When having a baby we prepare for the birth, for bringing baby home, we are choosing car seats, picking outfits, planning for visitors and, well, we know a lot less sleep. But did we miss something else? What is really happening after mom and baby are home?
The big day comes and your baby is finally in your arms. It was a successful birth, and now the stress and worry end. Right?
Not at all. This is where the transitions start to sink in.
Birth is a huge event, and then you go home with your incredible baby and try to figure out how to start living this new life.
Postpartum period or the 4th trimester is the 40 days that follow birth. Some would say postpartum is for life. We are fully transformed through birth into motherhood. During this time, deep healing, remembrance, and bonding with self and baby takes place. In many cultures this sacred space is honored and women are cared for around the clock. In the US, women are often rushed to get back to their old selves and continue with life. This is why it is important to know about postpartum support. Though it may feel like it now, you do not have to be in this space alone.
I felt the same way. I was prepared for the delivery to be my most challenging time and believed I would be ready and eager to start my mom life. After all, at the time I had already been a nanny for more than 15 years … I thought,
“I am a pro at this baby stuff. I know all the logistics.”
I even assured my partner of this, being so sure we would be set after the birth of our daughter. I knew how to do all things ‘baby’….
I was deeply mistaken! I really set myself up for a tough transition. No one likes to talk about it, but new moms are thrust into a whole new version of normal. I went home and felt anything but normal. Of course there are the expected changes. You stop worrying about unimportant things like showering and cleaning up anything. I knew my focus would be almost exclusively on my precious baby being held, cared for, and loved. I did not factor in the hormonal changes, postpartum depression, the physical and emotional healing, and the unexpected illness which really topped it all off. I was not at all prepared for this postpartum period.
After giving birth to my child, I was flooded with powerful emotions. As we switched rooms from labor and delivery to recovery, everything became hazy, a blur of activity and feelings. I was exhausted and ecstatic. Once settled in with our baby, my partner and I soaked up the joys of this blissful experience. I learned how to breastfeed our sweet girl for the first time, and it was a true connection I felt deeply in my soul. I knew about the “baby bonding process,” but that term did not come close to describing my monumental, intense emotions. My new mom body was flooded with oxytocin - I was deeply in love. With this release, my eyelids became incredibly heavy, and my body demanded rest.
As my eyes closed and my mind drifted, the nurse’s voice chimed, “Remember to wake up every two hours and feed your baby.”
I looked up and asked her expectantly if she could help me with this, and her response was to “set an alarm” on my phone and “figure it out.”
After all I am a mother now…..
I suddenly felt scared, alone, and defensive. Where was my tribe? Where were the women in the world that helped us transition after the birth into this space? I thought to myself,
“How could a woman be so cold to such a big experience?”
This was such a deep and painful stab in my new mom heart. Was I already a bad mom for not wanting to wake up in two hours? After giving birth to my daughter, I was physically drained, sore, and now also sad.
“Is this the beginning of me doing all the things alone for the rest of my life?” Was such a fearful feeling after this exhausting and expansive experience.
This is why I now have a passion for postpartum care and teach the importance of building your village before birth. We must make a space for the unknown to flow through us, as we transition from maiden to motherhood, with our ancestors by our side.
“I come as one, I stand as 10,000.” ~Maya Angelou
I give you permission to be brave and afraid.
After the baby is earthside it is a sacred time. The baby bonding process starts and this is a nurtured space. The dance of postpartum care is a healing period where time slows and we soak up our sweet baby and soften into out new normal.
As a doula, I provide care for the mother, baby, partner, and sometimes siblings, to feel rested, and comfortable. Holding this space gives mom permission to release, relax, and restore, after crossing into this threshold of new mother. My goal is to ease the transition and help families get a successful, joyful start on the new journey of parenthood.
During this time the healing process also begins. Emotional, hormonal, physical and mental changes are all occurring simultaneously. A vortex often opens for mom and baby and time seems to slow way down. This time should not be defined by disrupted nights, chaotic days, messy homes, and scrambled routines.
I chose this path to help women discover themselves as women, mothers, and to offer this support. Knowledge, empathy, experience, and connection is what I strive to provide. I help women and children understand that it is not only safe to shine but necessary to fully show up in your life, and to hold you every step at the beginning of your journey.
I am here for you to express yourself, to guide you to find your inner strength and courage through the bond of self and family. Holding you so you know you are fully supported and built for anything that comes.
Everyday is an honor for me, since I have begun living my true purpose as a Doula. I feel a grace and ease that makes me realize this is what I am meant for.
I would be honored and humbled to work closely with you. Picking a Doula is an important and life changing step. I am here to help. You may sign up for my newsletter, contact me through email, or simply give me a call. I would be happy to schedule a complimentary consultation with you and discuss how we could work together to support your through your transition after birth.