Meredith NelsonRestorative Exercise Specialist | Birth Doula | Rockbridge County VA
I’m a violinist, turned Hebrew professor, turned doula, turned biomechanics nerd. Although my first child arrived via a beautiful physiologic birth in 2012 (inspiring me to turn toward birth work), the pelvic floor dysfunction and pain that followed turned my world upside-down. Some of what I read tried to reassure me “This is normal. Happens to just about everyone.” That didn’t feel right to me. Other voices said, “Kegels are the answer.” Who, I wondered, was telling my great-great-great grandmothers to do 200 kegels a day?
Enter biomechanist Katy Bowman. I had read a lot of her work (and was totally drawn to her message that diverse natural movement is as important as food in the prevention and healing of pain and disease). But a few months after the birth I met with one of her certified Restorative Exercise Specialists, who in a single session knocked out most of my pain symptoms by teaching me a better way to stand. She taught me some whole-body corrective exercises to free up my pelvic floor, and finally I began to heal. Mind-blowing!
Years later, I completed my training as a Restorative Exercise Specialist, after already many years of helping my doula clients move and feel better. In the meantime I had also been fueling my passion for birth work, learning how to help my clients get truly evidence-based care, and teaching them how to prepare and trust their bodies in birth.
Today I feel so much joy in my body, and in supporting women through the whole-body, whole-heart transition of pregnancy, childbirth, and newborn life.
And I still love to fiddle.
How I Can Help
I’ll tell you up front what my agenda for every client’s pregnancy and birth is. I want them to be well-supported emotionally; I want them to have access to excellent, evidence-based information; I want their informed consent or refusal to be honored by their team; I want their birth experience to be positive, empowering, and joyful. If on top of this, I can help my clients enjoy a more stable and mobile frame from pregnancy to recovery, then my mission is accomplished! Read more.
All bodies are welcome here. Whether you are struggling with pelvic floor dysfunction, or hip or foot pain, or if you are just looking to move better and more sustainably, I have a great plan for you. We’ll look at your current alignment, daily habits, pain symptoms (if any), and movement patterns to create an exercise protocol that fits naturally into your day. Read more.
I’ve never been a fitness junkie. You’ll never find me at the gym. But I love to move in nature, especially with my kids. We walk barefoot on the trails, balance on fallen logs, toss stones, carry each other, dig, squat, crawl under things, and hang from trees. This is my kind of workout: dynamic, whole-body, outdoors, and fun. Want to come along?
collmany Training and Experience
- Certified Restorative Exercise Specialist (Nutritious Movement™)
- Evidence Based Birth® Professional member
- DONA International® Birth Doula Training (2013)
- Spinning Babies® Training (Gail Tully)
- Certified One Strong Mama™ Body Ready Method Professional
- Your Pelvic Matters© Program (Claire Mockridge)
- Optimal Fetal Positioning (Cornerstone Midwifery)
- Rebozo Certified (Gena Kerby)
- Movement Ecology During Pregnancy (Katy Bowman)
- Breastfeeding Basics Training
- Monthly peer review, regular birth conferences and webinars
- Since 2013 I have supported births at 18 different hospitals, as well as many home and birth center births. I have worked collaboratively with a wide variety of OBs, midwives, and nurses.
- MA in Middle Eastern Studies/Hebrew (jotting this down because it’s the only way I still “use my degree!”)
Ready to Move?
Meredith Nelson, RES-CPT, Doula