When you sneeze, do you pee a little bit? Today, we are throwing it back to one of our most popular episodes with women’s postpartum physical therapist, Dr. Dawn Andalon. You guys had so many questions when we featured her a few months ago so we wanted to bring her back for a little more discussion!
We’re talking all about the physical part of the postpartum period and how we can get our physical selves back to the strongest we can be. Dr. Dawn Andalon, creator of Level 4, joins us to discuss all things pelvic floor and postpartum. Dawn will share some of the common issues women have after having a baby, how to prepare themselves for success, and her beliefs on treating women in the postnatal period.
What’s In This Episode:
- The different symptoms that women experience after giving birth to their second or third children
- What causes postpartum back pain & how to address the pain
- Whether women can regain their pre-pregnancy strength and how long it takes after giving birth
- When you can start working out postpartum
- Who needs postpartum strength training and resources
- How women can determine if they have Diastasis Recti
- How Dawn handled the transition from a career without kids to a career with kids
- What a physical therapist that specializes in postnatal health does & how they help women
- Why there is a gap of knowledge when it comes to pelvic floor issues
- Dawn’s belief system for treating women in the postpartum period
- The most common reasons women come to Level 4
- The issues Diastasis Recti can cause and how Dawn can help
- How can women prevent issues that may arise in the postnatal period
- The relationship between epidurals and the healing process
- What signs of birth trauma should women look for after the baby
- How we can talk to our doctors about getting a referral to a physical therapist
- What uterine prolapse is & how it can be treated
- Dawn’s recovery strategies and exercises
- Her belief on how long you should give yourself before trying to jump back into everything
- How second pregnancies differ from first pregnancies and what you should watch for
- The length of time you should expect it to take to get back to your pre-baby self
- What women should be doing prior to pregnancy and during pregnancy to prepare themselves for success
Dr. Dawn” is a women’s health and sports physical therapist, specialized in helping women through their journey in long-term health and postpartum recovery.
Dawn grew up in Cleveland, OH as a dancer and gymnast, being active has always been a part of her life. It was in college where she fell in love with fitness, leading her to PT school on the East Coast where she fell in love with her husband. Eventually, they moved west to Portland, OR where she worked full time in outpatient & sports settings as a Physical Therapist.
When Dawn became a Mom to her two young girls she became creative with her scheduling so she could still pursue her passion of physical therapy working for megabrand Nike, but also have more flexibility with her family. Eventually her work experience and lifestyle lead her to being a “momprenuer” when her family moved to Carlsbad, CA and she and her business partner, and husband created Level4, an integrative wellness center that helps people who want to remain active & mobile, avoid risky surgeries, and stay away from painkillers so they can live a life they love!
For 14 years Dawn has dedicated herself to a career she loves and is able to give back to others. She now focuses on women’s health and is highly trained in Pelvic floor rehab and Pilates, holds a manual therapy certification from University of St Augustine, and has experience in special training with female athletes. Dawn has a passion for postnatal care, serving as an educator to bridge the gap between labor/delivery and return to exercise.
Her latest endeavor in addition to being Mom, Wife, Doctor & Business owner… is as an author! Dawn is working on a book to be published that shares information with women about how they can feel more confident in their own skin and restore their bodies and health after pregnancy.
Connect with Dawn:
Connect with Level 4:
“I’ve had a very different experience this time around.”
“You can use your baby as a weight.”
“Your ligaments are a little more lax because of the hormone relaxin.”
“You want to give your body grace. It really took nine months to carry a child when you’re pregnant so give yourself a year.”
“Losing weight is different than ‘is your body ready for physical stress that you put on in it?’”
“No matter how fit you think you are, that’s a major thing that you underwent, giving birth.”
“If you’re getting toned everywhere else and you’re losing weight but your abdominals aren’t changing, that’s where maybe you’re doing something wrong.”
“Keep in the present. This time is so small in your life.”
“We only got a two-hour lecture on what pelvic floor physical therapy was in PT school.”
“When you consider the pelvic floor muscles being that whole area inside the pelvis, which is part of labor, delivery, and pregnancy, that whole system can really present with a lot of issues if it’s not functioning correctly or there has been trauma to the area and so people are misdiagnosed a lot.”
“The emotional part of the postpartum period, but so is the physical aspect.”
“We really want to make sure we are addressing emotional, physical, mental, nutrition, a little bit of everything that goes into healing and pain belief and getting your body where you need it to be so you can do the things that you love.”
“I would love doctors to refer more after c-section.”
“With that amount of pressure against your abdominals when the baby is growing in the third trimester, you’re going to get that stretching of that connective tissue, or you’ll develop an outie belly button, you’ll see a little bit of tinting or coning right at the mid-section.”
“Your pelvic floor muscles, they have to learn learn how to lengthen, as well as contract as shorten.”
“If you’re holding your breath while you’re doing kegels, you’re just working that bottom part of it and you’re not working the system as a whole and that’s what’s really going to create that healthy foundation and set your body up for success.”
“There’s always something to be gained from seeing a pelvic floor PT, even if it’s just one visit.”
“If they’ve had had any tearing, like an episiotomy, or have had a c-section, then definitely see a pelvic floor PT.”
“You can go directly to us, you don’t have to go through your doctor.”
“Women in this country try to jump back and do things too early.”
“Take care of yourself, enjoy this time when you can just focus on yourself, the baby, and not trying to entertain other people or trying to rush back.”
“You held the baby for nine months, so you have to give yourself for grace and knowing that it is going to take some time, especially if you are nursing.”
“I really want women to feel empowered in their own bodies.”
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