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Leading Pelvic Floor Recovery and Education with Aliya

I'm a big fan of pelvic floor health! Tell me how you ended up in this field.

I’ve been a physiotherapist since 2009, but I didn’t focus on pelvic health until my son was born 8 years ago. I felt really lost and blindsided during my own birth and postpartum experience and I ended up with some pelvic floor dysfunction - and I didn’t have any idea how to “fix” it! So, I started to learn all about the pelvic floor and gained the education + clinical skills needed to specialize in pelvic floor physiotherapy. I wanted to understand my own body better and heal, but I also really wanted to help others who might be going through similar things. Since that time, I haven’t stopped learning and advancing my skills on all things pelvic health.

What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

I am absolutely incapable of choosing what to eat when I’m in a food court. I get so overwhelmed and can’t even decipher what I feel like eating when there are so many options.

Tell us about your family. How was your postpartum journey?

I live with my husband and my 8 year old son in Toronto. My son is my rainbow baby and he’s just the funniest little guy. My postpartum journey was challenging, to put it lightly. My son was colicky which basically meant that he cried for most of his waking hours for the first 13 weeks of his life and he barely slept, day or night. This was really hard to navigate and I wasn’t able to consider my own physical recovery at all. When he was sleeping a bit better around 6 months, I was able to start to catch up on my rest, but I will admit that it took a really long time for me to feel like myself again. This is one of the reasons why I love supporting moms in the postpartum phase - I didn’t have much support and felt really alone; I don’t want anyone to feel that way.  

What are your top recovery tips for postpartum?

Follow the 5-5-5 Rule: spend the first 5 days in bed (more or less), the next 5 days around the bed, and the next 5 days around the house. Sometimes it’s hard to know how much is too much in the early days and these days, we are hardwired to go-go-go. It’s really important to rest enough in the early postpartum days and this rule gives some structure and guidance for those first 15 days after birth.

After that, I like to preach the following priorities in this order:

Recover: first, help the body recover after vaginal or cesarean birth.

Reconnect: then use your breath to reconnect to your body - your pelvic floor and deep core in particular.

Rebuild: gradually + respectfully return to activity and exercise.

What are your favorite snacks for postpartum?

Things that are high-fiber and easy to eat with one hand like oatmeal muffins, oat pancakes, and smoothies. I also really love soups and nourishing cultural foods during the postpartum period. My mom was regularly making me foods to help me with my milk production, healing, and energy.

What’s one ingredient you put in everything?

If it’s a baked good, it’s oats or oat flour. If it’s a “dinner” food, then it’s definitely garlic - there can never be too much!!

What are three things you can’t live without (the postpartum version)?

The Frida Mom upside down peri bottle.

A support system (people you know you can call anytime and people who will check in on you).

A giant water bottle.

What are you most excited about in your life right now?

Right now, I’m excited to compete in a fun team CrossFit competition at my gym for the first time later this month!

Your affirmation for today?

I have so much to offer to the world (I read this affirmation on a billboard the other day!).

November 2, 2023
3 min read
Aliya Dhalla
Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist & Founder of Box Wellness Co
Aliya is a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist in Toronto and the Founder of Box Wellness Co. She offers online programs, courses and workshops, has a monthly membership program, and hosts a podcast called Not Your Mother’s Pelvic Floor. She enjoys teaching people all about their bodies + how they work, and loves helping women navigate all the big phases of life - from pregnancy to menopause and everything in between. You can find Aliya on Instagram @boxwellnessco or visit her website