Heather Higgins MAPA
Post Grad Cert (Pelvic Floor Rehab)
Pelvic Health Physiotherapist
Heather is an experienced Physiotherapist with a special interest in Women’s, Men's and Pelvic Health. She graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004. Her interest in Pelvic Health developed early in her studies at university, after reading "The Hospital by the River" by Dr Catherine Hamlin. She was inspired by the difference access to appropriate pelvic health care can make. Subsequently, she chose to complete her elective in Women’s Health and was also lucky enough to complete a practical placement at the Royal Hospital for Women while still at university, and so the love of pelvic health began.
After completing her allocation year at Royal North Shore Hospital, Heather began working at The Royal Hospital for Women. Over the next 9 years she developed her expertise in Women’s and Pelvic health through all life stages, including perinatal care, pelvic floor dysfunction, post gynaecology and oncology surgery care. During this time, she also completed her Post Graduate Certificate in Physiotherapy (Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy) at Melbourne University.
Heather has since worked at both Macquarie University Hospital and Sydney Adventist Hospital, gaining further insight into pre and post-operative care of pelvic surgery for both Men and Women.
Outside of clinical practice Heather’s three very active children keep her busy. She loves camping trips with her family and all things outdoors. Heather also enjoys running and is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Her main areas of clinical interest are:
Pre/post-natal education, treatment and management
Pre/post-operative care (including prostatectomy, hysterectomy, prolapse repairs)
Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction
Prolapse (including pessary fitting)
Overactive bladder / Urgency
Pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain
Pelvic Pain (including dyspareunia, vaginissmus, endometriosis, vulvodynia)
Why did you get into Pelvic Physio?
I was inspired to get into Pelvic Health during my time at University after discovering that Pelvic Health was one of areas of Physio that had the most research into the efficacy of treatment and the huge impact improving someone’s quality of life treating pelvic health issues can have Pelvic health issues are often ignored for long periods of time because people may be too embarrassed to talk about it or the problem has been normalised, so people just put up with it. Why put up with it when there is so much that can be done!
What are your passions in the field?
I enjoy providing pre-natal education to women to prepare them for the best possible delivery and recovery. I am passionate about providing a nurturing approach to women in the post-natal period and ensuring holistic recovery through the 4th trimester. It is also very rewarding to help people who have been putting up with urinary incontinence or symptoms of prolapse for a long time and can finally get some relief. I am also passionate about providing education and support for men undergoing prostate cancer treatment.
What would you like to see change in the world of Pelvic Health?
I hear “Why didn’t somebody tell me this sooner?” way too often. I am very happy about recently developed Pelvic Health education programs that are being implemented in high schools, so things seem to be moving in the right direction. Too many people normalise unhelpful bladder and bowel habits.
I would love to see more acknowledgement of the importance of providing care and nurturing for new mother’s during the 4th trimester.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to go camping with my family, watch my kids sport, cook desserts, read, draw and run to keep fit.