What is a postpartum doula and why does postpartum care matter?
Matrescence - have you heard this word? Matrescence is the physical, emotional, hormonal and social transition to becoming a mother. When I learned this word, my whole being was put at ease to finally feel that language had captured something I felt incapable of describing.
Aurelie Athan says, ”It's a holistic change in multiple domains of your life. You're going to feel it perhaps bodily, psychologically. You're going to feel it with your peer groups. You're going to feel it at your job. You're going to feel it in terms of the big philosophical questions.”
If you’ve ever had a baby, you know this change. It’s hard to put into words. A postpartum doula is someone who holistically nurtures & nourishes the mother as she experiences this incredible transition. This looks like spending time throughout the week helping cook & maintain what needs to get done in the house, but most importantly, providing the immense emotional support that is needed for the mother to process the kaleidoscope of emotions that come into frame when you have a baby.
Postpartum care matters because the shift that occurs in a mothers identity, body, and soul is all encompassing, and rarely do we have time to allow the becoming and the learning. Mothers are expected to be back at it working, socializing, hiking, emotionally stable, peaceful, loving, not angry, exercising, hosting visitors, and saying “Whew, we’re tired but we’re good” with a smile on her face within a few weeks.
Postpartum care matters because sometimes she’s tired and she’s not doing well and she just needs support. She is more overwhelmed than she’s ever been. In between the reading articles on sleep, the feeding, the pumping, the bleeding, the cleaning, newborn mothers are learning how to relate to their partners again. They’re re-learning how to love their body. Their empathy level is either on overdrive, or on empty. They’re quietly raging (or loudly raging) about showing normal bodies in society. They’re figuring out how to hold the biggest portion of love they’ve ever been given.
Postpartum care matters, because it matters to hold the space. Allow space to process it all and hold yourself gently. You are becoming.