Actress Jenny Mollen is here to open up the conversation about what bodies look like after giving birth in a meaningful way. And she’s willing — eager, even — to pose nude, to tell the truth about what this really means.
Of course, bodies change in all kinds of ways following pregnancy and delivery — and for many, that means a permanent C-section scar. Such is the case for the actress, who has two children, Sid, 5, and Lazlo, 2, with husband Jason Biggs.
She delivered both children by cesarean section, and she bears her scar in two new nude photos, shot for Harper’s Bazaar as part of a larger feature exploring women’s recovery from C-sections. “For me, it wasn’t a scary thing,” she told the magazine. “I feel like a lot of women have fear and anxiety around it, and I wanted to show the progression of what it looks like a week after, two weeks after.”
Mollen told Harper’s Bazaar that she expected she might end up delivering by C-section the first time. “My mom had to have an emergency C-section; she never dilated,” Mollen said. “So, going into my first pregnancy I felt like, ‘Oh, my God, this is going to happen to me.’” Despite a lengthy labor, she was right.
“I tried and tried, I labored for hours, I mean like 16 hours,” Mollen said. “[The doctor was] like, ‘You’re like half a centimeter dilated. There’s a 99 percent chance you’re not going to have this baby vaginally.’ At that point I was like, ‘All right, just fucking cut me.'”
She found herself having a C-section with her second child too — but at that point, she was comfortable with it, and even came to share her experience on social media in order to keep the conversation about it open.
In fact, back in 2017, she even shared a post C-section selfie, complete with post-surgical abdominal binder and hospital-issued mesh underwear.
Props to Mullen for being comfortable enough to put her own body on display as a way to advance awareness about C-sections. After all, almost one third of U.S. moms give birth by cesarean section — it’s every bit as real as vaginal birth. It’s time we got real when it comes to talking about it, too.