E027. Janette Yee - Supporting Athletes Postpartum

ahtlete breathing cesarean section childbirth exercise injury massage motherhood postpartum pregnancy recovery Jan 04, 2022


Janette Yee is a Perinatal Therapist with a background in Athletic Therapy and Massage Therapy.  She works with athletic birth parents that share her belief, “Confidence and strength in your body during pregnancy and after childbirth is a RIGHT, not a privilege.” 


In response to suboptimal public perinatal healthcare, Janette created the Proactive Moms Method - a simple 13-exercise prenatal/postpartum program. Using this method, birth parents learn to stay active during pregnancy and return to pain-free sports after childbirth. 


Janette is best known for her two ground-breaking online Caesarean recovery programs. In them, moms learn the essential skills of scar massage and exercise to optimize recovery. These courses focus on the psychology of healing, painful sex, preventing the "C-section shelf", and safe return to sport. One is designed for all moms, the other, for athletes.


Janette fills her days with mandatory playtime with her kids aged 3 and 6, while training for her return to competitive running. Her 15-year rugby career was recently recognized with a team induction into the Rugby Ontario Hall of Fame.


The most Hard Core Athlete is a Mother


Janette shares with Christina the work that she does with rugby athletes, and some of the injuries that she has endured in her 15 years of playing rugby. She reflects on her experiences of major injuries and concludes that nothing compares to being humbled by childbirth, both physically and mentally. In Janette’s own words, “The hardest-core athlete is a mother, and the biggest injury is childbirth.”


Expectations of Postpartum Healing


Janette explains that most athletes push their bodies as hard as they can; that's what athleticism means. When you're pregnant, and certainly after a mother gives birth, that's just not possible. That can be a huge blow to an athlete’s identity, to their ego.


Janette explains that childbirth is a season-ending injury, and during this time off, you can make a plan; what do I need to do? There's that sense of empowerment, and it helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Mature Athlete versus an Immature Athlete


Janette uses the word immature, but not as a term of judgment. The mature athlete learns to trust their body because the brain is really stubborn. The immature athlete is going to do silly things, not trust their bodies.


It is wise to draw from your past experience of major sports injuries that you have gone through, in a certain respect, you will be wiser in making choices for your body.


Caesarean is a very Interesting sort of Injury


The surgery itself involves three main incisions, and many people don’t appreciate that because they only see the singular external incision, but it's three incisions.


Janette discusses scar tissue and the fact that it is a body's incredible super glue that holds all these incisions closed. Scar tissue is needed, especially for the first six weeks, so she instructs listeners not to bother it. The scar tissue is powerful, powerful glue that your body makes.


Now that you know, pay it Forward


Janette implores listeners to share information. Talk about it to anyone who will listen. You can make a difference every single day. That's how public health care is going to change. We all have a voice, and all of us can use it.  Sharing information can make a difference in somebody's quality of life. All of us have that power. 



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