On today’s podcast, I had the wonderful opportunity to talk with Alex Winkelman Zeplain. Alex is the founder of Hello My Tribe, which she created to serve as a support system for women and mothers. Through podcasts, written content, events, and different experiences, Alex hoped that this community would create a positive support system for all women as they venture through life’s journeys. While working to create this community, Alex was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). With her diagnosis, Alex was even more inspired and motivated to continue on with her business and be able to create a support system for other women who had MS. From creating Hello My Tribe, she was able to share her story and create a safe space for other women to share their diagnosis with as well.
As we continued to talk, Alex shared with me her pregnancy and the difficulties she encountered during postpartum. Into the 42nd week of her pregnancy, Alex labored at home for days without any progress. Due to her circumstances, Alex ended up having to have an emergency C-section.
When her son turned one year old, Alex’s feet started to go numb and she get a sensation of an electrical current going up and down her spine every time she moved her neck down. It wasn’t till after she saw a neurologist that she found out she had MS. Although she was overwhelmed, she also felt a sense of hopefulness because now she had an excuse to get help and slow down.
As Alex shared, most people who are diagnosed with MS are women in the childbearing years. The signs of MS look different for everybody. Her sister, who also has MS, first experienced numbness in half of her body and went temporarily blind in one of her eyes. While Alex experiences a lot of tingling and numbness in her feet and lower half of her body. As Alex shared, women who go off their MS medicine and get pregnant do go into a form of remission of their MS. A woman’s body produces a hormone that protects a woman during pregnancy. After pregnancy (1-12 months postpartum), women with MS tend to have a big flare-up. As Alex expressed, her flare-ups tended to happen during more stressful times. Although she was predisposed to having MS she felt that her lifestyle and stress turned her MS on. Now Alex feels that she is in control again and has the ability to destress and take care of herself.
Alex does her best to really take care of herself. She does this through eating healthy foods, an anti-inflammatory diet, taking a lot of supplements, getting a lot of sleep, and exercising. Through creating Hello My Tribe, Alex has formed an engaged and supportive community for herself as well as for others to not feel alone during this journey. Alex ended our talk by sharing the importance of looking at the full picture because all the factors (sleep, food, attitude, lifestyle) play such a critical part in one’s life.
To connect with Alex you can find her on Instagram.