The postnatal period is different for all mothers. Although perhaps some women find the transition easy, if I am honest I cannot think of
anyone I know who has not found it coming with some form of challenges along the way. Recently the discussion around this has become much more honest, with several high profile celebrities
speaking out about the realities of having a new baby, and allowing the idea that it is absolutely okay, if not totally normal, to feel pretty out of sorts at times.
My personal belief is that women throughout the ages of human society have been carefully nurtured though this transition, with specific rites of passage and many levels of support from the wider 'tribe'. Without these age-old traditions it is very easy to experience imbalances in mental and physical health in the year following the birth. I compare my exhaustion and anxiety with a new mother I witnessed in China, who emerged looking calm and healthy having rested for several weeks after the birth and who was brought her baby by a different family member at various parts of the day for feeding, along with being cooked nourishing meals and not being allowed to do any housework. I also think that the effects of lack of sleep are far under-acknowledged, with it being very easy to feel like the whole world is falling apart after weeks or months of little sleep, and not realising that that alone may be the issue.
The name of the support I offer, Birth After Birth, acknowledges that there is a birth of a mother that continues beyond the birth of the baby, and that birth also can need the help and support of a doula, in order to happen in the healthiest way. Some experts in this field call this tranisiton 'matrescence', and it has been compared to puberty in terms of the hormonal changes that occur over the years following the birth and gradual transition from maiden to mother. Whether you are several weeks or months into being a mother, or even following the birth of your second or third child and feel like you are not coping well, exhausted, stressed or experiencing overwhelming emotions, know that this is much more normal than you might think, and that many mothers have been through similar things and people are there to support you.
To have an informal chat about tailored postnatal support just get in touch.