A holistic look at motherhood

Women menstrual underwear

 

Motherhood the way you envisioned

Pregnancy is a transformative time for women, a huge step between one lifestyle and another, a transition full of surprises and grief. It is important, even essential to equip yourself well with knowledge and personalized advice to prepare to experience this transition with maximum clarity and smoothness.

Here are tips from Hélène Porcher, doula and passionate about birth, who has guided dozens of future parents to orchestrate the birth of their children in a way that is their own, sometimes even off the beaten track.

 

💡 This article is a summary of the monthly "Red Table Events",organized by Mme L'Ovary. 💡

The Red Table is a space for educational, safe and inclusive discussion to gather and address topics that are still often taboo. The floor is entirely left to the invited experts, as well as to the community present. These discussions reflect opinions and in no case should they be considered as medical recommendations.

Reclaiming motherhood

What if motherhood was a path of personal discovery, an opportunity to dive inside oneself to reconnect with what one really wants to experience?

There is a tendency to think that the important rite of motherhood that has been repeated billions of times since the beginning of humanity must suit standards or simply be experienced in the same way as previous generations, without thinking too much about it. We forget that we can completely reinvent the way we experience motherhood, from pregnancy to birth, and then towards parenthood. The birth companion, or doula, is the resource person who can help future parents carefully prepare for the arrival of their child in addition to offering them a sense of support and listening.

Tips to think outside the box and experience motherhood your way:

  • Opening your eyes beyond the conveyed images of society in relation to motherhood
  • Learn about the different ways to give birth: childbirth in water, silent childbirth, orgasm during childbirth, etc.
  • Give yourself the freedom to think and choose what you really want to experience
  • Consider calm and gentleness in the process
  • Listen to your body
  • Breathe, deeply and often
  • Have compassion for yourself and for the changes experienced (internal and external)
  • Accept help from your partner or loved ones
  • For childbirth; create a safe space with little noise, little light and where people whisper
  • Allow yourself to let go and live altered states of consciousness

woman lying relaxing stream

Receive help from your partner

What can your partner do to facilitate your experience as a future mom? A few simple things can be added to your daily habits and bring support and comfort during this great transitional period of motherhood.

For example, welcoming and accepting the many hormonal changes as natural phenomena can make a big difference in pregnant women who sometimes feel helpless.

Supporting and rewarding your partner by offering them your shoulder or attentive ear is also a way to endure this difficult period. Massage her, touch her and look at her affectionately are small actions that can have a huge impact.

Also, learn to communicate to your partner your desires and needs to facilitate the process, providing sweetness and understanding in your discussions. Above all, be patient.

Taboos around motherhood

Through her work, Hélène has met different people, and different ways of thinking and doing things. In order to offer her clients a space in which they can truly feel themselves and give free rein to their deep desires and needs, she has opened her awareness to new perspectives, and methods less known to the majority.

Some topics around motherhood are still perceived as taboo and would benefit from being named without making a big deal.

Here are some taboo subjects that Hélène encountered in her doula career:

  • intimacy to share with strangers (doctors, nurses, etc.)
  • shared intimacy with your partner
  • stool during childbirth
  • not loving your baby when your baby is born
  • fear of body transformation
  • masturbation during childbirth (to alleviate contractions and facilitate labour)
  • mourning your former life
  • miscarriages
  • postpartum sexuality
  • the possibility of eating the placenta (putting in capsules or other)

If some of these elements seem shocking to you, give yourself the opportunity to open your mind to these new perspectives to see what happens. For topics that particularly touch or inspire you, talk to your loved ones or your birth companion and consider opening your experience to new possibilities!

To conclude

Finally, the way to experience your motherhood is completely up to you. Whether alone or accompanied by a doula, it is possible to reinvent your relationship to pregnancy, birth and parenthood so that it corresponds to our own reality and not only to the one proposed by society. The wonderful world of motherhood is a huge area to explore. Enjoy the discovery!

Some resources

Books:

For a happy childhood, Isabelle Brabant
Women’s rituals to re-enchant motherhood; Isabelle Challut
The placenta, rituals and therapeutic uses; Cornelia Enning
The delivered placenta; Laurie Valley
Dallaire
Blessingway; Nathanaëlle Bouhier-Charles

Resources/Services:

Full moon doulas
Directory of doulas on QAD
Red tents in Quebec, Facebook group

Training centre to become a Doula:

Full Moon Centre

Blog/Inspiration:

Full moon doulas
Karma Mamas
on Instagram
Sacred Maternity, directory of Postnatal Doulas