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 Sara, a wonderful single mama to three. She is a connected birth and post natal Doula as well as a childbirth educator. Located in the divine Macedon Ranges she supports women in the Ranges as well as North West Melbourne. Once you read her feature you’ll understand where her passion comes from. She speaks with honesty and if I’m truthful a little heartache.. I am honored to have her share her ‘Unique Post Partum’ with you
Name and Age: Sara, 39
Children/Infants name and age: Lucas 15, Patrick 5, Ava 3
Relationship to self or another: Single
How has becoming a parent changed you?
Being a parent has guided me to rethink everything I believe in. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. It has brought me to my knees and I was down there for a log time. However, it has helped me rebuild myself (I’m still in that process ) to be the kind of person or mother I want to be. It has taken time but I have finally started to believe that I am worthy of the care I need to be the best version of myself. Not just for myself or my children but for the wider community.
In those first few weeks Post Partum, what did it look like for you?
It was messy the first time around, I had a traumatic birth experience, I didn’t have the nurturing support I needed and I struggled to breastfeed. It was a day by day challenge. My second baby was different, I was prepared and elated and all the things I had trouble with the first time round were not the same. Even with another child it was easier. The third time around was difficult again, this time more emotionally than physically. I thought I was prepared but different children come with different challenges and this time around the first few weeks are a blur, I don’t remember any of it.
How did you feel?
I felt alone, I felt sad, sore and scared. I felt like this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Despite a breezy second birth and post partum experience. The third was by far the worst. I didn’t enjoy my baby, parenting or my life at all and slipped into a deep depression that I stayed in for 3 years.
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 didn’t feel pressures so much as I didn’t feel supported to parent as I wanted to. This made me feel like I was failing as everyone’s attitude was to just stop doing whatever I was struggling with and do the opposite which was predominately sleeping and breastfeeding I listened went against my instincts and still have regret and guilt about it to this day. For my second and third I was different, despite being in the pit of post natal depression with my third I was not going to have other people deter me from continuing breastfeeding and co-sleeping, or attachment parenting with my other children. (I don’t have any guilt about committing to these ideals now)
YOU – Because your presence in their little & big moments is ‘presents’ enough
This A2 sized poster is a beautiful reminder of the simple things.
What was the transition into parenting like for both you and your partner within your relationship?
The first time around we were young and were not in a stable living environment or relationship. We didn’t talk about parenting what it meant for us or how we might change, so it quickly dissolved our relationship. The second time around, my partner relished and thrived in fatherhood which was a great help in the sense that he would happily help with anything he could. I was not expected to continue the role I had previously. After my third baby was born we were in a difficult situation and having 2 babies in 5 months put enormous strain on our relationship. In addition to PND and a partner who was working so much he was hardly home. we didn’t have time to spend together to even discuss parenting we just argued. Eventually, our relationship dissolved too.
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?
No not at all. It wasn’t a thing. I felt through all my post partum experiences that it was most important that I do what I was meant to do and look after everyone else. That’s a mothers job right? Even if people told me to practice self care, I didn’t ever really understand how that could happen. I didn’t realize that I was Important and that was an ingrained belief that I had to just get on with it and get shit done without question. In time after a very big battle with PND I started to realize that self care and love was vital to my mental and physical health and it had a huge impact on my children. So making time for Me was also about my children and exactly what a mother should be doing.
If you could go back to your gorgeous pregnant self, what loving, nurturing support would you offer her?
I’d be kind and gentle. I’d offer her time to renew and refresh in this new role and give her the confidence to not let her choices be fodder for others criticism and I wouldn’t do the same.
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?