Just One Thing - The Transition to Motherhood
I asked Jodi Garrod, aka The Paris Doula, what she would tell new mothers about the transition to motherhood. Jodi is a midwife and prenatal yoga and hypnobirthing teacher based in Paris. She had her son, Clovis, is 6 months old and Jodie has charted her journey through pregnancy and new motherhood on Instagram - I'd highly recommend you follow her and enjoy her poetic posts as much as I do.
My one piece of advice for all new mums in navigating the transition to motherhood is this : love yourself first.
Because from self-love comes self-care, self-compassion, empathy & ultimately strength and resilience.
As a new mum you will face tonnes of new challenges & new emotions & you will recieve all manner of (conflicting) advice from every angle.
Your heart is your one true compass. It is your greatest teacher and your greatest guide.
At times you will doubt and question yourself (and that's totally normal) but whatever comes your way, keep throwing love at it.
Keep finding ways to pause and tune into your heart. You have all of the answers you need right there within you.
As a midwife, doula and perinatal yoga teacher the one common thread I see when mums start getting run down and into negative cycles is when they begin to doubt themsleves and their instinct as mothers.
Self-judgment, self-doubt and self-criticism are the big bete noire's of motherhood.
Self-Love is the anidote to that. It says: "I am good enough. I am doing my best." It says: "I am the best mum I can be"
It's definitely not easy, but keep digging deep and keep finding ways to connect with your heart. Daily.
Mantras & affirmations are a useful way of bringing you back 'home' to your own good intentions.
You can switch on a mindfullness podcast or a relaxation mp3 while you are feeding your babe.
Try to find time (even if its just 5 minutes) to do some deep breathing exercises; it's the simplest, cheapest, and most effective way or regulating your stress chemicals & bring you bak to a sense of groundedness and stability (I recommend peter renner's simple online guided breathing meditations).
Or simply pause throughout the day, put your hand on heart, feel the warmth and goodness of your own being. Sense the strenth of your intention to be the best mum you can be, sense that you are with yourself, that you are your own best friend.
It's from this place of self-compassion that you will forgive yourself when you make mistakes, you will be gentle with yourself when you feel broken, and you will deepen your faith in yourself and your own instinct, trusting yourself to be the best mum you can be.
And most importantly you will keep being your own best friend.
Because being a new mum is hard enough without giving youself a hard time on top of it.
Theres a mantra I picked up from a Tara Brach meditation where she says "make love with yourself perfect." I think that pretty much sums it up. And I recommend all of her free online talks and meditations in cultivating-self compassion and going at everything with tonnes of heart.
"Happy mum, happy baby" is a bit of a dusty old adage but its infinitely true. (And theres actually tonnes of research to back it up now.)
The more you love yourself the better you will love your baby (and everyone else for that matter). Fact.
So go make love with yourself perfect
Midwife, Yoga and Hypnobirthing Teacher