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Matresence - The Transition to Motherhood

Matresence - The Transition to Motherhood

One of my favourite parenting TED talks is 'A new way to think about motherhood' by Alexandra Sacks. I love the way Alexandra descibes the transition into motherhood and the competing needs and wants of a mother.

As an Occupational Therapist, it really resonates with our concepts of people as 'occupational beings' and need for occupational balance.

"I've been building on the anthropology literature and have been talking about matrescence with my patients using a concept called the "push and pull." 

Here's the pull part. As humans, our babies are uniquely dependent. Unlike other animals, our babies can't walk, they can't feed themselves, they're very hard to take care of. So evolution has helped us out with this hormone called oxytocin. It's released around childbirth and also during skin-to-skin touch, so it rises even if you didn't give birth to the baby. Oxytocin helps a human mother's brain zoom in, pulling her attention in, so that the baby is now at the center of her world. 

But at the same time, her mind is pushing away, because she remembers there are all these other parts to her identity -- other relationships, her work, hobbies, a spiritual and intellectual life, not to mention physical needs: to sleep, to eat, to exercise, to have sex, to go to the bathroom, alone"


If you haven't seen it, check it out at TED. It might just be the word you are looking for to describe your own experience.


If you are finding the adjustment to motherhood a challenge, check out Why all new and expecting parents should know about PANDA. You can also get in contact with me and we can discuss how we can work together on acheiving a positive motherhood transition face to face or online.

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Friday, 12 April 2024