After Davida Murray’s first child was born, in 2016, she was in so much pain, she couldn’t go back to work. Davida (pictured above, left, with a hiking buddy) is a physical therapist who lives in Middlebury. She had been working at a specialized outpatient clinic focused on chronic pain. “I couldn’t sit, and it even hurt me to stand,” she recalled. “I kept asking my OB, ‘Is this normal?!’”
After months of severe pelvic pain, with no help from her doctors, Davida realized something was wrong. Discomfort was to be expected right after childbirth, but not like this.
She began educating herself about postpartum physical therapy, exercising to strengthen her pelvic floor, and eventually made a full recovery. Last year Davida started her own practice, New Moon Physical Therapy, to help women in Addison and Chittenden Counties recover from childbirth. “I have a passion for working with women who want to be active, exercise, get out there again, whatever that means for them.”
And Davida is now offering another way to support and connect local moms: a hiking group. The informal, free series is aimed at giving local mothers an opportunity to be active outdoors, and to connect with one another.
Here’s the full schedule:
“Let’s be real,” said Davida. “Moms need mom friends. And support. And community. And a good network. And to get out of the house. And to have fun. And we never get enough of any of that. But now we can.”
Mom’s Hiking Group meets one Sunday a month at a different trail in Addison County. The first hike is Dec. 5, at 8 a.m. on the Battell Woods trail off Seminary Street Extension in Middlebury. For more info, contact Davida at 802-851-7707 or [email protected].
Did you recently have a baby? Or are you hoping to strengthen your core and pelvic floor muscles? Davida made a short video to share some simple exercises you can do at home.
In it, she demonstrates 360 breathing, which she describes as foundational for every other exercise. “This can be done Day 1, lying in the hospital bed,” she says.
All you need is a door and a door frame to do the next two exercises. One involves stretching, the other is all about squatting.
“We squat all day long,” says Davida. “We sit, we pick up things from the floor, so it’s good to have good form and ability, that way we don’t increase pelvic floor disfunction, or cause it. Squatting can also improve posture and strength in the body, and it can even improve low back pain.”
Here are the exercises: