Hi! I’m Steph (or mom.. I answer to both)
I am a mom of four, personal trainer, nutrition coach, pregnancy and postpartum corrective exercise specialist, and birth and postpartum doula living in Guelph, Ontario. I enjoy hot cups of coffee (better yet if it hasn’t needed to be microwaved a few times), baking all kinds of breads and treats, and DIY projects. I also volunteer with St. John Ambulance as a medical first responder!
I guess you could say my career decisions were based off of my own pregnancy and postpartum experiences.
My pregnancies and deliveries were all straightforward. I had the same amazing team of midwives and felt very empowered through it all. I did, however, have severe Diastasis Recti and pelvic pain with each pregnancy. I pushed through though, because I wasn’t sure what my options were. My postpartum recoveries were a little more interesting; I experienced breastfeeding issues, a colicky baby, PPA/PPD.
It wasn’t until after baby #3 that I experienced pelvic organ prolapse and leaking, and let me tell you, I felt broken, discouraged, and frustrated.
Would I be able to run again? What about lifting weights? They said to not lift anything more than 10 lbs, but how do people follow that advice with kids? And why is there so much conflicting information out there? One person says to do this, another says to do that, and google is full of different opinions. If this is so common, why isn't anyone talking about it?
As frustrating as this was, this was the game changer for me. I had found my passion, my niche, and it was working with pregnant and postpartum moms. I built on my current certifications as personal trainer and nutrition coach and dove into core and pelvic floor studies.
Now, where does the doula work fit in, you ask? The more I studied, the more moms I talked to, the more I saw and realized not many of them had the amazing and empowering birth experiences I did.
I wanted to change that. I wanted to teach people about their options, about how their bodies work, about what to expect during labour and delivery, and how to express these wishes to their health care providers. I also wanted to support them through early postpartum, because I know how valuable it is to have that extra help and listening ear.
In addition, prevention is key. There is so much you can do while you're pregnant, to prepare for postpartum! This applies to both physical and mental aspects.
And so, Steph Bouwman: pregnancy, birth, and postpartum was born. (see what I did there?) This is my way of combining my experiences and studies to give mamas in my community the best help, education, and care I can provide.
Training and Qualifications
- CanFitPro: certified personal trainer
- Precision Nutrition: Level 1 sports and exercise nutrition
- Core Exercise Solutions: Pregnancy and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist, PelvisPRO
- Julie Wiebe: treating and training the female runner, piston science part 1
- Munira Hudani: the InCore Method
- Fitness Kickboxing Canada: level 1
- Barre Intensity: comprehensive barre instructor
- Doulas Inc: certified birth doula, certified postpartum doula
- Doula Training Canada: Perinatal Educator
- Spinning Babies: workshop
- St. John Ambulance: Advanced Medical First Responder
- Pelvic Health Solutions: Non-internal Intro Pelvic Floor, Cesarean Birth and Rehabilitation
- Anthony Lo: The Female Athlete, Diastasis Reframed
- Association of Ontario Doulas
- myPFM Pro Ambassador
- mentored by a local doula and pelvic floor physiotherapist