We talk a lot about Self Care in our culture, especially for women and new mothers and this emphasis on self is often transferred directly to our babies. No sooner are they born and they are encouraged to self soothe, put themselves to sleep, sleep ‘independently’ and so forth. The take home message is that ideally everyone should be able to take care of most things by themselves or at least be moving in that direction. This outlook is both unrealistic and denies our human need for CONNECTION, and like all extremes there is a middle ground between dependency and independence and that is INTERDEPENCE. The moment a baby is born Self Care temporarily goes out the window. In those first weeks and months after giving birth if mama needs to take a shower there’s usually someone else who will have to care for baby. The same is true for all of the practices that replenish a new mama from yoga, meditation, a massage or time with friends. So what can you do? If you’re still pregnant reconsider the boundaries directive so many pregnancy books give. Sure no one wants a combative colleague showing up at your house the day after giving birth but make a list of the people you do trust enough to support you in the vulnerable and intimate time after birth. Create a list of friends who will bring warm food, pick up around the house or bring flowers. If your support system could use some strengthening whether you’re a couple of months or years post partum you can write a Post Partum Pleasure Plan similar to a birth plan. Ceremony creates Community so planning any type of ceremony post partum is good for strengthening your community.
Plan a baby naming ceremony, a placenta burial ceremony, a birth story circle ceremony ( that you can hold months after the birth) or maybe for you it’s a religious or cultural tradition like a Brit Shalom or Baptism. Check out all the existing activities for mama’s and babies in your area, and get into the one that suits your interests. Taking a Doula, Childbirth or Breastfeeding Counselor course is a beautiful way to get out of your house, often with baby, meet other like minded women, become certified in something that can support you financially and immerse in a healing experience. Organize a group of breastfeeding women and see if a local photographer will take your pictures. Look into wellness speakers who would be happy to give a lecture to a group of mothers. Any interest you have can be developed into a circle of women with similar beliefs, hopes and dreams. In the meantime as youre building your local community don’t be shy on social media platforms. Ask advice, share tips, reach out in forums and never forget AS WOMEN WE ARE TRULY ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.
4 Counseling Sessions (either in-person or distance on phone)
Post Partum Pleasure Booklet
Motherhood Community (private Facebook group)
Session 1 - Your Personal Post Partum Pleasure Plan Session 2 - Processing Your Birth & Ceremony Creates Community Session 3 - Building Balance & Between Selfish and Selfless is SELF Session 4 - Between Getting Back or Giving Up On is Gaining the New YOU
Becoming a mother is a rite of passage, a transformation of self when who we are and what we do is in transition. Some new mothers may feel a pull to ‘get back’ to the woman they were before giving birth. Other women may feel they have to give up’ on the woman they were before becoming a mother. But all new mothers experience profound changes and adaptations in the weeks leading up to, and the months following giving birth. There are adjustments in schedule, activities and care for our baby, adjustments with sleep and self care, adjustments physically and emotionally and adjustments within relationships. This package is comprised of 4 personal counseling sessions to support you in navigating the first year of motherhood with purpose and with pleasure.
SELF CARE FOR MOTHERS DURING TIMES OF UNREST
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audrey Lorde
* Start Saying 'I need this', practice asking people for what you need, there are no 'self made men' there are no 'child prodigies' no one did anything by themselves or without help- we all have needs , we all need help
* Make a list of how you want to feel..'I want to feel safe' 'I want to feel loved' ' I want to feel inspired' honor those feelings and brainstorm what you can do to move towards them
* Curate the amount of media you take in, stay informed, stay involved, but choose news sources that deliver the bad news in a way that respects your heart
* Drink lots of water
* Nourish yourself with replenishing foods
* Enjoy the company of people you love ....and meditation, walks in nature, music, dancing, massage , laughter ...funny movies.. read stories and articles about people's acts of goodness and love - TRULY WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER
With love, Genevieve
BIRTH OF A MAMA
* See website for full Session descriptions that include tailor made sessions drawing on Pregnancy, Childbirth Education, Post Partum Recovery, Early Motherhood and Family Constellation