This post comes to us from Paula Mallis. Paula is a mother, doula, yoga teacher and meditation guide and facilitator of women's circles living in Venice, California. In January she will be opening WMN Space, a conscious space for women to gather in service to their own healing in Culver City, CA. As a mother herself she has used her own personal experience combined with her training to help prepare women for pregnancy and motherhood, or what she refers to as Maiden to Mother. Today, Paula is here to share her tips for the fourth trimester, the first three months of a newborn's life.
Maiden to Mother is a sacred time during a woman's journey from pregnancy into preparing for motherhood. This transition is a sacred rite of passage. By giving a woman the opportunity to share her pregnancy experience and the wisdom she gained through her birth story she has the opportunity to evolve and heal.
I have been holding sacred circles for women to share their experiences of pregnancy, birth and motherhood in a safe, non judgmental and loving environment. The evenings we gather provide an opportunity to deepen a woman's understanding of her story and apply a loving reframe to the places within her where she might hold judgment towards herself and others. In maintaining this heartfelt and loving space, we connect and support one another as we travel through our own unique journey into motherhood. I am honored to bear witness to all women and their courage to share their hearts, stories and wisdom within a loving community.
Here are my five tips for expecting mothers embarking on their fourth trimester experience:
1. Hire a postpartum doula.
This can help the woman's transition from Maiden to Mother by having someone hold space and support her as a new mother and nurture her as she mother's her new baby.
2. Start a meal train.
Be open to receiving from your community and family. They can drop a warm nourishing meal or whatever you might need right at your doorstep. This site
is a great resource to set this up.
3. Honor the first forty day tradition.
Many cultures honor the first forty days postpartum. You can modernize this tradition by implementing what best aligns with your needs and values to support you during the postpartum phase.
4. Share your birth story with someone who can hold a loving space.
Birth is a pivotal time in a woman and family's lives. Honor your birth story and transition into motherhood by sharing or writing your birth story - this can be such a healing process.
5. Be loving with yourself and your process.
Self care is not a luxury. It is vital to the healing process post birth. Learn to say “Yes.” when it aligns for your highest good to receive the support and help from loved ones and your community.
Photography: Mel Blanchard