When I think back to my postpartum period after the delivery of the first of my three sons, the predominant feelings are not joy and connectedness, but rather emptiness and pain. I had a third degree tear with major complications that required surgery. It took two
months of persistence to convince my OB that I needed to see a specialist. Then another three months to be stitched back together properly. It felt like no one thought it was a big deal. I was expected to pretend like everything was ok.
But I wasn’t ok. And I felt like I was the only one experiencing such pain and isolation. All the mothers I saw seemed so happy.
I didn’t know it at the time, but after the birth of my first baby, I was swallowed into the deep postpartum void in which so many women find themselves. Mothers each experience different degrees of this void in different ways. We have created The Mothers’ Space to fill this void.
Filling the Void of the Village
Today moms are part of so many communities. Work, family, church or synagogue, private Facebook groups, the list goes on and on. But, most of the time, these aren’t places to open up and share what is really going on or ask for guidance in a way that will make you vulnerable.
Moms who work outside of the home may have their best friends and biggest support network in an office building 15 miles from home. But, that network is not ready to talk about bleeding and crying and poop.
New moms have doctors, lactation consultants, and pediatricians, but most of us don’t have a real village. So, what do we do without this village? We create one. A village that is open to hearing your whole story, to seeing the real you without judgement or correction. Your baby needs you, but YOU need the village. A village of other mothers, where you can be nurtured and supported, so that you can find your way to take care of your baby.
Filling the Void of Real Listening
In this Space, we will listen to mothers. Instead of offering statements like, “Just enjoy every second.” This community is about really listening without offering empty statements or competitive stories. New moms are bombarded by facts, books and ‘how-to’s.’
At The Mother’s Space, we believe new moms need some information, but only the type of information that helps each mother make the best decision for her child and her family. Today there is too much information and too much pressure to adhere to a certain way of looking at or doing things.
Rather than telling you what to do, we give you the space to explore your options before making the next bold move in mothering.
Those of us who are a little further down the road can look back with compassion and honesty to help mothers that are struggling through some of the toughest patches. In listening we can honor mothers where they are without a need to fix or patronize.
Filling the Void of Experts for Women
You pee a little when you sneeze? oh that’s okay. It hurts to breastfeed – you just need to toughen up. Angry all the time – aren’t we all? Painful sex? – That’s just the way it is, use more lube. Wrong. Wrong. WRONG
Women’s health concerns, especially mothers’ health concerns are dismissed as being normal or at a tolerable level of abnormal (tolerable for whom, we are not quite sure).
The Mothers’ Space is a place to be connected with experts on postpartum bodies and minds, who are not going to dismiss real issues as inevitable collateral damage of the birth process. This is the place to talk about bleeding and crying and poop.
Filling the Void of Postpartum Care
So often, women feel cast aside as soon as the cord is cut in the delivery room. There is a void in care for mothers postpartum. Everyone dotes upon a pregnant woman, but as soon as she is no longer pregnant, she is somehow less valuable as a human. Visitors come to see the baby, not the mother who has just gone through the most transformative event in her life.
Fifty years ago, women rested for weeks after having a baby. Today, the prevailing attitude seems to be to get up and go and pretend nothing happened. Our healthcare system often ignores women’s needs after childbirth, both emotional and physical. The only care that most women get is a six-week check up. That is too little too late. Women need to excellent care before, during and after their births. (This is the reason I love The Birth Center. They really listen to women and provide exceptional Obstetric and Gynecologic care that goes above and beyond what a typical OB/GYN practice can provide).
The Mothers’ Space is about supporting women after birth with expert resources. We don’t provide medical care, but we can help fill the gap in those six weeks (and beyond) with meaningful support and community (and we can also give you the names of like-minded care providers like The Birth Center).
Filling the Void of Space
The Mother’s Space is also just a place to go. When you have a baby, sometimes you just need to get out. Yes, Target can be wonderful, but when your baby starts to cry, it’s not so great. Yes, you can nurse in a dressing room, or in the furniture section, but it’s not comfy or cozy. The Mothers’ Space is a warm, safe place to go with a crying infant. Come sit on the couch, have a cup of tea, look out at the river.
We don’t promise to have all the answers…nobody does.
But, we do promise that when you come to The Space, you will meet moms that will listen to you, cry with you and laugh with you…and then give you the number for the person that can help you stop peeing when you laugh.