Intentional matrescence...this is something that's been weighing on my mind and it's a phrase I came up with. Recently, I read a comment that made me pause. The person was saying that if we ask a woman how informed she was of her choices, if she had a birth plan, if she knew about the birth process and other questions about her involvement and intentions for her birth then we are actually pushing the responsibility of her birth experience and outcome onto the woman who is now relating the difficult story. I thought this was an interesting point.
Of course we don't have to be intentional about our motherhood journey to deserve and expect respect and compassionate care from our health providers and others, but with the world we live in being such as it is - it can be incredibly beneficial to be more intentional about the process. What do I mean by intentional? By this I mean learning about the process of giving birth, understanding and knowing your options for care providers in the area, and considering your own preferences before going in to give birth. It also means making sure you prioritize your comfort and mental health when your baby is born.
Matrescence is a word for the all-encompassing shift that is the process of becoming a mother. Like adolescence, it involves hormonal shifts, changes to the brain, and many physical differences. The word matrescence is rising in use and I personally am a big fan of this word because I think it's high time we put a name to the transition into motherhood because it is real.
Though motherhood can be navigated a variety of ways, there is a type of matrescence becoming popular - one that puts mothers at the center of this incredible life shift and exalts their power, knowledge, and womanhood.
This matrescence returns to the old model of village-like care of the woman after giving birth and centers on the woman's innate knowledge and her absolute right to comprehensive care from family, friends, and medical providers.
Intentional matrescence involves saying, "I know the transition to motherhood may not be an easy one, but I don't have to do it alone just because I can. I will prioritize myself, my mental health, and my physical care. I will put my resources into making this life transition a positive one because it is worth every penny and every minute's thought spared to it."
Women have been taught in recent generations, especially in many individualistic cultures like where I'm from in the US that if you can power through - you should. Getting through difficult life transitions and trauma-bonding over the difficulties of those early days is seen as just how it is and part of life. Everyone expects to just survive the early days of motherhood and few people give much thought as to why this is considered the norm.
A birth and postpartum doula tells a different story. The one where you're at the forefront and your mental health is of utmost importance. You can learn how to protect and prioritize your mental health, have a positive birth experience, and ultimately thrive - not just survive - the massive life shift into what is known as motherhood.
Giving birth or a new mom in Madrid? Get in touch with me (Madison - doula in Madrid) and make your matrescence intentional.
If you're not sure what your own birth preferences are or would like additional information about preparing for giving birth here in Madrid, schedule a free discovery call with me! And be sure to check out the Madoula homepage. If you're looking for doula support during your pregnancy, birth, or postpartum please be sure to contact me for a free consultation!
Giving birth is one of the most vulnerable moments in a person's life. There are many factors to consider at all times. The support of a doula from home to hospital adds an additional layer of support for both the birthing person and partner. Continuous care and individualized support increase the likelihood of satisfaction with one's birth experience, regardless of the birth outcome.