Few of us look at our vulvas with any regularity. Perhaps even fewer have considered what self-knowledge and care of our vulva and vagina could mean for our long-term health, both physical and emotional.
This was the impetus behind our first ever Knowledge Series, hosted in the Fall of 2021 and led by a powerful team of experts over four weeks. During those sessions, we learned, shared and collectively vowed to seed a ‘new normal’ for dialogue around women's health and wellbeing.
Here are our key takeaways from this eye-opening series.
Kim Vopni, the Vagina Coach, explains the importance of pelvic floor health before and after childbirth.
Don't know what pelvic floor health means? You're not alone.
Many of us don't know how (or what!) to exercise to achieve pelvic floor wellness. However, awareness of this important area can help expectant folks in myriad ways, from preventing tearing during vaginal birth to avoiding future incontinence.
Kim Vopni, also known as The Vagina Coach and creator of Kegels & Cocktails™ , sat down with us during our Viva La Vulva[ link to Viva la Vulva landing page once all videos posted] series last fall, to outline exactly why pelvic health is so crucial and to offer some tips for improvement above and beyond Kegel exercises.
In the first clip below, Kim uses a model to describe the anatomy of the pelvis and explain how its layers of muscle work together during vaginal birth.
She also offers a gentle reminder of the importance of good posture. Minding our posture might be a concern many of us associate with grandmotherly nagging, but proper posture while seated can actually help strengthen your pelvic floor!
Urinary incontinence while pregnant and after giving birth is a common enough occurrence to be referenced as a wry punchline among mothers or part of a pregnancy storyline on tv. However, we learn from Kim that, although common, urinary incontinence is not normal and can be prevented when proper attention is paid to the pelvic floor.
She also shares that SUI (Stress Urinary Incontinence) during pregnancy is a high indicator of recurrent issues.
The key really lies in awareness and learning how to recognize, identify, and 'relax into' sensations happening in your own body.
As Kim says:
"The more we can learn to feel those [sensations of tension & discomfort] while we are pregnant, the more likely it is that we will be able to tune in to our body while we are birthing..."
We learned so much from Kim during this session (and immediately started working on our postures!).
She really affirmed our mission here at Nyssa, especially our belief that self-knowledge is power. The more we know our own bodies, the better equipped we are to advocate for ourselves and to affect our own outcomes.