I think about when I was becoming a mother. And how no one really told me the pivotal moment that birth would be.
Or maybe they did and I just could not hear them.
Mostly, that I would come to know unconditional love. Maybe for the first time in my life.
Beautiful, heartbreaking and wordless, taking me from a life I thought was surely MINE, to a life beyond the beyond. And you know what? Not always all butterflies and sunshine. Not always all NEW MOM GLORY. Plenty of days I curled up and cried, from exhaustion, from loving this little being so much and sometimes struggling to meet his needs. And as neuroscience advances we know more. Our brains actually change: Joy, attachment, anxiety, protectiveness-all begin with biochemical reactions. Researchers and neurologists are finding pregnancy “tinkers’ with the maternal brain in a way we can now map and understand. Adrienne Lafrance speaks in greater detail on this topic in her article, What Happens to a Woman's Brain When She Becomes a Mother.
It is my hope as we go along in this blog to touch upon topics important in pregnancy and birth and provide useful, simple, clear information with links to dig deeper. But also to cross the threshold of birth together and embrace the conversation on BECOMING a mother, on BECOMING a family.
There are times I speak with my clients months after their births. Much has happened, and they do not need any less support than they needed while pregnant. New mothers need to be heard. We somehow miss this as a society. New moms need to keep talking.
Because the conversation is important. Because the SUPPORT is important. Evidence- based research is showing that women who hire a Doula and have continuous support in labor have shorter labors with better birth outcomes. Researchers publishing in the Journal of Perinatal Education, in their article, Impact of Doulas on Healthy Birth Outcomes, found that expectant mothers using with a doula had better birth outcomes in every key area studied.
These are just two sources of information on the evidence and impact of communication and continuous support. There are many more, and the evidence is only growing.
The conversation of connection makes a difference. Our lives as women are made up of a thousand tiny moments, strung together, now weaving us into the fabric of many who have come before, and many who will come after. We are all connected. The fabric of motherhood begins now.