Melissa Dessaulles from Mommy Berries public
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The Pelvic Floor Project

Melissa Dessaulles from Mommy Berries

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This podcast is for anyone with a pelvic floor. Pssst….. everyone has a pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is a group of muscles responsible for controlling our bodily functions. I refer to myself as a physiotherapist for embarrassing issues. I routinely help clients address symptoms like incontinence, prolapse, diastasis, pelvic pain, intimacy issues and the list goes on. A theme that stands out to me is how little we learn about our private parts and the muscles surrounding. This podcast is fo ...
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In part 2 of this 2 part episode, I sit down with Sexual Health Education Teacher, Jenny Rabinovich to discuss: Ways that habits, beliefs and knowledge from our childhood carries forward to adult related pelvic floor issues The Sexual Health Education curriculum Middle years and high school focus focus (grades 7-12) healthy vs unhealthy relationshi…
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In part 1 of this 2 part episode, I sit down with Sexual Health Education Teacher, Jenny to discuss: Ways that habits, beliefs and knowledge from our childhood carries forward to adult related pelvic floor issues The Sexual Health Education curriculum Elementary years focus (grades 4-6) puberty education (periods, hormones, pimples, hair, body odou…
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In this episode, I sit down with New Westminster BC based Urogynecologist, Dr. Merry Gong to discuss: Operative vaginal birth (vacuum, forceps, episiotomy) What do these instruments look like and indications for their use Indications for operative vaginal birth vs. Cesarean birth Risks associated with vacuum and forceps Canada has the highest rates…
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In this episode, I sit down with psychotherapist, Lucy Snider to discuss: How the pelvic floor is related to previous sexual trauma What you can expect at a pelvic physiotherapy appointment What may take place at a psychotherapy appointment What is EMDR therapy? Suggestions to help progress to pleasurable sexual activity How do you know when you ar…
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In this episode, I sit down with physiotherapist clinician/researcher Dr. Sinead Dufour and Sinead O’Donovan from SRC to discuss: The evidence based benefits of compression The quality garments SRC has developed for incontinence, prolapse and the perinatal population Australian trends for use of compression Given the data to support, some reasons w…
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In this episode I sit down with Dr. Lori Brotto; Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Registered Psychologist and Executive Director of the Women’s Health Research Institute of BC and Principal Investigator in the HER-BC Research Study on Midlife Women and Menopause to discuss: The impacts of perimenopause/menopause on mid…
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In this episode, I sit down with physiotherapy clinician and researcher Dr. Sinéad Dufour and Founder and CEO of Urospot, Erin Craven to discuss: Kegel chair (emsella) controversy Various marketing strategies Physiotherapy skepticisms HIFEM technology and the evidence How we use other modalities as physiotherapists to help “reboot the system” (musc…
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In this episode, I sit down with Christie Uipi, a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of chronic pain, anxiety and depression and the founder of The Better Mind Center to discuss: Pain is invisible and so are pelvic floor issues How pain works Why each person experiences pain uniquely Why sometimes pain goes away quickly and reasons why i…
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In this episode I sit down with fellow pelvic health physiotherapist and leader in the field of diastasis, Munira Hudani to discuss: The increasing awareness around the topic of diastasis rectus abdominis and the confusion that comes with it Conflicting messaging ranging from “be careful, you shouldn’t do those exercises” to “all exercises are good…
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In this episode, I sit down with clinician-researcher Sarah Lord Ferguson to discuss: Current trends in physiotherapy Physiotherapy as a business Expectations that patients may have of their physiotherapist Patients are not a blank slate The importance of meeting patients where they are at Blending evidence based care with what our clients may be a…
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In this episode, I sit down with Beverly Hills based urogynecologist, Dr. Alexandra Dubinskaya to discuss: The importance of sex and difficulties when it comes to talking about it The female sexual response cycle Desire: various types of sexual desires, common issues related to sexual desire, and available treatments Arousal: Factors that can impac…
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In this episode, I sit down with Kelowna based OBGYN Dr. Kate Collins to discuss: Reasons/symptoms that may indicate a hysterectomy could be beneficial Different surgical procedures (vaginal, open abdominal, laprascopic) Types of hysterectomy Surgical menopause What can be expected after surgery Postoperative suggestions Pain management Sexual inte…
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In this episode, I sit down with Beverly Hills based urogynecologist, Dr. Alexandra Dubinskaya to discuss: What is prolapse? Typical sequence of events that happens when patients experience symptoms of prolapse and how they may end up in the office of a surgeon. Conservative management options How the decision is made to proceed with surgery Types …
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In this episode, I sit down with women health advocate and self proclaimed menopause chick, Shirley Weir to discuss: The negative stigma around the term ‘menopause’ The relationship between perimenopause, menopause and post menopause Symptoms commonly experienced in these stages Is women’s health support experiencing a wave of momentum? What Shirle…
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In this episode, I sit down with registered nurse, Kirsten Curruthers who was curious to know ways she can better support her patients who undergo colonoscopy. Here are some of the things we discuss: Common patient symptom patterns Kirsten notices in the colonoscopy clinic Advice typically given when colonoscopy results are negative How the pelvic …
