Giving birth and mothering are profound life changes for women. You can meet the physical and emotional challenges of caring for yourself and for your baby with the gentle support of somatic therapies.
Profound life changes
Whether you are a first time mom, have older children or are blending families, your family newly forms with the arrival of this baby. All this you hold dear as a mother, as you hold everyone in good relationship.
Sometimes you are feeling all the new ways you are using your body in caring for your baby. You may have a tight neck, shoulders and back or painful breastfeeding. Sometimes mother and babies both need help.
You may feel that your heart is stretched too thin. Did you have a difficult or traumatic birth? Are you having a hard time connecting with your baby – or yourself – or your partner? Are you on an emotional roller coaster? Mild baby blues? Or ongoing depression or anxiety?
Ongoing impacts from intensity of birth
You had nine months to gradually grow your baby. Birth was a major event. Now suddenly you have landed in a completely different hormonal cycle with new aches and pains. Your body can come back into alignment, be relieved of discomfort, and rebalance the endocrine system.
Tense neck, shoulders, and back
Continuous bending forward to breastfeed, carrying and bouncing your baby to comfort him, along with leaning over for diaper changes, can take a toll on your neck, shoulder and back. You can relieve muscle tension with myofascial therapy.
Relieve breast pain and difficulties breastfeeding
Breastfeeding should not be distressing for mother or baby. Pain is a signal that something is wrong; and it can impair milk supply and baby’s growth. Your baby may be upset, thrashing, coming on and off your breast, while aggravating tender breast tissue and prolonging feeds. With wraparound support you and your baby can successfully breastfeed without pain.
Feelings of disconnection
Are you feeling disconnected with your dear ones – starting with yourself? Are you worried about not bonding with your baby? Do you crave more connection and support from your partner? Start by connecting with yourself with time for renewal and as the source of rebuilding relationships with those close to you.
Catherine came to the hospital twice during our stay to perform craniosacral therapy on our baby and to help with breastfeeding. After we were settled at home with our baby, Catherine continued to check in. I was experiencing a lot of post-partum anxiety and as a result had trouble sleeping in the early weeks at home. Catherine gave me mindfulness exercises for encouraging deep relaxation and sleep.
– Amy Ogren
Even though our birth didn’t go as planned, we are so grateful for the support that Catherine provided us. She is professional, nurturing, knowledgeable, and encouraging. As first-time parents, we benefited from Catherine’s presence, experience, and amazing breadth of knowledge regarding childbirth and breastfeeding. We highly recommend Catherine as both a skilled teacher and practitioner.
– Amy Ogren
She was there to listen
For me one big shift was that before birth my focus was, how can I help my baby, Asher, come to this world? For this I could ask my husband as my helper, to help me birth Asher. But then after our baby was born, the central focus changed to, how can both of us take care of Asher. I was still in recovery, and Catherine brought my herbs to soak and help me heal. She helped us find a schedule. And also she was there to listen and hear our anxiety. Adam and I have each other but it’s also important to have someone else; we can only do so much for each other.
– Peng Liu
Baby blues, while normal in the first six weeks after giving birth, are hugely reduced with good support. Give yourself time to adjust to your new life together as a mother and a newly configured family. Postpartum is a crucial time to ask for help from your community and to renew your own inner resources.
If your baby cries persistently or is very difficult to console, many mothers feel deeply discouraged. Your baby may need gentle bodywork also to recover from the intensity of their birth. Get help for both of you.
Depression and anxiety
When depression or anxiety persists you may need more support. You may have experienced loss or overwhelming difficulties. Sometimes you may find yourself grieving the loss or changes from being an independent, self-sufficient woman. People may be telling you to get over it. You do not have to do this alone. You can navigate big changes in your life with help. Somatic therapy helps with emotional balancing, and when combined with mental health counsel, provides powerful support for you to go through difficult times.
If you are having violent thoughts or are afraid that you may harm yourself or your baby, find help at Pregnancy & Postpartum Support MN.