The intention behind this series is to shine a light on some beautiful, inspiring and connected mamas and what Post Partum looked, or looks like for them.
I feel very passionately about this vital period in a new mamas life so I wanted to shed an honest and authentic light on it by asking a few beautiful mamas to shed the light and sometimes the dark side, on this vulnerable and transformational period in their life.
Meet Beth, a mama to two wondrous daughters. Beth is the owner and director of an incredible online shop called http://earthandstars.com.au/ She is conscious of her footprint on Mama Earth and her products and family lifestyle align with that. I’m honoured to have her here and share with you her ‘Unique Post Partum.’
Name and Age: Beth, 35
Children/Infants name and age: Dahlia, 3 & Margot, 4 months
Relationship to self or another: Married to Luke
How has becoming a parent changed you?
I have let go of a lot of the self consciousness that dominated my youth and twenties. And I’ve learnt so much about myself; particularly in ways that have helped me heal and expand spiritually and emotionally. I guess it also comes with age, but motherhood has sharpened my focus to live congruently, and pursue aligned passions.
In those first few weeks Post Partum, what did it look like for you?
My first labour and birth with Dahlia was quite traumatic in some ways; it involved a cascade of interventions, (including a blood transfusion and hospital transfer), so I was in a bit of pain during the first few weeks. In fact I remember being convinced that I was prolapsing and rushing to my GP (who was also my OB) only to learn that the feeling on pressure ‘down there’ was quite normal! Second time around with Margot, I experienced a much more empowering birth with no drugs and it made the world of difference in how I recovered.
How did you feel?
With my first, I remember feeling pretty overwhelmed and anxious. I was fairly well informed about postpartum from close friends, and reading articles, but nothing quite prepares you for the real thing. One thing I didn’t know about was cluster feeding, and I remember a few sleepless nights of feeling at utter breaking point, like my body just couldn’t go on. But of course, it did! This time with Margot I have not felt the anxiety of whether I am doing the right thing, whether others are judging me etc. I am far more educated and confident in my parenting choices. That said, at around week three, after my husband went back to work, I was quite run down with a horrid head cold and then developed mastitis . My physical health always affects my mental and I did have several nights of feeling extremely dark and low. I was very conscious of those thoughts developing into PND and made an effort to chat to friends about it, and also journal my feelings. Thankfully once my illnesses passed, and Margot (very surprisingly!) started sleeping better at night, my mindset improved dramatically.
YOU – Because your presence in their little & big moments is ‘presents’ enough
This A2 sized poster is a beautiful reminder of the simple things.
Did you feel pressure from friends, family or society in general as to how you ‘should’ parent your new baby? If so how did gently handle that sort of pressure?
I’ve been very fortunate to have family and friends who are either aligned with or respectful of the way we parent. I think our parents might not always understand or agree with our attachment style choices but they have been open to the fact that there are different ways to parent than how they may have done with us in the Eighties. I occasionally feel pressure from mainstream society with regards to things like extended breastfeeding or bedsharing, but over the last couple of years I have surrounded myself (especially online) with other mamas who are passionate about gentle, respectful, natural parenting.
What was the transition into parenting like for both you and your partner within your relationship?
Well, it has certainly highlighted my control-freak nature!! I am still learning to let go a bit and acknowledge that if I expect my husband to be an equal parent, then I have to give him space to parent in his own right, rather than always looking over his shoulder.
Did you make time for YOU during your Post Partum period? If so, what was your favourite thing to do to get back to YOU?
I’ve definitely been better at second time around! I feel more comfortable leaving bubs for short periods to get out alone for a bit, or pop out to dinner with hubby. But mostly I just allow myself to rest when it’s needed; to forget the to-do list if the opportunity to nap or relax presents itself.
If you could go back to your gorgeous pregnant self, what loving, nurturing support would you offer her?
I would just let her know that she’s got this, just like my mantra during labour–you can do it, your body is made to do this. And I’d make sure she had plenty of massages and foot rubs!
Post Partum & Infant Connection eWorkshop
Are you seeking a deeper knowledge of what to expect within your Post Partum period? Do you crave a supportive, non judgmental environment? Are you ready to be informed and to feel empowered on your new and exciting journey into parenthood?