As I sit here in a coffee shop in Nashville (Frothy Monkey has amazing lattes, if you find yourself here one day), I am reflecting on what an amazing experience the BirthFit Professional Seminar has given me this past weekend.
Heading into this seminar, I was excited, nervous, and hopeful. Little did I realize how much I would take away and the connection that could be built in two short days. I had the privilege to connect with other chiropractors, pelvic health physiotherapists, doulas, and therapist, ALL of whom are looking to create a more empowered experience for the women they care for.
I had heard and assumed that “BirthFit” was basically chiropractic care mixed with Crossfit using DNS principles. But it was so much more than that. The foundation of BirthFit is combining the four pillars of Fitness, Nutrition, Mindset, and Connection. Each of these individual aspects is important. It is, however, the implemented synergy of bringing these all to the together is what makes BirthFit care both unique and oh so powerful of tool for mamas.
This will surely spinoff a series of blog entries, but to start, these were some of my most impactful takeaways:
This seminar instilled in my heart a whole new level of passion for educating mamas and mamas-to-be on what their options are, especially on the level of birth. This doesn’t mean pushing any agenda of an “ideal birth”, but this DOES mean that every mama has a right to know their options and have the power to choose. You may not know what you don’t know and that’s ok - there is always room to learn more. You also deserve to know that your body is capable and that choices should be made by love and not fear.
It takes a village. We want to strengthen the connections with your birth care team, with your fellow mamas, and with your community resources. There are amazing professionals out there to support you through the journey and we want to build on those. (Fortunately, we have an absolutely incredible community of mamas and professionals in Kelowna so it will be easy for me to work as facilitator and connector.) I also brought back that we can advocate for a longer “postpartum period”, even after a loss. There are shifts emotionally and physically and we are here for you.
3. Functional Movement
We support you to train for function. Whether that be strength through pregnancy and birth, carrying your babe through their growth, or returning to what you love. I truly believe that postpartum is forever, that your body is what it is in this moment, and that it is never going to go “back” to what it was before you made a baby. There are movements and positions to build strength in the same way that we initially develop as infants. These are the foundation of all movement and we will work with you to build a solid base for moving forward through the phase you are at right now.
This is a secret weapon. Increasing the space between a stimulus and a reaction is something we can ALL benefit from, in mamahood or just in day to day life. Returning to the breath, bringing our thrive mode into focus, and allowing ourselves a few minutes with our self creates so many nerdy brain changes. It's awesome and very powerful, especially when coupled with the already incredible other shifts that are happening in your body and brain during the postnatal period.
I count myself very lucky to be able to focus on women through the phases of preconception support, pregnancy care, and postnatal support (and the health of their kiddos too!). Our chiropractic care at AltaVie already took into consideration the core aspects emphasized by BirthFit, but this seminar was able to bring it into a greater picture and help me realize what is possible for change within a community even bigger than the Okanagan.
I hope to be able to share this with you at some point (or, if you’re not in the Okanagan, that you can find a BirthFit Professional in your community). Connecting each mama to her power, her choices, and her strength through the most amazing transformation of her life is truly what brings my heart joy.
In Love and Health,
Dr Anna Marie
Dr Anna Marie Gierach is in the process of becoming one of only 5 BirthFit Professionals in Canada.