According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 251 babies are born worldwide each minute launching women and men everywhere into a new season of life as parents. Motherhood is a beautiful gift but it's not without difficulties or confusion. That’s why Ashley Plowman, PT, DPT an alumna of the UK College of Health Sciences physical therapy program, decided to create her own business called New Mom Guru—a telehealth company where moms are connected to prenatal and postpartum support specialists.
“Becoming a mother to two children is where the idea for New Mom Guru began,” Plowman said. “My first child was born via emergency c-section and I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding her. I later learned there were actually issues surrounding the birth and things I was doing that were counterproductive to my efforts to nurse. Fast forward to my second child, and I had even more trouble.”
During her second birth, Plowman had a VBAC delivery and sustained a fourth-degree tear, a severe injury. She was never referred to a pelvic floor PT and too exhausted to seek this type of care on her own.
“I ended up with an infection and head to toe rash due to an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. I was already going to weekly Ob/Gyn appointments and couldn’t imagine having to pack the baby, stroller, and diaper bag up again for another appointment,” Plowman said. “On top of that, my daughter ended up with a dairy and soy allergy. I was determined to breastfeed her, and I can say without a doubt that adapting to a dairy-free, soy-free lifestyle was one of the hardest things I’ve done. I wasn’t offered any formal guidance for this issue either.”
After such challenging experiences, Plowman became frustrated with the lack of support and resources available to her. “As a physical therapist, I realized I could have benefited greatly from seeing a Pelvic Floor PT, but this type of care was not offered to me. My deliveries left me exhausted and emotionally drained. Even though I knew better, I couldn’t do better,” she said.
Plowman knew she couldn’t be alone in navigating the stresses of medical care during pregnancy and after giving birth. With so many different services available, it can be overwhelming for any new mother to decide how to best move forward. “There was a real need to have resources in one cohesive and easy to access place,” Plowman said. “That’s why New Mom Guru was born. I saw a need to connect new moms with the support they need.”
New Mom Guru provides six main services: physical therapists, lactation consultants, fitness experts, doulas, registered dietitians, and counselors. These resources are intended to help new moms with both their physical and mental health in a way that is convenient for them.
Women who wish to join New Mom Guru’s community can first schedule a consultation on the website and describe any concerns or issues they are facing. Next, Plowman and her team provide personalized recommendations and set up a specific plan for each individual. Women will then have access to convenient conversations and check-ins with a licensed provider using a phone, tablet, or computer.
“This makes it very convenient for new moms because they don’t have to leave the house at all to get the help they need,” Plowman said.
The website for New Mom Guru just launched on December 2, but Ashley already has high hopes for its future. As of now, services are available in Kentucky, Florida, and Texas, but Plowman plans to expand nationwide. “We are proud to offer services to women in rural and underserved areas, including women living on international military bases,” she said.
New Mom Guru even offers community partnerships with specialists in traditional physical therapy clinics for those women who require an in-person evaluation, so no mom is left behind.
“I want to make sure women everywhere have access to the best care possible and feel supported as they encounter the joys and struggles of motherhood. If I can help women understand there are no small questions, we can help break down many of the stigmas surrounding birth and motherhood,” Plowman said.