Wanting to feel ready for the arrival of your new baby but feeling overcome with stress or anxiety with all there is to learn & do?
Wondering what those early weeks & months will REALLY look & feel like for you?
Sorting through loads of information – about postpartum healing, breastfeeding, infant sleep – and feeling overwhelmed with all of the perspectives?
Or maybe you’ve been so focused on preparing for labour & birth, that what’s to come afterwards hasn’t even crossed your mind?
I’ve been there.
Growing up, I learned about planning – a tool that created structure on the path into the unknown, towards my goals and dreams.
In order to succeed, in order to reach a goal, I must learn everything I can about the steps required to reach it. I must lay out a map of how to get there and then follow that map to its destination. Easy. Right?
It worked. It worked for processes in which I had a large amount of control. It worked for processes that had a specific, linear structure. It worked ~ pretty well ~ until I embarked on my transition into motherhood.
While I was pregnant, I followed what was successful for me in the past:
I set the goal: I want to be the best mother I can be.
I gathered everything I’d learned in school and in my naturopathic practice about having a healthy pregnancy, labour and birth and about healing postpartum and getting started with breastfeeding.
And, I sought more learning.
I laid out the plan. In this case, it was my birth intention. (I couldn’t bear to call it a plan, because deep down, I knew this process couldn’t be planned.)
I really wanted to give our baby the best start possible ~ a natural birth and breastfeeding were priorities.
And, in the midst of it all, I sensed a craving for more.
I’d done a lot of learning.
My brain felt full but I still didn’t feel ready.
I didn’t feel ready, because while I knew a lot about pregnancy, labour, birth and breastfeeding from a physical and medical perspective, I didn’t know what that journey would look like for me.
I was stepping into the unknown, into a process that I could prepare for but couldn’t control. And, with that realization came fear.
Several years before, I’d watched a TED Talk by Jill Bolte Taylor: Stroke of Insight. In this video, Bolte Taylor, a neuroscientist, describes the right and left hemispheres of our brain:
“The right hemisphere is about this present moment … It thinks in pictures and learns kinesthetically through the movement of our bodies…
Our left hemisphere thinks linearly and methodically. Our left hemisphere is all about the past and it’s all about the future. Our left hemisphere is designed to take that enormous collage of the present moment and start picking out details, details and more details about those details. It then categorizes and organizes all of the information, associates it with everything in the past that we’ve ever learned and projects into the future all of our possibilities.”
While I was preparing to become a mother, I felt the nudge to watch that video again and I suddenly realized that all of the learning I’d done, all of the preparation and planning I’d done, had nourished my left brain ~ it was strong and vital and a little overwhelmed.
And then, another moment of clarity:
Pregnancy, labour, birth, breastfeeding and mothering are rooted in instinct, intuition and inner knowing ~ they are right brain processes.
Several tools and processes supported this right brain nourishment ~ art, music, healthy breathing, yoga, labyrinth meditations.
Our son’s journey into this world was not the natural birth I’d intended. It was a physically and emotionally challenging journey, filled with medical interventions that led to a Caesarean birth.
With this type of physical outcome, some might say that all of the preparation I’d completed, didn’t work ~ that I’d wasted my time.
Those people are wrong.
All of the preparation I’d completed allowed me to reconnect with my right brain, my inner knowing, at each twist and turn on that journey. This reconnection allowed me to release any expectations I’d placed on the process and return to the flow of it. It allowed me to realize that my body was protecting me and our son. For some reason, at that time and in those circumstances, it wasn’t safe for him to arrive vaginally.
Despite a labour and birth filled with medical intervention, the reconnection with and nourishment of my right brain allowed me to step into my early mothering experiences with confidence.
I knew that no matter what those experiences brought, I carried the wisdom to move through them healthfully.
This deep, enriching experience, has guided me throughout my mothering journey – with each twist and turn, with each dose of the unexpected, I’m encouraged to reconnect with that inner wisdom, to nourish my right brain – with a variety of self care practices.
And, I have become dedicated to supporting women to engage in informed, intuitive mothering ~ a balance of nourishing the left brain and the right brain, from preconception care, through pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Too often recently, I’ve been hearing from new mothers that no one & nothing truly prepared them for everything that they encountered after baby arrived – the extent of sleep deprivation, the challenges with breastfeeding (despite it being a natural process), the extent to which mood can shift, the unpredictability of the day to day – they still felt in the dark about some aspects of their experience.
Enlightened Postpartum is designed for pregnant women looking for clear, reliable information about the postpartum period, along with support for nourishing their connection with the wisdom within.
It’s intention is to bring so much of what we don’t talk about, what we don’t truly prepare new mothers for, into the light.
This four week prenatal program provides:
- guidance for connecting within & creating your mothering intention
- an exploration of practices for nourishing the connection with your inner wisdom – every day – as a deeper approach to self care
- options for supporting your postpartum healing
(No matter how your labour & birth unfolds or how your baby arrives in this world, I want you to have some tools & resources for healing.)
- preparation for breastfeeding & strategies for preventing & addressing common challenges in the early days & weeks
- a deeper understanding of normal infant sleep – how it naturally develops & how you can support your health & energy, no matter how your baby is sleeping
- your unique inner wisdom. There will be opportunities to explore & experience practices in our group sessions & you’ll be encouraged to integrate them into your life between sessions
- reliable information
- a group of mothers in our community
- embracing the unknown
- common challenges
- postpartum healing
- normal infant sleep
- Four, 2-hour, group sessions + handouts (notes & resources)**
- Access to a private Facebook group
(for questions that come up between sessions & for supporting one another to integrate you’re learning)
- The Labyrinth Meditation for Mothers Package
- Create Your Mothering Intention Workbook
- Dr. Sarah’s Postpartum Recipe Book
(filled with nourishing recipes you can prep ahead of time & fill your freezer or ask friends & family to make for you in the early days & weeks)
**Sessions are facilitated by Dr. Sarah Hardy Walsh, ND, IBCLC and will next occur beginning mid-September 2019. Details about dates & location to come. Interested in registering for the upcoming session? Send Dr. Sarah an email to express your interest.