Five Ways Becoming a BIRTHFIT Professional Transformed My Practice
I’ve been a registered nurse since 2009 and a nurse practitioner since 2012. Despite taking some time away from clinical practice to be home with my babies, I’ve continued to support families through the parenthood transition as a coach, educator, BIRTHFIT Professional, and doula. I discovered BIRTHFIT just a few months after my first baby was born, and it felt like I had found “my people.” It wasn’t long before I was applying to be a BIRTHFIT Leader for Nashville. Just as I was learning what that actually meant, I found out I was pregnant with my second son.
I attended my first BIRTHFIT Professional Seminar in early 2018 with my four-month-old baby in tow. Although I attended the BIRTHFIT Summit the previous summer and had been a Regional Director for more than a year, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. However, I was excited to connect with like-minded practitioners.
Going into the weekend, I anticipated that much of what we’d cover would be a review, but I had no idea I was about to be BLOWN away by the quality of the content and the depth of information presented. I remember coming back to my hotel room after the first day and having one of those “There is so much I don’t know!” moments. It was one of the most formative experiences of my career.
Through BIRTHFIT, I have experienced the gift of learning from a broad spectrum of professionals, all of whom are passionate about supporting people through one of the most transformative times of their lives – the parenthood transition. Gaining a deeper understanding of the role and value each profession brings to the birth team has been enlightening. It has also aided in my decision to return to clinical practice.
I now work in an office alongside two chiropractors, and together, we have created a beautiful collaborative care model. So much of what we do is infused with the BIRTHFIT philosophy, and it helps us to serve our patients in the most efficient and effective way.
Five Ways BIRTHFIT Has Transformed My Clinical Practice:
1. I do not need to do more.
I used to try and be all things to all people, and now I don’t feel like I have to be! Nurse practitioner, CrossFit coach, doula, nutrition coach, lactation specialist, the list goes on. I genuinely love to learn, and I pursued as much training as I could, but I was still left with this constant feeling that I needed to “do more” for my patients. I love having many tools in my tool kit, but I’ve come to realize I can’t do everything, and I certainly can’t do everything well. BIRTHFIT has taught me to continue to embrace learning, while also creating a sustainable care model, which involves REFERRALS.
2. I have built a solid referral system.
Although I had been referring to chiropractors and physical therapists since I started practicing in 2012, I didn’t really know what to look for in these providers. BIRTHFIT has created a standard to help discern which practitioners are providing the highest quality care. I am much more confident speaking with providers about how they practice, and I’m more selective about how I refer. Additionally, the assessment tools I’ve gained help me make better, more timely referrals.
3. I have a better physical exam protocol.
Learning the concepts of intra-abdominal pressure and developmental kinesiology have been invaluable to my assessment protocol. Regardless of patient presentation, I evaluate breath and posture in everyone. I take time to teach diaphragmatic breathing and connect it to physical and emotional wellbeing. This is crucial. Establishing functional diaphragmatic breath makes every aspect of their treatment more effective, from chiropractic adjustments to Mercier therapy, and even functional medicine. It sets the foundation for all the work we do.
4. The 4 BIRTHFIT pillars guide my patient care plans.
The four pillars are fitness, nutrition, mindset, and connection. Whether my patient is newly pregnant or several months postpartum, I will explore each of these pillars with them. Sometimes that means I am making a referral, and sometimes it involves pointing the patient to BIRTHFIT’s amazing resources. From virtual consultations and in-person classes to the podcast and blog, there is so much support available. The BIRTHFIT model emphasizes a holistic approach to care and provides a framework for providers to follow.
5. My network extends across the globe.
I have an AMAZING network of professionals to help me troubleshoot questions and complex cases. One of the perks of being a BIRTHFIT Professional is that I get to connect with like-minded providers and get their expert advice on various clinical scenarios. I love hearing the perspectives of professionals from different disciplines as they weigh in on a case. This provides us all with such a beautiful opportunity to continue to learn and grow, and it allows us to better care for our patients.
My experience as a BIRTHFIT Professional has been invaluable and I’m incredibly grateful to have found this community. I joined the Professional Seminar Staff at the end of 2018 and have been lucky enough to help create educational content. The opportunity to travel to various locations and teach the Professional Seminar has been amazing, and I am so excited that we are making this content more accessible to providers by expanding to an online platform.
If you are interested in enhancing your knowledge of how to support your patients and their families from preconception through postpartum, I definitely recommend that you jump on the newsletter for when we relaunch (in 2021) the Leader Education. Click here to stay up to date on all the latest BIRTHFIT news, including the Professional Seminar release date.
Brittany Anderson, WHNP-BC
BIRTHFIT Professional Seminar Staff@britteanderson @praxisstrength
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