I sometimes try to imagine what it feels like to be a newborn, exhausted from the effort of birth, awakening to a strange world. He would leave the warmth of his Mother’s body and enter a lottery of possible new beginnings. He could slip peacefully into a warm watery sensation before being lifted to take his first breath or he could pass into the waiting hands of a midwife and then find himself next to a familiar sound, his Mother’s heartbeat as he is gently placed on her chest skin to skin. I like to think of this as the “norm’ but we all know many, many babies don’t have this beautiful, nurturing experience. Some are lifted to life through their Mother’s open bellies while others are pulled urgently from the dangers of distress. Some breathe quietly, some scream and others have to be encouraged to take their first breath with some or lots of help. Tragically, for some it goes terribly wrong.
Mothers-to-be often have no idea of what lies ahead as they grow this new life within them. For some it will be what they dreamed it would be, with an on-time labour and an “easy” birth. Expectations are high, there’s lots of information confirming the path a pregnancy and birth should take. We’ve all been to baby showers where horror stories abound and Mothers share all with the Mother-to-be. I’m sure it’s not meant to be harmful or hurtful but nobody can know what’s in store for that Mother-to-be before her time comes.
I do know this: all Mothers deserve knowledge and all babies need Mothers who feel capable and supported. I have read many parenting/baby books recently and there is a common theme amongst them. Babies need someone to respond to their needs and care for them gently in order to grow into adults with the same ability to nurture. Mothers need to be able to talk and share their feelings with other Mothers without fear of insult or injury. It is so important for Mums to know there is help when they need it, or maybe just a kind ear listening to them over a cuppa, so they don’t feel alone.
There will be lots of information posted here over time. If you need a personal consultation don’t hesitate to contact me Joanna Molloy.