Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers – strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”
-Barbara Katz Rothman
We live in a society where being pregnant is celebrated.
People congratulate you, they ask how you are feeling, strangers hold the door for you, they may even place their hand on your beautiful belly. Prenatal classes are abundant and varied. Your family and friends rejoice in throwing you a baby shower.
We live in a society where motherhood is not celebrated.
A few days after birth you are discharged from hospital, a few days after that your partner has to return to work. You are left virtually alone to recover from birth, to learn how to breastfeed, to navigate the first crucial stage of raising a child. Family and friends may come to visit, but they no longer inquire after you…their attention is on your baby.
This transition to motherhood has been described as the reverse Cinderella story. In What to Expect the First Year, the authors say, “With a wave of the obstetrician’s wand, the pregnant princess has become the postpartum peasant.”
Historically, we recognised the importance of providing new mothers with much needed practical and emotional support.
Today, we leave mothers to fend for themselves.
I often hear from my well-informed, well-prepared hypnobirthing mothers that having a baby is not what they expected.
These women have done everything within their power to ensure a calm, empowering birth. And more often than not, their birth follows their plan. Yet the first few weeks and even months of motherhood leave them feeling shocked, overwhelmed, and exhausted.
And indeed this was my own experience. When I was pregnant, I attended regular yoga classes, I took a hypnobirthing course, I saw an acupuncturist, I went for chiropractic treatments, I read every book available. But I didn’t think about what came next.
A new baby.
And a new mother.
I thought I was supposed to figure it all out by myself.
And I was surprised and frustrated when I floundered.
I felt like I had given up my career, my relationships, my whole self.
And this was it?
I thought I must be missing something.
I was missing something.
It is entirely possible for new mothers to feel peace and joy.
“In the first six weeks following birth, a newborn mother only has two jobs, to fall in love with her baby and to learn how to breastfeed.”
In traditional cultures around the world, similar postpartum traditions are practiced.
The mother rests.
She is fed, cared for, slowly initiated into the role of mother.
She is nurtured so she can focus on nurturing her baby.
My role as a postpartum doula is to “mother the mother.”
I draw from a range of time-honoured postpartum practices to ensure that your body, mind, and sense of self recover from birth.
In a more modern sense, I work with you to put a plan in place that will move you from feeling overwhelmed to feeling calm, confident, and in control.
“After birth, there is a sacred window of time. A time for complete rejuvenation of a woman’s physical, mental and spiritual health, a time for deep, extended bonding with her newborn. The first 42 days after birth set the stage for her next 42 years.”
If you want to know more about what to expect after your baby is born and how to enjoy motherhood, I invite you to book a complimentary one-hour clarity session.
We will discuss your postpartum goals, potential challenges, create clear intentions for the first few weeks following birth, and establish long term habits that will help ensure your experience of motherhood is one of peace and joy.
“The most difficult part of birth is the first year afterwards. It is the year of travail – when the soul of a woman must birth the mother inside her. The emotional labour pains of becoming a mother are far greater than the physical pains of birth; these are the growing surges of your heart as it pushes out selfishness and hear and makes room for sacrifice and love. It is a private and silent birth of the soul, but it is no less holy than the event of childbirth, perhaps it is even more sacred.”
You know you want to be a happy mother…but how does a postpartum doula work?
After your birth, generally after your partner has gone back to work, I visit you once a week for six weeks. Each visit lasts around two hours.
I am also available for one off visits to address specific concerns or simply to increase your confidence.
These visits are personalised and so look different for every mother.
But there are commonalities.
I mother the mother.
I provide you with snacks and meals, nourishing you as you navigate this newness.
I lead you through guided meditations to help you to relax, to release any fears, to embrace this enormous change.
I can bind your belly.
I can share infant massage techniques to promote bonding and establish communication.
I can facilitate rest.
We can talk about your birth and debrief if needed.
I support you as you figure out how to do motherhood your way.
I instill confidence in your mothering abilities, encouraging you to follow your instincts.
I am qualified to provide advice on breastfeeding and sleeping, but my role is less to firmly instruct, and more to gently guide.
The idea is that, in order to believe in yourself as a mother, you need to make your own decisions.
I will be there for you as you blossom into your own unique brand of mother.
I am an extra set of hands while yours are feeling so very full.
I can serve as a coming home concierge, helping to guide you through what to expect and what you need.
I can deal with visitors.
I can run you and your baby a relaxing herbal bath.
I can walk the dog!
I help you celebrate motherhood.
You also receive free entry into The MAMA Circle, a women’s group specifically for mothers that will open the door to the village that you crave and need.
I give you self-care treats…eye pillows, essential oils, herbal tea, a journal.
New motherhood is a time of great transition.
All aspects of your world change…your body, your mind, your sense of self.
Most mothers aren’t prepared for this.
They feel confronted by their new reality…exhausted and overwhelmed, they are disappointed and frustrated that motherhood is not what they envisaged.
But with me by your side, you will be able to recognise that motherhood is an opportunity for enormous positive change.
Ask yourself how you want motherhood to feel, know that it is easier to accomplish this together, then contact me to schedule a free consultation.
“In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.
If you are interested in guidance from pregnancy, to birth, and beyond, please contact me to schedule a free consultation.
I can help you begin your mothering journey with a positive birth, to navigate those first crucial weeks with confidence, and to discover how to balance the needs of your baby with your own needs as a mother and as a woman.