The Scoop: Pregnancy can take a hefty toll on a woman’s body. And, after the baby comes, women may be left to deal with body changes or painful side effects. That’s why Personal Trainer and Fitness Expert Wendy Powell developed MUTU System to help women physically recover after pregnancy. The system offers a series of fitness videos, health coaching tools, and an online community that encourages postpartum women to look and feel the way they want. Nearly a decade after its creation, MUTU has attracted tens of thousands of women who find its 12-week program and community support inspiring.
Wendy Powell spent many years working in the fitness industry, where she grew both her strength and passion for women’s health. She felt like she belonged there, and enjoyed the way her body worked and how she could control it.
Then, Wendy had her first child. After that, she felt disconnected from the fitness industry — and her own body. She felt a strong disconnect and was left feeling let down by her own body — one that she thought was prepared and ready for childbirth.
So, like many other women, Wendy said she began to disconnect from herself.
Wendy said she wanted to take back control of her body and reconnect with the fitness industry, but she didn’t find any resources for new moms who wanted to change their bodies and ease their pain, especially when dealing with pelvic floor and core dysfunction.
So, she used her fitness experience to create exercise videos designed for new moms. In 2010, Wendy began recording videos using a flip phone tied to a tree. From those humble beginnings, MUTU System was born.
“Our body leaks, or bulges, or hurts, and we feel resentful and embarrassed, and so we disconnect,” Wendy shared on the MUTU website.
The program, which helps women reconnect with themselves and strengthen their bodies, has grown to serve more than 60,000 women in 150 countries with its resources and support community.
Even Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge and the future Queen of England, is reported to have used MUTU System after her pregnancies.
“The reason I ‘get this’ and the reason I do this is because there was a time when I saw only weakness and failure in my own body,” Wendy continued in her post on the site. “I made MUTU so you can see strength, power, and beauty.”
Women Experience Common Postnatal Problems
After giving birth, many women struggle to reclaim their bodies. Some still feel like they look pregnant, while others can’t control their bladders when they cough, sneeze, or laugh.
“People make jokes about leaking, but these are real things women are dealing with,” said Ashley Gammon, PR Executive for MUTU System.
Still, others have gained weight that they’re unable to shed. They also may have diastasis recti, a parting of the abdominal muscles that makes room for a baby, but after birth, they don’t always come back together.
All of these issues can be physically taxing and can take a toll on a woman’s self-esteem.
“Women deserve to have body confidence, and if these things are happening to you, you’re not your best self,” said Ashley.
That pain and lack of confidence can extend to the bedroom, as well. After pregnancy, some women experience painful or uncomfortable sex, a serious issue that is not often discussed or is dismissed as a minor problem.
“The doctor told me to drink a glass of wine and relax, but that’s just a band-aid. It’s not solving the problem,” Ashley said.
While women want to solve these issues after having children, they can’t just continue with their pre-baby exercise routine after giving birth. That’s because some common exercises recommended for women aren’t ideal for post-pregnancy bodies. And crunches, planks, or sit-ups could make a woman’s diastasis recti much worse. Especially when they are not done properly, or when you are not in control of your body.
MUTU System provides women with additional support and encouragement from others who have experienced the same post-pregnancy issues. Because pregnancy can change a woman’s body and alter her emotions, that support system is essential — and something that traditional exercise programs don’t typically provide.
Offering a Tailored Program to Improve Women’s Health
Wendy designed MUTU System to help women become more fit and experience less pain after pregnancy. The program lasts for 12 weeks, and one payment guarantees lifetime access to online materials.
The heart of the system is its workout videos, which aim to rejuvenate the body’s core and pelvic floor. Other videos help strengthen and tone the entire body. The workouts have earned praise from personal trainers because they’re tailored to meet the needs of postpartum women.
“MUTU is a globally recognized online fitness program, and some of the world’s leading personal trainers and health practitioners recommend us,” said Ashley.
In an online review of the system, Dr. Anita Kulkarni, MD, said: “I see moms in my plastic surgery practice all the time who are just a few months out from delivery and looking to make their pregnant-appearing belly go down. I always recommend that they start with non-surgical treatment before considering surgery, and Wendy’s MUTU System is my go-to recommendation.”
MUTU members also have access to a food guide that will help with making healthier choices, while also being realistic about the time they can sacrifice to preparing and cooking meals.
After completing the program, almost all users say they see changes in their bodies — and, perhaps more importantly, an improvement in their self-confidence. And 97% of users report more control of their pelvic floors, while 94% said the program had healed their diastasis recti.
For Ashley, the benefit of MUTU System hits home: Before she worked for the company, she was one of its clients. After having three daughters, she experienced both pelvic floor and core dysfunction. But she found MUTU System and benefited from the workouts. She even got certified as an instructor.
“I love my job because I understand where these moms are. I want to spread the news and awareness because this area of women’s health is often ignored. We need to start having conversations,” Ashley said.
MUTU: A Community of Mothers Empowering Each Other
MUTU System is for all mothers. In its mission statement, the company states that it wants to support women from “every ethnicity, religion, size, sexuality, shape, disability, family type, and income.”
“We support all women. You don’t have to fit inside any box to do MUTU,” Ashley said.
One reason MUTU System can be so inclusive is because of its team of employees who live around the world — including the United States, the U.K., and Canada. That gives MUTU a unique understanding of the needs of mothers in many different regions. Soon, the company plans to launch a U.K. version of its site. Further, most of its team members are mothers themselves, so they understand what life is like after giving birth.
Members can access the MUTU Mamas Community forum, where they can share their stories, find workout tips, and ask questions.
“One of the big things we do differently than any others is we have a private MUTU community where users can connect,” Ashley said.
Members particularly enjoy the daily challenges posted on the community forum. A MUTU team member might challenge members to eat a new food or take a walk outside. The focus of the platform is to build a strong network of women who are dealing with similar issues.
What’s clear about MUTU System is that it has been an integral part of many women’s lives after childbirth. It helps mothers around the world whether they want to drop a few pounds or have less painful intercourse.
“We always hear how MUTU has changed women’s lives,” said Ashley. “It came full circle for me. I had been to numerous health care providers to figure out what was wrong before I found MUTU for myself. I thank MUTU for changing my life, and it has been so much more than an exercise program.”