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In this episode, I sit down with Anniken Chadwick and Trish Gipson from the Cheerful Academy to discuss: Reasons why new physiotherapy graduates are starting off in niche areas like pelvic health Differences between practicing in orthopaedic vs pelvic health The gap that exists between what we learn in pelvic health courses and what is like in the …
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In this episode, I sit down with Kelowna based OBGYN Dr. Kate Collins to discuss: The stress that uncertainty and lack of control can have on an expecting mom How far out can moms planning a c-section expect to know their delivery date? The sequence of events that unfolds once you arrive at the hospital How is this different in an emergency situati…
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow physiotherapy clinician, researcher and educator, Katie Kelly to discuss: Similarities in acute care needs between limb surgery and cesarean birth How can abdominal compression support help after c-section What does the research tell us about compression after cesarean birth? People are looking for a black/wh…
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In this episode, I sit down with Kristin Eapen, a birth doula and Lamaze certified childbirth educator to discuss: Reasons why new moms have a hard time asking for help How physical recovery after birth is similar to recovery after a knee surgery Suggestions to support your entire household (including you) Suggestions to support the new mom Tips fo…
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In this episode I sit down with Kiran Mann, a resident doctor in obstetrics and gynecology and member of the Be Pelvic Health Aware Campaign to discuss: Definition and symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) Factors that may make someone more prone Effects of menopause Diagnosis Are antibiotics overused? Consequences of an untreated UTI How the…
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In this episode, I sit down with Registered Dietician Haeli Draper to discuss: Nutritional considerations leading up to birth The effects of constipation on the pelvic floor and nutritional suggestions for softer stools Are there ideal foods to consume leading up to birth? Suggestions for eating in the postpartum period Tips for family and friends …
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow physiotherapist, Brittany Klingmann to discuss: Various messages that people hear regarding weight lifting and the pelvic floor: “Weightlifting causes too much pressure on the pelvic floor” “Weightlifting causes prolapse” “Valsalva should be avoided and you should always exhale when you lift” “Weight lifting …
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In this episode, I sit down with Registered Provisional Psychologist and PhD candidate who specializes in the area of birth trauma. In this episode we discuss: How birth trauma may present itself in a pelvic health physiotherapy appointment The prevalence of birth trauma The subjective nature of birth trauma How trauma affects the nervous system, e…
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow physiotherapist, Anniken Chadwick to discuss: How common it is for clients to have experienced some form of trauma in their past What questions pelvic health physiotherapists may ask in history taking and why we ask them Non verbal signs that we may observe that can suggest that a client may have experienced …
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow physiotherapist and leader in the field, Carolyn Vandyken to discuss: The growing body of literature showing strong correlation between persistent low back pain and pelvic floor dysfunction The research conducted by Carolyn Van Dyken and Sinead Dufour investigating pelvic floor findings when clients present w…
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In this episode, I sit down with urologist, Dr. Jennifer Locke to discuss: The research she is conducting to investigate the effectiveness of physiotherapy when addressing symptoms of genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM) and dyspareunia An explanation of GSM with common signs and symptoms Clinical trends Dr. Locke sees when working with this c…
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In this episode, I sit down with Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach, Jamie Straker to discuss: The fears around doing planks and pushups postpartum Some harmful messaging Reasons why getting back to planking and pushups is helpful How to start with the basics Ways to progress back to planking and pushups Signs your body may be finding the e…
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In this episode, I sit down with RxPx CEO, Lynda Brown-Ganzert to discuss their Stronger Together project for C-section parents. How Lynda’s personal experience led her to her vision The company’s initiative to support women preparing for cesarean birth and their caregivers The funding behind the project that enables free access The research compon…
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In this episode, I sit down with Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism Coach, Jamie Straker to discuss: The fears around doing crunches postpartum Some harmful messaging Reasons why getting back to crunches is helpful How to start with the basics Ways to progress back to crunches/sit ups Signs your body may be finding the exercise too difficult Jami…
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In this episode, I want to share some information with moms and those who work with moms within the first 6 weeks postpartum. We shouldn’t be waiting 6 weeks to give recovery guidance Working with a physio doesn’t mean “pushing your body” 3 simple yet effective tips you can start right after vaginal or cesarean birth Hi I’m Mel, the host of The Pel…
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In this episode, I sit down with paediatric physiotherapist, Angus MacKay to discuss: Kids and pelvic floors What a pelvic health assessment looks like for kids Kids and constipation Bed wetting Toilet training Pee and poop habits What is normal and outside of normal when it comes to peeing and pooping How to normalize conversation around these top…
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In this episode, fellow physiotherapist Dr. Rebecca Segraves and I discuss: The lack of support for c-section recovery How physiotherapists support patients in the hospital after other surgical procedures How physiotherapists can support women after cesarean birth and how this can decrease complications, enhance recovery and improve mental wellbein…
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow physiotherapist, Jodie Pulsifer to discuss the recent editorial Reframing beliefs and instiling facts for contemporary management of pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain. Jodie Pulsifer, along with Susannah Britnell, Adrienne Sim, Sinead Dufour and Jessica Adaszynski have been credited for combing through all…
