mamalates blog

International Cesarean Awareness Month + Wendy’s Story April 07 2015, 1 Comment

Hi mamas, did you know that April is International Cesarean Awareness month? In the United States, one out of every three women gives birth via Cesarean. Whether planned or unplanned, C-sections are major abdominal surgeries. Many do not understand that maternal recovery can be difficult, both physically and emotionally. I was one of these women.

After delivering my first baby by unplanned Cesarean, I was surprised at the lack of support and physical guidelines for recovery. After a long and difficult labor, my doctor and I made the call to move forward with a Cesarean. I delivered a healthy baby boy, but my physical and emotional recovery was difficult.

As a Pilates instructor, I used my training to reconnect with my body after birth. A desire to share my knowledge with others led me to create the mamalates birth recovery method in 2005. Since then, I’ve dedicated my practice to working with prenatal and postpartum women.

International Cesarean Awareness Month
In honor of April’s International Cesarean Awareness month, mamalates is donating 5% of sales from the mamalates Cesarean Survival Kit to the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). The Cesarean Survival Kit provides new moms with instruction on safe, restorative movement, while addressing postpartum pain syndrome. The props and info help relieve low back pain, release scar tissue, and support safe healing.

To find out more about ICAN, click over to or connect on Facebook and Twitter.

COREnection Cesarean Recovery Workshop
If you're in Portland, be sure to check out my upcoming COREnection Cesarean Recovery Workshop at Studio mamalates on Weds., April 22 at 11:30am. Through breath and organized movement, you’ll learn how to release where you may be overcompensating, re-awaken and strengthen traumatized core muscles, and gain spinal mobility and stability. 1.5 hour workshop, $25. Details here.

Wendy Foster is the creator of mamalates and the master trainer for all mamalates licensing programs. An internationally certified Pilates instructor, pre/post fitness specialist, and birth recovery expert, Wendy has been teaching Pilates since 1999 and practicing yoga for nearly two decades. She owns a studio in Southeast Portland, OR. Contact her at or visit

 Photo credit: Kelly Sue DeConnick via Flickr
Second photo: Wendy Foster and her little one / Credit: Wendy Foster




C-section Recovery Tips March 14 2013, 0 Comments

"After delivering my first child by unplanned cesarean (after a long labor), my body felt foreign. I noticed I was using my shoulders and my back to lift my new baby. Because of the scar tissue and general soreness, my abdominals were unfamiliar and I was in pain. I started to listen to my body, researching which muscles were tight and where I needed to stretch. I knew that although I was anxious to start walking and get exercise, I needed to open up, lengthen and release before I started to build strength. After consulting with doctors, numerous physical therapists, fellow Pilates instructors and most importantly, other moms recovering from c-sections, I created my COREnection class to offer support to others in this process."
—Wendy Foster, creater of My Birth Recovery


  1. Breathe deeply. Use your diaphragm to expel stale, old air and breath fresh, renewed air into your body. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  2. Ask your doctor what stretches/exercises are safe immediately.
  3. Request a prescription for physical therapy.
  4. Start walking as soon as possible. Begin by walking to the window in your room and then down the hall, slowly adding distance.


  1. Continue to Breathe deeply. Use your diaphragm to expel stale, old air and breath fresh, renewed air into your body. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  2. Do a hot castor oil compress to draw out toxins and “emotional baggage” from your scar and core area.
  3. If necessary, talk with your baby about your feelings around your labor and delivery. Re-birth with your baby your ideal birth.
  4. Ask for and receive support from others.
  5. Stretch your hamstrings, open up from your shoulders, stretch your spine.


  1. Receive myofascial massage on your scar by a trained therapist.
  2. Exercise. Any exercise is better than no exercise and movement can help elevate mood and bonding with your baby. Start slowly and be patient with yourself.
  3. Get acupuncture to open up energetic blockages, improve circulation and healing and decrease pain.
  4. Have your adrenal and hormone levels checked if you are still feeling tired and foggy, or overwhelmed. Remember that sleep deprivation can impact both your energy level and your mood.
  5. When you feel ready and your baby is weaned, consider doing a cleanse or fast to remove toxins and “emotional constipation.” Always check with your health care provider before cleansing or taking any herbal supplements.

Recommended reading

Silent Knife: Cesarean Prevention and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)
by Nancy Wainer Cohen, Lois J. Estner

Mother Nurture: Mother Depletion Syndrome and More!
by Rick Hanson, Jan Hanson, and Ricki Pollycove

Healing resource for C-section recovery

Nurture Therapeutic Bodyworks: Savannah Mayfield 503.473.4754
Dr. Sarah Ogushi, ND: 503.703.7825
Mississippi Health Center: 503.282.5358
MotherRoots Counseling: 503.287.2295
Womens Healthcare clinic of Oregon: Dr. Brendan Carroll. Strong advocate for VBAC 503-256-1470

Binding and Splinting for Birth Recovery January 30 2013, 0 Comments

Ideally, all women would leave the hospital with a binder or splint from their OB/GYN or nurse. Did you receive one?

Most cultures do wrap for support a week or so after the baby arrives—this helps support the back, prevent compression in the spine and pull the belly in—especially if you are experiencing diastasis recti (abdominal separation). It can also lift your organs up off your pelvic floor.

In fact, we used to wear corsets and even girdles up until the 1970s!

If you are an avid baby wearer, it is very important to carry and lift with proper biomechanics, and an abdominal binder can help with this as well.

The abdominal binder we sell is "industrial" strength and will help to keep the connective tissue connected while you lift and carry your new baby.

We've seen the best results when incorporating mamalates restorative abdominal exercises while wearing the abdominal binder throughout the day!