The Other Way

057: Balancing Life and Hormones from Menstruation to Postpartum with Dr. Wright-Terrell, OBGYN

February 13, 2024 Kasia Stiggelbout Season 2 Episode 57
The Other Way
057: Balancing Life and Hormones from Menstruation to Postpartum with Dr. Wright-Terrell, OBGYN
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Unlock the secrets of your hormonal health as we journey with Dr. Danielle Wright-Terrell, an esteemed OBGYN, and CEO of Honey Coaching, through the ebbs and flows of the female body's natural rhythms. This episode taps into her vast expertise, from unraveling hormonal imbalances to offering a lifeline during the transformative postpartum period. As a mother and active Air Force member, Dr. Wright-Terrell intricately weaves her narrative with practical advice, illuminating the profound importance of the fourth trimester and the robust support it demands. 

Ever wonder how your menstrual cycle can sway your daily well-being? Prepare to be enlightened as we discuss Inflow, a planner designed to sync with your body's hormonal changes, providing actionable strategies to navigate everything from skin fluctuations to energy shifts. With Dr. Wright-Terrell's guidance, we take you from the follicular phase to the luteal phase, decoding symptoms like hormonal acne and menstrual headaches. It's an empowering exploration that arms you with knowledge and equips you with the tools to master your reproductive health.

As we close this insightful session, we address the often-overlooked postpartum journey, diving into the hormonal rollercoaster that accompanies new parenthood. Dr. Wright-Terrell demystifies birth control options like Mirena while also stressing the significance of extended parental leave and the critical role of community support. Through Honey Coaching, she's designed a sanctuary for parents to gracefully navigate the first year post-birth. Join us for an episode that's not just a conversation but a gateway to a community where knowledge and support go hand in hand in nurturing postpartum wellness.

To connect with Dr. Wright-Terrell:

  • @honeycoaching (IG)
  • To check out Honey's postpartum network: https://hellohoneyteam.com/

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To connect with Kasia

Speaker 1:

Hello and welcome to the Other Way, a lifestyle podcast exploring uncommon, unconventional or otherwise alternative approaches to life, business and health. I'm your host, kasha. I'm the founder of Inflow, a woman's wellness brand that designs intentional products to help women reconnect to their unique cyclical rhythm and find a balance between being and doing. This podcast is an extension of my mission within Flow. Here we provide intentional interviews with inspiring humans, trailblazers, researchers, spiritual teachers and more on the journey of doing things the Other Way. Now, today's guest is no exception.

Speaker 1:

Dr Danielle Wright-Tarel is an OBGYN, us Air Force member, mother and CEO of Honey Coaching, a postpartum support network. She's an incredible force of nature launching her business while in the early stages of postpartum. Her baby is, as of the date of this recording, 15 months old. And Dr Wright-Tarel is also the incredible OBGYN collaborator behind Inflow. She reviewed all of our hormone charts, actually helped influence a complete redesign, and any of the daily science-based tips with the doctor tag are from her, and so much more. Today we go on a journey of the female hormonal system the ebbs and flows, signs of imbalance, the role that each hormone plays and finally, we jump on over to talk about major hormonal milestones, postpartum being one of those massive transitions, which is a real passion area for Dr Wright-Tarel, and she talks about her own journey with postpartum, about the importance of the fourth trimester, what happens to the body physically and hormonally, emotionally, and why support is so crucial. So much to cover. Without further ado, let's jump on in, dr Danielle Wright-Tarel. Welcome to the pod.

Speaker 2:

Oh, thank you for having me.

