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Physiotherapist Emma Brockwell is 'super proud' after her book on motherhood wins a national award

Emma Brockwell was shortlisted in two categories, and ended up winning one of them


Surrey-based physiotherapist Emma Brockwell is celebrating after her book – Why Did No One Tell Me? How to protect and nurture your body through motherhood – won the product of the year award at this week's Active Pregnancy Foundation (APF) awards 2023.

Emma was one of 14 winners named at an awards event ceremony, which was held in London on the evening of 27 June. She had also been shortlisted in the sports practitioner category, which was won by Amal Hassan, a sport and exercise medicine consultant who is based at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health in London.

In a tweet on 27 June, Emma said she was 'super proud' to have won the award and thanked everyone who had voted for her [Twitter: @emma_physiomum]

Asked in a PhysioUpdate interview last year what motivated her to write her first book, Emma said: ‘The main thing was my passion to see that all women – both during and after their pregnancy – are educated and empowered regarding the physical changes and conditions that can arise at this time in their lives and do something positive to protect, heal and nurture their bodies throughout motherhood.

‘The book has been a huge passion project. I have been a pelvic health physiotherapist for nine years. Like many pelvic health physios, I made the transition to musculoskeletal and to pelvic health during my first pregnancy, largely due to first-hand experience.

‘I had a difficult pregnancy and postnatal recovery, particularly as regards returning to running. At the time, I was blown away by the lack of research and guidance for returning women safely and effectively back to high impact exercise. Conversations with my mum’s friends made me realise how incredibly common pelvic floor dysfunction was among new mums and that they lacked consistent information and help for common – though not normal – conditions.

‘For too long women have been told to just put up with physical issues arising from pregnancy and childbirth – you leak wee, don’t run, if you have a bulge in your vagina don’t lift! But when was it ever okay to accept these issues, particularly when we as a profession can help women with them?’

Other physiotherapists in the limelight

Physiotherapist Gráinne Donnelly, who founded a pelvic health-focused physiotherapy clinic called Absolute Physio in 2013, appeared in the shortlist in the researcher of the year category, which was won by Kirsty Elliott-Sale, as professor of female endocrinology and exercise physiology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Another physiotherapist – Suzanne Vernazza – was one of the three clinicians shortlisted in the practitioner of the year category. She runs a not-for-profit organisation called Know Your Floors and a social media campaign that aims to get people talking about pelvic health and pelvic floor exercises, which is called #squeezealong. This was also shortlisted for campaign of the year award, which was won by This Girl Can: Active Mums Start with You.

Michael Dooley, an NHS consultant gynaecologist and a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, was named as the AFP practitioner of year.

Why Did No One Tell Me? How to protect, heal and nurture your body through motherhood is published by Ebury. To order a copy, on Kindle or as a paperback, visit: www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Did-One-Tell-motherhood/dp/1785043366

 To find out more about the APF and the awards, click

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