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HI JANETTE, WHAT DO YOU DO?
I am a massage and athletic therapist, with a special interest in prenatal and postpartum rehabilitation. This means that I guide families through the different stages of/after pregnancy, understanding that every mom's journey is unique.
There are three essential offerings to my service:
Manual Therapy treats pain in muscles, joints and surgical scars, and can include trigger point release, fascial work, and massage techniques.
Physical activity is not only critical, but also different at every stage of the journey. For example, carrying a fetus inside of you affects your body differently than carrying a baby in your arms. My comprehensive Exercise Programming is designed to reflect the many changes that your body (and lifestyle) will undergo; stretching and strengthening exercises are incorporated into you and your baby's daily activities.
Information is power. Let me educate you on your body's cues to achieve optimal comfort and physical performance.
WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS?
I am an athletic therapist with over 15 years of continuing education coursework focusing on pelvic and low back treatment techniques, pregnancy-specific care (e.g. exercise prescription, therapy, biomechanics) and postpartum care (e.g. exercise prescription, therapy). I am also mother to two thriving little ones, Yasmine and baby Isaiah. Combining my dedication to mothers with my love of sports and the human body, I will help make sense of your pregnancy and recovery journey.
Check out my LinkedIn profile for details.
I'M NOT ATHLETIC. IS YOUR PROGRAM FOR ME?
Yes, my program is for you. While I may have extensive experience with professional athletes, the issues described in the stages of pregnancy and postpartum affect all women, regardless of past or present athletic ability. Furthermore, my exercise rehab programs are tailored to your level of physical ability, unique needs and lifestyle -- we'll design a program that works for you.
I treat people of all shapes, sizes, activity levels, physical limitations, ages, genders, ethnicities, races and sexual orientations: mine is a safe, non-discriminatory and judgment-free space.
IS IT SAFE TO EXERCISE DURING OR AFTER PREGNANCY?
Yes, absolutely! A pregnant or postpartum woman is capable of doing plenty. In fact, the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada states that "all women without contraindications should be encouraged to participate in aerobic and strength-conditioning exercises as part of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy." (It also warns against the risks of not being active during this time.)
Having a baby doesn't have to mean feeling weak, being lethargic, saying goodbye to your physical form, or avoiding activity. If we listen to your body and lifestyle, and incorporate your obstetrician/midwife's plan and suggestions, we'll find ways to move and challenge your body at every stage of/after pregnancy -- with baby's and your safety and comfort as the top priority.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ISSUES FACED BY THE PREGNANT AND POSTPARTUM WOMAN'S BODY?
100% of pregnant women develop something called Diastasis Rectus Abdominus (DRA or "split abs"). This is when the central tendon of the superficial "six pack" abdominal muscle stretches to accommodate for the growing fetus. After birth, it is necessary to restore the strength and function of all four abdominal muscles to prevent things like lower back pain.
Other common issues include:
weak pelvic floor muscles, resulting in urinary incontinence
shoulder and mid-back pain from heavy breasts and breastfeeding
tight hip muscles from pelvis joints becoming looser
painful forearms/carpal tunnel syndrome from water retention and carrying a small baby
sore, painful feet from water retention and lax foot joins
I treat all of these symptoms and issues.
HOW CAN YOU HELP MOTHERS WHO HAVE HAD C-SECTION DELIVERIES?
I believe that all C-sections must receive treatment for optimal healing, and to prevent lasting dysfunctions in your muscle and organ function. Intentional and personalized rehabilitation looks like this:
0-6 weeks: During this time of relative inactivity, treatment is focused on support muscles and tissues, avoiding the incision.
6-12 weeks: Carefully planned return to movement is necessary to get the scar moving properly.
12+ weeks: Treatment directly on the c-section incision is started, as well as on tissues that are directly impacted by the deep scar.
WHEN SHOULD WE START WORKING TOGETHER?
As early on in your pregnancy as possible. Ideally, pre-pregnancy -- the sooner we understand what your body's journey might look like, the sooner we can start preparing your body for baby's arrival. It is also my recommendation that:
every new mom participates in some form of postpartum rehab therapy
years-postpartum moms undergo athletic therapy before returning to personal training or sports.
WHERE CAN I FIND YOU?
There are several ways to work with me:
1. In your home (Toronto)
2. Phone or video conference sessions
3. Public speaking & brand partnerships
I understand the busy life of a mom, since I’m a mom, too. My goal is to make this process as easy for you as possible: Toronto residents can now enjoy sessions in their own home, and private consultations (via phone or video conferencing) are available to anyone with phone or internet access.
I am also available to lend my expertise, or give talks, workshops and other keynote speaking.
Please contact me for more information.
CAN I BRING MY BABY?
No babysitter? No worries. Your baby is welcome during your session.
HOW MIGHT I PREPARE FOR MY APPOINTMENT AT HOME?
Please note that I will arrive a few minutes early to prepare, arrange treatment equipment, etc.
Please wear comfortable shoes, clothing and a sports bra/tank top – your assessment may involve manual testing and body movements, and I may need to expose your abdominals down to the pubic area. And no babysitter? No worries – your baby is welcome to join your appointment. We’ll take as many breaks as needed to nurse/attend to your baby.
It is advised that you and your obstetrician/midwife complete the Physical Activity Readiness Medical Examination for Pregnancy assessment form, prior to beginning any exercise program.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
It depends. Every pregnancy is different -- even with the same mother! -- so it's best that we discuss and evaluate together during your initial assessment. Contact me to start a conversation.
WHAT ARE YOUR FEES?
My fees vary depending on each client's unique situation. As previously mentioned, the length of treatment (and follow up sessions) depends on each family's journey. This is determined during your (60 min) initial assessment.
In-home, phone and video conferencing sessions:
45 minute sessions begin at $110 + HST
60 minute sessions begin at $130 + HST
> Initial assessments are 60 minutes in duration
> Payments can be made via e-transfer, cash or cheque
ARE SESSIONS COVERED UNDER MY HEALTHCARE BENEFITS PLAN?
Yes. Our sessions can be billed under Athletic Therapy, Massage Therapy or Kinesiology. Please check your insurance plan for coverage.
DO YOU MAKE REFERRALS FOR OTHER SERVICES?
I work with a wide network of related experts to whom I'm happy to make referrals, including marriage and mental health counselors, nutritionists, pelvic floor therapists, and doulas. Let's spark a conversation and make sure you have the right team supporting you and your family. #communityNOTcompetition
HOW CAN YOU HELP MY FAMILY?
I am happy to design family or couples exercise programs to encourage role modelling, relationship building and strength. Let me know what you'd like to achieve!
CAN I BUY SESSIONS WITH YOU AS A GIFT FOR SOMEONE ELSE?
Yes, gift certificates are available for my services; contact me to learn more.