Aligned Birth

Ep 109: Pediatric Physical Therapy with Dr. Brittany Zis, founder of Mother and Baby Wellness Collective

June 28, 2023 Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael Episode 109
Ep 109: Pediatric Physical Therapy with Dr. Brittany Zis, founder of Mother and Baby Wellness Collective
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Aligned Birth
Ep 109: Pediatric Physical Therapy with Dr. Brittany Zis, founder of Mother and Baby Wellness Collective
Jun 28, 2023 Episode 109
Dr. Shannon and Doula Rachael

Dr. Brittany Zis is a physical therapist and founder of Mother and Baby Wellness Collective and she joins us on the show to talk about pediatric physical therapy.  She’s passionate about caring for mom as well as baby, and she does this through in-home 1:1 pediatric physical therapy, gross motor play classes, virtual Breath and Core series and so much more!  We talk about:

What is pediatric physical therapy?

How does it differ from adult care?

Why might an infant need physical therapy?

What do pediatric PT sessions look like?

What are some common issues she works with?

What are the treatment outcomes?

How does Mother and Baby Wellness Collective support moms? 

Connect with Dr. Brittany

Mother and Baby Wellness Collective

On Instagram 

On Facebook

Support the Show.

Want to show your support? Want to help us continue doing this important and impactful work: Support the Show (we greatly appreciate it!)

Don't miss new episodes: Join the Aligned Birth Community

Instagram: Aligned Birth


Find us online:
Sunrise Chiropractic and Wellness
North Atlanta Birth Services

Editing: Godfrey Sound
Music: "Freedom” by Roa

Disclaimer: The information shared, obtained, and discussed in this podcast is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs. By listening to this podcast you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This disclaimer includes all guests or contributors to the podcast.

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Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Brittany Zis is a physical therapist and founder of Mother and Baby Wellness Collective and she joins us on the show to talk about pediatric physical therapy.  She’s passionate about caring for mom as well as baby, and she does this through in-home 1:1 pediatric physical therapy, gross motor play classes, virtual Breath and Core series and so much more!  We talk about:

What is pediatric physical therapy?

How does it differ from adult care?

Why might an infant need physical therapy?

What do pediatric PT sessions look like?

What are some common issues she works with?

What are the treatment outcomes?

How does Mother and Baby Wellness Collective support moms? 

Connect with Dr. Brittany

Mother and Baby Wellness Collective

On Instagram 

On Facebook

Support the Show.

Want to show your support? Want to help us continue doing this important and impactful work: Support the Show (we greatly appreciate it!)

Don't miss new episodes: Join the Aligned Birth Community

Instagram: Aligned Birth


Find us online:
Sunrise Chiropractic and Wellness
North Atlanta Birth Services

Editing: Godfrey Sound
Music: "Freedom” by Roa

Disclaimer: The information shared, obtained, and discussed in this podcast is not intended as medical advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional consultation with a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your individual medical needs. By listening to this podcast you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having. This disclaimer includes all guests or contributors to the podcast.

Speaker 1  0:44  

The birth labor and 1109 birth podcast listeners and friends. This is Dr. Shannon. I'm one of the hosts of the library podcast and this podcast was born from Rachel and I and we wanted to create something that talks about perinatal health. So that's preconception of pregnancy, birth labor, and postpartum motherhood, that whole entire journey. And so with that we get to do interviews with some amazing Peri natal experts in health and wellness. And so today we've got an interview day so this is always one of my favorites, but we have Dr. Brittany this and so she is a physical therapist focuses on pelvic floor but also Pediatric Physical Therapy. And so that is the focus of what I wanted to go into today is really talking about Pediatric Physical Therapy. What does that look like? Why might a baby need it what age group she works with all the knowledge that she has there and then I also want to touch a little bit on you know what she does with working with women and mothers, prenatally and postpartum as well too, so she's got lots of lots of knowledge and lots of information. So I'm trying to hone it in a little bit but that's going to be the basis of today's show is really looking at that Pediatric Physical Therapy. So again, we have Dr. Brittany's this on she's a physical therapist and founder of mother and baby wellness collective. It's a team of infant paediatric and Perinatal pelvic health physical therapists, serving babies and moms in the community through one on one individualized physical therapy in the comfort of your own home. Amazing. That's why I want to talk to you today too, but she has also got blooming babies gross motor play classes, virtual breath and core classes. Britney's passion lies in providing early intervention as well as proactive wellness care to optimize infant development and to sport support moms good pregnancy, birth and beyond. Hello, and welcome to the Allied birth podcast. We are so glad you're here. I'm Dr. Shannon a prenatal chiropractic

Speaker 2  2:42  

and I'm Rachel a birth doula and childbirth educator and we are the team behind the aligned birth podcast.

Speaker 1  2:49  

Between us we have experienced necessary in birth a VBAC, hospital births and home birth. Our personal experiences led us to where we are today. We share a lot in common We are

Speaker 2  2:59  

friends from high school who reconnected through our work. We both changed career paths after the birth of our own children. We light up and talking about health and birth and we are both moms to two young boys.

Speaker 1  3:11  

This podcast was created to share conversations and interviews about topics from pregnancy and birth to motherhood and the importance of a healthy body and mind through it all. Our goal is to bring you fun, interesting and helpful conversations that excite you and make you want to learn more.

Speaker 2  3:26  

We believe that when you are aligned in body, mind and your intuition you can conquer anything. We hope you enjoyed the episode

Unknown Speaker  3:46  

so welcome to the show, my friend.

