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Supporting Postpartum Transition

Updated: Nov 20, 2022

Becoming a mother is one of the biggest transitions in a woman's life. Whether a positive experience or a negative one, it'll always be one that shifts our life onto an entirely new trajectory. I hear a lot of talk about how you shouldn't let children change you. I remember pre-children saying I wouldn't let kids change me. And in many ways I did try to hold to that belief, but what I found was I became so unbelievably unhappy with the mothering experience, because I was at constant odds to reject that I was becoming a different person. I felt I was losing myself and grief was coming up for the woman I once was but was struggling to connect with.

I didn't know then, but I know now that you can't stop the transition that comes with becoming a mother. Birthing a baby sets off a process that alters your physiology so that it is completely impossible to be the same person you were before having a child. Baby's a real thing! You are actually rewiring thought processes and emotional response patterns. Mothers go from their thinking brain that is shaped by their general environment, to responding from their instinctive, subconscious/limbic, brain.

This instinctive brain is the one responsible for the hot flushed feeling you get when your baby is crying and you're struggling to settle them. It's responsible for the overwhelming need to breastfeed your baby despite thinking (before their arrival) you wouldn't be fussed if you couldn't. Becoming a mother and the change we undergo can be a beautiful thing when we accept it and allow the process to unfold naturally. However, for most of us this process goes unsupported by current birthing culture and definitely by the larger collective culture. We are often ill prepared for our postpartum journey after having spent months preparing for birth. And what's more is that most of our preparation and most of the attention postpartum is very baby centred, not mother centred.


"Mothering the mother fortifies the new mother's resources for coping with the enormous demands of newborn parenting. Whether it's done by a relative or a doula, support for the intense transformation taking place is essential."

-Diane Speier

Crying woman receiving support

So, we can find ourselves lost in the confusion of joy, but grief, love, but also resentment, and most of all guilt. Guilt for not feeling all the joy that we thought we'd feel. Guilt for wanting to run from our baby when it cries, because we were hoping for just a bit of rest and a moment to process what the hell is going on with us. Guilt for wanting to be with ourselves for 5 minutes and for it not to be about the baby. It's okay. You are not wrong or bad for feeling this way. It is a normal process that we must all face in a transition.

Transition is the crossing over from old to knew and our body is physically in need of being held and receiving compassion to pass though that grief process. You have permission to let yourself fall apart and to be unsure of what the hell is going on, and even whether you want it. You'll get through it and you'll come out as the butterfly. You may not believe it to start with, but it will happen.

Things you can do to support the postpartum transition period:

⭐ A diet high in healthy oils and fats and carbohydrates

Meditation (download my free meditation and sound bath)

⭐ Non-sexual hugs and cuddles with a partner that last at least 20 seconds, but the longer the better

⭐ Rest! If you can nap with your baby then do that. At a minimum, grab a tea and biscuits and watch some rubbish tele, but rest

⭐ Sit with other women and chat. Milk Mentors run regular breastfeeding support groups in Bedford and Milton Keynes. Come along and get to know others in a similar postpartum transition period as you.


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