When I think of pregnancy I always think of the transformation of the caterpillar becoming the butterfly . Pre pregnancy being the caterpillar , pregnancy is the cocoon phase where metamorphosis takes place and then the emerging butterfly as it births its self from the cocoon . Before the butterfly can fly it has to learn how , so it stays on the cocoon and practices flapping its wings for a while . That emerging butterfly is how I like to describe the postpartum phase .
Over the years I have worked with hundreds of pregnant woman from all walks of life and no two women are alike or have had the same pregnancy or birth experience . That being said , some women have an easier time with the transition into motherhood then others do . It doesn’t make you any worse of a person , parent or that you love your child any less then you do. It just means your process or transition might be a little more difficult and longer then others you know or just different then what you had expected it to be . I promise you in time you will take off and fly !!!
Many women have a hard time in the beginning but don’t like to express it ( they do with me ) but have such shame and guilt about it and are uncomfortable sharing it with others . I wanted to take the time to write this for all those women out there to know that they aren’t alone .
Here are some things I have found to be helpful when assisting someone through the postpartum / emerging mother phase -
1. Stop comparing yourself to others - Like I said above no two women are alike , the same goes for your baby. We all have different levels of coping , gifts to share and special as well as limited abilities Just because so and so lost her weight in a month , your other friends baby was sleeping thru the night or your sister was loving and having the easiest time with breastfeeding doesn’t mean that will be your experience . When you find your self comparing yourself and your baby to others, simply become aware that you are doing that and pull back your energy back to you .Keep yourself focused on who you are and on getting to know and learn about who your baby is as an individual .
2. Surender to and be in the process - I remember an image I once saw of A woman in a boat in between two lands , one land was her old life and the other land was where she was going to but couldn’t see it clearly because the mist was heavy . Each day as the boat moved forward the mist began to clear and she was then able to see her new land , eventually getting off the boat and starting her new life . Post pregnancy is a time of transition and integration of this new you and baby into your life and relationship . You are finding your way . Some people find their way easily and for some their process may take a little longer . When you are in a process of becoming you can’t rush it . You need to allow it to unfold naturally . When you try and rush things you can push things to happen too soon ,way before they are ready to be , rather then allowing them to authentically unfold at the right time . For some this process can last a month while others a year . I will tell you when you drop in and surrender to and be in the process of allowing yourself the time and space to figure it all out you will come out on new territory a lot more ready and prepared .
3. This time is just temporary - Every thing right now is in-between what was and what will be , Your body is in-between pregnancy , what is was and will be . your hormones are all over the place , your baby is here as well as in-between worlds , your relationship with you partner is going through a shift as you learn how to integrate this little miracle that you both created into your life and to top it off your sleep is sporadic. Good news this is all just temporary and not how your life is going to be . it’s just how it is right now which is all part of the transition .
4. Let go of expectations of how you think or thought it would be - Some of the biggest disappointments in life come from our mind and how we think things should be . It is healthy to have hopes , desires and dreams but when we cling to tightly to them it leaves little room for what actually is . When we hold on to our expectations we suffer when things don’t unfold as we planned . It is also limiting because things might unfold for you better then you ever thought possible . So have your hopes and wishes and then trust that all is unfolding just as it should be .
5 – There is no such thing as perfect - There is no prefect person or way of doing anything , however there is a perfect way for you . Use this time again to find what FEELS right for you , your family and child . Read books , talk to people you respect , try different things out and create your own authentic style of doing parenthood that supports who you and your partner are and who this child of yours is .
6- Have and seek support - This is key !! Surround yourself with positive people who nurture you and are supporitive . sign up for a mommy and me where you are around like minded people . Ask for help , people love to help and by allowing them to you are actually giving them the gift of being of service . If you can afford it and find you need extra help then allow yourself to get it .