1. Why do I need to work with The Mama's Physio?
Did you know that in France, it is standard protocol for every woman who has had a baby to have up to 20 visits from a pelvic health physiotherapist? And it's covered by their government! Why? Because they value the health and well being of their families! While there is much less support here in Canada, YOU can be the one to value yourself and invest in your own health both now and for the future. Every mama, whether trying, expecting, brand new, or seasoned will benefit from working with The Mama's Physio. The goal is to optimize your pelvic or maternal health by equipping you with knowledge that can make a world of difference. Preventing pelvic dysfunction is much easier when you know what to do and how to do it, and getting checked pre and post partum can save you a lot of future heartache. Pelvic health physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat the pelvic floor as it works syngeristically with the rest of your system. We have the unique skills to assess and treat areas that other health providers may miss or are outside of their scope of practice.
2. Pelvic floor physiotherapy....isn't that just doing a bunch of kegels?
Unfortunately, kegels is what many people think of when they hear the words "pelvic floor". But it's so much more than that. It is about training the entire core (the pelvic floor is just one part of it) and integrating its function into your daily life activities. It's about whole body alignment, and connecting to your various systems which all play off each other. It's about optimization of the neural and myofascial systems, about mobility, endurance, strength, efficiency, breathing, re-learning optimal movement patterns, motor control and coordination. It's about finding the driver for dysfunction (which may not be the pelvic floor muscles), eliminating pain, and being comfortable, confident and in control of one's body... Basically, we don't believe in a cookie cutter approach for every woman. Instead we carefully listen, asses, evaluate, and then together, we act to help you attain your goals.
3. What do I have to bring to my first session?
You will be sent a welcome email prior to the first visit. That email will contain all the information you will need to prepare.
4. What is the process once I have booked an appointment?
The first visit is the initial assessment which generally lasts around 75 minutes and takes place in a comfortable and private office with closed doors. You share your story, we review your health history, discuss your goals, and complete a comprehensive assessment. This may include analyzing your alignment, movement patterns, breathing, abdominal wall, muscle function, nerve function, and it often includes an internal pelvic floor evaluation. After this we discuss any questions you may have and give you one or two strategies to get started on. You are welcome to bring a trusted person to any appointment. Follow up sessions are typically booked for 45 minutes. They may also be booked for 30 or 60 minutes. Sessions often focus on: education, mind-body awareness, optimizing your alignment and biomechanics, improving flexibility and mobility, increasing endurance and functional strength, training your pelvic floor and core, bladder and bowel (and brain) re-training, manual techniques, learning how to breathe effectively, learning to tune into and relax your body, lifestyle evaluation, pain management, and more. Certain tools, products, books, or other services (for example, massage therapy) may be recommended to you as well. You will be provided with a home program to practice and integrate what you learn into your daily life. The goal is to keep it practical because moms are busy people! We encourage and expect you to take ownership of your program and your overall health, because it really is the key to long-term success.
5. Do I need a doctor’s or midwife's referral?
No, you do not. However, if you plan on using your extended health benefits, your insurance company may need to see a referral for physiotherapy from a physician in order for you to be reimbursed. You should call your insurance company to find out.
6. I'm a woman who is quite a bit older! Is too late to see you?
No, never. Issues caused by one or more pregnancies, childbirth, chronically poor ways of moving or menopause often don't get better on their own. They typically get worse or can manifest later in life. It's never too late to get checked and we urge you to do so. If you have never actually gone through childbirth yet you find yourself facing various health issues related to pelvic health, such as diastasis recti, incontinence, prolapse, vaginismus or other types of pelvic pain, please do not hesitate to contact us. We work with women in all stages of life and are here to serve you.
7. What are your fees?
A 75 minute consultation including a pelvic health evaluation is $155. To pose a more philosophical question: what value do you place on your health? (You can fill in the blank with something other than the word health). It's a question worth thinking about because it will ultimately determine what you invest in throughout your life. Other fees vary based on which program or service you are interested in. Contact us for more details.
8. Do you bill extended health benefits directly?
No, we are not currently set up to bill directly. However, you will be provided with a receipt for services after payment has been made. You can then send that receipt to your insurance company. We unfortunately cannot accept OHIP because government funding is generally not applicable to private physiotherapy practices of this nature, although we wish it was!
9. Will you be completing an internal pelvic examination? What is involved?
Internal examination is the gold standard to properly assess the status and function of the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor physiotherapists are specially trained to assess muscle tone, spasm, strength, structure, function, position, compliance, tissue quality, and more by using manual assessment skills. By completing an internal pelvic exam, we gain a wealth of information which we would otherwise have to guess at. If you provide your informed consent for a pelvic examination, you will be asked to lie down on a physiotherapy table and you will be draped comfortably with a sheet. The process will be explained step by step using an anatomical pelvis model as a visual . The internal examination is a gentle and clean technique (using non-latex gloves) and does not involved a speculum or stirrups. One or two gloved fingers are inserted into the vaginal canal, or one finger is inserted into the rectum in order to access the pelvic floor muscles. It is very important that you feel comfortable at all times. Please know that you can revoke your consent to an internal examination at any time and for any reason, no questions asked.
10. I'm on my period - can I still attend my appointment?
Yes you can. If you are comfortable with it, internal work can still be done if you are on your period. However we can also focus the session on external work if that is to your preference.
11. Can I have my baby or toddler with me?
Your children are most certainly welcome. We love little people! We have a room full of toys for them and Barb, our admin, is great at cuddling babies. You're also welcome to bring a friend along who can watch your baby while you are in with your therapist. If your little one comes into the session with you, we suggest that you have something that will keep him or her occupied and happy so that you can focus on you and get the most from your time with The Mama's Physio. If you need to attend to a fussing baby, feel free to do so! (We are breastfeeding friendly). However we are unfortunately unable to extend the length of your visit as other clients are booked in and we need to honour their time.
12. Do you see clients in their homes?
Yes we do. It can be truly impossible to get out of the house sometimes, especially if you're a new mama who is still healing up, or if you have a high risk pregnancy, or if mobility is an issue for you. We are happy to accommodate clients in their homes - especially if climbing stairs is a barrier as we are located in a second floor office. Just let us know when you contact us if a home visit is required. There may be an extra fee to account for travel time and mileage.
13. How did you get into this line of work?
This question is asked often! A passion for women's health and advocacy was born when Ibukun was a physiotherapy student completing an international rotation at this hospital. The experience planted a seed which ultimately grew into The Mama's Physio! Each of our therapists have different story that led her down this path - so feel free to ask when you meet your physio in person. She would love to share!