Speaker 1:

I am so excited to have you here. I mean, despite the fact that we have worked together at great length, at this point we were just reflecting right before recording that this is, I think, the first time we actually saw each other face to face, which is so cool, and it is just amazing to finally have this experience of diving into some of the science, some of the work that you do as an OBGYN who specializes in postpartum but really has a view of the whole kind of life cycle of hormonal health and pregnancy. And we have a lot to cover today. But before we do, I want to say welcome and ask you a question, which is what are three words that you would use to describe yourself?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I would say the first one is organized. I am just my husband would say super type A, I would say I'm subtly type A, but organization is just a part of my daily rhythm. If I'm not organized I feel very uncomfortable and unsteady. So that's one I would say, in addition to that super driven and just eager to like have been passionate about something, I just really want to get it done and I'm going at it full steam, and even if I don't know how to exactly get there and the road from point A to point B, you know, I'm OK with just figuring out. And then the final one, I would say probably just a little bit tired. I have a 15 month old and I love her dearly, but you know, as a parent, especially a parent of a toddler, like a lack of sleep is, you know, a part of the daily rhythm. It's this life now.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh. Well, ok, I'll say for anyone who's listening you don't look tired, you feel very vibrant on the other side. But I love that you name that, because I know so many women right now close friends of mine that are in that phase of life and I mean I truly just tip my hat down to all of these women. I don't even know if that's the right term, but sometimes I find that it's like a struggle to stay alive when I'm just taking care of myself and my husband and my dog and we don't have kids yet. Definitely on the radar my mom will be very excited to hear that, but I just I cannot. I cannot imagine that that just like to be so surprised and to be caring for another life in that way, like it is huge. I think people don't comprehend that until they're there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the degree to which, like I, will sacrifice every part of my soul being embodied to protect my little one, like I didn't fathom it until you know, actually being in it. I think that the pregnancy part of being a woman and just experiencing and dealing with pregnancy and all the bodily changes, you start to develop that selflessness, as you know you're. You're giving up a little bit to get something much greater in return. But postpartum and I know that we're going to talk about that a little bit more later in the show it's just, it is a true testament to again that work. That key word is just selflessness and love, because it's on another level, it's something that I've never experienced before and I'm really grateful for the opportunity definitely.

Speaker 1:

That is so beautifully said and I think that is like an inspiring thing for me to hear, is somebody who isn't quite there yet. I am curious and I'm totally going off the questions that I had asked you, like in our outline but you are pairing being a new mother with launching a business and I know I definitely will have mentioned this in the intro, but you are also a member of the military right Like an OBGYN member of the military Air Force right. Yeah, new mother. And then now you're launching a business and I just want to ask you just completely outright what was really the impetus for launching this new business and to do it in tandem with this kind of already massively kind of huge transition in your life.

Speaker 2:

That's a great question and I think that I think my own mother and her journey has a lot to do with why I just feel this like burning desire in my chest, just to you know, achieve what I want to do with honey. My mom for a short period in my life but it was the early part of my life and I was around one got divorced from my dad and she was a single mom rocking it out with toddler Danielle. And when I got to about six to 10 months with Emery, I was like how in the but Jesus did she do that? Like how, how did she do it? I don't know how she did it and I don't know. Just like reflecting on my relationship with her, how much I love her, how much I wish I could still support her.

Speaker 2:

That just triggered some things in me and I guess this project is a dedication to her. So I, in realizing that, also realized that as an OB OBs in general we don't really take good care of moms in the postpartum period. There's no system, there's no curriculum in place that tells us how to do that. I would be shocked if I found a woman that said, oh yeah, the 12 months after delivery. I felt totally supported by my OB.

Speaker 1:

I would be shocked to find that one person If you're out there, please like message us so we could be like we found one.

Speaker 2:

Me, because what we have right now is just one visit. You know, if everything goes well in your pregnancy which I hope that's the case for everyone it's not but if it is, you get one visit at six weeks postpartum and then that's it. And on the same, in that same breath, medicaid expanded their postpartum coverage to be across the 12 months that happens after delivery. So you have a group of political savvy people in health advocates saying, hey, postpartum care should look like this, but on this other hand, the healthcare system, the people who take care of these moms, don't know how to do it. So I am trying to nurture my mom. When I was creating this, I was reflecting on my own experience and just writing it and building it to nurture my mom, who's in that same situation with me 34 years ago. I'm really proud of it. But I think that's the motivating force behind staying up late at night after and when it goes down, after my husband goes down, and just keep working on this and cranking it out to be hopefully victorious at the end.

