Many of you reading this will be experiencing the early weeks and months with your new baby, while others will have your memories of this incredibly special but challenging time. For most of us, this is a period of great change and transition from an independent woman into a mother.
This transition can be one filled with challenges as we let go of our independence and coupledom. You have to make many adjustments as you take on this new role of, mostly sole, responsibility for your newborn and your life may well feel utterly chaotic.
Your baby has also gone through a huge transition as he or she left the warmth and safety of the aquatic place that was your womb to arrive on dry land. Thankfully, most will have been received into your warm embrace and that will have helped them during this momentous change.
Hotel de la Womb was an environment totally attuned to your baby’s needs – you never had to give it a second’s thought – but now your baby is here, you constantly have to regulate their surroundings and make sure their many needs are met. No wonder you feel overwhelmed at times!
However, you are certainly not the only one to be feeling vulnerable about your ability to mother your baby. It takes time to get to know one another and adapt to all the changes for you both and so finding classes, groups or networks where you can share your experience with other new mums in a supportive and non-judgmental place, is the key.
You will find that being around other new mums and babies will help to normalise your experience and your baby’s needs – which sadly, are so often undermined by the society that we live in – and you will be reassured that your baby is perfect for you and you are the perfect mother for your baby.
It’s important to remember that as a new mum taking care of your baby, it’s crucial to also take care of your own physical and emotional well-being. Hormones are still very much present in the postnatal period and, whilst they serve you well in many ways, they can also mean you can feel emotionally vulnerable and physically weak at times.
Finding the time to truly and deeply rest and use your breath in those moments that come and overwhelm you can be very powerful. Receive the help of others with gratitude, don’t fight it thinking you should be able to handle it all, everyone needs the support and love of others and this is what we teach our children by caring for them with love and acceptance.
In the New Baby & Me classes I work with the notion that less really is more – allowing you the space to breathe and reconnect to your core, releasing and letting go of tensions. Using simple integrated stretches and movement, you learn to release the holding and allow your body to intelligently realign itself without force.
This was the best thing I did as a new mum. I really looked forward to each session, learned lots, and gained confidence in this scary but exciting stage of motherhood.
Massage is also a wonderful way to calm your baby and yourself – the oxytocin flows when you literally get ‘in touch’ with your baby.
The classes will also help you understand the origins of tummy discomforts such as reflux or colic and massage will help alleviate these discomforts, were present, for your baby. It takes a little while for your baby’s digestive tract to run smoothly but rest assured it will especially with your help and understanding.
As the weeks roll by, and as you embrace the transformations that are taking place for you both, massage will help you support your baby developmentally through to sitting and crawling. In the meantime, yoga will transform how you feel both physically and emotionally as you re-strengthen and begin to feel greater confidence in and appreciation for, your body.
One of the other important aspects of the New Baby & Me courses is the supportive group environment that they provide. One of the best things to come from attending is the great friendships and networks of support that can develop as you trust and open up to one another, as women, in this transformational journey that you travel together.
Although becoming a ‘good enough’ mother is the aim, it’s important to remember that we are all doing our best and we all have to find our own way. The New Baby & Me classes offer a supportive, safe and non-judgmental space to do just that.
I wanted to thank you, after only two sessions of New Baby and Me, I am seeing a real difference. When Aria awoke post feed at 1:30am last night I resisted my usual urge to head downstairs resigned for a couple of hours of pacing out of bed and, instead, used some of the techniques you’ve taught us to get her back to sleep in our room.
After a cuddle and an exchange of smiles, I laid her in her cot and used long dry massage strokes, talking calmly and gradually dimmed the lights. She was asleep within 45mins. My husband even asked this morning whether she woke at all in the night!
The New Baby & Me course runs over 4 weeks. For more information and to book a space CLICK HERE.
Lynn Murphy is Co-Director at the Active Birth Centre, alongside Janet Balaskas, and a yoga teacher of 18 years experience primarily for the pre and postnatal period as well as a teacher of baby massage. She has been part of the various trainings at the Active Birth Centre and is delighted to add a new postnatal training in 2016 for professionals “New Baby & Me – the Foundations of Parenting” .
Lynn devised the postnatal program at the AB Centre, she brings her skills in Yoga and Massage to all of her classes, and injects positivity and joy into the postnatal classes for mums and babies. Alongside her work at the AB Centre she also offers classes to her community within her local children’s centre.
Lynn is furthering her development with trainings in Thai Yoga Massage and Hanna Somatics, which are deepening and developing her approach to all of her work.