Reclaiming Motherhood: Rejecting Pain, Weakness, and Leaking as Your “New Normal” (feat. Dr. Anna Towne, PT)

Empowering Postpartum with Jessi Sletten is an inspiring show for expecting and newly postpartum parents looking to feel prepared, supported, and empowered for their transition into parenthood – without losing themselves to it. Education, inspiration, and support for everything you need to know for your fourth trimester! Watch Live every Thursday 10am MST (ZingoTV Channels 250 & 251)

In this enlightening episode I had the privilege of chatting with Dr. Anna Towne, Pelvic Floor Therapist and founder of Strong Core Mama. We discussed one of the most underserved aspects of postpartum and pregnancy wellness – pelvic floor health. Together, we confront the detrimental “bounce back” culture, advocating for a shift towards holistic well-being over unrealistic timelines. From debunking misconceptions surrounding pelvic floor issues to advocating for individualized recovery milestones and nurturing self-care practices, we hold nothing back when it comes to postpartum recovery! Tune in and learn why you do NOT have to accept pain, weakness, and leaking as your “new normal” after birth.

Guest Info:
Helping people get back to motherhood pain and symptom-free is Dr. Anna’s passion. Her first love was Sports Medicine Physical Therapy where she focused on getting runners and athletes back to their sports and activities, pain-free. Since becoming a mom 5+ years ago, Anna saw the need for comprehensive rehab for people during pregnancy and postpartum. As a result, her focus has now shifted to helping moms as a Pelvic Floor PT with a certification in pregnancy and postpartum. Believing that pregnancy doesn’t have to be such a painful experience, Anna loves helping pregnant people stay pain-free, symptom-free and active. Anna also loves helping people return safely to activity and/or running without pain or leaking postpartum. Anna loves blending her sports PT and her pelvic floor PT knowledge into her job to get her clients back to health and fitness. In addition to treating patients at a local pelvic floor clinic, Insight Pelvic Health, Anna has created her own business STRONG CORE MAMA Physical Therapy that consists of four different rehab programs for moms. Strong Expecting Mama is for pain-free pregnancy and pelvic floor labor prep exercises. Strong Healing Mama is for early postpartum to reconnect core, pelvic floor with breath. Strong Core Mama is to restore and rebuild core and pelvic floor strength and heal abdominal separation and pelvic floor symptoms. Strong Running Mama is to help moms return to running injury-free and symptom-free post-kid/s. Anna herself is a mama runner and triathlete, and still loves to compete in these events, with or without the stroller. She loves to race with Athletes in Tandem, a nonprofit that races with adults with disabilities. She also loves to hike and camp with her family which includes her husband, two little girls and a new baby boy!

Connect with Dr. Towne:

Show Notes:

Introduction (0:00 – 0:27)

  • Topic: Postpartum pelvic floor health with a physical therapist

Dr. Towne’s Background (0:27 – 4:31)

  • Passion for physical therapy stemmed from personal injury
  • Became certified in pelvic floor physical therapy
  • Helps pregnant and postpartum women

Postpartum Recovery and “Bounce Back” Culture (4:31 – 11:03)

  • Lack of pregnancy/postpartum education leads to challenges
  • Prioritizing mother’s well-being for family to thrive
  • Negative impact of “bounce back” culture
  • Pelvic floor issues 6-12 months postpartum

Body Image and Individualized Milestones (11:03 – 19:55)

  • Importance of individualized postpartum recovery
  • Checklist approach instead of strict timeline
  • Setting achievable milestones for mental health
  • Embracing postpartum body instead of comparison
  • Focusing on strength goals, not just appearance

Postpartum Body Changes, Nutrition and Self-Care (19:55 – 25:00)

  • Nurturing and nourishing body over appearance
  • Buying pre-pregnancy clothes gradually
  • Importance of hydration and protein

Normalizing the Healing Process (25:00 – 31:44)

  • Nourishing vs punishing/controlling body
  • Dr. Towne shares her postpartum journey (27:04)
  • Need for cultural shift to support healing (28:37)
  • Lack of support for working parents without village
  • Curating village, exploring resources

Pelvic Floor and Core Connection (31:44 – 36:49)

  • Pelvic floor weakness misdiagnosed
  • Lack of core and pelvic floor coordination
  • Holistic approach beyond just Kegels

Postpartum Core Healing and Back Pain (36:49 – 42:59)

  • Abdominal separation and impact on posture
  • Importance of foundational movements
  • Role of glutes in preventing/relieving back pain
  • Exercises and posture awareness

Resources for Moms (42:59 – 48:28)

  • Body awareness and simple exercises
  • Free postpartum rehabilitation resources
  • Virtual rehab programs for common issues
  • C-section safe, scar mobilization, high-impact training

Resources mentioned:

Top 5 tips for postpartum recovery-…
Checklist for Return to Activity-…
Checklist for Return to Running-…

Postpartum core and pelvic floor rehab and strength (6+ weeks – 6+ years)-…
Return to running pain-free and leak-free with rehab and strength (12+ weeks- 12+ years)-…

Early postpartum healing movements (weeks 2-8 postpartum) –…
Pregnancy-safe core and pelvic floor exercises (0-40 weeks pregnant) –…
Help your core and pelvic floor in postpartum with my favorite products (all Pelvic Floor PT approved!)

Work With Jessi

Empowering Postpartum Coaching guides new and pregnant moms through the transition into motherhood so that they can bond with their baby without sacrificing their own self care. If this sounds like the support you desire for your own unique journey into parenthood click here to learn more!

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