Motherhood doesn’t do rational. Nor does it respond well to logic. The instinctive drive to raise healthy, independent adult human beings is sewn deep into the human psyche. Yet when we overstretch the fabric of motherhood, we may cause our instinct to wear thin.
Many mothers feel they need to stretch further than they can physically or emotionally go, which may lead to feelings of incompetence, anxiety and, in some cases, even apathy. My work with mothers of newborn babies hones in on strengthening the mother’s mind-body connection to encourage the acceptance and release of such strong emotions that may go hand in hand with becoming a mother.
During pregnancy, a birth mother can either celebrate or mourn the physical changes to her body. Both are signs of an innate mind-body connection. Once a mother is born, however, that connection is often disrupted by a complete shift from the focus on her own physical wellbeing to that of the baby’s.
It is a fact that newborn babies are utterly helpless. An adult carer’s responsibility to feed, warm and comfort the baby in their care can be all-consuming. We are one of the most helpless newborns in the animal kingdom after all. There is no denying, however, that a human birth also strongly affects a mother’s physical and mental state. That change needs to be recognised after the birth of each new child. By completely transferring her own need for care to the new baby’s need for care, a mother may hamper her own ability to ‘heal’ from the act of giving birth.
I am sure we can all agree that giving birth and caring for a baby (often while also looking after one or more older children) can be very demanding, both on our physcial body and on our emotional wellbeing. Lack of sleep does not make things any easier. Fatigue and fear of ‘doing the wrong thing’ contribute to a whole array of emotions and our body has a very clever way of storing strong emotions for ‘dealing with’ on a later date.
During my work with mothers of young babies, I introduce a sequence of simple yoga poses that can help release tension and discomfort in the body of a new mother. Knowing that a body can hold on to strong emotions, it makes sense to regularly and consciously connect to it. The sequence I have developped, introduces slow, conscious movements to the entire physical body. Its intention is to repair the body-mind connection in order to improve a mother’s physical comfort and emotional wellbeing.
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