Speaker 3  3:49  

Thank you so much for having me. I am such a big fan of yours. And Rachel's I love what you're doing. And I just think it's so important that we are all talking about this mother and baby dyad and the family unit and how we can support from the beginning and I think it's really important. So I love what you're doing and I'm really happy to be here. Yeah,

Speaker 1  4:11  

I have a little fangirl moment though. Like I so we actually met in person. So Britney's office is in well, like she works in that Metro Atlanta area. And so we actually got to meet because I know I think you even work with Dr. Tiana a little bit and like out of her office space. And so Dr. Gianna, that's who I get adjusted by she's an amazing chiropractor. I've interviewed her on the show. I love her and so I'm like, I love her people and you're her people and so and then you know Ashley Lagerfeld and I just interviewed her on the show like I just love this unit that we have. It's so it's so so good, but I guess I'm glad to actually have met you, you know in person and know who you are and how amazing you are and just the love that you have for supporting families and supporting moms in this so that's I love your that business name. And so that's what I want to start with is what does mother and baby wellness collective like mean to you? What does that look like? For people?

Speaker 3  5:12  

This is such a good one. It's um, you know, so I feel like mother and baby wellness collective really, it was birthed out of this mission to really change and revolutionize care for moms and babies and this dyad I really like to call it that because I feel like we can't look at baby without looking at mom and vice versa. And so, when when I I've been you know working with children that was kind of where my where I started in my career. And when I was pregnant with my own first kiddo, it really I think like a lot of us that inspired my, you know, really digging into this relationship and what this meant for you know, my health being you know, cared for, for what that would mean for my baby and vice versa and so Mother maybe wellness collective really was this birth kind of like my own journey to motherhood but really because I want to change how we're looking at care for moms from pregnancy, through prepping for their birth, postpartum rehabilitation recovery, and then just empowering them for how to support their baby's development because we know that you know, baby doing well helps mom do well and vice versa, right and so it really is this mission to change the way we're caring for mom and baby because I think there's a lot more missing in our in our regular health care system. And I know you see it in your work and I see it in mind too, that there's a lot that goes missing then that thing is we missed that we then are kind of backpedaling and having this reactive care if care at all right for some. And I think that you know, it's so important to shift our care to being proactive and providing this you know, proactive care and education and you know, that changes the game completely for for mom and babies physical care, their mental health, everything so that is really you know, mother and baby really is a it's a mission. It really is a mission beyond just work, you know,

Speaker 1  7:15  

definitely. But I love that you it really is like, you know, we want to hold the mother but then it's also we still it's this transition that you know that Metro sense that's why I love that that word, because it is that process into becoming a mother and that really that dyad that you talked about is so important and I know a lot of the like perinatal mental health therapists look at it that way as well too is like this is that collective unit you know, now and so how can we care for them and you know, even mentioned and I know in my own journey, it was kind of like, oh, well, there's like words that I didn't even know about, you know, I didn't know about pelvic floor physical therapy. I didn't know these words doula and stuff like that. So I think we're getting better because I have more and more people coming in the office. You probably do too. It's like they're saying these words. Yes. There's still room for improvement. Yeah,

Speaker 3  8:06  

absolutely. recruitment. Absolutely. It's I feel like I always tell families and like I feel like we're at phase one where people are starting to get the lingo and ask the questions, but we haven't gotten totally to phase two and three yet we're we're actually getting the whole healthcare system involved to help me referrals. I feel like we still have a lot of families having to really self advocate minus the the few of us out in the world that are championing and trying to provide the education and support. But we have some work to do still, but it is exciting to see more people advocating and asking questions, I think that's where the birth of change happens for sure.

Speaker 1  8:45  

Now, why physical therapy for you? Because you mentioned a little bit with your own mother her journey but where did physical therapy fall in line with your mother her journey? You know, like Were you already a physical therapist, or was there a shift or a change in how you looked at what you were doing?

Speaker 3  9:04  

Yeah, I actually I was a physical therapist first. So it's really funny because when I became a physical therapist, the program that I was in, I joined this accelerated program that combines my undergrad with my graduate to a doctoral program. And so when I was in 17, and a half, I decided yeah, I'm gonna go be a physical therapist and off it, and I joined this program and people were like, Are you sure you want to commit to seven years of schooling? You don't even know you know who you are? And I thought, this sounds good. Sounds like a good fit for me. And I was inspired, you know, really, I just always loved caring for people. I definitely am. Someone that has always enjoyed taking care of people. I had a lot of elderly family members that were kind of involved in my life as a young child that I just kind of naturally helped to care for. I enjoy being around them and being a part of that and so I I knew I wanted to be involved in health care somehow. I didn't really want to be a medical doctor and I didn't really you know, it's funny. Because as a kid, I was terrified. I was terrified of icky gross stations, but I didn't want to be doing that kind of stuff. And so I thought you had health care but be clean. And so I even my brother at the time, my older brother was getting physical therapy for a shoulder injury. He was a swimmer. And I thought well, that sounds pretty interesting. And I was a dancer and a swimmer and I you know, loved movement always loved movement. And I thought, well, that's that's health care and caring for people and involves movement and learning about the body which I'm really fascinated by and maybe this will be a good fit for me. So I, I shadowed a really it was actually just an orthopedic, sports medicine, pt. And I thought, okay, yeah, I can do this. This sounds great. I have no idea that I can work with babies. And I love so my jobs back then. Were a babysitter nanny and you know, high school and college jobs and I always just gravitated towards children to just love love working with kids and but I didn't know that was an option. So I was I thought I would go to school and be probably a sports and ortho PT. That's all I knew. And then I got into PT school and I started taking neuro anatomy classes and I thought, Oh, this is my jam development, movement, the brain, the body, that connection. Oh, I love this. And I really gravitated heavily towards neuroanatomy and neuro development. And then I learned I could work with kids and I thought I had no I got into this and I have no idea. And so that just kind of started me on the path towards more understanding the body from a development and rheological developmental standpoint. And that just really interested me and when I had to take orthopedic classes, I enjoyed them. But I really gravitated towards more of the manual therapy classes, the cranial sacral and that kind of manual therapy. And so I thought, Okay, this is great. And I then I just I did a lot of my clinical work in neuro rehab and pediatrics and just fell in love with that and that kind of led me to work with kids and then I always loved working with babies and once I started working with the kiddos, I always really loved having the babies on my caseload and I just really loved learning about development. I just kind of always enjoyed watching the babies that I treated and then seeing the you know, the older kids I treated and I would see that because I worked initially birth to 21 And so I saw these kiddos and I would see them older and say what what can we learn from watching the baby's move, you know, and that just really, I just enjoyed that so much and that kind of inspired that part of my love for development. And then I did training and neurodevelopmental treatment. So that's um, you may have heard of MDT, but that really spent a lot of time on looking at the head to toe body, the alignment movement patterns, and hands on facilitation of movement patterns. And again, you still always look back at babies, and I'm like, wow, we can look at babies and learn so much about ourselves, and about children and everybody, all of our patients, whether we work with infants through adults, we can learn so much from watching how babies move and so I just love it. And so yeah, that kind of, you know, I didn't know I was going to have that opportunity to do what I do now and I chose to be a physical therapist you know a lot so let me go but love