Speaker 1:

So oh yeah, and I gotta say I think you know I am not in Emory's shoes, clearly, but I will say I'm sure she's very she is and will be so inspired by this and this story and your kind of power in supporting other women while you're going through this massive transition as such an accomplished woman already. And before we move on, I also wanna pause and thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart.

Speaker 2:

Thank you, I feel like I don't do anything. I don't deserve that quote. But you know, here I am.

Speaker 1:

Oh, you're getting it.

Speaker 1:

I'll do it right after the call as well again.

Speaker 1:

So before we go deeper into postpartum, I wanna actually take a step back because I feel like for a lot of women and as of course you know, we talked about with Inflow, which is a planner that kind of goes through the hormonal cycle, giving you some information, some tips along the journey of how to get more in tune with what's happening in your body, but for a lot of women, that whole hormonal transition is just completely something that they're not aware of.

Speaker 1:

And you know I'll share that in my own personal experience that was something that I was completely unfamiliar with until you know, really pretty recently, about the transition that happens over 28 days, and so I think it's really important to at least start by sharing how, sharing a bit about the ebbs and flows of the cycle and what is happening hormonally and, I think, starting and rooting women there to just give them a little bit of awareness that you know, not every day is the same and there are key phases and changes over a 28 day period. So could you kind of walk us through what that looks like, what is day one as well, because for a lot of women. I think they're not even aware of that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I would love to. This is the whole thing that brought me into the field of OB when I was in medical school. I love the menstrual cycle. So day one is when you start bleeding. So, as you alluded to, the menstrual cycle is 28 days long.

Speaker 2:

The first phase, it's called the follicular phase and that's dominated by estrogen. So when you're in the follicular phase and you're growing all these beautiful follicles on your ovary, you are also simultaneously developing a dominant follicle which you'll eventually ovulate from. We'll get to that. But again, the follicular phase is dominated by estrogen. In the setting of all this estrogen, you are probably glowing as the you know beautiful woman that you are. You feel really great. Your skin looks good. You know, in terms of acne there's not really shouldn't be an issue, unless there's, like some underlying other things going on.

Speaker 2:

But that is what the first couple of days are in your menstrual cycle Day 14. You ovulate and then subsequently after that, you enter the luteal phase. The luteal phase in the beginning is driven by progesterone and then, as you get closer to day 28, you start to have that progesterone level drop and because of the progesterone withdrawal, you get back to day one where you will shed your idometrial lining or uterine lining, and then you'll bleed. So to summarize day one you start bleeding, follicular phase lots of estrogen. You feel great. Day 14, you ovulate, you have high levels of progesterone, which is just in the setting of your uterus and the follicle that delivered the egg. It's trying to produce that progesterone. Protect the lining, keep it nice and ready and prime for embryo that will implant. As that progesterone level drops, you bleed. And then the cycle just continues and continues, over and over and over again.

Speaker 1:

That is such a good breakdown for us and I remember seeing it visually for the first time and for those of you who are tuning in on audio, I'm sure on my Instagram we'll be sharing a chart to show you what this looks like. But it really is kind of like a roller coaster of hormones shifting and changing over the course of that month and just starting to bring some awareness. So that was so powerful for me because, looking at the later half of my luteal phase, I can feel that fatigue. I feel so different in my body and there was such a period of time where I was completely oblivious to the hormonal changes and it was just almost frustrating to try to pound more caffeine to feel a bit more energized, because at least in my body and I know everyone's bodies are different but I felt like I almost can feel that shift. And are there major transition points that might be reflected with symptoms in the body that you might be aware of or that you have seen in your practice?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, definitely Again when your estuarine level levels are higher in the follicular phase. Again, that's probably when you feel the best, the most energized, if you will. Again, skin looks great, yeah, everything's rocking out and just rainbows and butterflies. You ovulate again on day 14, that progesterone's elevated. You can have increases in sebum production and as a result of that you can start to produce like that hormonal acne because you have that drop in estrogen in that luteal phase.

