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Emily McElrath, PT, DPT, MTC, CIDN  is instructing her upcoming course Pregnancy & Postpartum Considerations For High Intensity Athletics scheduled on May 21, 2023. This one-day remote continuing education course is designed to educate practitioners on the unique considerations of pregnant and postpartum athletes engaging in high intensity interval training (HIIT). 

Emily is a native of New Orleans and received her undergraduate degree in Athletic Training at the University of Southern Mississippi and went on to receive her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. She is highly trained in Sports and Orthopedics and has a passion for helping women achieve optimal sports performance. Emily is certified in manual therapy and dry needling, which allows her to provide a wide range of treatment skills including joint and soft tissue mobilization. She is an avid runner and Cross-fitter and has personal experience modifying these activities during pregnancy and postpartum.

Introduction:  Although routine exercise has long been recommended throughout pregnancy by medical professionals, High Intensity Athletics like Crossfit, weightlifting, and HIIT have received mixed approval amongst healthcare providers. There seems to be limited knowledge on how this form of exercise affects the pelvic floor and abdominal wall throughout pregnancy and postpartum, thus creating a limited understanding of proper recommendations by healthcare providers in regard to how and when a patient can safely continue and/or return to high intensity athletics during pregnancy and postpartum. Unfortunately, some (likely well-intended) medical professionals have gone so far as to instruct their patients to completely avoid these types of exercise throughout pregnancy. But are these limitations really necessary? Does the research support these recommendations? Or is there a way we can help these women continue to safely participate in high intensity athletics throughout pregnancy, and return appropriately in the postpartum phase? 

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