Speaker 1  13:50  

that it was that sports aspect and we because sometimes you hear that though in lines of work and I even you know even some of my dear chiropractor friends that work with women and children now started off wanting to do more of like, it's always usually more the sports or whatever they like kind of like new like Oh, I know this, and then it's like it you know, ebbs and flows into that once you learn the techniques and the specializations that you can do within those fields and then how you can really help so really well and I love to having I guess, one thing I love and I love working with pediatric PTS because again too I work as pediatric chiropractor, I work with kids a lot as well. But I love the different viewpoints and lenses that it gives us when you have a care team looking at infants because you're going to have one lens I'll have a lens that pediatrician is going to have a lens our playtime therapy is going to have a lens and yes, it can sound that can sound overwhelming to have that many people trying to like look at something but just the level of care that you can get and the impact that that can have on that baby that like sets them up and then again to you're even mentioning that sets up mom because now we are feeling better, you know and it's not Oh, I wish I had known and all of those things. So I love that you had mentioned you know, you can kind of mentioned that as far as like working with you know, others.

Speaker 3  15:15  

Absolutely. I think it's so important that you know, we look at children or moms or whoever your patient is I think that it's so important to look at people from head to toe look at their whole body you can't just look at one piece like whatever they're coming to us for you know everyone comes with a with a chief complaint right like whatever their their injury is or their issue, their functional deficit, whatever it is, but but we have to look at them take step back and look at them as a whole person no matter who we're treating, but then that involves, you know, many, many times it involves, you're right like everyone's area of expertise coming together and I find that we get the best outcomes when we do that. When we work together. I love working with other professionals because I personally find that the babies or the moms whoever I'm working with, they they have the best outcomes the quickest outcomes, the more long lasting outcomes when we when we have a team and we all bring our bring our expertise together, because it really does ensure we're limiting blind spots to

Speaker 1  16:17  

definitely exactly no and that's and I've often loved even just conversing and being like, Well what did you see here? What do you think, you know, like it's just really nice to have to have that. So

Speaker 3  16:28  

to have absolutely yeah, because everyone's perspective is different. And I I love being able to get a glimpse of you know, what you see when you look at this person, and then you know, being asked the same and seeing where we have overlap or where Oh, if I didn't have that perspective, or I didn't notice that you know, or and being able to then translate that into my plan that chair and vice versa. I think it's really, really important. And again, I just think that our bodies are complex and so we have to have this complex assessment and look at the look at them and and everything. So I think it's great

Speaker 1  17:02  

Exactly. Now, what does Pediatric Physical Therapy look alike? Because, you know, it's, I'm going to say it's probably gonna look different than it is for adult, you know, physical therapy. So, what are some of the differences or where do you even want to start in that you know, aspect or maybe even like what you're looking at with care and those types of things?

Speaker 3  17:26  

Yeah, well, and I will say, you know, pediatric PT is the interest I'm sure same for you. It is, you know, who we're treating and what we're treating, it can vary. There are so many diagnoses there are so many ways we can be looking or even just areas of focus you know if you have a school based physical therapist is going to still look at the same things that you know an outpatient physical pediatric PT will look at but but with a different functional outcome right. So a school based PE is going to look at the same, the same deficits but say but how can we help this child be successful in a school setting? And so their goals and their plan of care might look different? Whereas you know, someone in an outpatient clinic working like where I used to work birth to 21 or inpatient I also worked in a hospital setting. You know, what we're doing in outpatient and inpatient can completely vary and what and really it always comes back to our goals, right? We might have a child with a certain diagnosis, but really what we're going to yes look at their body, head to toe, look at their muscles range of motion, look at their balance and muscle tone and all of that, but we're also going to ultimately say but what do we need to look like? Why do we need to correct this? Or why do we need to improve this? Is it to help a child walk up the stairs independently? Is it to help them you know, be able to participate in gym class? Is it to be able with their peers, you know, is it for a baby is it you know, to be able to crawl so that they can get to where they need to be to play and interact with your environment, which is so you know, that sounds so simple. You'd be looking at something like that as just getting from A to B but we don't think about all the nuances all of the sensory integration. We don't look at the the visual motor skills that come from that the the you know, the hand strengthening that comes from that for your child when they're six years old in school learning how to color and right you know, it's the it's so complicated but for so it's a really that's a big question, but you know, for a pediatric PT you know, you can work in a lot of different settings and with a lot of different diagnoses. So for myself, specifically, I really focus on the infants and young toddlers. And so, at this point, I've worked in a lot of different settings. A lot of you know, in one point in my career was focused heavily on neuro development in the sense of, you know, children with cerebral palsy or traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. But at this point, now I'm really really have honed in on the infant development and so, working a lot with little ones with torticollis tethered oral tissues plagiocephaly or head molding, you know, delayed milestones and often that the delayed milestones is a result of some of those other things, right. And so, I see kind of all of that, you know, maybe a child will get referred for one one of those but when we look deeper, we see multiple there's

