Marcy, also known as the Down There Doc, is changing the way individuals, employers, and our healthcare system think about the postpartum period that birth-giving people experience. She’s not only incredibly knowledgeable about what she does, she’s also hilarious. She tells it like it is, and we love that about her. She is revolutionizing the way our culture treats the postpartum period.
43% of women quit their jobs when they have children, and only 40% of the remaining women come back full time. That means that fewer than 2 out of 10 women fully return to work after birth. And, here’s another staggering stat: 69% of the women in one study reported experiencing at least one physical health problem since childbirth.
The DT Method helps women and birthing persons feel more prepared for birth, have a better birthing experience, and recover faster. By offering supplemental birth prep classes focused on pushing prep, labor positioning, early/acute recovery, medication education, directed questions to ask providers, and preparing for a hospital stay, birth-giving patients at hospitals will experience increased emotional capacity and resilience. By equipping employers with the ability to add the DT Method to their benefits package, Marcy is enabling birth-giving persons to come back to work in a better physical and mental state, and increasing performance and productivity, among other measurable outcomes.
I’m so excited for you to meet Marcy.
Who you are and what do you do?
I’m Dr. Marcy Crouch, board certified women’s health physical therapist. I help Moms and birthing persons prepare for birth, recovery fully, and thrive in their new bodies. I take what I have done in the clinic for the past decade+ and have applied it in an online platform to help more women get the resources and support they need and deserve in an easy, affordable, and successful way. I am changing the way we care for and provide health care to women and birthing persons….globally.
How do you define leadership?
I am influenced greatly by the voices of Brene Brown, RBG, and other feminist leaders (too many to list!). Brene Brown says that a leader is “anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential”.
I think the traits that help define a leader are: vulnerability, honesty, courage, empathy, trust, and honoring sacred relationships. Being a leader is hard. It’s an ever changing process, and everyday I learn more about what it takes and what it means to be a “good” leader. A successful leader. A leader who helps others rise to the best version of themselves. A leader who sees, recognizes, identifies, and nurtures traits and talents that help others to thrive…all while building a business and a brand. It’s something that I love doing, but also forces me to take a look inward, step into the hard conversations, understand my weaknesses and my vulnerabilities. It’s humbling, and scary, and rewarding, and I’m honored to pursue it.
What’s one (yes, just one) thing you’re really good at?
Being an empathetic listener. The connection and vulnerability that comes along with listening to others, really listening, is profound. Whether it’s a client, or an employee, or a partner, offering empathy, opening your heart, trying to understand and connect rather that “solve” their feelings is something that is very powerful.
Tell us about a time when you realized this is what you were meant to do.
I tell this story a lot- and I won’t ever forget that moment when i knew I wanted to work with women, birth, and all the things that are considered “taboo”. I was in grad school, and we were learning about the pelvic floor muscles during one of our anatomy classes. The professor used the example of a woman who had a significant vaginal tear during her delivery, resulting in years of pain and dysfunction. The professor casually mentioned that there are pelvic floor PTs that work in this area, and to keep that in mind as we progress through our doctorate program. While the entire class was shielding their eyes and saying “eww omg”, I was glued to the picture. My mouth dropped open, I had NO prior experience or knowledge about the pelvic floor (why would I, I was in my 20s, no kids, and no issues down there), and I immediately felt a pulling towards this population. I also felt anger, sadness, disappointment, and a sense of urgency and purpose. The fact that women were left to deal with life-long, very real and debilitating problems (that are easily preventable and treatable), and that they are pushed to feel that they are normal and almost “what you get for being a mother” is enraging. I felt very strongly that this was my purpose, and it came at a time when I felt that I had made a mistake in choosing my career. This is so much more than just “physical therapy”. This is about seeing women, validation, moving their concerns to the top of the priority list, and changing the standard of care.
What’s one personal value you hold true in your business?
Abundance over scarcity, and valuing the work and life of women. I want to provide a space/business that pays women a liveable wage that is higher than what a male counterpart makes. I want to give back to underprivileged and underserved communities and women through charity and mentorship. I want to provide a business that elevates women to their highest potential, while valuing and uniquely respecting the multiple roles they assume by providing flexible working options, growth opportunities, and meaningful and satisfying work.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I ride horses and spend time with my 2 kids. Horses are my lifeline, and being at the barn, riding, connecting with animals, getting dirty and sweaty, and working hard physically fills my cup.
What’s in your 10-year vision?
Multiple avenues for women and birthing persons to access and feel seen, heard, supported, healthy, joyful, and strong. Whatever form that takes. I have ideas, but I have learned to slow down, breathe, stay true to the underlying goal and what my audience and clients need, and the way that we build it evolves organically.
Who is one person who has shown you what’s possible in your life or business? What was the “see to believe” lesson they taught you? (This can be someone you know, someone you don’t know, or even a fictional character!)
RBG: her quote “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time” is on my wall behind my computer. I read it daily, and it helps me stay focused, grounded, and calm when I feel frantic and small.
What’s one moment in your life that, looking back on, made you realize you would own your own business?
I was burned out working for other clinics, burned out with the limitations on providing quality care due to insurance, appointment times, burned out on spending hours on documentation rather than with my clients. I felt that I could do better and reach more women if I took what I know, what I am good at, and my personal strengths to a bigger platform. So I did.
What are three things you always have on you (beside phone, wallet, keys)?
My dog, coffee, and sunscreen in multiple forms.
This Leaders We Love segment features Dr. Marcy Couch.
Dr. Marcy Crouch received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2010. She then completed a Women’s Health Residency program in Dallas, TX and obtained her WCS, which identifies her as Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Women’s Health Physical Therapy.
She has taught pregnancy and sexual health courses in her community, as well as continuing education courses for PT’s both nationally and internationally, and has taught at the University level. Marcy has worked in private practice and hospital outpatient clinics in Texas, California, and Oregon, and now lives in Alabama. She has owned a successful clinic, built a loyal following on social media as @thedowntheredoc, spoken at national events, contributed to popular blogs and magazines, has been featured on several mainstream TV shows, and is having candid and powerful conversations about women’s health and how we NEED to do better.
After being in the clinic for over a decade, she decided to create online programs designed for mothers and birthing persons everywhere. She is the founder of The DT Method™, an online program that is the NEW standard for birth prep and recovery. She is changing the way women are preparing for their births and elevating postpartum care for all.
In the summer of 2021, she launched a podcast with her mom bestie and business partner, Alyson Hempsey, from @thehonestpeach, titled No Mama Left Behind: The Podcast. They are ripping down the curtains of taboo topics, bringing to light the raw honesty of motherhood, and fostering a community of support, truth, laughter for mothers everywhere.
She is the mother to 2 amazing boys, and has first hand experience of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. She loves a good glass of wine, horses, belly laughs, and drives a minivan shamelessly.
You can follow Marcy on Instagram @thedowntheredoc and subscribe to her community to learn more than you want to know about vaginas, motherhood, and everything in between.