Written by Guest Blogger Taylor Hoyt, OT (patient of Reborn)

I am an occupational therapist. I have been in my field of work for over ten years. I emphatically pursue health and wellness in the hopes of not only helping myself feel good but also helping others achieve wellness. In fact, I love health and wellness so much that when I decided to return to school to get a doctorate degree, I specialized in health and wellness.

I am also a mother. I had my first child in January 2020. I am the first in my family to really challenge the medical-industrial complex, so everything I chose to do for my pregnancy, birth, and postpartum felt like I was pioneering my own way. I had to figure out a lot on my own. My first birth was an unmedicated, home birth, and it went really well. However, I did experience some tearing, which was what led me to pelvic floor physical therapy.

My first pelvic floor PT was not Reborn, but they were wonderful, nonetheless. The scar tissue, which was my main complaint, was easily taken care of, and I walked away happy. Fast-forward a year or so and I started to have tailbone pain when sitting, along with leaking when I ran or jumped (aka, stress incontinence). I refused to let this be a normal part of my postpartum journey, even though so many women in my orbit just accept it as such. This is when I found Reborn Pelvic Health & Wellness.

A few other things were happening in my life around the same time. I had just been accepted to the post-professional doctorate program and I was experiencing an anembryonic pregnancy and waiting on a miscarriage. We addressed my muscle imbalances, which presented in the pelvic floor as well as my core. I felt my strength return, and with that, I felt my satisfaction and self-efficacy with just about everything. This is when my experience with pelvic floor therapy, my holistic ideals, my postpartum experience, and my professional journey came together to change my life, and hopefully others.

I decided to focus my doctoral project on the postpartum experience. I designed and implemented an occupational therapy-based program titled “Postpartum Health and Wellness” which addressed physical and mental health and well-being. It explored the reasons mothers may feel more or less supported, may experience poor mental health, and the resources that are needed to help decrease the instances of postpartum mood disorders.

Throughout all of my research, there was an incredibly significant theme that stuck out to me. Mothers who feel supported are less likely to experience postpartum depression. There are several occupations or tasks, and roles this applies to such as breastfeeding, social support, getting adequate sleep, and physical movement, but the common thread was that if a mother feels supported in her role, she will experience increased wellness.

Surprisingly for me, I became pregnant again about halfway through my doctoral program. This research was all of a sudden very applicable to me. I knew that I would be experiencing postpartum and was able to reflect on what “feeling supported” meant to me. I considered my first experience and thought about what I would have wanted that would have made the experience better. Because my son was born in January 2020, I realized that what I missed out on the most was the support of others. I know we have all heard the saying, “It takes a village…”, and I did not have my village. So, I set out carefully curating my own village for my postpartum experience. Needless to say, Reborn Pelvic Health & Wellness was on my list.

I continued to see Dr. Betty through my pregnancy, helping me deal with the discomfort that often comes with a changing body and growing a human. I would also be remiss to not mention the support of my amazing midwife, Gloria Moore, who supported my birthing goals. With the support of Dr. Betty and Gloria, I had the most amazing birth I could have imagined. It was efficient and uncomplicated. I can’t say easy because that is not a word I would ever use to describe birth, but it was a wonderful experience. During my labor, I remember saying out loud, “pelvic floor therapy better have paid off”! I can happily report that it did!

My recovery from birth was amazing. A total night and day difference from my first recovery. I didn’t tear, which meant that everything was easier, especially in those first days. I found that moving around in bed and caring for my newborn was easier. I had lost a good amount of strength and mobility during the last months of pregnancy, but they all came back within days after delivery.

Four weeks later, I was back at Reborn. My pelvic floor was in great shape, all things considered, and I was given some gentle postpartum exercises. I followed my plan of care, going to my appointments weekly, each week getting stronger and more capable. At six weeks, I was cleared for exercise and at eight weeks I was cleared to begin running again. My body was strong and by caring for it properly and easing back into activity, I was able to be free of pain and return to things I love doing.

As an occupational therapist, I know that physical and mental health go hand-in-hand, but this experience really cemented that for me. Because my physical body had been taken care of, before, during, and after pregnancy, I was able to be the best mom, wife, and human I could be. I could not have done this without Dr. Betty and Reborn. I could not have done this without my village.