Speaker 1  20:24  

multiple yeah, there's lots of things and even when you have that the I will see the digestive aspects of things and collagen Ella because it is and I often say in the office too, it's like everything. It's all connected. So it's you know, it really is multifaceted so

Speaker 3  20:42  

and so when we're working, you know the difference though, you know, you know, an orthopedic adult PT that might be working on a shoulder, they're still going to look at the whole body and they're still going to rehabilitate that shoulder. But of course, the adults you know, can sit and follow instructions and do reps or whatever, you know, the to get more as you know, you have to get creative with kids, you know, and a baby that can't follow directions or a toddler. You know, a lot of it is play focused. And so a lot of times people will see me working and think, Oh, you just play but it really is so much deeper. than that play while facilitating you know, while we're facilitating and I really a big part of my practice is hands on facilitation. I'm of course I use manual therapy techniques, myofascial release and other techniques. And we look at you know, the sensory motor system, but you know, ultimately, we're going to do those interventions and then continue to integrate them into functional movement because that's really the end goal. The end goal is not just to be able to turn their head it's to be able to turn their head so they can learn to roll or they can learn to reach and grab the toy right like we don't need to just we do need to turn our head for so many. Why do we need that we need

Speaker 1  21:59  

oftentimes, I'm with parents too, with that. It's like this is why there's a whole other world on this side of their body that they don't necessarily know about. And it's like that can impact the rest of their development not to make it seem so like the dog, you know, like this is going to impact everything, but it is all connected. Yeah,

Speaker 3  22:18  

you know, it's funny because, you know, will involve, again, a lot of play for our interventions, it looks like that or we utilize that for motivation, right? That's really what it is to find whatever motivates them to move but then I'm in the background, facilitating the movements and guiding, really setting up the play space or the the, you know, environment and might using my maybe my hands or different equipment to really, really elicit those movement patterns. Like that's really what it comes back to is eliciting those proper movement patterns, calming of their nervous system. As you know, babies so many babies have an element of birth trauma and that can sound for so scary that word. Even if you have a really peaceful birth, there's you know, we all you know, who've had it, you know, even I hate to use the word uneventful, but even if you've had an uneventful birth, you know,

Speaker 1  23:14  

it's there's a lot of stress or strain. That's what I usually try to say because I'm like, okay, maybe it wasn't necessarily so traumatic for you, but in that mental aspect or symptoms, but yes, you're so very right, because it is a very stressful, stressful process for baby too. And sometimes I think, yeah, we forget about how that can impact the neuro development of baby.

Speaker 3  23:35  

Absolutely. And I think you know, just, you know, finding that that's so important too, and I think even for the babies that come to me with, you know, maybe they get referred to me for torticollis for a tight neck but but we're not just going to look at their head neck range of motion. We're going to look at their nervous system, we're going to look at how do they respond to movement and positioning? Do they get really upset do they struggle do they do they get really stressed out just with handling, you know, that's, that's a sign that we need to work on that for them to help them develop properly and to make these experiences as we weren't going back to our conversation earlier of, you know, when a baby is stressed on the floor? We you know, who else is stressed everyone right? wants to have their baby on the floor screaming but that tells us so much and babies really communicate with us. And so, you know, us understanding their their movement and their tolerance to the world really tells us what's going on inside. And physically and that's, you know, what we address and so, you know, we are going to do a lot of movement in our sessions, but also maybe a lot of calming strategies. You know, this session is really very, you know, helping to support their nervous system. I always tell the families I work with a calm I want to calm happy baby and my sessions I don't want to have babies screaming because they aren't going to learn what we're trying to teach their bodies and you know, if they are stressed out and so that they tell us what's going on and that that kind of guides where we have to start with our treatment. And what we have to utilize in our treatment sessions to support their development overall. And I find that often, you know, I might get that baby to refer to me for torticollis but then, you know, a mom might wonder why me a physical therapist in the session might say housekeeping going, go and they will talk to you know, we'll chat because we're with them with them for an hour to an hour and a half. And so we just chat, you know, and they might not expect to get those questions, but then we have to talk about the impact, you know, because of course, inevitably I often will hear well actually, you know, their stroke I'm trying to breastfeed and they're struggling to latch or they get really colicky. It's so stressful, are they you know, they can't they can't seem they don't seem very organized when they're trying to eat or we're not gaining weight or, you know, whatever the whatever's going on. And then we have to put those little pieces and kind of teach you know, talk about how that is connected. To why their neck is tight and why they're also not loving tummy time and why they're, you know, all of these other reasons why that they're connected really and got their rotation is all it's not all independent factors going on. You know, it's all really connected and many times we That's why we need to talk about their birth experience too and whatnot.

Speaker 1  26:29  

And that's to why when, you know, you've got when you were working with a little bit older children in that setting, and it's kind of we go back to like, I want to know did they crawl like I want to know these milestones because how these milestones were achieved is very, very important. So I want you to touch a little bit on like that blooming baby's gross motor play class that you have. So what does that what does that look like? Because then maybe we can even segue into some of you know what you're looking at in your knowledge and understanding of those developmental milestones.

Speaker 3  27:01  

Yeah, so blooming babies, I really started that because kind of going back to what we spoke about earlier is I find that we're so reactive, right in our in our care. And so the babies are coming if they even at all right, because we're still working on those referrals to in the sense of, again, our whole health care system understanding these

