Balancing career and being a mom

Balancing career and being a mom

HAYLIE LASHTA BScKin, MPT, Certified Pelvic Floor Therapist

Owner and Operator of Warman Physiotherapy & Wellness

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As the owner of a successful business, Haylie Lashta knows all about the struggles that come with trying to balance work and family.

“Balance doesn’t come daily. It’s a balance over time.”

And because she is a mom, she has a unique understanding of many of her clients: in her work, Lashta prides herself in helping raise awareness around pregnancy and postpartum pelvic pain, noting there is no reason to be experiencing that kind of pain.

Lashta graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelors of Science Kinesiology with Great Distinction (2009), and Master of Physical Therapy (2011). She has been practicing in Warman since 2012, and opened Warman Physiotherapy & Wellness in the fall of 2014. In 2016, it was a finalist in the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce ABEX Awards for New Venture, and in May of 2016 Warman Physiotherapy & Wellness was a finalist in the Warman & Martensville Business Excellence Awards (WMBEXA) for Best New Business, Business of the Year and Marketing categories.

“As a physiotherapist that works with women who are pregnant and women’s health (pelvic floor physiotherapy) and a mother myself, I find that often women have many questions while pregnant.  ‘Shouldn’t I be sore? Isn’t it normal to have pain while pregnant? A little bit of pee when I sneeze/laugh/stand up is ok, though, right?’”

Lashta says the answer to these is no! In clinic, she works with patients to determine the cause of the pain and how to treat it, sending patients home with a plan.

“My motto is if I am able to do something in-clinic to help a client to feel better, then I should be able to provide a home exercise to help keep it that way.”

Read why a healthy pelvic floor isn’t just about strength

Some days are heavier work days, and some days are heavier family days, “and I do my best to find some time for me, which doesn’t always happen. It’s why my fantastic husband is currently renovating our bathroom, to give me a soaker tub,” she laughs, half joking.

Lashta is due to give birth to their second child this June.

Being a business owner means her maternity leave will look different from someone who is employed because even though she will receive a mat leave (different than the first time), she will still need to do work for the business weekly, if not daily.

“This is important for my identity. I will always work because it’s a part of me, and it fulfills me.

In addition to working extensively in pregnancy and postpartum physiotherapy care, Lashta’s practice also focuses on infant development, general orthopedics, urinary incontinence, and pelvic pain.

Working with women’s health means that Lashta has completed continuing education courses for assessment and treatment of urinary incontinence as well as pelvic pain.

“Every mother just wants to take care of their new, beautiful, perfect newborns. I can help you so that your body can do the things you want to now, as well as still have fun with your children as they get older (yes, even jump on a trampoline!)”

Lashta is currently taking her Level III Orthopedic Upper Quadrant Course for the spring as well as an IMS needling course fall of 2017.

Being that Haylie works extensively with the perinatal population, she identified a need for an exercise class to help address issues within this population in the area. Being a physiotherapist, Lashta is easily able to modify exercises to increase or decrease difficulty for each client as needed. She runs a postpartum fitness class for moms no matter where they are postpartum (and may just continue to offer this after she and baby #2 adjust to their new lives). A lover of baby carriers, Lashta will happily wear your baby while you focus on the class!

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Lashta is proud to be raising awareness for women surrounding available Physiotherapy options for women who are pregnant and post-partum, as well as urinary incontinence and pelvic pain in all ranges of the lifespan.

A healthy pelvic floor isn’t just about strength

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Haylie Lashta is a physical therapist and pelvic floor therapist who works extensively with pregnant and postpartum women at Warman Physiotherapy & Wellness. 

When we think about pelvic floor, we often think of doing kegels as a way to strengthen it to avoid incontinence.

However, strength is only part of the equation, says Haylie Lashta, owner and operator of Warman Physiotherapy & Wellness. She is a Physical Therapist and Certified Pelvic Floor Therapist who works extensively in women’s health, prenatal and postpartum care, and infant development.

When she sees women with symptoms, she often asks, ‘Who told you to ‘strengthen’ your pelvic floor?’

“Often we hear this from friends, family members and other healthcare providers after discussing for a few minutes some symptoms you’re having,” she says. “But does anyone check to make sure you are doing the exercise correctly? I find often no, this is not the case.”

She says part of the problem is women are expected to know what to do for kegels because of what we read in magazines like Cosmo, where kegels are described as squeezing the pelvic floor.

The problem with that?

When we compare this ‘squeeze’ of the pelvic floor to another area of the body, says Lashta, it’s like squeezing the muscles of the arm without actually moving the elbow.

“Does that impart strength? Sort of, but not really. A functional pelvic floor and the proper contraction is thinking of drawing the pelvic floor muscles up and into the abdomen, which will lift the muscles that are essentially like a sling between your pubic bone and tail bone,” she explains. “But we can’t just contract – no other muscle groups do we go to the gym and just hold for as long as we can, pause then repeat, so why do we do this in the pelvic floor?”

For the pelvic floor to be functional, it must be able to lift up and in, as well as relax down and out. An active relaxation is like taking that sling of muscles and letting them fall down and away and it often feels like work, notes Lashta.

She says a good analogy for comparison is to imagine your elbow is stuck in a bent position. You describe that you are having difficulty reaching and grasping things, particularly as they are falling off a table, and someone tells you to strengthen that muscle by contracting as hard as you can for 10 seconds, pause and then repeat 10 times in a row.

“Over time, the elbow will begin to bend farther as the muscle tightens and doesn’t lengthen, and your ability to catch falling objects will often get worse,” says Lashta. “So what does this muscle actually need? It needs first to lengthen to achieve full range of motion. Then it will need functional strengthening and coordination with the rest of the surrounding muscles to ensure that it can do it’s job all the time.”

If you experience any pelvic floor pain in pregnancy or postpartum, seek help: Lashta says it’s not normal.

“There is no reason for pain during pregnancy or postpartum – that’s like saying a runner ‘signed up for’ knee pain.”

And remember that it’s not just about strength: it’s about the ability to relax your muscles as well.

Haylie Lashta graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelors of Science Kinesiology with Great Distinction (2009), and Master of Physical Therapy (2011). She has been practicing in Warman since 2012, and opened Warman Physiotherapy & Wellness in the fall of 2014.

 

 

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