Okay, hands up if you're still adjusting to life with your changing body after childbirth 🙋♀️🙋♀️🙋♀️ Well, you're in fantastic company! The area of women's health is still a bit of a mystery sometimes, especially for new mums. So, we sat down with the incredible Marnie Poiner from The Healthy Peach Physio in Brisbane – women's health physiotherapist, sexologist, new mum, and all-around pelvic health expert.
After kicking off as a sports physio, Marnie took her first pelvic health course in 2016 and found herself hooked. "I nerded out so hard," she laughs.
"I was left with this visceral desire to help people improve their pelvic health and have the uncomfortable conversations that we are all so desperate to have."
From there, Marnie went on to complete her Master of Science in Medicine (Sexual and Reproductive health), specialising in psychosexual counselling. "I wanted to expand my scope of practice when supporting people with pelvic health concerns," she explains.
But what about the personal side of things? Marnie became a mum herself in 2023, welcoming beautiful bub Freddy. "Completely life-altering. In the most magical and exhausting way possible!" she exclaims. "I didn't know it was possible to function on such little sleep or love anything as much. Motherhood certainly exposes all the emotional cracks, but it's a journey I've never been happier to be on."
So what exactly can a pelvic health physio help with?
According to Marnie, women’s and pelvic health physios can help you with a wide array of areas, including:
- Bladder and bowel concerns
- Pain conditions like endometriosis and other menstrual conditions
- Sexual pain and arousal issues
- Supporting the body through pregnancy
- Preparing for vaginal birth or recovery post-belly birth
- Postpartum pelvic and abdominal rehabilitation
- Managing the lactating breast
- Fitting pelvic organ pessary devices for support
- Pre and post-op support for gynae-related or abdominal surgeries
- Support for people who have had genital affirmation surgeries
- Pelvic rehab post-pelvic radiation
As Marnie puts it, "We're here to have those uncomfortable conversations and support you every step of the way. Your pelvic health matters, and so do you!"
3 quick pelvic health & wellness tips all new mums should know (according to Marnie)
- If it doesn't feel right, seek help
Your body is in a totally new phase right now, but if something feels off or you're worried about something, don't put off getting help from a professional. If you've sought help in the past and felt as though the person you saw didn't really hear you, find someone else! You deserve to be listened to.
- Squeezing your pelvic floor muscles usually isn't the answer
A tight pelvic floor is usually a dysfunctional (and painful) one. If you’re having any symptoms down there, it’s best to get it assessed so we can figure out exactly what's going on, and how to treat it.
- Get horizontal
If you're early in the postpartum journey, lie down as much as you can! Literally any
chance you get. Your pelvic floor will thank you for it.
- DON'T BE CONSTIPATED.
(Sorry, 3 wasn't quite enough! If you are constipated at any point during pregnancy or the 4th trimester, get on top of it ASAP. If it's not working, seek help from a local physio.
Marnie says if there's one thing she wants every mum to know about their peach, it's that it's beautiful and unique, and it's worth appreciating and loving.
"Our vulva is a part of us. It's not yukky or icky or not deserving of pleasure, which I hear so often in my room."
So join us in taking our peachy health seriously! Especially after pregnancy and childbirth. Too many mums end up forgetting to prioritise themselves and their wellbeing, which is of course never the solution to so many common issues that pop up for us. And if you happen to be in Brisbane, you can visit Marnie at The Healthy Peach Physio at the Grange.
Stay tuned for more expert advice from Women's Health Physio Marnie Poiner on our blog.