Speaker 2:

For some women they experience menstrual headaches. We can play around with that with birth control. Manage that. I guess I'm mentioning that so it's not a foreign thing. If you go to your OB and you're like, oh my gosh, I have headaches, they seem to be related to my cycle. The way we treat that is with birth control. Once you get closer to your menstrual cycle, when you bleed, obviously the cramping, the breast changes just a little bit more. Levels of fatigue, that type of thing, totally the thought of being in tune with your body and things just feel different based off of your menstrual cycle. That's totally a thing. No one is making that up. I think that's so powerful.

Speaker 1:

I think this also gives a lot of women as we think about the different phases, not just, you know, first of all there's like a whole series of changes and phases that happen over 28 days, but as we think about like broader phases in a woman's life, may it be, you know, every month your cycle, then fertility, postpartum, the changes that happen there, then perimenopause and menopause like every day is not always going to look the same, I feel like, at least in my experience. For a long time I felt the pressure and the conditioning of expecting, you know, every Monday to jump out of bed with the same amount of energy because the workday continues as it is right, like time as we know it day to day moves on in that kind of regular rhythm. But the reality is that our bodies do go through these changes as women, and I think it's so important to educate women about what is happening and how, in a way, like our time looks a bit different for us and it can kind of adjust and every day can look different.

Speaker 2:

Definitely and what I really just like a plug for in flow. What we think about it is. I get a lot of patients that come in and they say you know, I just feel like my hormones are out of whack or they're not in balance, and that could be the case. But what I would really want you to say is I am, I feel like my hormones are out of whack because of this symptom. So what like inflow is helping you know your potential users do is really chart down these symptoms and keep a menstrual diary and like, keep track of, like how they're feeling, based on their cycle, so that when they go to the doctor, they can have a much more like empowered, informed conversation about the specific symptoms that they're experiencing. They can put a name to it and that will ultimately help us figure out how to take care of them better and address their problems better. So, yeah, I love it 100%.

Speaker 1:

Oh well, thank you for that. So let's actually talk a bit about hormonal imbalances and some of the symptoms, and I know that there's a wide range of symptoms that one can experience and that could be tied to many different things. We don't want to have this be prescriptive, but I'm curious if you could share what are some of the signs, potential signs of an imbalance hormonally for women that we should be aware of or look out for for some of the common conditions out there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I would say you know the ones that I see in clinic more regularly. You know these are phrases that many people know. So like polycystic ovarian syndrome, pcos that is characterized by what we call unopposed estrogen, elevated testosterone levels, a regular period. So certainly if there's more than 45 days in between when you bleed, you can have facial hair, you can have chest hair. Those are like some of the more common signs and symptoms of PCOS. Women with PCOS are also at increased risk of having what's called metabolic syndrome, so it can be easier to gain weight, harder to lose weight and it can make them more prone to having type 2 diabetes, chronic hypertension, among many other things.

Speaker 2:

Another really I wouldn't say common, but another, like hormonal diagnosis that I see in clinic, is premature ovarian insufficiency. So this is when a woman stopped having her period before the age of 40, which you know as an OBGYN we certainly would think is abnormal. For that particular workup we would check, in addition to the standard hormones like thyroid level, prolactin, we would also look at some of the hormones that you see on your menstrual cycle chart. We don't check those all the time, but LH, fsh you'll probably see that on a chart for the menstrual cycle. We'll definitely check those, along with the estrogen level, just to figure out why you know.

Speaker 2:

Essentially, you know a 35 year old or such has gone into menopause. That's P O Y or premature ovarian insufficiency is also associated with the other common signs of menopause. So hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood, irritability. So, yes, if you have irregular cycles, your cycle is really the thing that's going to clue you in on whether or not your hormones are in sync and flowing as they should. So if you have a cycle where you are bleeding, the days between your bleeding is more than 45 days, certainly, or if you are without a period for at least three months, you definitely need to come into your OB because that warrant to work up. That was very long one day. I'm so sorry.

