
It's pretty gnarly to think about. I'm trying to think of this awesome YouTube videos I just watched. Dang-it. Anyway, there's a great book called Vaccination Is Not Immunization and it's by Tim O'Shea who updates it. It's like every -- probably on its 12th, 13th edition, but tons of facts.
There's Dr. Sherri Tenpenny has some good YouTube videos. Marcella Piper-Terry used to be a research scientist. And then she had some experience with vaccine injury herself and her kiddos. And then devoted a ton of research just into this.
Yeah, there's all kinds of stuff up that you just got to kind of search like the grassroots areas. But that I usually will give some people some links. And we're trying to put together a pamphlet. I say a pamphlet. I haven't used that word in ages. But like a [1:05:50] [Indiscernible].
Like just questions to ask. Like ask your pediatrician or find out what's in the vaccination that you're giving. And ask for -- and if you do choose the vaccination, like space amount, ask for single doses. Maybe wait until after two years of age. And there was one other thing I was going to say and I totally forgot.
Stacey: It'll come back to you.
Lindsey: Yeah, it'll come back. There's lots of resources out there. I think MDIC is a good resource. There's tons of Facebook groups that are super supportive. Brandy Vaughan, she's on Facebook and has lots of YouTube videos. She used to be a CDC -- no, Merck rep. And she kind of let the cat out of the bag.
Yeah. But I've had the opportunity of attending Cal Jam the past few years, which is a big chiropractic health symposium. And people like Dr. Mercola and Del Bigtree, Andrew Wakefield. They've all spoken there. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
And you can find some of those talks on YouTube and it's just the knowledge that they're dropping and the research that they're giving and the timelines and everything is wild. Like I think I was first exposed to -- I was introduced like, "Hey, research vaccines," back in 2006. So I've been exposed to this for over a decade.
And it's fascinating to me that it's still a thing. And it's so money-driven and it's just profits. And I wish people had -- like up top, I wish they had our best interest at heart, but unfortunately they don't. And this is where you have to take a little bit of personal responsibility.
And I think the big message that BIRTHFIT gives even from prior to conception is, "Hey, you've got to take an active role in your health. You're now making decisions not only for yourself, but also for another human being." So be conscious. Be aware of those things.
And then if you had done your research and you make choices, whether they're related to vaccines or food or fitness or whatever, then at least you've done research and you've gone into this and weighed risk and benefits and you've made a conscious choice. Rather than, "Oh, we're just showing up for our two month immune -- yeah." What?
It's so frustrating because I mean I'll have parents like -- and this is a sad story, but I'll tell it to you super brief. I had this mom come in and she brought twins. One healthy, the other one not so healthy. And did a bunch of test and he was definitely developmentally delayed. I didn't want to tell her then like, "Hey, I really think his gut is being impaired. And you've already had one round of vaccinations. I wouldn't show up for the next one."
And she basically stopped seeing me because of that recommendation. But I couldn't go on and say, "Hey, I'll support your choice for vaccines when I think this kiddo needs some time and space. And then if you want to, a year from now go for it. But don't do it Monday when today's Friday and this kid is definitely developmentally delayed."
Stacey: That is insane. There is so much trust in the medical industry at the deprivation of your child's health. It just seems crazy.
Lindsey: Yeah. And you could see it because they're twins, like it was so obvious. And the one other kiddo fine like you could see his hands. He could interact. And I was like, "Ugh, come on, mom. Wake up." But we'll see.
Stacey: That's crazy. I mean I grew up in England and I don't know if the laws have changed there since I left. But mom and dad got all of our vaccinations when we were young because that was the thing to do. And then as we got older, mom started to do her own research and put her foot down and it obviously wasn't legal for us to have certain vaccinations because she refused.
We got to like U9 and in the UK you have to have the tuberculosis vaccine in U9. And we were the only kids in the whole school that didn't get. We went home eupathically instead. So I thought that was pretty cool back in the day.
Matthias: Still alive.
Stacey: Yeah, still going.
Lindsey: And even back in our day, so my parents fully vaccinated me. But I've been doing metal detox and all kinds of stuff to clean up my system. But if you look at the vaccine schedule for me who is born in 1983 compared to somebody that's born in 1990 or 2001, I had like 12 vaccines, maybe 18. And now they're loading them up with 68. It's wild.
Matthias: Absolutely insane, yeah.
Stacey: It's ridiculous.
