Estrella Jaramillo is the co-founder of B-wom, a digital coach for women’s health. Jaramillo is a passionate women's health advocate who aims to eradicate the anxiety women suffer when it comes to their bodies and their intimate health, removing the stigma and the taboos around them. She created B-wom to offer users personalized care programs with habits, exercises, educational content, and a tracking tool. Currently, the platform has 215 thousand users in ten countries and helps them improve issues from incontinence to sexual dysfunction and pain to postpartum recovery. Originally from Spain, this international superheroine is helping heal society one womb at a time.
You're an entrepreneur, speaker, and world traveler — what are your ways of engaging in self-care?
Being a cofounder of B-wom has put selfcare at the top of my priorities and has influenced the way I treat myself today. At the same time, it has made it extremely challenging to actually develop sustainable practices, due to the challenging nature of being an entrepreneur, particularly if you are representing a business internationally.
My situation is very different each day: Sometimes I’m in NYC and I can go to my favorite workout class and meditate in my coworking space. Other days, I have to catch a red eye, barely get any sleep, and go straight into a day of meetings in Madrid, or spend five days straight in conferences, meetings, and pitches.
Flexibility and commitment to my selfcare discipline have been KEY. I really make sure I work out at the very least two days a week, ideally four. The more I travel or speak at conferences, the more I meditate — always get in that extra session before a big gig! Making time for myself just to read or talk to a friend or to my coach back home is fundamental for me to stay grounded, as living and working in a different culture and travelling so often bring their own set of challenges.
What inspired you to work in women's sexual health?
I had my own very unpleasant experiences when I was younger. I had to deal with intimate and sexual health issues, and in most cases I got very little education and information and had to deal with the anxiety of it all, basically educating myself to look for ways to help myself. However, I have always felt really strongly about issues of gender equality. Ever since I can remember, I would get frustrated about the different treatment offered to boys and girls, I would be infuriated that women were socialized into being modest, while male sexual behavior was encouraged — if not even imposed!
Ultimately, I believe that the lack of support for women’s sexual, intimate, and maternal health tell a very clear story: Women’s sexual well-being is not a priority, but simultaneously, once you become a mother or as you age, you will be desexualized and therefore portrayed as less worthy. I feel that our sexuality has been suppressed as a way to control our innate power, and this is ultimately what I want to change. And to me, guaranteeing access to quality health solutions and support is a fundamental step on the path to equality.
What puts the biggest smile on your face about what you do?
Feeling like we are making the lives of hundreds of thousands of women better, and getting to speak out about issues I truly care about every day. If I can make one person a day aware of the injustices perpetrated to women during their most vulnerable times (birth, postpartum), or have a conversation about gender roles in relationships and why we all need to shift our preexisting mental and emotional patterns in order to create a truly equal society, that’s a big win for me!
Is there a piece of advice that someone gave you that has shifted your outlook or your perspective on something?
I’ve always been pretty hard on myself, particularly when it comes to performing and trying to be better, both in my career, as well as at a personal level, with my health, fitness, and growth. My coach once told me: "What you resist, persists. You need to learn to accept, which is different than conforming." I think this helped me learn to go about change differently. It taught me how to set clear goals, while being kind to myself as I work towards them, and accepting where I’m at in the process. Definitely not an easy task but it helped me reduce stress when facing challenges!
Do you have three top tips to share that might improve someone's connection to their body and information about their body?
I recommend practicing body scan meditations as a way to connect to your body, and specifically focus on your core and pelvic area and feel the energy and contract the different muscles to gain that proprioception.
Track your symptoms and emotions! It’s helped me understand my cycle and anticipate stressful moments and take preventive action! There are different apps you can use, like B-wom.
Take two to three minutes to really listen to what your body is telling you and understand your true needs and separate them for healthy cravings and unhealthy patterns, so you can make good choices for yourself. It is important to know when we are eating because we are really hungry and when out of trying to fill a void. The same goes for sexual interactions, exercising patterns, our relationship to work and the people we surround ourselves with.
As someone who is intimately aware of how short available resources fall for uterus-owners and their bodies, what do you wish you had known about your own reproductive health growing up?
I wish I had had more education about my period and understanding my cycle! I also wish we could speak more openly about relationships and sex, because we deal with all the anxiety alone and this can lead to trauma that could have been prevented.
On the other hand, I am really happy to see that I do have a pretty solid education about pregnancy and postpartum, for when (and if) I decide to have children. My mother always tells me that when she went to deliver me she knew that she had to get me out, but didn’t really know how that would happen! This is why i think that every woman should have access to personalized education and solutions. I think our bodies are fascinating and we should enjoy learning about them and knowing how to optimize our health.