Speaker 1:

No, no, no. That's really really helpful and I think that you know for myself, at one point I actually, when I was much younger, I struggled with a menorrhea, I think. That's like where you don't have a period for a while. You know, it's like, oh yes, what a blessing I don't have it, I don't have to worry about it. But I think it's really important to call out that, as we kind of discuss those rhythmic changes, that having that flow no pun intended regularly, like within a certain window of time, is just really really crucial and that your period can be such a huge signal into what's flowing well and what's maybe not working so well in your body.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, definitely. With that being said, I know that maybe this would segue into another question, but your statement. I just want to follow that up by saying you know all of your period in the absence of birth control, like that's what I'm talking about Now as you work on birth control and you are taking it with the intention of not having a period, you know the mechanisms that are causing that happen.

Speaker 2:

That's totally fine. It's okay to not have a period when you're on birth control. I'm specifically talking about without a period when you're not on any type of hormonal contraception. That's when you know, as OBs, we get concerned. We definitely want you to check in with us.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, absolutely. So, actually, let's segue to birth control, because I think this is another topic that has a lot of misconceptions and could you start by sharing a bit about, like, the mechanism of what is happening in your body when you're on hormonal birth control. So, aka, the pill, because I know that there are many different types, but I think this one is probably the most popular. Still, right, yeah?

Speaker 2:

yes, so with the pill, the biggest thing that the pill is doing is preventing you from ovulating on day 14. So if you don't ovulate, you don't eject an egg from that dominant follicle. If there's no egg but there's sperm there, because the two can't meet, you don't get pregnant. So that's like the very simple explanation of what the pill is doing. If you take it every day at the same time, in terms of its effectiveness it's in that 90% ballpark. It's a really good, tried and true method to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Speaker 1:

So this might be a pretty detailed question, but I am super curious Does the pill do that by keeping your, I guess estrogen levels high or preventing progesterone from kind of increasing, which is what happens right after ovulation? Like, is there a mechanism of action there, or is it just that the pill provides kind of a different set of hormones? Like what does that look like? Like we talked about that chart and what happens naturally, and then what happens if you're on the pill?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So with my explanation, if it is at all possible to have like a chart of the the menstrual cycle, I think that would be really helpful for viewers. But essentially the pill is providing a steady state of estrogen and progesterone. So in that follicular phase what it ultimately does is prevent the LH surge, which has to happen before you ovulate. So if the LH surge doesn't happen, you never ovulate. The reason why you bleed if you take a cyclical pill, so a pill that has three weeks of hormones and then one placebo week, you bleed because on that placebo week the placebo pill doesn't have any hormones in it. You bleed because of the progesterone withdrawal. So I said that earlier, that progesterone withdrawal happens naturally for us. You know, when we, when the embryo doesn't implant in the uterine lining with the pill, you bleed because again, there's no progesterone in that placebo week.

Speaker 1:

And yeah, does that make sense? Yes, absolutely, and we will definitely link the chart for everyone to take a look at it, especially when we share this online. So definitely keep an eye out for those clips. All right, one more question around hormonal birth control before we shift gears to some other hormonal changes in postpartum which we can dive into next. What about, like the hormonal IUD? So the copper IUD doesn't have any hormones, but what about hormonal like a hormonal IUD Like? I think Marena is one example, right Like what is happening there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, Marena, Skyla, Kailina, Lailata they are all cousins, sisters, however you want to relate them, but they all have progesterone in it. Leave an a gestural specifically. They just have different doses and those doses reflect how long the device can stay inside of your uterus. But Marena doesn't work by preventing ovulation. Marena works by keeping the uterine lining nice and thin, so it's not favorable for the implantation of an embryo. In addition, it increases your cervical mucus, so it makes the passage of the sperm through the cervix and ultimately into the uterus. It makes that more harder. So, yeah, that's how it works for birth control.

