Hello and welcome!
I’m Yuka, a women’s health writer who is passionate about bringing postpartum stories and resources to you. In this quest, I use my training as a public health professional and certified health educator to interview health practitioners and to make sense of peer reviewed studies on postpartum issues. I also love connecting with fellow mending mamas, and with their permission, capturing their unique and powerful stories.
This website is inspired by real events
Oh, how I struggled! Mama on the Mend is a very personal project. I had countless “how come no one told me about this?” moments that left me feeling isolated, frustrated, and confused about my body after having a baby. When I started doing my own research I was appalled by the lack of information out there on postpartum health and recovery. It was as if society only cared about me as a vessel to usher new life into the world.
More than just “facts” and information, my mission is to change the conversations we have about women’s bodies. During my doctoral studies I focused on body politics, life writing, and gender as a way to humanize our lived experiences and put them in context of our society.
I start with postpartum health because shortly after giving birth I was in this raw and vulnerable place that woke me up to the marvels of our bodies, but also lots of confusion with it. Health, illness, new life, renewal, death, pain, pleasure, joy, sadness, politics, and personal awareness all seemed to converge during that postpartum time. For me, it makes sense to start with this experience as a way to reshape the language and culture around our bodies, and most importantly to reclaim them.
Can we please talk about it? All of it?
Nothing is TMI here. Let's get into the nitty gritty realities of incontinence, prolapse, itchy stitches, a heavy throbbing vagina, hair loss, overgrowth of vaginal skin (granulations), discharge, blood, other fluids, pelvic exams, hormones, and sex, just to name a few. Sometimes postpartum issues linger for years or decades and women silently suffer with them as part of their “new normal.” That’s not okay.
Talking about these things out loud is a simple but powerful act.
This isn't another mom blog
Mama on the Mend isn't about parenting at all. It's not even about the baby (gasp!). This is a women's health and postpartum care resource for you. I'm just as fascinated as you are with knowing what actually happened to our bodies right after birth and beyond, and what we can do to mend our poor, awesome, tired, wilting, strong, and amazing bodies. C-section mamas, natural birthers, surrogates, anyone who has had a baby grow inside of her body, and those who care for these women...welcome!
Thanks for stopping by
When I’m not researching, writing, or attempting my pelvic PT exercises, I can be found chasing after my EXTREMELY spirited little boy or day dreaming about flour-less molten chocolate cake.
If you’re dying to know more, here are five other things about me…
1. I used to be terrified of pigeons. When I was a child, they physically attacked me or died in front of me on several occasions. Now, I just hate pigeons. Like really really hate them. They’re aggressive flying rats!
2. I’m a middle child (the diplomat, the peacekeeper, sometimes the forgotten child).
3. I love reading auto/biographies and memoirs about interesting women (including ones in comic form). Recent favorites are Yes Please!, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story, Fun Home, and Persepolis.
4. My absolute favorite T.V. show is The Office (U.S. version). This show on repeat in our home, no joke.
5. If I could choose a superhero power, it would be telekinesis. Definitely telekinesis.
Yuka Polovina is a nationally Certified Health Education Specialist who is passionate about bringing fresh perspectives to women’s health issues. With this website, Yuka strives to offer useful information on caring for postpartum bodies and to provide good company for other “mamas on the mend.” She holds a Bachelors in Physical Education and Health, a Masters in Public Health and a PhD in American Studies. She draws on her education and personal background to dig deeper into finding solutions for women’s health and postpartum concerns.
I'd love to hear from you! Send me your questions, comments, or suggestions for topics you think we should discuss.