Unknown Speaker  27:18  

we don't want to wait and see and I'm like, no, no, no, no,

Speaker 3  27:21  

it's a lot of weight. And, you know, kind of reflecting back to my earlier work in in older children, seeing the children coming in with Developmental Coordination Disorder at eight, nine years old and saying, Oh, they didn't they didn't crawl it and love tummy time. And now they're also you know, unable to kick a ball well, or tripping often they're the clumsy kiddo. You know, they can't focus in class, they're falling off their chair. You know, and so, anyway, going back to that, you know, it's, um, I think it really empowering families and I'm finding that that's where we have to start and so living babies really came out of the this hope and goal to provide and empower families with information to build confidence, first of all to build confidence in playing with your baby on the floor. Because number one, it is just about connecting right like that's so magical. We don't want this to feel like homework. We don't want it to feel like oh, I have to do this to get my baby on the floor every day. You know, I want it to feel like this is a beautiful opportunity throughout my day to connect with my child to just stop everything else I'm doing and just be with a baby. You know, what's really important parents with education and understanding because in my heart, I've always found that the babies come once there's already a problem. And that problem is more obvious because like you mentioned a lot of times there is this wait and see approach and then we get to that point where we can't wait and see anyone we're seeing but you know, a lot of these things we've mentioned, you know, especially torticollis worldwide is definitely torticollis even has the linkages that a lot of it is present already at first, and it's in some of it is you know, more subtle and then it becomes more obvious because we haven't intervene soon enough, but so much of it is present at birth you know, and so trying to help families understand you know, how to lay in Connect to facilitate development, but also understanding how to look at your baby, how to be a proactive member of having those eyes to be able to say, you know, I am noticing my baby's always turning their head one way or they're not using this arm as well or, you know, their mouth is always open or I noticed their heads a little flat but you know, we don't we don't touch those things. We don't know what to look for, you know and so looking babies it's really been this evolution of how can we get to family sooner to catch catch these sooner so we can intervene?

Unknown Speaker  0:21  

Hello hello align birth podcast

Speaker 1  0:30  

having those eyes to be able to say, you know I am noticing my babies always turning their head one way or they're not using this arm as well. Or, you know, their mouth is always open or I do notice their heads a little flat. But you know, we don't we don't catch those things if we don't know what to look for, you know, and so blooming babies has really been this evolution of how can I get to family sooner to catch catch these sooner so we can intervene and let it be done? Right, like intervene and move on. Also, just prevention, right? Because there are there is an element of prevention. I mean, even if a baby comes out with some tightness and tension in their body, maybe their head isn't flat yet, but if we don't intervene that will likely lead to that. So if we can start early, we can prevent that. So really, but ultimately empowering families to say, What do I do with this baby? Because they don't come with a blueprint?

Speaker 2  1:22  

I'm sure Yeah, I do it. We hear that a lot. And it's kind of just like encouraging for parents to know like, oh, just hanging out on the floor playing with my baby like and like, Yeah, but what to look for. I think that's important to help parents. You feel empowered, when you have a little bit of that like, Okay, I feel a little bit more self assured. Like, I can look for these things and I can have this help and this feedback from this professional and then I have a game plan. I have a plan of action, like not in this alone. You know, I think that makes a huge aspect to

Speaker 1  1:54  

me. Absolutely. And it's just, you know, I've had so many families come and say, Well, I just didn't really know how to play, you know, in a purposeful way with a newborn, you know, and I'm like, I don't know, no one teaches us how to do that. And, but, and play and development, you know, it evolves and so you know, knowing how to play with an older baby is a little bit easier, but with especially the really little ones, but that's where it's so crucial to get that process started. And so, you know, just really helping families connect, feel, you know, empowered to know what to do and how to position and play with their child. And then also just equipping them with information of you know, if you see this, this or this, that would be a great time to, you know, go to one of these professionals and, you know, get that intervention now, so that it doesn't become this cascading effect on development because we know that is what happens unfortunately,

Speaker 2  2:53  

it's a lot of almost in the in the birth world when you have these cascade of interventions that can happen with moms where you can end up with maybe not the optimal birth that you wanted, it's almost that same aspect when baby's born to as far as like, not catching certain things and getting this cascade of well yeah, you've got you know, total tissue, we have latching issues, we have colic, and then it's just miserable and fussy and then delayed. Thanks. So I just, I think that's one thing I really like to reiterate with people and understanding how connected all of it is and even just having, you know, an assessment with a trained professional I can really set you up for success. Because it doesn't have to be you know, this long term really intense giving like it can be like you said, I want to go into more of like, what did the sessions look like with you because they're a little bit. They're a little bit more in depth or like longer chunks of time and stuff. So what what do those sessions look like with you?

Speaker 1  3:55  

Yeah, so really, you know, I initially do that evaluation and really, you know, like I mentioned, we'll talk about birth history. We're going to talk about mom's birth, you know, and her experience and then we're going to talk about babies experience. We also will look at baby from head to toe you know of course usually when when people are coming they're coming because they're noticing something or something feels off and so of course we'll look at that but we are going to look head to toe at you know their their reflexes we're going to look at their again their ability to be regulated or if they're dysregulated frequently, we're going to look at their movement patterns what they do without me intervening, you know, I like to just look at babies just watch so

Speaker 2  4:37  

I'm like, look like imagining but watching observing is key.

Speaker 1  4:43  

And then get my hands on them. And so we're going to feel so I like to look first and then y'all in my eyes and my hands are my tools and they really helped me to understand what is going on and then listening right so in that evaluation, a lot of listening because when you listen really well, you get a lot of information and I always tell parents I'm like you don't realize it but you know more than you think you do about what's going on. You just don't know how to put it together. But when I listen to everything going on in their baby's life, you know, I learned so much about what is happening and then how I need to treat that. So the evaluation will be a lot of listening initially a lot of observing and then getting hands on and feeling and then I utilize interventions and I like to see how does baby responds to intervention during that evaluation that gives me information to to understand where do we need to start? Because some babies might respond really well really quickly. Others we might have to take more of a slow and steady approach if they're really dysregulated because honestly number one is always starting with their nervous systems. Because I can really tell when a baby is super tense and super hypersensitive to touch and movement and then I know okay, we can't go right into rolling in and out of so many time here. We have to go back. Yeah, really slow approach. And slow and steady always ends up getting quicker outcomes is what I like to say, you know, as silly as that sounds, but it does when we kind of meet them where they are and do little bits it really free into this. Eventually a Quicker, quicker response. So if all involves that we'll do intervention, see how they're responding to that and intervention might be yeah, sometimes it's involved if they're tight, maybe a little stretching and mobility work but my manual therapy will work on that as well. We'll look at their mouth. I like to see how their tongue and mouth are moving to and their range of motion actively. And then tolerance to positioning. Right. So we want to look at babies and a variety of positions that are developmentally appropriate and see how they tolerate that and how we can maybe modify because I always like to leave the evaluation with a whole program that allows you to replicate what we're trying to do at home and in a way that is manageable for you. Right You're not as a parent you're not expected to be the the hands on professional right

Speaker 2  7:11  

and looking at it with that professional lens but still giving them that was another thing I was going to ask is What does that at home, you know, not the homework, but the homework look.

