8 Module Online Workshop: Pelvic Floor Essentials For Doulas & Birth Practitioners

Pelvic floor health is exploding in Canada – and your clients are asking questions!

If you work in any capacity within the birthing world, now is your chance to become more familiar with how the pelvic floor works during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.

Though unseen, pelvic health problems (such as leaking, pelvic organ prolapse, persistent vulvo-vaginal conditions, painful sex, diastasis recti, and more) are extremely common in our society. These problems are disruptive, financially costly, negatively impact quality of life, and unfortunately, largely accepted as normal. Many pelvic health conditions that individuals face originate during their reproductive years. They occur due to one or multiple pregnancies, the process of childbirth, and the physical demands of the postpartum period.

Research is also showing a significant link between pelvic floor dysfunction and other challenges such as: depression, anxiety, relationship strain, loss of self-image, ongoing disability, reduced participation in exercise and activity, decreased job performance, altered recreational and leisure activities, and more.

All this is to say that pregnancy and childbirth can have a massive impact on the health and well being of your clients. Sometimes problems show up right after birth. Other times, they manifest later in life.

Thankfully, pelvic floor dysfunction can be treated. However, it is even better if it can be minimized or prevented in the first place. This is where you come in!

Pregnancy is the key moment to change the trajectory of someone’s pelvic health story. During this window of opportunity, many families are the most conscious of health and the most open to preventative care.

One of your roles is to support your clients with accurate information and to offer helpful strategies for their physical, mental and emotional health.

But in order to do that, you need to get the facts straight.

THAT is the goal of this course!

The concepts you will learn in this course are:

• Essential – what every birth worker must know about pelvic health

• Unique – training you won’t find in the majority of doula certification programs

• Evidence-based – the most current research evidence informs the content

• Holistic – helping you see the whole person, not just one part

• Actionable – guiding your clients to take the next step in caring for their pelvic health

• and Transformative – for you, your clients, for their families, and for entire communities!

Are you ready to set yourself apart with your up-to-date knowledge of the pelvic floor and add valuable resources to your doula toolkit?

If so read on!

What You Will Learn:

Pelvic Health Essentials for Doulas & Birth Practitioners is a comprehensive 8-module online course.

It is designed to help you:

o Increase your knowledge and understanding of pelvic floor health during the perinatal period

o Consider the far reaching impact of pelvic floor dysfunction on your clients’ lived experience in birth and beyond

o Have greater confidence in bringing up pelvic health conversations with your clients and understand when to refer to a health professional

o Offer helpful resources, accurate information, and educational materials to your clients which have been designed by a pelvic floor physiotherapist

o Connect to your inner system and increase your appreciation for your own pelvic floor

Important note: completing this course does not enable or permit you to assess, diagnose, treat, or make recommendations about pelvic floor dysfunction. It is important to refer suspected cases of pelvic floor dysfunction to the appropriate licensed health professional for evaluation and treatment.

o This is a self-paced online course. Each module contains a video lesson, slide deck, links and resource list, worksheets, and reflection questions. Each module builds upon the previous one, so it is important to have a solid understanding of the concepts presented in the module you’re working through.

o You will have assigned reading from your required text. There will also be optional reading if you want to dive deeper into the topic for the week.

o At the end of each module you will need to submit your reflection questions and complete a short quiz before advancing to the next module.

o You will receive a Pelvic Health Toolkit for Doulas including links, resources, checklists, cheat sheets, client education handouts, products, and more, which you can give to your clients.

o you will be required to complete a case study assignment and prepare to discuss it as part of the final module. You are also required to attend an interactive webinar session in order to receive your certificate of completion. Several options for dates will be emailed once you’re enrolled.

o  Time to complete the full program: 6 months

0 Estimate time commitment: 2-5h per module

Required Text:  “The Female Pelvis” by Blandine Calais-Germain

Optional Text:
Preparing For A Gentle Birth: The Pelvis In Pregnancy – by Blandine Calais Germian

This is a fantastic text and great reference guide. It short and sweet, easy to understand, and has very clear illustrations that will help you and your clients better grasp pelvic floor concepts, particularly during pregnancy and birth.

