Hem Spotlight: 5 Pelvic Floor Health Advocates We Admire
In the realm of pelvic floor health, a supportive community is key. That's why we're shining a spotlight on five incredible individuals whose passion and dedication have made a significant impact on this important facet of women's wellness.
These advocates aren't just experts; they're advocates, allies, and champions for pelvic floor health in every stage of life. As we introduce you to these remarkable figures, we hope you'll be as inspired as we are by their contributions. So, without further ado, let's meet the pelvic floor health advocates we deeply admire.
1. Dr. Rebecca Maidansky, PT, DPT, Founder of Lady Bird Physical Therapy in Austin, Texas
Rebecca founded Lady Bird PT in 2019 after she witnessed a lack of support and options for folks navigating their reproductive journeys. She knew people deserved better and she created a clinic in Austin, Texas where they get exactly that.
Rebecca and the team of doctors at Lady Bird PT have more time to connect with their patients and give them real answers and effective guidance. Her team focuses on continual improvement and learning so they can continually provide inclusive, evidence-based care.
Rebecca takes great care of her patients and her team. It is no easy feat to be a passionate advocate for pelvic health, a successful entrepreneur and continually give back to your community, but Rebecca does all of that with a smile on her face.
In addition to her daily practice as a pelvic floor physical therapist, she writes an information-packed monthly newsletter with contributions from her team, writes pelvic related articles for health publications such as Women’s Running Magazine and Health, as well as posting impactful content on the Lady Bird PT Instagram.
Our founder Lauren got connected with Rebecca in 2020 when she attended a community event called “Find Your Village” that was hosted by Austin Doula Care. “Rebecca gave a talk about pelvic floor health during pregnancy and talked about her work as a pelvic floor physical therapist,” Lauren remembers. “I am so thankful she did that talk and that I attended because I signed up for her Expecting Parent package and was already scheduled to see her after I had my first baby in 2020. I had prolapse and was so discouraged. Rebecca was helpful in so many ways. I am very thankful for her work and her willingness to connect with people and give back to the community.”
2. Stephanie Thompson, Founder of Bravemumma
Stephanie is an author, advocate and change maker. In 2015, she endured a traumatic childbirth injury that changed her body and life forever. Stephanie is a true advocate for people with pelvic organ prolapse and provides support in so many ways. She started the Bravemumma community, wrote two books (The Day My Vagina Broke and Tips and Tricks for Living with Pelvic Organ Prolapse) and has a podcast called The Lowdown with Bravemumma.
In fact, our founder Lauren was featured in an episode of Stephanie’s podcast. Lauren recalls how Stephanie’s kind spirit had a huge impact on her. “Stephanie was encouraging to me early on in my journey and welcomed me to the pelvic health space with open arms. I am so thankful for her generosity.t. Her mission to share her story and start conversations about how we view and talk about women’s pelvic health is critical.”
3. Ashley Nowe, Founder of Get Mom Strong
Ashley is a pregnancy and postpartum exercise specialist who founded Get Mom Strong and developed the Strong Like a Mother (SLAM) exercise program. Ashley struggled with diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal wall) after her pregnancies and found help from a pelvic floor physical therapist to heal her body. Through her personal experience, she set on a mission to give women the tools to connect with their core, build strength in a safe and healthy way, and feel confident in their pregnancy and postpartum experiences.
Her SLAM program is approachable and effective, and our founder Lauren has been impressed with it.“The program is challenging but doable. Ashley teaches you how to properly engage your core and pelvic floor. I have been able to stick with it consistently for over two months. I feel myself getting stronger and being able to actually feel my core and other muscles turn on during the exercises. SLAM has helped me feel stronger and more confident in my daily strength building routine, and I am hopeful that more people will benefit from her tremendous contribution to this space.”
4. Kimberley Johnson, M.S., Future Perinatal and Reproductive Health Psychologist
Kimberley is a PhD candidate in clinical psychology focused on perinatal, pelvic and maternal health. She is working toward becoming a perinatal and reproductive health psychologist.
According to Kimberley, she unfortunately had the opportunity to live out her academic interests in a personal and painful way. During her daughter’s otherwise uncomplicated birth center delivery in 2019, she sustained a pelvic floor muscle avulsion injury and developed pelvic organ prolapse. She learned firsthand how lacking mental health resources for pelvic floor injuries and conditions are, which prompted her to shift her emphasis to close this clinical and research gap.