Lindsey: Right. And if you look, there are some great books out there. There's Lying-in which is the child birth in history within the United States. And then another book, the Business of Being Born or Born in America, that's the book. But they basically give history on some of the stuff and protocols in and around child birth. And it's like the vaccine ramp up was in 1993.
And it was just, oh, they figured out they could get one passed after the other without FDA trial, without comparing it to a placebo or anything. It was just boom, boom, boom. And that was in '93 and boom, we haven't looked back.
Matthias: Sixty-eight later, yeah.
Lindsey: Yeah, it's wild.
Stacey: I feel like we should change the subject. [1:12:31] [Indiscernible].
Lindsey: I know. Yeah, so if anybody has any question, they can message us and we'll try to link them up with some information.
Stacey: Thank you. And we'll put all of this book titles in our show notes as well.
Matthias: Yeah. Do you want to quickly go back on movement because it's something that does get talked about a lot with pregnancy is abdominal separation? And you get somebody that get a big separation compared to others that don't. Is there a way that they kind of limit the amount of separation they have and what's the best way to go about it?
Lindsey: Totally. So the separation you're talking about is called diastasis rectus abdominis. And it's basically the separation of your six pack muscle. And everybody has that fascia down the midline of their body.
Stacey: I thought you were going to say everyone has a six pack. They do. Some of them don't believe that they do. Sorry to interrupt, but yeah.
Lindsey: Yeah. And guys and girls can get diastasis. Babies are actually born with diastasis. And this is really awesome. This is where our rehab comes into play. So a lot of the rehab movement like if you look at our functional progression, all of this is taken and based on DNS principles.
DNS is dynamic neuromuscular stabilization. And a lot of our senior leadership team and even current and future BIRTHFIT Regional Directors are trained in DNS, whether it be their exercise path or their professional path. But DNS is basically based on developmental kinesiology and if you watch a baby and I say this because we go back to babies are born with diastasis.
And if you allow a baby to just move and you don't move and you don't put them in those little buggy seats or strap them to where they're vertical and they can't walk yet, but you're trying to make them walk. But if you just let them learn how to move and space on their own, they're going to start to move their hands and feet first and then they'll be able to cross midline. And then they'll start to roll over on their own.
And through this rolling over, they have to basically initiate cross body, Anatomy Trains. I don't think you've ever read that book Anatomy Trains or just fascial trains that cross the body. So they have to activate this bigger motor units, motor patterns. And then they learn to turn and when they learn to turn, they learn to stabilize their shoulders as well. And then they learn to bring their feet up.
And they do all this because they learn to breathe through using their diaphragm and stabilizing their spine on the ground and spinal neutral first. And then they get motivated to move and they have to do it the most efficient way because nobody's helping them. So then they learn to stabilize and move and turn.
And you turn it over and then they get on all fours or they go to the squat or they go to the bear position and they learn to crawl. And then they eventually learn to stand. So through that pattern or that from laying down to standing, you can find and hone in if you take a grown up, like if they have a shoulder injury, you can hone in on some of those movement patterns to help stabilize their shoulder and rehab their shoulder.
So if we take a mom who's postpartum and had some ab separation which majority of the women will have some sort of ab separation. Then we start just like the baby. And it's kind of fun because they'll do this in their postpartum series right next to the baby.
But they'll start to move their hands and feet again. They'll start to use their diaphragm breath. And they'll learn to stabilize their whole trunk system before even rolling over. And that cross body or that rolling action is what helps bring the abs back together or approximate the abs, whatever kind of terminology you want to use.
But we go both ways. So we roll to the right. We roll to the left. And we go up on the right. We go up on the left because we have to activate both slings. And that's the same way the baby heals.
So if you take a woman in pregnancy and maybe she has diastasis or we just started working with her, but she had diastasis from her first pregnancy that never healed. We can basically help prevent anymore separation or making the separation worse. Like let's say if we see mom doing pullups or strict pullups or things like that.
And we see that coning happening down the middle. Then we'll pull mom down and we'll work on some breathing and then we'll say, "Hey, let's try that breathing and that diaphragm breath, but let's go with something like inverted row or ring rows and see what happens there."
And usually when she learns to breathe, we can take the skill down a little bit, but have the same intentions. So we're still working on the pulling type of thing. And then apply that breath and there's no coning. She's learned how to stabilize her trunk in that movement or that plane.
So we have functional progression one, two, three and four. And sometimes we may have to take out maybe functional progression one as mom gets to maybe like 30 weeks, 35 weeks. And that varies just from person-to-person and just varies based on their history, their injuries and what's going on with them and maybe how big they've gotten. But yeah, that's kind of the mindset behind what we do.
