My belly is a saggy, striated kangaroo pouch, and (most of the time) I don’t mind.
Not minding is the product of years of physical and mental work because rumination is my natural state. The good news: post-pregnancy bellies and body images can be mended within reason. The bad news: you can’t wish away a belly or poor body image. More bad news: I’ve yet to find an online guru, physical therapist, doctor, or fitness instructor with all the answers.
Who are you?
Good question. My name is Meredith. This is my story in three sentence fragments. Baby girl born 2010, 9 pounds 11 ounces, shoulder dystocia and mommy tears (both meanings of the word) on the way out. Baby boy born 19 months later, 10 pounds 7 ounces, another shoulder dystocia and mommy tears on the way out. Final baby boy born 2014, planned c-section and the easiest recovery of the three. Go figure. For more about my specific story, start here.
Why this website?
Diastasis recti, prolapse, loose skin, stretch marks, varicose veins, extra weight, saggy boobs, etc. Growing human beings can leave their literal marks. And these literal marks can mess with our postpartum minds. We are meant to worship our pregnant selves but quickly hide any evidence of pregnancy soon after giving birth. Clearly this is insane.
HOWEVER, many of us do need to heal.
You’ve probably read advice on how to close a diastasis recti, mend prolapse, and lose weight, but not all the advice is sound.
I’ve tried it all. And I mean ALL. Physical therapy, online programs, splints, squeezes, the “right” exercises, personal trainers, yoga teachers, and surgical consults. I’m a research junkie.
As part of this, I studied and received my ACSM personal trainer certification, read countless books, took classes, and have come to the conclusion that sifting through the good, the bad, the absent, and the okay advice is a full time job. But it is a worthwhile job because the solution to information deluge is not nihilism; it is a hefty serving of critical thinking with a huge side of empathy.
I’m a skeptic, so I will try anything that is plausible, but will not accept solutions on faith or anecdote or bad science.
As a result, Motherfigure is a personal, but also journalistic approach to the postpartum fitness and mental health world. You can’t go forward trying to get your body back. And that can be okay.
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P.S. I’ve received a couple emails wondering if I post pictures of this saggy, striated belly I talk about so much. I feel weird posting a belly shot on an “About” page, especially because I don’t normally walk around topless and because this blog is about way more than bellies. But I get it. If you are curious, check out my Facebook page or read this issue of the Newsletter.