By Angela Potter
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Buffy Stinchfield. She is a vibrant soul and a wonderful mother to three. She has two passions in her physical therapy practice - both to help women heal after childbirth and also support dancers throughout their careers.
Where do you call home?
How many kids do you have?
Three; a son who is 9, a daughter who is 7 and a daughter who is 1!
What was one of the hardest changes for you physically during your postpartum journey?
The insane fatigue and general de-conditioning. Plus, I broke my lower leg the week before my first baby. I had a cast on, and could not walk while carrying my baby to soothe him.
What was one of the hardest changes for you mentally/emotionally during your postpartum journey?
Feeling like I was not in control of my body with lactation.
Healing from birth traumas when other women seemed to birth babies without any injuries.
Feeling like I would never have my body back.
What has been your greatest joy in motherhood?
The love. That there is so much of it when you meet your baby. That the love grows and changes as they grow.
How was your postpartum experience different with each baby?
I had tearing with each child, the third being the worst. I may have been more prepared for the first 2 weeks after delivery the third time, but it was still hard.
With the bummer of the broken leg on top of weight gain and de-conditioning with the first, I was very motivated to conquer the circumstance. My husband and I learned how to run once I stopped having pain (5-6 months) and we ran our first 1/2 marathon the month my first turned 1.
We did the same after the second. And the third? Well, we finally got my middle to ride her bike with training wheels this summer so we've been able to do family bike rides up to 3 miles. Time is oh so limited for solo training runs these days!
What is one resource that felt invaluable to you during the postpartum time?
I can't list just one, as I used Pinterest a TON. I'm a natural researcher, so I researched for months.
The biggest things were the self care items for postpartum that people don't always talk about: perineal ice packs, granny panties, various sizes of menstrual pads, and abdominal binders.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give to pregnant moms in preparation for their postpartum journey?
Secure help. Not the kind to hold your baby, because that is what YOU need to be doing. Spend as much time as you can bonding and learning to nurse. But make sure to have help with your home, meals and running errands for you.
After those first few weeks, remember that parenting is a marathon. You will always be needing to care for yourself along the way and remember that also includes finding moments to rest or be away from your child to recharge.
You won't be perfect. No one is.
A dancer in youth turned physical therapist of 12 years. Specializing in women's health and dancer athletes.
A San Diego native who fell in love with the PNW. Love my kids, outdoor time spent with them and my husband, and am always researching or learning new skills related to my profession.