Note: you are required to purchase this text as an additional cost.

Welcome and Overview
• Introduction, what the course is all about, how it is formatted, how to get the most out of it, scope of practice, learning support system, and more.

Module 1 – Demystifying the Pelvic Floor
• Overview of the pelvic floor, abdominal canister and core, pressure system, pelvic biomechanics, pelvic and perineal anatomy, pelvic floor role and function, connection to nervous system and brain, and more.

Module 2 – Pelvic Floor Conditions
• Common conditions that may show up during pregnancy or after giving birth including incontinence, prolapse, pelvic pain, diastasis recti, bowel or bladder dysfunction, pelvic girdle pain, vulvar varicosities, scar and mysofascial dysfunction, and more.

Module 3 – Pelvic Health During Pregnancy
• Overview of pelvic floor health during pregnancy, signs and symptoms, when to refer, how to refer, practical ways to optimize pelvic health during pregnancy, perineal preparation strategies, and other physical birth prep.

Module 4 – The Pelvic Floor In Labour & Delivery
• Ways to care for pelvic health during labour and delivery, including positions, posture, breath, pressure, pelvic biomechanics, visualizations, movement, and more; considerations for stage one and two of labour and impact of various pain management strategies on pelvic floor health; birth options for clients with pre-existing pelvic health conditions.

Module 5 – Postpartum Pelvic Health
• Pelvic floor recovery and restoring pelvic floor health after childbirth; abdominal wall and core considerations postpartum for vaginal, instrumented or caesarean births; pelvic floor considerations for postpartum abdominal wrapping or baby wearing, impact of breastfeeding positions/postures on pelvic and core health; guidelines for return to activity in 4th trimester and beyond.

Module 6 – How to Use Your Pelvic Health Toolkit for Doulas/Birth Practitioners
• Questionnaires, client education and handouts, checklists, when to refer, resources, product suggestions, etc.

Module 7 – Pulling The Pieces Together + Self Discovery
• Getting to know your own body – self-exploration of breath, pelvic floor movement and biomechanics, pelvic floor muscle engagement, and more. This is a movement and awareness session that will require space, a yoga mat, and comfortable clothes you can move in.

Module 8 –Case Study Submission and Interactive Webinar Session

· Final review, case study assignment, in depth review of key topics, Q & A, 60 mins. Required for course completion.

Ibukun Afolabi – Integrative Pelvic and Perinatal Physiotherapist

Ibukun is an Integrative Physiotherapist with a passion for women’s pelvic health and wellness.  Her clinical expertise lies at the intersection of pelvic rehab and all things birth. She has been a registered physiotherapist since 2007 and has worked in pelvic health since 2012.  Ibukun owns The Mama’s Physio, a highly sought out pelvic health practice in Southwestern Ontario, as well as Hesed Birth, a childbirth education company and doula collective in London, Ontario.

Beyond her clinical practice, Ibukun offers coaching and consulting, mentorship, speaking, and training for health and birth professionals. She is an instructor here at Doula Canada, at Physio-Plus, and at Reframe Rehab where she teaches pelvic and perinatal health courses to a multidisciplinary audience.

Ibukun’s foundations to her work are trauma-informed, biopsychosocial, holistic, and salutogenic. She believes deeply in a human approach to childbirth and in unleashing the powers of the mind-body during pregnancy, birth, and beyond.

Ibukun’s most important vocation is her family; together she and her husband are raising 5 beautiful children who keep their hands and hearts very full.  Learn more and connect with Ibukun via socials @themamasphysio.

A one-time fee of $289 which covers:

  • Instructor fee
  • Online access to all modules, digital downloads, resource guides, pelvic floor doula toolkit, beautifully designed client handouts, professional interviews, and worksheets.
  • Interactive live webinar and group learning session
  • Access to instructor, via email, to work through learning concepts, get support, or answer questions
  • Administrative costs
  • Certificate of completion (electronic) to add to your doula resume and list of unique qualifications
  • Student is responsible to purchase the required text

*Applicable taxes not included in base fee

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