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow physiotherapist, Teresa Waser to discuss the benefits of strength training through the female life span. In this episode we cover: The benefits of strength training during pregnancy and postpartum The benefits of strength training during perimenopause/menopause The benefits of strengthening for older adults W…
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In this episode, I sit down with Dr. Pip Houghton, a family doctor and maternal mental health advocate to discuss: Dr. Pip’s personal experience with postpartum mental health struggles Societal and cultural pressures of being a new mom/parent Signs that your mental health may be “unwell” postpartum Suggestions to help you check in with what your ne…
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This episode is a follow up to episode 18 with Dr. Sinéad Dufour- The research behind vaginal devices, chairs, laser and online apps to treat incontinence In this episode, I welcome back Dr. Sinéad Dufour to discuss: The emerging use of telehealth Research to supports it’s effectiveness The soon to be released SOGC guideline on telehealth Reasons f…
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I am joined in this episode by Gynecologist, Dr. Melanie Altas, the Director of the BC Centre of Vulvar Health to discuss: What is lichens sclerosis Signs and symptoms How a diagnosis is made Suggested treatment How lichens sclerosis can affect sexual function and emotional well being The benefits of early detection and relationship to cancer Sugge…
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In this episode, gynecologist Dr. Paula Espino and I discuss: The SOGC guidelines for prolapse management What is a pessary? Different types of pessary Ways pessaries can be used and managed Symptoms of prolapse Typical course through the health care system for someone who has symptoms of prolapse Wait times for seeing a gynecologist in Canada What…
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In this episode, I sit down with board-certified urologist and sexual medicine specialist, Dr. Rachel Rubin to discuss: GSM (genitourinary syndrome of menopause) Symptoms that bring a woman in to see a pelvic health physiotherapist that often go hand in hand with GSM Why hormones are important and what happens during perimenopause/menopause What a …
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In this episode, Robyn Hooper (doula) and I discuss: Birth isn’t something that happens to you.. it happens with you Differences seen in birthing people Birth preferences Benefits of having a relationship with your nurse Benefits of having a doula Ways to advocate for yourself Ways your partner can advocate for you Knowing your birth location, prov…
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In this episode, I sit down with urologist Dr. Jennifer Locke to discuss: The evidence based guidelines that guide assessment and treatment for stress urinary incontinence The recommended first line treatments The benefits of pelvic floor physiotherapy The recommended course of action when physiotherapy isn’t enough Tests a urologist may recommend …
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In this episode, fellow physiotherapist, Gráinne Donnelly and I discuss: The big picture view of postpartum recovery care What others countries are doing? Gaps in care What is being done to change this? Current research being done in the field Drawing parallels between rehabilitation of other musculoskeletal injuries and postpartum recovery Resourc…
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow physical therapist and Instagram star, Hayley Kava to break down some “not so good” messaging out there: “Pelvic floor symptoms are due to a weak and loose pelvic floor” “Don’t start physio until 6 wks after baby” "A pelvic health PT is only helpful for those that have had a vaginal birth” “Just give it time …
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow physiotherapist, Susannah Britnell to discuss: Symptoms typically seen with clients who have tailbone pain What muscles and structures attach to the coccyx/tailbone Reasons why people have tailbone pain Typical course of treatment What pelvic health physiotherapy has to offer What the research says Susannah B…
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In this episode, I sit down with Dr. Amanda Olson, physical therapist and pelvic expert behind Intimate Rose to discuss: The messaging that dilators are used to "stretch tight tissue" Reasons why penetration with intimacy, tampon use and medical exams can be painful The connection between brain and pelvic floor How dilators can be used to help the …
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In this episode, I sit down with Dr. Lori Brotto a Professor in the UBC Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and a Registered Psychologist as well as PHD student, Natalie Brown who is currently conducting research related to treatment of vaginismus to discuss: The relationship between our emotional brain and physical body The pelvic floor’s in…
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow pelvic health physiotherapist, Adrienne Sim to discuss: What is stress incontinence and why does it happen Common beliefs and myths surrounding stress incontinence Some ways that women are currently managing stress incontinence What the evidence based guidelines suggest for management The strong evidence to s…
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In this episode, I sit down with Kimberley Johnson, a PhD student doing fabulous research in psychology with a specific focus on perinatal and pelvic health to discuss: Birth related pelvic floor trauma and the association with higher rates of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Kimberley’s personal experience that led to her research questions T…
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In this episode, I sit down with fellow physiotherapist Anita Lambert to discuss: How pelvic health physiotherapists can play a role in helping women prepare for birth The anatomy of birth Is there a right and wrong way to push? How do birth positions play a role? Different ways you may be coached to push Ways to feel prepared and empowered What th…
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In this episode, I sit down with physiotherapist, Michelle Lyons to discuss: The link between pelvic health physiotherapy and menopause Meaning of the terms perimenopause and menopause Role of estrogen and progesterone in the body How the various body systems (brain, digestive, heart, bladder, vagina, bones, muscles, tendons etc) may respond to hor…
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