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by Michelle Smith
The Birth Ease Podcast

075 A Midwife, Physical Therapist, and Doula Talk Pelvic Health During Pregnancy and Birth with Robyn Mattox & Melissa Schubert


In the final episode on pelvic health, Michelle talks with Midwife Robyn Mattox and Pelvic Physical Therapist Melissa Schubert about pelvic floor health and our deep core system in pregnancy. Together they discuss how the pelvis floor can impact bowel function in pregnancy, pubic symphysis dysfunction, and the importance of a trusting relationship with one's care providers, especially when there is a history of trauma. Robyn explains the role of the deep core system in keeping babies tucked, flexed, and in the right position for labor and birth. Proper muscle tone in the pelvic floor muscles guides babies as to the direction to turn and the right maneuvers to do to come out of the pelvis easily. Melissa shares how having a pelvic PT assess and care for a cesarean scar postpartum can prevent painful adhesions.

"My biggest complaint as a midwife will and always will be abdominal diastasis and weak abdominal recti. And when I put compression [garments] on those moms, like real compression on those moms, through their last couple of weeks of pregnancy, I stop seeing breech babies. I stop seeing malpresentations. I start seeing babies engage. And I stop having as many issues with my labors."—Robyn Mattox

"But I'm meeting more women that are not having these regular [vaginal] exams for different reasons. And many times it was because of a traumatic first experience. And then it's carrying over in with the pregnancy now. And it kinda hurt my heart, cause I just felt like you’re just so scared about this whole process, and this shouldn't be so scary."—Melissa Schubert

"I get frustrated sometimes because doctors will say, "Oh, you can try to give birth without an epidural, but you’re not going to be able to do it or I don't feel you you’re going to be able to do it. And I stop and I think, it didn't have anything to do with a woman and her capabilities. It has to do with the environment and how well she's treated, how well she's listened to, and if she can form trust. And whether or not she's going to be induced or not. There's so many factors."—Michelle Smith

About Robyn Mattox, LM CPM:

Robyn is a Florida Licensed Midwife and a certified EMT. She spent years as an EMT, volunteering for the Fire Department in the early 90′s. After becoming pregnant with her first baby, she was hooked on pregnancy and birth. She began her career as a birth professional in 1995 by becoming a Certified Doula and Childbirth Educator. Later she began teaching others the nuts and bolts of being a doula while attending mothers and families in labor. Robyn's love of birth grew quickly and she became licensed as a midwife over 16 years ago. In her career as a birth professional, Robyn is honored to have attended thousands of births and has delivered over 1300 of those beautiful babies as a midwife.

Robyn's philosophy of midwifery is that birth is normal, natural, and should be surrounded by family and friends in a calm and peaceful environment. Robyn strives to create a birth plan that is tailored to her client's needs as a laboring mom. As a midwife, she can be as hands-off or as hands-on as her clients are comfortable with. She is quick to step in should an emergency arise and prides herself on the safety of her c;ients. Robyn has 4 children and a new grandson. Since her youngest two children were born at home in the water, she has a unique understanding of the intensity and beauty of birth, and the need for a secure, knowledgeable voice to guide the journey.

Connect with Robyn Mattox, LM, CPM:

Website: https://laboroflovetampa.com/

About Melissa Schubert, PT:

Melissa has been a physical therapist in the Orlando area for over 20 years and has specialized as a pelvic physical therapist for the past 10 years and is the owner of The Balanced Pelvis. She believes that ALL women deserve special care during their pregnancy and after.

As a pelvic physical therapist, she provided relief from pelvic joint or sacro-iliac joint (SIJ) dysfunction and pain with the use of Hesch Method Manual Therapy. Many times the cause of pain or dysfunction is not the location of pain and only treating the location of pain will quite often only give temporary relief.

More recently, her approach to care for moms during pregnancy and after has changed to a much more holistic approach. She is working to become a certified specialist from the Birth Healing Institute. This approach works to alleviate pain and dysfunction that may be holding a person back by addressing the concerns from a body, mind, and spirit approach. This approach looks first at past trauma or injury for the cause of pain or dysfunction held in the tissues. By addressing trauma held in the tissues first, it quite often will determine the root cause of pain or dysfunction. Once this is addressed, then treatment may progress with a graded exposure. By addressing past trauma held in the tissues first, the number of graded exposure sessions is reduced.

Connect with Melissa Schubert:

Website: https://www.thebalancedpelvis.com/

Facebook: @MelissaSchubertPT

Instagram: @melissaschubertpt

Connect with Michelle Smith:

Website: BirthEaseServices.com

Facebook: Birth Ease, The Birth Ease Podcast, Birth Ease Baby Loss Support

Instagram: @birtheasemichellesmith, @birtheaselossssupport

YouTube: Birth Ease

LinkedIn: Birth Ease Michelle Smith

Show: Birth Ease


Episode 75

by Michelle Smith