Postpartum life is an immediate adjustment and one that is only just beginning, laying the groundwork for an unfamiliar reality. When we becomes mothers, a whole new world opens up before our eyes. It’s certainly a thrilling, exciting one, but can also be quite daunting. Nothing can truly prepare us for welcoming life, especially the first time. People can tell us what it’s like, we can read books, or watch documentaries, but until we experience it for ourselves, we can’t grasp what our life-altering new existence will actually look like. Experiencing it with the support of other women, particularly other mothers, is something that should be embraced.
Motherhood is a huge transformation and it’s one that’s even harder when we’re alone. Partaking in any sudden change all by ourselves is scary, but throw a baby in the mix and we can doubt ourselves at every turn. We are not meant to experience this transition by ourselves. It’s in our nature to relish in the support of others. With no support system around when we enter this new phase of life, times can feel isolating and scary.
The comfort that comes from our sisters in motherhood can be life-changing. New experiences can provoke uncertainty in the most confident woman because the unknown is strange to us. But if we can seek out other mothers, we’ll be able to not only get guidance and advice, but receive needed care and attention. It can make all the difference to us and our children.
Support coming from preceding mothers is so beneficial. Strength in numbers is ideal for post-baby life. Who else can we bounce our new experiences, joys, and fears off of? Who else will allow us access to the sacred thoughts and processes of a new mother? It’s so important to honour that those who have come before us have wisdom to pass down and that we are trusting and respectful of their advice.
This navigation and comfort from other child-bearers can also benefit other relationships in our lives, not just those with our new babies. Most significantly, our communication with our partners can blossom as a benefit of generational support. When we feel supported in our postpartum journeys, our moods often improve as well as our feelings of security in knowing what we’re doing. This can translate to more happiness and shared love in everyday interactions.
It’s crucial to note that sometimes the advice we’re given from other mothers can be unwarranted or unwanted. It’s our right and responsibility to accept help only when we consent to it. It’s our decision who we want to allow into our inner circles.
Leaning on other women doesn’t particularly mean only relying on our own mothers, as sometimes these relationships may be fraught. What it means is seeking out our own sisters and friends, and basking in our shared womanhood. This is equally beneficial. We have the beauty as modern women to create our own kin. Some of our greatest friendships will come from our communities. There is no weakness in searching for our own tribe. Contrarily, it is a great strength and testament to our spirits.
While I was fortunate to have my mother and friends close by me during both of my pregnancies, my husband and I also took part in a prenatal class when we had our first child. The women I met there changed my life. I didn’t have any friends my age that had had children yet, so meeting these soon-to-be mothers going through everything alongside me was everything. We would discuss every new stage as we all entered it together and were able to laugh amidst the bliss and mishaps of motherly life. We still are there for each other through every milestone. Without them, motherhood would be completely different, I truly believe that. Sometimes new friends can become your best friends and my experience showed me how strong we are all together.
When we become mothers, we enter into a sacred history of creators who came before us. We are all powerful, and together we generate more power. Women-centred support produces beautiful results in the life of new mothers. Every relationship we cultivate with others provides a unique aspect to our new roles, one that will set the tone for the rest of our days until it’s time to pass on to the next generation.
Words by Melissa Curman