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Hem Spotlight: Dr. Beth Olson, PT, DPT, PCES

Hem Spotlight: Dr. Beth Olson, PT, DPT, PCES

A huge part of our mission at Hem Support Wear is to normalize the conversation about pelvic floor health and build a community of support. Many people who experience prolapse or other pelvic floor conditions feel confused, isolated, or hopeless, and we believe it shouldn’t be that way.

Welcome to another installment of our series Hem Spotlight, where we feature real people and their pelvic floor health stories. Our hope is that by providing a platform for people to openly share their journeys, we will all feel less alone, more connected, and more empowered.

The following story comes from Dr. Beth Olson, PT, DPT, PCES. And be sure to check out our conversation with her about restoring strength and balance through pelvic floor PT!

Dr. Beth Olson, PT, DPT, PCES

Tell us about your experience with POP.

I first experienced symptoms of POP about 6 months after having my first son in 2019. I had returned to regular exercises at around 8 weeks postpartum because everything felt fine and because I didn’t know anything about proper postpartum rehab, even as a physical therapist.


When I started running more, I noticed a heaviness in my pelvis and low back pain that I had not experienced before. I started Googling and asking my colleagues what could be going on. A colleague that had recently started her pelvic health training suggested it could be POP.


I went to see an experienced pelvic health PT in my town and started learning a lot more about what was going on.  When I became pregnant with my second son, at 15 months postpartum, I started having significant symptoms that left me physically and emotionally drained. With the help of pelvic floor PT, a good fitting pessary, and an external support garment when I couldn’t wear my pessary, I was able to manage symptoms through my pregnancy, but with significant exercise modifications. 


After that delivery, which was thankfully very easy, I got right to work on my postpartum rehab. By this time, I was fully certified in pelvic health and had completed a postpartum corrective exercise specialist certification. I also now had a grade 2/3 rectocele in addition to the previous grade 1/2 uterine prolapse. 


My recovery was painfully slow, as I am a very active person who doesn’t know how to or like to slow down. I spent 6 months with hardcore rehab focusing on building a very strong foundation. This is where I built my first online program Core and Pelvic Floor Foundations from. I was slowly able to progress into lifting weights and eventually running. I wore a pessary all the time for the first 6 months, then just as needed for exercises for another 3 months. I was first able to lift weights without the pessary and eventually I was able to run without the pessary at about 18 months postpartum. I was breastfeeding for 11 months, and for me that played a big role in my ability to gain strength. I noticed a significant improvement in the months after weaning my son. I now enjoy every sport and am back to running 5K’s with occasional symptoms that I can easily manage!

Dr. Beth Olson, PT, DPT, PCES and her family

Do you have any advice or words of comfort/encouragement/hope you’d like to give someone who may be at the beginning of their POP journey?

The diagnosis and journey can be daunting, but with the right team of people (PT, OBGYN, support system) you can live and move freely with POP.  There is so much that can be done conservatively through physical therapy and the use of internal/external support garments.


In my opinion, the most important aspect for healing is working with your PT to be able to progressively get stronger without exacerbating your symptoms and that typically comes from a full body approach.


What are your favorite pelvic health resources?

I created Core and Pelvic Floor Foundations, a 4 week online course designed to rebuild all the connections through breathing, posture, mobility, and progressive strengthening.  You can then progress into a 12-week progressive strengthening program with me.


Also, having an amazing pelvic floor PT is a game changer. You can look for one in your area through Core Exercise Solutions or Pelvic Global.

 

Interested in sharing your POP/pelvic health story as part of our series? We’d be honored! Get in touch here to learn more or ask any questions you may have.

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