1. Who are you and why did you make the Motherfigure Program?
Hi. My name is Meredith, and I created the Motherfigure Program because the internet can be overwhelming for postpartum moms. I wanted to make something for the “thinking mom,” something comprehensive and easy to follow. (For a more formal introduction, check out the About page).
I’m not a self-proclaimed expert (I actually distrust self-proclaimed experts), nor do I have privileged or “revolutionary” knowledge. The Motherfigure Program doesn’t reinvent the wheel. However, it does consolidate best practices from the physical and psychological literature and weed out nonsensical or non-evidence based advice rampant in the women’s health world.
I try not to oversell my qualifications because I can’t stand when other practitioners do that. Nonetheless, I do have some. I have an American College of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer certification with an emphasis on pre/postnatal fitness (through the American Council on Exercise). I also have a Master’s degree in English Literature from Boston University, which seems unrelated, but has strongly informed my approach to body image, an approach emphasizing rational and critical thinking.
More importantly, I have personal experience with diastasis recti, pelvic floor disorder, and body image issues. Indeed, my interest in fitness was an OUTGROWTH of these disorders. Therefore, I consider myself a simultaneous patient, student, and teacher.
Ultimately, the Motherfigure Program sprouted from my own self-care plan. It is a combination of advice I received from physical therapists, psychologists, personal trainers, pilates instructors, and yoga teachers. I consolidated all the best fitness and psychological sources to create the Motherfigure Program because I wish something like it had existed after I had my first baby. Still want to know more about me? Then start here.
2. How does the Motherfigure Program differ from other postpartum fitness programs?
Frankly, I think it is more nuanced than some others. Also, the Program stays away from pseudoscience or conjecture based on limited or grossly exaggerated evidence.
However, this doesn’t mean all other programs are bad. Indeed, a few are quite good, and I mention my experience with some of them here.
If you’ve tried other programs, a few of the Motherfigure exercises for diastasis recti and pelvic floor disorder will be familiar. This is because most well-rounded programs have covered the basics. Even so, I have tried to vary the exercises to prevent excessive crossover, while also providing a foundation for anyone unfamiliar with anatomy, in particular with the pelvic floor and abdomen.
The specific body image exercises are the BIGGEST difference between the Motherfigure Program and other programs. I strongly believe we should rehab our mindsets as we rehab our bodies. In fact, taking actionable steps to accept our post-baby bodies can have more positive effects than any physical exercise.
3. What the heck is a “body image exercise”?
I get this question a lot. Put simply, a “body image exercise” is a task aimed at bolstering your body image (how’s that for a circular definition?) Most of the exercises are adapted from psychological or philosophical approaches, especially from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solutions-Focused Brief Therapy.
Keep in mind, I am not a therapist and don’t pretend to be, so if you suffer from a severe body image problem or eating disorder, please don’t buy this Program. Instead, go seek individualized medical help.
4. Can I start the Motherfigure Program if I’m less than 8 weeks postpartum?
Umm, maybe. Most of the exercises can be modified, and the Program starts with the basics that should be safe relatively soon after birth. I did diaphragmatic breathing, pelvic lifts, and knee outs the same week I had my c-section. Obviously, all the body image exercises can be performed right away as well.
Nonetheless, the Program is not specifically designed for women less than 8 weeks postpartum. Therefore, make sure you have medical clearance before performing some of the SETs and CIRCUITS.
In the meantime, you can still do other parts of the Program as you wait for your body to heal. That said, if you are less than 8 weeks postpartum, you are probably crazy tired, and sweaty, and moody, and weepy, and elated, and a nonstop milk shop (if nursing). Daily checklists might not be the best idea until you get into a groove. Stick with the readings and the foundational exercises before asking more of yourself.
5. Is the Motherfigure Program appropriate if I had my kids ages ago?
Absolutely. All moms can benefit from the Program, whether your baby is 3 months old or 30 years old. Core strength, pelvic floor awareness, and a better body image are valuable during all stages of motherhood.
6. Is the Program appropriate for c-section moms?
Yes. Refer to #4 for an answer about when you can start the Program, but, overall, it is appropriate for moms who have had c-sections and/or vaginal births. Personally, I’ve had two vaginal births and one c-section.
7. How do I access the Program? Do I get anything in the mail? Do I download a pdf?
The Program is completely digital. You will not be mailed anything. When you purchase the Program, you will be given access to all the Motherfigure materials on the website. Some of these materials are downloadable pdfs.
Just log-in to the website with the username and password you created when purchasing the Program and all the materials will be available. You will also have access to any future updates.
The Program has many parts. To prevent confusion, each day has a checklist that links to the appropriate parts.
Additionally, once a week you can receive an optional email that contains the checklists. This is helpful for moms who need reminders.
8. Do I need any other equipment for the exercises?
Some exercises require a resistance band. I talk about the specifics in the Program‘s Introduction.
9. Do you read the information I submit via the forms?
Yes. I don’t have the ability to personally respond to every submission, but your answers aren’t going into an internet void. I sincerely LOVE reading the submissions.
10. Are the exercise videos professionally produced?
No. I shot them in my living room when I could sneak time away from my kids. Although they are not professionally made, I tried my best to make the instructions clear, both on video and in writing. The SETs and CIRCUITS are explained in detail, but they are constructed so you can easily follow along via the handouts after you watch the short instructional videos — that way you can listen to your own music and create your own “groove.” Plus, I’m not interesting enough to watch over and over every time you do a routine.
11. Do you offer payment plans?
I don’t currently offer payment plans, but may in the future.
12. Do you offer affiliate opportunities?
Yes I do! Learn more here.