With my first pregnancy, I was one of those women who just loved being pregnant and may have actually been glowing. Then my water broke 5 weeks early. Rather, my water exploded as it doused the front seat of our car, leaking down to the toes of my boots while my husband and I drove home from our first parenting class.
Two hours and an emergency c-section later, followed by a nearly three week NICU stay knocked that glow out of me real quick. I’d been positive I would be a breastfeeding mom, but it was impossible with my baby on a ventilator and feeding tube, so I spent many lonely hours painfully pumping for the tiniest bits of milk. I assumed breastfeeding would work itself out once I brought her home, but it didn’t. I felt like my c-section had robbed me of all the immediate baby bonding I was supposed to do. Now the one thing I was determined to do as a “good mom” wasn’t working either. I spent the first month of her life mourning all the things I had lost instead of celebrating what I had gained. Worse, I felt like I was alone in my struggle.
It wasn’t until about a month into motherhood, that I met a friend of a friend with a baby boy not much older than my daughter. She told me about her own breastfeeding trials and that small moment of connection and solidarity in the struggle with another mom was a huge turning point in my own post-partum life.
I recently read an article that stressed the “vitally important mother-baby bond requires first and foremost a secure, stable, happy mom.” and that “a mother’s mental health is crucial — not just to her, but also to her baby.” (source) Connecting with other moms going through the same struggles can be a lifeline in those first weeks and months after baby.
Renew Mama Studio offers so many options for new moms to help with this oh-so-important postpartum support. From the 6-week Mom and Baby Empower Series focuses on bonding with your baby and getting honest about motherhood with other moms, to lactation consultants who can help if you are having your own breastfeeding struggle. Mommy + Me postnatal yoga is another great way to get out of the house with your new baby, to take some time for self-care, and to have a chance to connect with other women going through the same experience.
Motherhood can sometimes be lonely, but you are not alone. Come join the tribe at Renew Mama.
By: Kathy Sisson
Renew Mama mama since 2015