Mother the Mother Podcast (27:19)
Mother the Mother Why Nurturing the Mother is just as important
Angi Hill is a mama coach, speaker, scientist and a mum herself. She helps women make sense of their new life with a baby so they can feel nurtured and supported in the midst of their biggest transition of becoming a mother.
Her mission is for every mama to find her joy in the season of profound change and growth. See the bottom of this post for your free PDF gift What every Mama needs by her side.
Angi is passionate about supporting new Mothers and helping them feel at ease from the demands of motherhood. 'Mother the Mother' is a concept we at PregActive strive for, because it's so important to look after the Mother too.
This is Angi's second guest appearance on the PregActive Podcast, her first was on Postnatal depletion, so if you haven't listened to it, head back and check it out.
In many cultures it's common for the extended family to move in when a baby is born and help nurture and replenish the mother. But for some reason in our society, this is not the case and it seems it’s expected the parents 'go it alone'.
This is not a deliberate choice but rather a by-product of our society living in nuclear family.
The big difference between the West and the traditional cultures around the world.
They have the village infrastructure; the mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, cousins supporting the new mum.
I want you to picture a circle, who is at the centre of the circle? The mother or the baby? If the baby, where is the mother?
We have lost our village and need to work intentionally at re-creating it.
It takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to raise the mother.
On the scale of 1 to 10, (where 1 is no support / 10 is great support) where about do you stand?
The female body goes through body changes over 9 months of gestation, then births a baby into the world and then… there's pressure to 'bounce back'. Where’s the restorative period?
The principle 40 days of rest, which is one day for each week of pregnancy. When we look at it like this, it seems very reasonable doesn't it?
Acknowledging what the mother's body has gone through (a bit like adolescence)
Firstly, physically, but also emotionally, hormonally and psychologically with a big shift in identity.
If you think about athletes who prepare for a marathon. They need appropriate rest and recovery, and also a team of support people to help them. That’s their 'village';
Understanding there is no bouncing back. The words don’t actually make sense, you never see a rabbit bounce backwards, they bounce forwards.
Motherhood is certainly a journey, but there is no looking backward.
Horizontal recovery is important for pelvic floor recovery, but lying down seems to not be prioritised due to there being too much else happening I those early days and weeks.
Tips for Mothers to remember it's okay to just lie down.
1. Setting your mind to prioritising you. Understanding why it's so important to rest and giving yourself permission to do so.
2. Communicating your need of rest to your tribe. Surrender control and allow help to flow imperfectly.
3. Have a plan in place. Delegate, outsource or delete as much as possible.
Top gift giving ideas to help Mother the Mother
Mother centred gifts versus baby centred gifts are the best gifts to give Mothers.
Gifts that bring the mother joy and speaks her love language
Make the mum feel as loved as possible. This will increase her oxytocin levels (5 love languages: words of affirmation; gifts; acts of service; quality time; a warm hug)
This is very individual: Shoulder massage, holding the baby so she can have a bath/shower, making her a cuppa, deep listening
Gifts of service that allow her to rest and bond with her baby
Food is the best. It really does help, even if it's just some fruit cut up or some baked goods.
House chores, helping with the cleaning, laundry, dishes, watering flowers, walking the dog
It's never too late to give and receive mama centred gifts!
The mum must learn to communicate her needs to her village.
One of the many things I teach Mums in our Mothers program how to do that with ease and confidence, how to overcome mental blocks
A great tip, match your need to the person's strength.
For example, ask someone to cook for you who likes cooking
I have worked with so many Mothers in helping them achieve their exercise goals. I often have new mothers that are stressed about their baby not cooperating with them wanting to get their exercise in. It's a massive part of our culture here at PregActive to include everyone in our tribe and to ensure every mother is made to feel welcomed.
That 'feeling' of being accepted plays a huge part in a mothers emotional wellbeing.
Mothers need a safe space. Being accepted even when she has a bad hair day, the sleepless night. Being accepted and accepting is the corner stone of wellbeing.