Speaker 2:

I will say that because of the increase in cervical mucus. You know, I do have patients that come in and they say man, I have a lot of discharge with this Marena in place. That totally makes sense. That's a part of like why, that's a part of what it's supposed to be doing. So I feel like that is a hard adjustment for some people when they get the Marena Also. I can go on and on about Marena. I'm going to stop right there, I'm not going to take that.

Speaker 1:

I don't think that's a really good overview. So let's talk about some other changes and I want to kind of keep this in the same vein, but I love that there's more as we talked about earlier awareness to cyclical changes, but also the fourth trimester, right, which is the period of time after you give birth, and I feel like fertility and pregnancy that's an episode all on its own. We'll be diving into that separately y'all. But let's talk about postpartum, because that's obviously your sweet spot what exactly is happening in the body after you give birth, just so women have an idea of the scale of changes. Because we talked about, like, what's normal and what to expect and we're kind of used to that if you're not on birth control. If you're on birth control, it's pretty regulated. But now you've just gone through this massive pregnancy, You've grown a human, and what happens after in that fourth trimester in terms of hormonal changes?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, thank you. I will definitely just focus on hormonal changes because, like from a bodily standpoint, organs, there's a lot more to it. So the first hormone that we can Q&A on is oxytocin. Oxytocin is, you know, flushed out right after the delivery. It helps us, can keep our uterus contracted. So you know, in terms of bleeding, that can stay under control. The uterus I don't want to get too sciency, but the vessels in the uterus don't clamp off on their own. So the way that we stop the bleeding is we give, we clamp the uterus down with oxytocin to again Clamp off those vessels. No, hemorrhage oxytocin is thought to also, you know, those levels rise in the setting of like skin to skin. It can help facilitate Mother to infant bonding, that type of thing. So that hormones is at play.

Speaker 2:

Prolactin is another hormone that helps with our milk production. So those levels go up as well. And the setting of the elevated prolactin, the hormones that we ever so loved, that we have loved prior to delivery, escharine, progesterone those go down. And because escharine progesterone goes down, you know that that state I was not prepared for. For my own postpartum experience I Low levels of estrogen. For me what I experienced was melasma, as I had like darkening of my skin on my neck. I just I felt like I looked like an 80 year old and my skin was a lot drier. So that's, that's the part. That's the part that I wasn't really prepared for. Also, hair loss that's a really understudied topic in postpartum, but related to those decreased estrogen progesterone levels that are maintained Really to a degree, you know, as the woman is breastfeeding. Once we stop breastfeeding, lactating your hormones, eventually they get back to the normal levels that we typically you know. See where we get back to that rhythm.

Speaker 1:

Okay, well, because you know, I mean we've already acknowledged that I don't have kids. However, I have a lot of friends who express like severe, like an experience of like extra depressed feelings while breastfeeding, like while physically breastfeeding sometimes. And it's kind of crazy because, you know, a lot of women choose to breastfeed for what? Like a year, sometimes more, maybe less, in six months. So it's like this whole period where your estrogen and progesterone are really low, which they're also really low at the start of your period, right Like. There's like that kind of dip as well. So you're kind of like in that low state for the entire time that you're breastfeeding.

Speaker 2:

Basically, yeah, and I wouldn't say it's like to that degree, but, yeah, you're functioning at a level in terms of your those two hormones that, yeah, are a lot lower than what they would be not breastfeeding, and it's just for me in my experience I know that. You know every woman is different. I think is very commendable for moms who end up breastfeeding for, you know, three, four years that's. That is a huge accomplishment for me. I couldn't do it mainly because of those like it was the skin changes, it was the mood changes, like I just did not feel like myself and I had to really tighten that up before I went back to work, which was at three months postpartum. So we that should be another podcast and journey conversation, because it's we can deep dive into that.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, yeah, that is so huge. And you talked about the fact that you know we're focusing on hormone changes, but a lot is happening in the body as well. Can you give us kind of an overview of what's happening during that time?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think one cool, fun fact. Okay, so the uterus starts out let's say your term baby, so it starts out at 40 centimeters. So that is the size of. I don't really have a good example of a but it's like a phone, like an iPhone.