Matthias: So interesting, so cool.
Stacey: I know. I'm loving it. Like taking it from how the babies move, so good.
Matthias: Lindsey, we got to be conscious of your time. So we won't keep you for too much longer. We just want to ask, we got two last questions that we ask most of our guests that we have on. So the first on is what's your daily drive? What gets you up? What gets you moving day-to-day?
Lindsey: Oh, man.
Stacey: Go in deep.
Lindsey: Yeah. You know, ever since I was young, I believe that I have a purpose on this earth. And it's not that I feel like I'm special or unique because if read the Obstacles, they're sure to tell you you're not special and you're not unique.
But I'll tell you this. I had an out of body experience in fourth grade. I've had asthma since they diagnosed me basically my first two years of life. That's a whole another podcast, my health. But I had a really bad asthma attack in fourth grade. And they put me in an ambulance and were taking me to the children's hospital.
And I remember looking down and just seeing my mom and the paramedic in the ambulance. And then I don't remember anything after that except I was in this dream-like state. And I saw my brother and sister, who are twins, and then behind them I just saw lots of hands. And I was like, "I got to go back. There's a lot of work to be done."
And at that point, I was in fourth grade. I had no idea what I was doing. But I just didn't go toward that light or that dream-like state. I went back to my brother and sister. And I woke up from ICU probably about six or seven days later. And I was like, "What the hell just happened? Like this is wild."
And so that started me on like they, "Hey, there's something in there. Like the universe has got something for me. And whatever doors are open, I need to go through them." But I'm really big on the like BIRTHFIT is something greater than me and it's a legacy that I want to leave behind.
And I don't care if people know my name. I want them to change the way they view birth, they view pregnant women, they view postpartum. And I want women to know that they have choices. And I want them to take an active role in their health and in their families and be leaders in this like whole movement of health.
And I think after all my life experiences, I think BIRTHFIT is the thing that gets me up every day and it's the thing that's greater than me. And the team that we've built is freaking phenomenal. And some days when I feel like, "Oh, my god, I'm so tired. Do I really want to wake up at 5:00 and do this or 5:30?" And then I'll look at a text and it'll be like from one of the girls on the senior leadership team like, "Oh, I was just at the most awesome birth," or, "This mom said this to me." And it's like, "All right, we're up. We're going."
Stacey: This is happening.
Lindsey: Totally, totally. But yeah, I think the way we bring human beings into this world has got to change and the book I read, I'll give you another book. There's a book called Childbirth and the Future of Homo Sapiens. And it's by a French OB-GYNE, Dr. Michel Odent. And I had the pleasure of being in a room with him for like a 30 person discussion.
And he might be almost 90 now, but he sat up there with a microphone just like that. And he recited -- like any question we had, he recited, "Okay, that was from a study I did in January 1887." I was like, "What? How do you remember this?"
He's done a lot of research and that book that he wrote basically woke me up to the way we do child birth. Because it talks about how like if we don't change things, we're going to naturally select against our species. And it's really good. He's written a few books, but that one is brilliant. Yeah, so that gets me going every day. And I just want to make this world a better place and for me my calling is BIRTHFIT.
Stacey: Knowing that you've had an NDE, a near-death experience, it really, I think not to label you, but I can almost a lot more about your personality and your energy and the spirituality that you do portray. It's really cool to kind of hear a bit more about that background. Thank you for sharing that.
Lindsey: For sure. It's funny because I think before last year, Logan was the only person I have told. And I told everybody at the BIRTHFIT Summit and they're like, "Oh, my god. That makes so much sense." Like, "Oh, okay."
Stacey: That's amazing. And so then our final question for you, Lindsey. Thank you so much your time, but our final question for you is what's your biggest fear?
Lindsey: Oh, gosh. I don't know. Like it's funny. How do you say that? Somebody asked me what was the scariest thing I did recently and I'll tell you this because falling in love is pretty scary. I always say fear is there. Like it's going to be present, but you shouldn't let it drive you. You shouldn't let it make the choices for you especially in child birth.
Like when you're trying to decide, "Oh, should we do an epidural or not?" Like if you're afraid of the pain, that shouldn't be the reason, you know. Make choices out of love, not fear. But I think I've had some experiences with family members and then like a really gnarly relationship with a guy where I was betrayed and abused and just really let down.
And for me and I kind of shared this story. Like I was super fearful a) to get married. I'm not married yet.
