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Matrescence: The Transition to Motherhood

April 25, 2019

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First, you should listen to this TedTalk by reproductive psychiatrist, Alexandra Sacks. She introduces a new word, matrescence, which describes the time of transition to motherhood. The name sounds similar to adolescence, the transition into becoming an adult. Both of these times are filled with big hormonal changes.

Dr. Sacks discusses how moms were coming to her concerned they were suffering from postpartum depression due to not always wanting to be with their baby, put them to sleep, or having this immediate connection to their child. She states that this is a very common way for new moms to feel, but it is not openly discussed. We feel that social media is playing an vital role in this problem. We are all too often just seeing family’s “highlight reels,” not real life. It is very normal during the transition to becoming a mother, for you to want your own life too. Motherhood is a huge shift in mindset and you shouldn’t expect everything you enjoyed prior to your child to go away.

The emotional tug-of-war a new mom experiences

In the podcast she talks about the emotional tug-of-war a new mom experiences. On one hand she is drawn in to her new baby. Oxytocin is flowing and she loves her child very much. On the other hand, she is missing sleep, one on one time with her husband or going out with friends. This feeling is very normal and different than postpartum depression. She goes on to say that if these struggles were discussed more among women, perhaps the incidence of postpartum depression would decrease. This could be because women wouldn’t put as much stress on themselves because they know these feelings are normal.

For me personally, I definitely felt stress and had some struggles with the transition to motherhood. I felt most stressed when the sun was going down because I knew that we wouldn’t get much sleep at night. I wished it would be daylight all the time. For me, talking with my mom and friends who were moms helped me the most and encouraged me.

At RCW we want to be a part of your support system during your matrescence.

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