Speaker 1  7:22  

Looks like you know, finding ways like that's where in my sessions I will try the modifications and see okay, we found that sweet spot where your baby can tolerate whatever the goal is, if we're working on even just tolerance to being on their belly insides, then maybe, you know, finding those sweet spots and finding the modifications that they can tolerate even a little bit and then educating parents on how to replicate that. And you know, prescribing that you know timewise you know, and really I'm not a big you know, do this for this many minutes. I don't believe in that. I really believe in giving babies short bouts of work where they're successful. Again, I always tell parents you, you know your baby's like, I don't really want to do this mine versus I'm so done. This is not working for me. It's a really we have to listen and so I don't like to leave parents feeling like they need to be a straight A student. All been there where we get homework prescribed to us and then we think oh my goodness, I'm the worst person if I don't do all this and if it's more stressful, I want to leave you with homework that is peaceful. And that is universal. And that is work that you can incorporate into your day to day because I understand a lot of the families that I'm working with are maybe they're doing triple feeding because their baby isn't nursing well. So mom will ask me, How do I fit this in when their entire week window is me. All I'm doing is they're saying hey, washing bottles and then it's and so really working meeting you where you are to and saying okay, how can we get these little bits in throughout the day? That's all I want you to do little short belts that are able to me are so much more productive than giving a specific number of minutes or a specific activity like it always has to be on the floor. You know, for a new baby it might be I'm leaving you with just doing tummy time on your chest and cushioning on their sides when they're comfortable and maybe that means for two minutes. You know,

Speaker 2  9:18  

I think that's so crucial what you're saying that because I hear that with a lot of parents too. And it's you see that like tummy time doesn't have to be 15 minutes on their belly like it can those little short bits give such good feedback to the brain and I don't think parents understand that a lot. So I love that you mentioned you know, and it's finding that sweet spot to and baby is gonna be different every day. You know, like sometimes we're in the mood for things and sometimes we're not so like, maybe its own little being as well.

Speaker 1  9:49  

Recently. Yeah, so I mean really every evaluation looks a little bit different. You know, I've gotten that right away, they respond so well and other babies that we have to really like I mentioned before, take a step back and move a little slower. But with that, you know, I really do a lot of educating where parents have it's okay if we have to move slower. I promise you, their response and their outcomes will come quickly. If we do that. And so leaving them with homework that again is more to support our our goals, but then coming up with a plan then So based off of that evaluation, then we'll decide okay, how many, how many sessions and how frequently would that make sense for for us to achieve the goals that we're looking for?

Speaker 2  10:32  

Now you come into the home mostly correct? Yeah. Oh, yeah. That's really awesome. Yeah, I think you get to be in the environment. And then you can it's not like oh, well I have these things at my office and you don't have any of this at home, you know. So it's like the homework that you can give can be really impactful because it's like, okay, we can use these things that you have in your house. Yeah,

Speaker 1  10:58  

I do find that it's nice to be able to just show parents how to use what they have. Because I don't love for parents also to feel stressed out of Google Now. Do I have to buy this, this and this and that's not the point of me using it. Like if I come in carrying my exercise ball or peanut ball to put baby on. I don't necessarily mean go buy one if you don't have one, and we're going to say okay, what do we have or how can we replicate that with your body and maybe it's putting baby over your lap instead? Of a ball? Or maybe it's you know, utilizing a couch cushion instead of whatever a wedge but yeah, well, you know, I like to see that I also love to see what's around in the environment because I think there's also a lot to be you know, I know you educated are you interviewed the woman from I think the her village about registering

Unknown Speaker  11:45  

Caitlyn McGregor's. Yeah.

Speaker 1  11:47  

And I think it's really important and I'm sure you know this to have understanding the vein registry. That's a whole other topic and conversation, but it's a pressure that parents know about all of our equipments and the devices and I you know, I am by no means am I going to you know, again, I'm not a hard and fast no on most things. There are a couple things that I am hard pressed, no one, but but really, really important to educate families on how to utilize or what not to utilize and I love to get to families you know, talking about pregnancy and even the pelvic health I love to when I'm working with those families to just be like hey you while we're working on you know your your back pain. Let's talk about you know, have you made your registry yet and let's talk about this for your baby future baby's development. But going to that point, I have had so many times where I've, you know, talked on the phone for a consultation call and we you know, parents have said we don't really use devices and we're good and then I go into home and I see the wall full of you know, the rockers and the, you know, the the swings and the bouncers and, and it's not the parents fault. They weren't like it's just that a lot of people don't know what that means. Like yeah, because we kind of throw that word devices around a lot too and people don't know what's considered a device and I know that might sound silly but I mean that to no one's fault people don't understand that yes, your car seat and shoulder still count as a device and, and so how far you know what is that timeframe look like? What how much is too much? What is okay, and how might we use them if we're going to really intentionally and how you know that so that I like going into the home to be able to see what's around and because I can I feel more able to say that Mama rule over there. How often are we using that? You know, and it's just an opportunity for me to get a little bit more understanding of what's happening so I can do even more. No, Mission truly,

Speaker 2  13:41  

sake, better sake. Exactly. You can really be really impact by seeing what's in their environment to so I think that's so I think that's a really nice thing that but then it makes it easy. It's just more comfortable to you know, it's easier for you to say like yes, you can come in to the home and help here instead of I know it can be stressful to like get out the house and do this and go here and those type of things. So it's nice that that you have that as well. Um, I want to and you've mentioned some of like the common issues that you work with in the office and so you if you want to go a little bit in okay, I've seen these common issues, what are some of the outcomes as well because maybe even touching on I'm like, here's how I want you to answer the question. Now. I want you to like at least explaining and understanding I want parents to know like okay, if my baby has this, you know, plagiocephaly or some issues with cranial molding how it's impacting everything else. So we had this issue we came in and through that, but what are some of the other things maybe that improved in you know, baby's life as well, too.

