Whether as a young adult, or during pregnancy, most women hear the stories of how their friends "instantly became mothers" the moment their child was born. We are taught to believe that there is an immediate connection and understanding between mother and baby. No one, or at least very few, discuss the feeling of a 'lose of self' that new parents might face, during pregnancy or after birth, out of fear they will be viewed as 'bad parents.'
While giving birth is natural, motherhood or 'becoming a mother' doesn't always appear magically. It is a learning process - discovering who your new baby is, her personality, figuring out how to navigate shifting relationships with your partner, and learning how to find the balance between your independent, autonomous self, and being the constant for your child.
So, what do you do? How to you manage the transformations and, what resources are available? You may think about hiring a postpartum doula who can provide physical, emotional and informational support for both you and your partner through the transitions into parenthood. Journaling is another great way for putting together your thoughts in a safe place. Perhaps most importantly, I encourage new moms to share their birth and postpartum experiences with friends, family, and doula's, for I promise you are not alone.
Here are some resources additional resources that I recommend:
Misconceptions: Truth, Lies and the Unexpected on the Journey to Motherhood by Naomi Wolf
Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Kaper
Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott
The Year After Childbirth by Sheila Kitzinger
If you would like information on a topic or reach out to me and I will share the knowledge. Or, if you have any resources that you liked, please share them with us!