Today on the podcast:

Sara Reardon is a board-certified pelvic floor physical therapist who specializes in online pelvic floor fitness programs.

Her goal is to save the world one vagina at a time by providing expert care for your down there.

“Our healthcare system is currently doing a terrible disservice to people with vaginas. Postpartum “care,” for instance, is little more than a six-week permission slip to return to exercise and sex. And if we happen to have any concerns, they’re brushed off. “Welcome to motherhood,” or, “That’s normal at your age,” we’re told. But that is not OK.

Since 2006, Sara has worked with thousands of women suffering from pelvic floor problems, and I decided something had to change and feels that we shouldn’t be normalizing pelvic floor problems. We ought to be normalizing pelvic floor conversations.

And so, The Vagina Whisperer was born. She created this space so that every vagina owner out there—can finally get the care they deserve.

Episode Outline

  • 07:13 How the Vagina Whisperer movement grew and now has over 390k Instagram followers
  • 10:46 Why there is so little widely accessible education on postpartum care today
  • 13:18 How and when to ease back into sex after pregnancy
  • 15:51 How and when to ease back into your old fitness routine after pregnancy
  • 22:16 Why conversations around postpartum care have not yet been normalized
  • 25:06 The main reasons for painful sex
  • 28:20 What “feeling better” looks like for recovering moms
  • 31:14 The biggest pelvic floor myths
  • 34:32 Best practices for exercising during pregnancy
  • 37:54 What Dr. Reardon knows about motherhood now that she wishes she knew before having her first child
  • 41:29 Social media and unrealistic expectations for post pregnancy realties to be aware of

Three Key Points

  • The U.S. healthcare system in particular is currently set up to help moms transition through that tender postpartum phase. 40% of moms don’t even go to that six-week postpartum check-in. Social media and the emergence of more experts like Dr. Reardon has begun spreading the message that moms are not alone in their universal set of struggles after giving birth.
  • The process of pregnancy, giving birth, and postpartum is such a transformative time for a woman’s body emotionally and physically. After having a baby, the body simply doesn’t go back the way it was before pregnancy. Because of this, we need to take the pressure off of moms who feel as if they are expected to go back to getting active, going to work, or having sex so soon. For exercise in particular, spend 6-12 weeks strengthening your muscles and pelvic floor before jumping back into a pre-pregnancy fitness routine.
  • Any type of pregnancy, whether vagina or cesarean, results in changes to a woman’s pelvic floor. If the healthcare systems aren’t going to make pelvic floor therapy a part of pregnancy or make postpartum checkups part of standard of care, then it’s going to remain crucial for more PTs to create their own platforms and normalize the conversation. However, nothing will beat the prospect of seeing pelvic floor therapy being made part of mainstream healthcare.

Powerful Quotes by Dr. Reardon

  • [With regards to exercise,] we should be able to do what we did prepregnancy. […] Your body has changed. It has gone through a major transformation, so we can’t expect it to perform in the same way unless we train it to show up in that way.
  • “Vagina” is a common word in our home. We can change not just the community that we’re in but the next generation of people about pelvic health by normalizing and elevating the conversation.
  • I go to the dentist every six months to get my teeth checked up. Why am I not getting a pelvic floor checkup for my vagina?
  • Sometimes, taking care of your body means scaling back, not continuing to push forward.

Guest Info

Dr. Sara Reardon

Dr. Sara Reardon

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