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.

Follow your heart: the importance of choosing the right caregiver, part 2

Follow your heart: the importance of choosing the right caregiver, part 2

I knew before I became pregnant that I wanted a doula. I knew the stats on how much a doula could help me achieve the birth I wanted (and conversely, navigate my birth if it didn’t go the way I wanted). With the help of a good friend, I selected four and met them for interviews.

I met two of them outside of my home: one in a coffee shop, one where she worked. The other two came to my home. All lovely women, they were a good mix: one taught yoga and was a registered massage therapist. Another also taught yoga and did placenta encapsulation. Two sort of fit the stereotype many think of with doulas: a bit on the hippie-ish side. The other two didn’t fit that stereotype at all. One taught pilates and was also an esthetician. The other has four of her own children, including a VBAC birth, so vast personal experience.

I was drawn to two of them: the pilates instructor who had years and years of experience and had attended nearly 100 births (she doesn’t have any of her own children, which didn’t cross my mind at the time, so I guess it didn’t matter to me, or I might have asked). The doula who had four children was my last interview and our chat lasted two hours. I felt like I was talking to a friend. I wanted to hire her immediately. 

Related: Why silence is golden: the importance of choosing the right caregiver, part 1

When I talked it over with my husband, he wondered if it was because she was the last one, and said people are often drawn to the last choice, in part because we remember it best. In the end, I hired the pilates instructor who had two doulas apprenticing under her. Our rationale was I liked her, we were getting 3 doulas for the price of 1 (one of whom was also a massage therapist, which seemed like a good idea when labour would become painful), and she had a ton of experience.

I continued my relationship with the other doula. She lent me two of her books and ended up being the teacher at the prenatal classes we decided to take. When I spoke up about the importance of hiring a doula at this class, I felt a twinge of guilt that I hadn’t chosen her, even though she didn’t seem bothered at all by it. We kept in touch, and I eventually asked the doula I hired if she could be the backup. All of this signalled to me I should have trusted my heart and my gut.

My son and I were always drawn to her warm heart. Here she had just snuggled him to sleep.

As I grew closer to this fourth doula, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that she was the one I should have hired. When the doula we hired forgot our first meeting, that nagging grew stronger. I tried to ignore it, but eventually I said it out loud to my friend who had helped me choose the four to interview. I needed to say it to someone in a safe space and just get it off my chest. Admitting it was another sign I should have followed my heart. 

It’s as if the universe was listening. My water broke and contractions began nearly four weeks before my estimated due date. The doula I’d hired was on vacation, so it was my backup I texted, called, and who attended my birth. And when she texted my friend to say I’d had a beautiful birth and delivered my baby boy, our friend replied, “It was you she wanted there all along.”

I know I still would have had a beautiful birth if the doula I’d hired had been there. She is a lovely person, I loved my prenatal pilates class, and it was through that class I met one of my best mommy friends, so I can’t say I regret that decision. It worked out in the end anyway – funny how that happens.

Choose a caregiver with your heart, not with your head. After all, matters of childbirth and parenting are mostly matters of the heart. It didn’t matter who had more or what experience or how many doulas for whatever price; what mattered most was the connection I felt, and it was undeniable. Who has a two-hour visit with someone they just met? People who will become close friends who text each other regularly, try to have coffee together regularly, and tell the other they love them regularly.

Listen to your heart. The heart doesn’t lie. It will guide you to the right decision when choosing a caregiver who will be sharing in some of the most beautiful and intimate moments of your life.

Why I own my parenting style (and why you should, too)

This has been on my mind for a while. Various reasons make me think of it: having to miss a social engagement was the most recent, but it can be as simple as talking to other parents, usually moms, about day-to-day life.

Unlike pregnancy and labour, I didn’t do a lot of reading on parenting before we had a baby. I have likely never given any thought to my parenting style until I had a baby. What the hell is a parenting style?! (In fact, I would have rolled my eyes at the phrase “attachment parenting,” and the irony is that of course now I practice attachment parenting.) I read and read and read on pregnancy and labour, determined to have a positive birth experience. Near the end of my pregnancy, I thought maybe I should start reading about breastfeeding, but then Cubber came early, so there went that idea. I also distinctly remember reading one book that once I got to the parenting part, I closed it.

I didn’t start reading any books until nursing/nap marathons, and then I discovered the wonderful invention of downloading library books or buying e-books on my phone. I have a huge screen, so it’s like reading on a mini iPad. Awesome!

Anyway, to back up: I’ve always just done what works for us. As an example…Before we had our son, my husband said he was against bed sharing. Yet, as soon as we got home from the hospital, he told me and Cub to set up in the bedroom so he and a friend could clean the house. Cub has slept with us ever since, save maybe two nights. It’s always just been easiest for us, especially with breastfeeding.

Over time, Cub has decided he likes to sleep like a teenager, so he stays up until we would normally go to bed, somewhere between 9:30 and 10:30 p.m., and then gets up late: as early as 8 and as late as 10. Mama is NOT complaining.

Cub has always been a big-time breastfeeder. You can tell this by looking at him. Chubby baby!! Often before bed time, he likes to nurse a few times. Or, as we discovered last week when I decided to go to an evening yoga class and he, in APB’s words, wasn’t thrilled, he just likes to know I’m around. Doesn’t even care if I’m reading to or playing with him, but wants to know I’m there, so he can happily play by himself in his room.

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As such, this makes it difficult to go out without him. So I’ve had to miss a friend’s celebration, and it looks like I’ll miss another that’s coming up. I once had tickets to go to a Mommy’s Night Out. In the end, Cub and I were getting over being sick, but I couldn’t figure out a way to make it work. Once we moved away from the city, travel becomes a consideration. Do I want to be driving home for half an hour, knowing I have a baby freaking out on the other end? Not really.

Now. Some of you are likely thinking, Just go. You deserve an outing. He’ll get over it and he’ll be fine. And all of that may be true to some degree. But here’s the thing: I’m at peace with our situation. In fact, I like it. My baby is only a baby for so long. I cherish every time I get to hold and nurse him. I also cherish the later nights and mornings, knowing one day he might pull a 180 and decide 5:30, like other babies I know, is a great time to get up (please, no).

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My point in this long ramble is this is what works for us. It might not work for you, and that’s ok. I’m not you, your baby is not my baby, and your life and circumstances are not mine. You have to do what works for YOU…and you should own it. Make no apologies for the choices you make for you and your baby. Whether you breastfeed, bottle feed, or formula feed. Whether you take your baby to daycare or stay at home. Whether you returned to work six months after your baby was born or two years. You, and ONLY YOU, know what is best for your family. I wouldn’t tell you what’s best for you because I don’t know. Only you know that – so don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise and more importantly, BELIEVE in yourself. Your mother’s instinct is right (in fact, I was pleased yesterday when a doctor told me it was my mother’s instinct that would tell me if anything was wrong with cub after his stroller tipped and he hit his head on the ground. He’s ok!).

For us, the way I see it is this: this is for now. It’s not forever. And I don’t mean that in a “this, too, shall pass” kind of way. I mean it in a “I want to cherish this time together” because before I know it, it will be gone.

So Mamas….keep doing what you’re doing, and I will, too….All of us with the confidence that we know what’s best for us.

 

 

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