Speaker 1  14:53  

Yeah, absolutely. Well, I think, you know, maybe answering this question I'll start with, you know, the reason that I pushed so much with working with the baby so early, and why I really love that working there is because I've seen so often the babies come not I don't want to say too late because we it's never too late. It really is never too late and I don't want parents to ever feel like a failure or because honestly, it's never your fault, right? It's never your fault and it's never too late. Same thing. Same thing for the women with pelvic health dysfunction. It's never too late. You can be 20 years postpartum and or never have had a baby but waited 20 years to address your leaking you know that you experienced when you're jumping? It's never too late. We can always you know, our bodies are pretty remarkable and really resilient. But there is an element of the earlier we intervene. The quicker we see the results and we can we can avoid the second and third and fourth, you know, the impact that cascade we've mentioned so you know, I think that the what I've seen I'll kind of start more with the the later babies so in the past getting those babies that come to me frequently at you know eight 910 months that are now crawling with an asymmetrical pattern or not crawling their bottom scooting or they just aren't you know 11 months and can't even transition to and from sitting let alone crawl or pull up to stand. You know those later kiddos that come to me, you know at that in, that's where it really started was I was seeing a lot of those little ones and I still see a lot of those little ones. Getting those babies then and saying wow and doing that developmental history and learning. Wow right from the get go. Parents notice that they didn't love tummy time. They had a head turning preference, but nothing was done about it. Now we see what happens. And that's just in the first year like we've mentioned before we see the lack of intervention we see it later and later and later to if it's not intervene but so really going to your question of, you know, when we do intervene earlier, we see they just develop well and beautifully and without those other secondary issues, you know, and so I find that the babies that when we start early in the intervening not only do we see improved symmetry with movement, it's almost we see better sleep we see better feeding we see better regulation, we see them tolerate sensations better, you know, we see all of that but also in a way. Hey, I almost want to say you see nothing because we just they just are they just are functioning well. And so when we when we intervene early, we have these little ones that are just you don't need to question it where they're just moving. They're moving well, they're interacting with their world beautifully. They're eating while they're sleeping while they're regularly emotionally regulated. And of course like you know this will turn into toddlers who still have

Speaker 3  17:54  

emotional dysregulation has to fix that. No, it's not going to fix that but but in

Speaker 1  17:59  

general they just it's just we see the the quality improvement so but even so when I get the little ones and save you know, for instance, I just had evaluated a baby last week seven weeks old were not the real complaint was reflux and not feeding well. And neck tightness and always looking to the right. And, you know, after a few sessions, we did that about the beginning of the week. We actually did two sessions that week and even just after two sessions it was wow she's she's taking better naps during the day and actually sleeping a little bit longer. She is a little bit less reflux. He just under two sessions, you know, and there's so much more we can do continuing to work together. But that's just the little improvements just for the few sessions. And then seeing more head turning more, more attempts to you know, try to move her arms you know, at seven weeks, we want to see that swatting, and she wasn't doing that, you know, and now we're seeing her try to interact with the dangling toys like that's huge. Um, so we see these really immediate results but then long term just from my experience now doing this for you know, a decade it's I can I don't have the magic crystal ball, but I can tell you that that baby if not intervened probably would have been the baby that was janky crawling or you know, and now she probably won't be and so so we can just predict those issues that we will hopefully not have to deal with.

Unknown Speaker  19:28  


Speaker 2  19:29  

No, that's so good. I love it. And it really it is all connected. So yes, all of the issues that we see coming in are connected but then it really is how they develop as a baby is really connected into how they're going to see and perceive their world you know later on in life with running and walking and jumping and you know, all of those things. Now, you I do want to touch a little bit on I know, I know we're focusing on like the Pediatric Physical Therapy, but is there anything that you wanted to go into with the pelvic floor PT that you do because you even talked about like a breadth and core series that you do and just touching on that a little bit as well because you do so much I can't fit it all in once