Speaker 2:

That's. I would say that's probably the size of normal uterus, like seven centimeters 40, my god. So your uterus kind of shrinks back down to that. I mean that's huge. That whole process is called, you know, uterine evolution. So that's happening. You gain a lot of fluid and pregnancy, the amniotic fluid, all the things. You're getting rid of all of that Fluid after the baby is delivered.

Speaker 1:

Wait, wait, wait. Can I? Just pause you for a quick question. Yeah, how are you getting rid of it? Like, is your body reabsorbing it? Is it like just coming out like urine? You know? Like what is happening, please.

Speaker 2:

You're in. You know when your water breaks you get rid of it. You get up or rid of it in a lot of ways, but you're in this definitely key okay, all right, all right, so maybe God.

Speaker 1:

So there's like the shrinkage and Expulsion of fluids. This is stuff people don't prepare you for, but yes, please.

Speaker 2:

You know, I know, okay, another fun bag. We'll probably have to end it here because again this could be another conversation. I have this really cool picture of the pelvic floor and the muscles of the pelvic floor. Regardless if you have a c-section or a vaginal delivery, they stretch Gineormously because it's supporting a pregnancy. That's 40 centimeters in size. That's huge. You know your baby's delivered. It's I don't know, eight pounds on a good day, four pounds on them on a you know, early day. So that pelvic floor stretches and because of that, incontinence Is a common thing that moms are dealing with. But the good news is that that can resolve, especially with pelvic floor physical therapy, typically by like six months postpartum. Hopefully we're not having any issues with that anymore.

Speaker 1:

Wow, wow, wow, okay. So a lot is happening which, frankly, I mean I already expected. I remember I had this like epiphany I broke my ankle a couple of years ago and I had to have surgery and I was like, laying there with my leg elevated, eating. Okay, I got some really great painkillers. You know, my mom was taking care of me and I was like I had this moment where I realized, okay, this is a limb that is feeling very uncomfortable. Now imagine if I had just given birth or had a c-section and Everything is healing, but you can't rest because you also have to get up and pump or breastfeed or bottle feed and you know you're waking up every couple of hours. It is kind of insane. And those are just the physical changes, coupled with the hormonal changes. I mean, women are warriors.

Speaker 2:

Give us our roses. Every single man off there yeah.

Speaker 1:

We are insane, insane. So I guess, and just to kind of give a little bit of context, what would you, what do you feel every woman should have when it comes to that fourth trimester and I think this is probably a lot of what you are trying to achieve with Honey coaching and all of the incredible practitioners that work with you Like, what would you have liked to have had during this period of time? And how long should we be thinking about this fourth trimester? Because you know you're 15 months out with Emery and you're still talking about the fact that you know Like you're not getting that much sleep. So how long is that period? And what should women be looking for in terms of care for themselves, not just their baby?

Speaker 2:

So Definitely, I would say. You know, from a physical recovery standpoint, the textbooks, the way they teach us is that postpartum is for six weeks after delivery. Some stretch it to 12 weeks. That's fine, but in reality, because of the psychosocial things that we're dealing with, the, the hormonal changes, the mood changes, the situational things that we're dealing with, the change in your relationship dynamics, the change in the way you communicate with your partner, the new responsibilities that you have, that you are trying to adjust to, that to fully like transition to, especially if you're a first-time parent, you know it takes 12 months and it really frustrates me and it gets me really angry when you have companies that only offer Two to four weeks of parental leave. I think that's a joke.

