All about Pelvic Steam Therapy with Sky Crowley | Maryland Birth Photographer
Sky is just a cool person so if you ever get the chance to meet her or work with her or eat one of the delicious looking desserts at One Coastal, enjoy it!
I had heard a little bit about pelvic steam therapy before talking to Sky but I wanted more info and was so excited when I connected with Sky and got to learn all about her and her specialty!
Me: Would you mind getting us started by introducing yourself and what you do?
Sky: I'm Skylar Crowley, I'm a certified doula. I've been certified for about 3 years. I got certified in 2019 through Prodoula. I began an internship with Chloe French, who is now a midwife. She gave me tons of resources to dig into and we talked about processes and the legislative side of things, like what you're actually able to do as a doula. I absolutely loved it. I have always been called to help women in some way shape or form. Then Covid hit and I found myself as a very beginner doula and I couldn't get into the hospitals and I couldn't be hands-on. So I kind of felt like what else can I offer women in our area.
I have been doing pelvic steaming for myself for about 4 years. It's helped with various different menstrual issues, endometriosis, and that sort of thing. It's been life-changing. I needed to figure out how to become certified in this so I can offer it to other women. Pelvic steaming goes into all of the menstrual issues, clearing up issues that could interfere with fertility.
The woman who started the institute had one client who had a bunch of fibroids and other things happening. She couldn't get pregnant. She went on a steam plan over 3 months, with specific herbs at specific times. When she went back to her OBGYN after that her fibroids had shrunk and she was pregnant! That lit me up. You have pregnancy which is so amazing and it's important to understand it. But what happens before and after is equally crucial. To be able to solve these problems with just water, steam, and herbs and it's actually working, it's huge!
So I'm certified as a peristeam hydrotherapist but I'm continuing on in my certifications so I can continue learning. It's a very intense way of thinking about the body and how it all comes together- which herbs to use for each issue and things like that.
Me: That's cool, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge on this! My wheels are turning and I might need to talk to you about some things after this! So you kind of touched on this- you said you knew you always wanted to work with women and that led you to become a doula and steaming had helped you- but what made you want to dive into the world of birth and fertility and pelvic health?
Sky: My mom was 20 when she had me. She was told at 14 that she wouldn't have any children because of how bad her endometriosis was. Nine months after I was born she had a total hysterectomy at the age of 21. That's a generational thing happening within my body. If there's an issue going back to your great-grandmother, you may struggle with the same issue. When I was a senior in high school I was in BioMed. Our senior project was to shadow a doctor and either do an original research subject or come up with a product that would help their patients. I ended up going into gynecology. I worked with an NP in West OC. She really sparked it within me even more than it already was. She sees all these women, most weren't pregnant most were getting checkups. They were all struggling with the same things and didn't have any resources.
Out of high school, I worked in a little hippie shop and I would talk to all these women. They would tell me about their issues and their birth stories. Going back to my experience with the NP and seeing all these issues now I'm seeing these issues are reoccurring. Reoccurring infections and pregnancy issues. The more that I talked to people the more I realized people were dealing with these issues and had no solution. So that really sparked it in me. I wanted to get certified as a doula so I could talk to more women, I wanted to see where they were coming from. My training with Prodoula was 3 days. The stories they shared, sparked it again.
What I found with steaming- deep reproductive issues are often connected to deep emotional issues. That feels huge because I can make an impact on this woman's body but also make space for what you're holding emotionally inside your body.
Me: So beautiful! So what does working with you look like?
Sky: Some choose to have like a steam day and just do it once. Some people like to have like a cozy spa-like steam party with their friends. But I really like to specialize in menstrual problems. We go through two different intake forms, analyzing your menstrual cycles, any surgeries, and symptoms. Then I can address that and formulate the herb selection and formulate the plan for them specifically. Depending on your issues you can steam for 10 minutes or 30 minutes. It might be once a week, once a month, or maybe 3 days before and after your period. It's very specific to your needs, which I love because every woman is different! I recommend having a regular plan just so you can see results.
Me: So what's your favorite thing about what you do?
Sky: Giving women the ability to revolutionize their health, giving them empowerment over their bodies.
Me: Yes! I think it's so important to realize that. People seem like issues with reproductive health is like taboo and they don't want to talk about it so they get stuck with just going back to the doctor and getting a band-aid fix over and over. They're doing what they're taught to do so the more we can open up about the different options they have it can make a difference. So if you could change one thing in the standard of maternity or women's health, what would it be?
Sky: When it comes to maternity and postpartum especially, you're expected to just bounce back and move on. Your body has gone through immense change, emotionally and physically. I think what needs to change is just holding the space for that change to happen. Changing the perspective of birth and postpartum is an ailment to this is a celebration and we need a community to help this transition into motherhood.
Me: Right! What's one thing you wish all women knew?
Sky: That they are awesome! I think about this all the time. In my training, she was talking about womb care and what it means to you. At the time I was working at the little hippie shop and these girls walked in. They were like 20-25 years old and I decided I'm just going to ask them what their womb means to them! So I did and they looked at me like I don't know, pregnancy or infection? and I want women to know it's more than that!
Me: Ok so my fun questions! If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you have to have with you?
Sky: First of all I would probably have an anxiety attack for like 15 minutes. But I would bring a journal, so I can write about that anxiety attack. 2 a really good fictional novel, to distract me from my anxiety attack. And then like a foraging book so I could get food. 4, a knife for sure. 5, a lighter to start a fire.
Me: I love it! Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Sky: I don't think so this has just been a lovely conversation and really encompasses what I really want to do!
Me: Good! What's the best way for people to connect with you?
Sky: I'm working on a website but it's not up and running yet. The best way to connect would probably be by text or email! It's still in the beginning stages, but it's going to happen!
Me: Ok! I have one bonus question, if you had to describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
Sky: Positively neurotic/passionate. Courageous, to go against the grain and offer something different. Right now in the kitchen, I'm surrounded by men and they come up with crazy names like clam glam! (which we had a good laugh about) but really people look at me like I'm crazy when I explain what I do. And empathetic, I want to hear the deepest darkest things that have happened so we can uncover them. Steaming is very emotional and can be triggering so it's important for me to be empathetic.
Me: Yes and it just goes into the whole theme of instead of just to going the doctor, I'm going to pick specific people that can actually help me and they will know other people who may be able to help with other specific problems. I think that's so beautiful that we have all these things available to the community now!