Third in a 3 Part Blog Series on the Pregnant Pause
by Stephanie Dawn, ASLP
My kids, Jasper, 8 and Zephyr, 5, are in a Waldorf inspired charter school here in Los Angeles and I am learning so much about rhythm! The in-breath of beginning the day in circle, practicing eurythmy and song, and the out-breath of recess. I find myself tuning into the rhythm of life; be it a day, a moment, a pause before speaking. In-breath/out-breath – it’s easy to take this for granted as the very essence of life, and yet it is this very rhythm that my Kindergartener’s and 2nd Grader’s days are based on. This deepening of understanding of the importance of rhythm in a child’s life is really helping me in my own life, in terms of what I/my family need at any given moment.
So what can be said about the rhythm of your life with a newborn? Well, life as you know it has forever changed and for an American woman, this can be an enormous time of transition and transformation, particularly if you worked full-time (out-breath) prior to giving birth. Back when my first boy, Jasper was a newborn, the days and nights all merged together (in-breath), sleeping, eating, bathing, sleeping, eating, bathing for us both…as it does for most new moms. You may find yourself feeling like you should be doing something, or going somewhere or you judge yourself for finally getting out of the house at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Being patient, taking the time to rest and simply be, to care for yourself and your new baby, this is your new job! Nothing else matters! Not the laundry, the dishes, the state of the house, none of it! Hopefully you have a tribe/community that can help you with all of that for those early weeks of your babe’s life.
I often refer to this time as the ‘golden time’ when all that matters is that you and your baby are falling in love. Your hormones will be high for those first several weeks, you may feel quite emotional, prone to crying over ‘the littlest things’, and you may feel daunted by the task of caring for this new life. It’s totally natural and normal! Bringing a new life onto the planet is a big deal! One of the things I loved reading in Dr. Sears’ The Baby Book was when he talked about Dads ‘practicing their serve’, meaning, the mother and child will be leaning on him a great deal and will often need to be served. This is sometimes hard for new moms who previously ‘did everything theirselves’. Asking for help and receiving help is deeply feminine and is an important part of how Dad can be a valued, connected participant in the new family. Whether it be making sure the new mama is properly hydrated if she is nursing or if she has any needs that require a run to the store…new mamas have more needs than usual and so ‘giving it up’ a little in terms of what you may expect of yourself is a good thing. Your life rhythms are brand new and going slow, taking your time and truly savoring this ‘golden time’, allowing yourself to simply be, will support you in maintaining balance as you ease in to this new life, this new you, your new family. Be gentle with yourself and know that you are engaged in the most important job in the world – being a mother!
Stephanie Dawn, ALSP is a Mother, Speaker, Educator and Spiritual Counselor supporting Mamas and Papas in the prenatal and postpartum period via prayer, counsel and Sacred Birth Coaching. She is the author of the Sacred Birth Workbook, Childbirth Preparation for the Heart, Mind and Spirit, which is now also available in Italian. Contact Stephanie for a complimentary consultation by going to www.stephaniedawn.com.