Earlier this year, I had the absolute joy of supporting Sian after she’d given birth to her beautiful baby girl, Robyn. Our sessions were in the early evening, a few times a week. I looked forward to each and every one of them. I felt so very privileged that Sian let me in to those precious first few days and weeks. I could go on about how I felt and what I got out of it, but I think the person who matters most in this is Sian herself. I wanted to share with you the feedback I received from her following our time together:
“Having a baby is hands down the biggest, most amazing thing I have ever done. It required my body to change shape, give life, heal, and grow strong again, and for my mind to absorb new skills and adapt to becoming a mum. This transition, this redefining of who I am, was undoubtedly the most intense in the days and weeks following my daughter's birth, and I am so thankful that Grace was part of my journey into motherhood.
I suspect my daughter, Robyn, found those first few weeks the most intense too! The newborn phase is such a special period, when they are so completely dependent on you for everything, it's almost as if they're still in the womb. Yet there they are in your arms, slowly blinking up at you, having to cope with a world so very different to the one they've just come from. Being able to give Robyn the care and attention she needed was so important to me, but to do that, I soon realised, I needed to take care of myself too. Not just in the practical ways, like showering, eating well, and sleeping as much as was feasible, but also emotionally too.
Grace prepared meals for me, rocked Robyn whilst I ate, cared for her whilst I showered, and saw to everyday chores around my home, which not only allowed me precious time to be with my baby during her visits, but also more time in general to focus on her, and to nap when she slept, as I didn't need to worry about all those other things - I knew Grace had it covered. Her practical support truly made a huge difference, but equally, she was really great company, and helped me to remember myself again. Grace's approachable and easy manner made conversation effortless - a near miracle when in the midst of the newborn haze!
The thing I am most thankful for though, is that Grace gave me confidence in my ability as a new mum. All the advice and shared knowledge I'd received during my pregnancy were invaluable, yet nothing can really prepare you for the realities of motherhood, for the sleep deprivation, a baby who can't settle, the challenges of breastfeeding, or the truth about co-sleeping...and all the many more little questions I can hardly remember now! With conflicting 'expert' opinions available in abundance online, it quickly became apparent that in most cases there probably wasn't a magic solution. Feeling uncertain and questioning your actions, and your parental abilities, really isn't an ideal place for a new mum, and it's easy to see how anxiety and low mood can creep in. Grace not only provided an excellent ear, listening to my concerns and my thoughts without judgement, but also provided options and resources (including official guidelines and evidence based research) to help me decide the best course of action for a particular problem. By reminding me that I knew Robyn the best, she helped me to believe in my mother's intuition, which undoubtedly has stuck with me ever since.
I'm not the first to say it, but nothing can prepare you for the love you feel for your baby, and your unshakeable desire to care, protect, nurture and love them. Grace didn't just give me time to be with Robyn, she also gave me confidence in my ability to be the kind of mum I hoped I could be.”
I am so delighted that Sian found my presence reassuring and felt the benefits of having someone there to support her. It fills my heart with joy, reading that. It confirms that supporting women after birth is my passion, that I want to be part of a revolution in the way mothers are cared for.
If you’re thinking of hiring a Postnatal Doula, send me an email and we can have a no-obligation chat about what a Doula can do for you. I'd love to be there for you, to support you in your journey through Motherhood.