Stacey: You're on the road now.
Lindsey: To like fall in love again, to love somebody and to get married. Because my exposure to that had been just kind of a letdown and a disappointment. And I think with that and through like the work that I've done on myself and -- I didn't get to the place I am without counseling or therapy or anything. But I think through the work on myself, I was able to not let fear be here, but be here and to allow love to like, "Oh, I'm going to do things out of love and not be a freaking scaredy cat."
Stacey: And you hit the jackpot with Logan.
Lindsey: Yeah. He's a special one and I'll tell you all this and then I'll let you all go. But I don't know if you've heard of NLP which is neuro-linguistic programming. Like that was what kind of saved my life. And for a while back in 2005, 2006, I was doing like twice a week.
And then I was getting better and I got it down to like once a week and then once a month. And so this is probably about -- I think Logan and I met in 2010, 2011 maybe. And so I was seeing her once a month and I came in and I told her, "I met somebody."
And she does her thing and she's a hypnotherapist as well. So she hypnotized me and I remember saying, "What is this guy like?" And at that time I was scared. Like there's no way I'm getting into a relationship or allowing myself to love somebody or being vulnerable or anything like that. And she did this exercise with me and it was like this blank slate of -- and all I saw were clouds and then clouds forming. And she was like, "Okay. Do you see his name? Like what do you see?"
And what I saw was letters of Logan's name, L-O-G-A-N. And then I saw his last name G-E-L-B-R-I-C-H. And they all just kind of formed together like how BIRTHFIT's written out like in all capitals. And she was like, "What do you see?"
And this word comes, this is going to trip you all out, this word comes forward and it says, "Angel." And if you put Logan's name together, L-O-G-A-N G-E-L-B-R-I-C-H. Angel is right there. And I woke up. I was like, "Oh, my god. Get me out of here." I'm way over this.
And she was like, "I don't know. But you might want to give him a chance." And I was like, "Fine."
Stacey: About your future husband.
Lindsey: Yeah, little did I know. What did you do, lady?
Matthias: That's awesome.
Stacey: That is so cool.
Lindsey: Yeah, I think being vulnerable is hard and I think that's a huge fear people have. So yeah.
Stacey: And it sounds like you've overcome it or I guess learned to work with it, learned to work with it. Yeah. So cool.
Matthias: That's so cool. But it's so obvious how passionate you are. This podcast has been so good. I've just really enjoyed this last hour and a bit we spent with you. It's been so much fun. Where can people kind of reach out and find you?
Lindsey: Yeah, so birthfit.com. If they want to go on there and there's a tab for Regional Directors, referrals. We don't have anybody in Australia yet, but if you're listening and you're thinking about applying to be a regional director, check it out. Yeah, birthfit.com. We have BIRTHFIT podcasts with lots of birth information. Actually, the podcast this week was with Dr. Billy DeMoss who talks about vaccines.
Stacey: Oh, good to know.
Lindsey: Yeah. He's super intense, crazy guy, but I love him and he's gold. He makes this world a better place. Yeah. And then they can follow us on Instagram or Twitter, Facebook, BIRTHFIT. My personal one is Gig Em Lindsey. So yeah.
Stacey: Here does that come from?
Lindsey: So Texas A&M University which is in Texas obviously. They have a slogan or phrase that they say, "Gig 'em, Aggies!" And that's when I first got Instagram, little did I know that people would use that in Facebook professionally. So it just stuck and honestly Texas ANM has a huge alumni network. And so people were like, "Oh, you're doing such great things as an Aggie." I'm like, "Heck, yeah. Thanks for recognizing."
Stacey: That's really cool.
Matthias: That's cool.
Lindsey: So they'll find me based on just like that Instagram name which is hilarious.
Matthias: Texas forever. Here we go.
Lindsey: Yeah, for sure.
Matthias: That's so cool. Well, listen, if you've got something out of this, please share it around. I know I learned a lot just within the last hour. And I'm sure Stacey did too and I'm sure you guys would have as well. So if you did get something out of this, please share it around. Spread the word of BIRTHFIT and Lindsey and what she's creating and what she's doing. I think it's amazing.
Stacey: Thank you so much for your time, Lindsey. It's been so much fun.
Lindsey: Thank you all. And definitely send me the link and I'll post it whenever we [1:31:50] [Indiscernible].
Matthias: Yeah, for sure.
Stacey: Thank you.
Lindsey: Thank you all.
Matthias: Thanks, mate. [1:32:18] End of Audio