During her time in her PhD program, she has submitted research proposals, spoken on podcasts and webinars, been awarded fellowship funding for her dissertation, and was recently matched for her final residency year in Chicago where she is receiving specialized reproductive health psychology training. Not to mention growing, birthing and raising two incredible children.
We admire Kimberley’s openness in sharing her story along with her insights on pelvic health, mental health, balancing work and parenting, breastfeeding, cosleeping, and other important,but little talked-about, topics.
She created an Instagram channel @wildmatresence in 2019 and reflected in this post: “It seems, for all the ground we’ve gained in feminism and self-love and postpartum body positivity, this pregnancy complication is still shrouded in shame and secrecy. And I’m not alone. Prolapse occurs in approximately 1/10 first deliveries, and impacts upwards of 50% of women by menopause. So why is it that we don’t know that, and then are left feeling alone and broken, betrayed by a body we trusted, a body that previously felt capable and strong?
After opening up on my Facebook about my postpartum journey, I received not only messages of support and encouragement, but ones of ‘Me too, I was terrified I was the only one’ and ‘Thank you… this needs to be talked about publicly.’ So, I’m ending the silence. If >50% of women will experience this in their lifetime, why can’t we talk about it, in the same way that we’ve brought diastasis recti and stretch marks out of the closet? Because if we could, we might not all feel so much unwarranted shame and shock.”
Kimberley has discussed birth injuries with an unusual level of candor and vulnerability, which has helped create a safe community for others to share and help destigmatize a historically stigmatized topic and condition.
“No matter how well you prepare,” she says, “ you’ll find yourself completely unprepared. No matter how meticulously you dial in everything that’s within your control, your whole life can still be turned upside down by factors entirely outside of it.”
Kimberley’s honesty and vulnerability to share and have an open dialogue on many topics that typically have shame or stigma around them has helped so many people feel hopeful, find community and learn more about how they can live with pelvic organ prolapse. We are looking forward to seeing the continued impact that Kimberley makes in this space.
5. Dr. Margo Kwiatkowski, PT, DPT, CSCS, PCES, Founder of P4Moms Physical Therapy, P.C. in Southern California
Margo practices orthopedic, sport and pelvic health physical therapy in Southern California. She works full-time clinic hours and runs P4Moms Physical Therapy, P.C., which offers virtual physical therapy services to people in California.
She gave birth to her son in June 2021 and knew early postpartum that something was wrong. She had pelvic organ prolapse (POP). She knew about POP from her work but could not believe that it had happened to her. With her world feeling like it was crashing down, she looked to Google for success stories and hope. She was not able to find much that was helpful except one very small Facebook group of women who were experiencing prolapse and less than a year postpartum. This lifted her up and gave her the opportunity to help other people feel hopeful on their recovery journeys.
Margo created a membership community for people to connect with others and join chats based on commonalities, like number of children or geographic location. The membership also includes access to a gallery of real photos of prolapse, which have been added by other community members for educational purposes. This is an incredible resource that helps demonstrate a variety of vulvas and prolapses.
In addition to creating the membership community, she has developed four courses to help people with POP. They include: Return to Running, POP Principles - Your Guide to Recovery, Hypopressives for Prolapse, and Sex After Prolapse.
Margo also shares impactful content on the P4Moms Instagram channel. Some of our founder’s favorite tips have been about how to manage sneezing, coughing and vomiting with pelvic organ prolapse. “This is something that I did not think about initially, and it can be really hard to manage because of the amount of downward pressure on your pelvic floor caused by each of those,” Lauren says.
The success stories, personal anecdotes and educational tips make her channel a must-follow for anyone interested in learning more about pelvic organ prolapse and how to live a full life with it.
As we wrap up our journey through the lives and work of these five phenomenal pelvic floor health advocates, we're reminded of the immense power of community and advocacy. Their stories and contributions have not only elevated the conversation surrounding pelvic floor health but have also provided invaluable support for countless individuals.
Remember, you too are a part of this community, and your experience matters. Together, we can continue pushing boundaries, advocating for women's well-being, and supporting one another through every stage of life.
Thank you for joining us on this inspiring journey,, and we invite you to explore our Pelvic Floor Support Garments as a part of your journey. Here's to a future of empowered pelvic floor health!