Local Mumpreneurs Making a difference in Women’s Health
The hard work of two local mums to bring health and education around pregnancy and birth to women across Australia has been recognised by the 2021 AusMumpreneur awards.
Former Eastside Crew trainer, Kimmy Smith, and women’s health physiotherapist, Lyz Evans, are both mums of three young kids and are well aware of the challenges that pregnancy, birth and motherhood can bring.
Ms Evans said the pair started the Empowered Motherhood Program because they discovered that many prospective mums are left in the dark about healthy pregnancies and postpartum recovery.
“Our main inspiration came from a desire to never hear women have to say, ‘I wish I had known’,” Ms Evans told The Beast.
“There is a whole lot of information available to help prevent issues arising in the first place, but in an already stretched healthcare system the problem is actually getting this information to women. Too many women get to the other side of motherhood wishing they had known a lot more, and we wanted to change that.”
The pair met when Ms Smith, a former NSW Swifts Netballer, became a patient of Ms Evans at Women In Focus Physiotherapy after sustaining physical trauma while giving birth.
“As an athlete, there were all these resources and money that went into healing an ankle sprain, but when it came to preparing and recovering from giving birth I was given so little support, just a PDF of exercises to avoid and sent on my way,” Ms Smith told The Beast.
This year in Australia, 300,000 women will give birth, and over half of them will walk out with some sort of complication, whether physical or mental. A third will experience some sort of birth trauma.
The Empowered Motherhood Program, which has recently launched as an app, aims to help Australian women prepare for birth and provide a pathway from pregnancy to birth to recovery.
“We’re trying to bridge the gap between what the health system currently provides to women and what they really need,” Ms Evans told The Beast.
The content offered includes face-to-camera education and interviews with obstetricians, doulas and lactation specialists, as well as workout videos for each trimester and post-birth recovery and a Facebook group with a monthly Q&A. The videos target issues specific to pregnancy and birth, like pelvic floor strength and flexibility.
The online format of the program allows women as far away as remote Western Australia to access the information.
The program took three years to build and has been recognised in two categories of the AusMumpreneur awards, the Emerging Entrepreneur category and the Making a Difference in Health and Wellbeing category. The AusMumpreneur awards seek to recognise the efforts of mums in business across Australia.
“It was just a real buzz for us that we are making a difference,” Ms Smith told The Beast.
“As a mum, you don’t usually get those KPIs or a pat on the back, so it was great.”
The pair now hope to reach as many mums as possible with the educational tools the program provides.
“What we’d really love is for every woman in Australia to have access to this program through their health fund or hospital. $500 million is spent each year on incontinence and postnatal depression and we feel that if we can intervene earlier we can drastically change the outcomes of those conditions and also reduce the medical dollars spent,” Ms Evans said.
The app has already had over 1,000 mums join the program and is available on the Apple and Android app stores.