We had the pleasure of talking to the utterly awesome, empowering and inspiring Nadine Woods, Founder of Maternal Goddess, ahead of the Maternal Goddess ‘Rediscover Resilience’ Conference next month. Wendy will be joining an incredible line-up of postpartum and pelvic health experts in Toronto on the 7th May, and Nadine was able to tell us a little more about what to expect, along with some of the best advice in the industry, for moms.
Team MUTU: Tell us a little bit about your organization and what you do.
Nadine: Our organization has been created to provide education and awareness around the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of postnatal recovery. Our goal is to provide women and their support systems with the information required to have a healthy recovery. We do so by working with industry professionals in all aspects of recovery to discuss topics from preparation, to repair. Over the years we have created an online magazine that provides comprehensive and credible information to women and their families at their fingertips, for free. We are really excited to bring our culture to offline to do our first in person event!
Team MUTU: How have you worked with MUTU System in the past?
Nadine: I met Wendy through our wonderful network of experts who have directed me to all the work she has been doing for women regarding rehabilitating their diastasis. I have since had the opportunity to witness Wendy’s work at large from the growth of her community to her business and her transition through different aspects of her practice. She is truly inspirational and that shines through the incredible feedback of her online community. The transparency, confidence and encouragement is so authentic. I really love seeing women embrace their bodies and move towards healing both physically and of spirit – Wendy has created that – just beautiful.
Team MUTU: How would you describe your approach to postpartum recovery and wellbeing?
Nadine: Holistic. It truly takes a village to support a woman in recovery. Her health and wellbeing affects the entire family dynamic. I am constantly looking for people who are passionate about helping people get through what is proven to be the most difficult time in our life. Childbearing years are the most stressful on relationships and the hardest on a woman’s self esteem – wish “they” tell us that in the prenatal class! Our goal is to move from reactive to proactive to educate people before they have a family to really be prepared for what may come their way, which is always easier but until then we keep moving forward!
Team MUTU: Tell us about your journey so far with Maternal Goddess. Why did you start up?
Nadine: Our journey has truly been incredible. From an industry perspective, I am always moved by the amount of people who are receptive to our goals and their willingness to share their discoveries, experience and research with our audience. From the new parent perspective I am amazed by which articles get the most reads and how many people are unaware of the realities of recovery. When they come across our site, the gratitude and appreciation is worth the labour of love on all our behalves. I started Maternal Goddess because of my postnatal experience. I had a difficult time learning about diastasis recti, pelvic floor, the emotional changes, relationship challenges, parenting, self-esteem all at once. It really forced me to understand and put into practice self-care, a concept that was foreign to me. I remember thinking, how is none of this information presented to people when they are preparing for labour and delivery of baby. Where is mom in all of this?! How do we balance womanhood and motherhood postpartum – it’s time someone speaks up. All of our contributors have a platform to educate our audience and present themselves. As industry experts it’s natural for people to seek out people who they trust and having their articles publish helps to establish credibility and act as a starting point for research.
Team MUTU: What do you love most about your job and the people you deal with daily?
Nadine: On the daily I develop and design lingerie to support women in their postnatal recovery and beyond. I love the shock and awe I get from people who cannot believe the bras are designed to be able to nurse, and that there are sexy things out there that are made to support women in their recovery. It really has helped me move into personal discussions of health and body image seamlessly. The fact that I am able to educate people on the most intimate details of their recovery is honestly a blessing. There can be a lot of shame and embarrassment associated with prolapse, sexual intimacy or even marriage breakdown. I really love connecting people with the resources they desperately need but may not even know exists, and bras and panties seem to do the trick to opening that discussion! I am so honoured to also pour my heart into Maternal Goddess through my brand – the whole process really allows me stay in touch with the needs of women and just really allows them to feel connected to the woman that is the mother which are really both aspects of femininity that can be celebrated.
Team MUTU: We’re extremely excited for the Maternal Goddess Conference in Toronto next month. What can we expect?
Nadine: A day jam packed with information and activities! We have really put together a comprehensive event unlike any other that touches on all aspects of recovery. From physical health & body image, sex & relationships to mental health & spiritual well-being. We are working with top experts like Wendy who are pioneers, to provide talks, panels, Q & As, workshops and vendor exposure to our audience, and this time we are targeting both mother and father, family and friends, because it really takes a village to understand, support and change the culture surrounding postnatal recovery. What better than an event that brings like minded people together to enhance that experience.
Team MUTU: Of course our very own Wendy is part of a panel of speakers at this year’s event, who else will be joining her?
Nadine: We are very excited to have Wendy participate, Toronto will be over the moon for the opportunity to meet her in person! Wendy will be joined by the wonderful Samantha Montpetit Hyuhn co-founder of Bellies Inc. and pre/post natal trainer in Toronto. She will also be joined by Julia Di Paolo a passionate pelvic floor physiotherapist who will be speaking to the importance of pelvic health. We have other fabulous speakers such as Dorothy Guerra, author of the Yoga Birth Method, Dr. Rachel Hirch, clinical physiologist who teachers perinatal depression and mindful practice at both the University of Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital, downtown Toronto along with incredible sponsors and attendees. We have lots of support and we are very excited!
Team MUTU: We can’t wait! We have a fantastic support group within MUTU System and it’s a chance to share honest and open advice with others. If you had one piece of advice you could give to new moms and not so new moms, what would it be?
Nadine: Trust yourself and ask for help – so two things! Your doctor is an expert on medicine, but you are the expert of your body. If something doesn’t feel right physically, mentally or in your relationship – ask for help there is no shame in having support. Over the years we have developed a culture that has alienated people, couples and families. Somewhere along the way we have become so involved in technology and our to-do list that our ability to connect and support really needs fostering. Be patient with yourself, you are doing the best you can ( I guess that makes it 3!).
Wendy will be joining Nadine and her team in Toronto at the Maternal Goddess ‘Rediscover Resilience’ Conference on the 7th May 2016.