From start to finish, pregnancy and childbirth utterly reshapes a woman from the inside out. Unfortunately, our society has imposed an expectation that mothers can quickly “bounce back” from childbirth, as if the experience of bringing a child into the world has little significance on their lives.
When it comes to childbirth, we tend to think of and plan for the obvious physical exertion that this entails. After all, this is not called labor for nothing. Regardless of the nature of your birth, there is no question about the physical difficulties your body has endured through the process. While the physical metamorphose of childbearing is often the focal point, we too easily forget and neglect the mental health challenges that are faced along this journey.
As mothers, we often hold ourselves or are held to unrealistic expectations. Whether internally created, imposed, or subjected by the culture we are submersed in, we are overwhelmed by standards set far beyond our means. Having a new baby is supposed to mean inexplicit joy and happiness. While this undoubtedly part of the motherhood transformation, these feelings are not always what defines a new mother.