Speaker 2:

I so your question was what should parents have? What should they be looking for? In my opinion, it's community. It is a support person that can be your spouse, that can be your sister, it's just your go-to person who is also verse in the experience that you're about to go through, so that you two can tackle it together and be on the same page and you have the tools to communicate effectively when times get hard, because they will. That's what I wish for everybody. I think that was trial and error. You know, my husband, we got it right and I think that that has been the story for a lot of families Up until 2024 through trial and error, you got it right. But let's not do trial and error anymore. Let's just, like you know, prep parents to be successful. That makes sense, right? So hundred percent, a hundred percent.

Speaker 1:

And just one last question, kind of in that vein. Well, there are many questions I could ask but we're running out of time so I'm gonna have to cap it. The transition you're, you've been through this transition and I feel like not enough is said about that. You know, when I got married, getting married and going from being, you know, kind of not married all of your life to being married like I felt that transition and my body was not physically changing and birthing and taking care of another life during that time. What do you think could be helpful for women who maybe are listening to this podcast and are about to go through that transition, or have just kind of crossed that kind of line and they're a new mother? What would you love for them to think about or to know in order to make that transition a little bit easier, because I think that's a huge leap to go from maiden to mother, so to speak.

Speaker 2:

I I mean I don't want to do a shameless plug for my product, but like I really do believe in that. I've been in so many situations where, like you know, you don't know what good questions to ask because you just don't know the circumstance. So, like I shaped honey again for that mom, for that dad. It has all the content right there. It has every single physical struggle, relationship struggle, all the things that you could possibly experience in that transition. You know is there, it's, it's. I've organized it in a way again, because I said I'm organized. That's like how I describe myself. It's icon-based.

Speaker 2:

So if you are really struggling with infant care, just go to the lessons that you know, focus on infant care stuff, go through that, ask the questions to your community and then, just, you know, reach out whenever you need us. But I think that just knowledge is power, having a resource, a guide, is really helpful. It's something. This product is something that I wish I would have had to help prepare me. I do think that if I had it in front of me, I probably like would have like shoved it to the side, you know, right before delivery. But in the thick of it I think I would have felt like really grateful, like Actually I can go to this. I can like look up the stuff I'm struggling right now, ask my questions in the community and keep going.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, I think that's so powerful, so powerful. No, really, dr, right to rel have to say both. I just I think that a having someone with your knowledge level of what's happening physiologically, how to care for that, and kind of merging all of that information with your personal experience, and really the emotional, psychosocial side and the support, the providing that community support, is just so, so, so important, and I'm so Grateful that you have brought this into the world. So, as we wrap, I know that a lot of folks would actually love you to shamelessly plug and tell us more about honey coaching. Where can we find you and do you have anything new coming up that you want to talk about? And of course, I will hyperlink all URLs in the show notes for all listeners.

Speaker 2:

So thank you. So you can learn more about honey coaching at hello honey team calm. It's a platform that we aim to provide moms and dads in the postpartum period Access to experts who can help them in the four pillars of postpartum wellness. So for us, that's mental wellness, physical recovery, sensuality, intimacy and infant care. If I haven't already said that, you can follow me on Instagram at at honey coaching and, and, yeah, the. The main product that we're pushing out is the Hive program that has Coaching courses and then community. So it's everything you need bundled to one to make it through those 12 months of postpartum.

Speaker 1:

So huge folks. I will link that for everyone below, and doctor right to rel. Thank you so much for joining me today, of course. Thank you for having me All right. See you next time. Bye everyone. Thank you so much for tuning into the other way. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a five-star review. It really helps the podcast grow and I'm ever so grateful. If you want to stay connected, you can find information on how in our show notes. And finally, if you're curious about in flow and want free resources Around cyclical living or moon cycles, check out inflow planner, comm. And, of course, for all my listeners, you can use the code podcast 10 and that's all lowercase podcast 10 for 10% off any purchase. All right, that's all for today. See you next time.

Exploring Postpartum Care and Hormonal Health
Menstrual Cycle and Hormonal Changes
Understanding Hormonal Imbalances and Birth Control
Hormonal Changes and the Fourth Trimester
Postpartum Recovery and Support

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