Speaker 1  20:21  

you know it's so fun because I think that, you know, from the pelvic floor perspective, we we know that our bodies deserve care, too. Right? We know that some of us know that. I think women are starting to really understand that that we deserve that care and that that also is really lacking. And so I you know, just still with my physical therapy background, I always have to question if someone is living with dysfunction. I can't help you know, I think we have had this narrative of it's just part of pregnancy. You'll get through it. It's just part of being a mom, you'll get through it, you know, tearing during birth will probably happen because that's just what happens if we just become so complacent in our healthcare system with just it just is what it is but I can't help when there's a functional a dysfunction happening. I can't help but think there has to be a way to fix this or to prevent this or you know, I just can't sit there and not question that. And so, you know, when I my inspiration when I became you know, really was more of a pediatric PT and my inspiration to get involved in pelvic health was from my own pregnancy. I didn't really get it until I and I didn't really you know, understand personally there are plenty of pelvic health issues out there that I've never had a child because there's plenty of people with pelvic health dysfunction who are moms right like that is not we all have a pelvic floor. But for me the light bulb was because I've been so I love again I'm really ingrained in that child world right when I was pregnant and experiencing symptoms myself, I thought, I can't I can't not question this. Like there has to be a way to address this. And so that was really my inspiration and then, you know, fast forward to coming, becoming a mom and experiencing the issues I had with my own kids having tight necks intention and oral ties, you know, kind of and the mental load that was on me and then realizing well, my body feels horrible. And now I'm trying to figure out this stuff with my own kids and feeding and the stress and I thought we have to make this easier for moms and babies. And so, you know, really the goal is just like we've talked about with the babies, but prevention and the education. I just can't. I can't not see a world where we shouldn't be educating. We have to be educating moms beforehand, like we can't go into birth to splined it and just you know we should be trusting of our providers, but we need to be an active and involved member and I really feel that strongly. And and I think that starts with education that starts with teaching people when they're having symptoms if they are that we can fix that. And I think even just that empowers people to say oh there's something I could do about that. What can I do about this or now if I have symptoms later after I have this baby, there's something I can do about it, but also, even if they're not having symptoms, we work so Dr. Allison works with me. She's a pelvic floor PT and she sees our moms at this point she sees most of our moms and she does a lot of birth prep education with people who aren't symptomatic even as well who are just looking to be go into their birth experience with information and knowing the questions to ask and with knowing how to feeling empowered to have a prepared body because that's important. And so to in order to hopefully prevent you know some of those issues such as you know, severe tearing, and that's a big one or just you know, teaching them how to breathe properly to hopefully minimize any issues that happen with the pelvic floor postpartum or their whole body postpartum. So that's you know, just similarly to the baby's I think moms deserve information education, to feel empowered because when we have more information we ask more questions and we we make different choices, you know, that are a little bit more focused on our our wellness overall,

Speaker 2  24:16  

definitely and I'm also have the mindset of like, I would rather people know these things are out there and be like, Okay, I researched that. That's just not something that you know, is interested me now, at least I know about it, but I'd rather than be able to make that informed decision and say okay, and rather than get to the end and be like oh, I wish I had known and so I think to go for it.

Speaker 1  24:39  

I always tell people I would rather you have it the information, have it and not need it than need it and not have it. You know, and I feel that way for the moms. I feel that way for the babies, you know, I would rather you know everyone benefits from education. Not everyone needs intervention, but everyone benefits from education. And so you can absolutely not have symptoms or your baby could not have any, any tension any torticollis any issues with their milestones. But I mean, I've had parents that come to our blooming babies classes and there are no issues there. You know, but we're no concerns and I check their baby out and there's nothing to worry about or nothing to have to intervene but they still leave feeling empowered with Oh, I I know what to do with my baby at home now that's going to support their development. I know how to prevent issues, and I find that you know, even for the birth prep, if there's a mom who does not have any symptoms, you're still gonna leave with information, ways to prep for that birth options for your birth ways to start and kickstart your postpartum recovery. And you also now have this this support system seems like you mentioned you know, and when to reach out to if you need us, maybe you don't. The hope is that with more education and information you don't need us or or just very for a very short time, you know, like everyone, everyone could benefit from a pelvic health valve postpartum.

Speaker 2  26:05  

We at Yes, most definitely. Um, I will say I've got a mom now there's who she was saying that her OB had mentioned like pelvic floor PT and we were like, yeah, they're changing and they aren't and like creative chiropractic. So I'm like, Okay, we're getting there. We're getting there. Even you mentioning like there doesn't have to be an issue when using air quotes issue per se for you to be evaluated, seen looked at because sometimes, sometimes there are things that you may not even know that are an issue that you know, maybe you do have a super tight pelvic floor and it hasn't caused me issues, but maybe having that eval now can really impact how the birth process goes for you, you know, and so just, I don't know, just having fun, but I'm glad that you mentioned that because I definitely don't want it to be like oh, I don't have any symptoms. I don't you know, need that and maybe you die, but it could it could really be beneficial. You know, there's there's lots of lots of things going on and it's all connected.

Speaker 1  27:07  

There's so much power to preventative care, right. It's, you know, and and that is so important. I really, really feel deeply that that's so lacking in our whole healthcare system. And, you know, that preventative care is, is it just really makes such a difference in outcomes and in the how quickly people get care. You know, again, even just doing those, those say for instance, like a prenatal appointment, even if you're feeling pretty good. You know, those moms tend to be the moms that call sooner and notice any issues sooner after versus the mom that doesn't get any of that information in another six months postpartum. And they're like, I'm still feeling like things are falling out what's going on, and now we're, you're six months postpartum, and again, it's never too late. But you know, the moms that get the information sooner tend to be the ones that that call sooner and that get that intervention and get kind of kick started on their recovery and path to returning to things they love to do. A lot quicker.

Speaker 2  28:07  

Exactly. Know. Exactly. It's never too late. But you never know you are fairly active on social media as well too. And so I absolutely love your Instagram page because you share so much good information like it's really really valuable. I have so many parents that I sent it to him like Hey, watch this video or Hey, check this out, or hey, look at this, like I've always gotten information so, um, I want you to kind of tell tell people like where they can connect with you. You know, internet, social media, all of those things. Yeah, so

Speaker 1  28:41  

I'm pretty active on Instagram and that's at mother baby wellness collective. I try to get on their daily, even in stories, do polls provide information and then share posts and reels with hopefully, you know, my goal is to really share information and you know, little tidbits, little tips and tricks that you can start to apply. You know, because, again, not everyone necessarily needs my services, but could benefit from that little little tidbit that can help their little one on the floor or help with their own, you know, how they're breathing and moving in there as a mom. So yeah, so I'm pretty active there and I would love for you to follow me I try to share what's happening our events and our you know, our classes that are out there as well. Right there on social media and same thing on it's on Facebook as well at Mother and Alan's at Mother and Baby wellness collective, but I'm a lot more active on Instagram.

Speaker 2  29:36  

I love it and then your website as well.

Speaker 1  29:40  

Yep. So website is www dot mother and baby wellness

Speaker 2  29:45  

Yeah, we'll put all this in the show notes too. So I'll have all the links there as well. So yeah, so people can connect with you. I know anything else you wanted to mention today.

Speaker 1  29:58  

I know we talked about a lot.