Published on Thursday, May 16 2013 07:50
by Mary Chase
In light of Mothers’ Day I chose to reflect on what it is and why it is so important to be a fit mother. Since my children were born, I have struggled with the guilt of leaving my children to be physically fit. As a personal trainer and fitness instructor, I have seen mothers struggle with those same issues. My standard response in both cases is the same, “I am a better wife and mother because I exercise.” How do I draw that conclusion? Well I am about to tell you.
First of all, as I sat in the sun with my children on Mothers’ Day enjoying the time and our families’ happiness one thought came to mind. I will not always be with my childrenRead more: Being A Fit Mother
Published on Thursday, May 09 2013 09:37
Read more: Mothering The Mother
Following her birth, a mother has accomplished an amazing physical feat, experienced an emotional revolution, and is bathing in the hormones designed to help her transition from pregnant woman to mother. It is no wonder that this, combined with joy, sleep deprivation, and new breastfeeding that she may feel overwhelmed. The psychoanalyst Donald Winicott noted that in the perinatal period there is a special mental state of the mother in which she has a greatly increased sensitivity to, and focus upon the needs of her baby. Such a state begins toward the end of the pregnancy and continues for a few weeks after the birth of the child. Mothers need support, nurturing, and a protected environment to develop and maintain this state. “Only if a mother is sensitized in the way I am describing,” wrote Winicott, “can she feel herself into her infant’s place, and so meet the infant’s needs.” Communities that support women and babies during this precious time see less postpartum depression, healthier babies, higher rates of long-term breastfeeding success, and more confident mothers.
The provision of food, water, warmth, and a private time for the mother and infant to get to know each other is the rule in most cultures. In most non-industrialized societies the mother and baby are placed together, with support, protection, and isolation from other demands and people often for the first number of weeks following the birth.
In many industrialized societies in Europe (and Canada), parental leave is provided, ranging from a minimum of three months to a year or more, with partial to full pay compensation. Here in the U.S., though generally some weeks of maternity leave are provided, our culture of “Mothering the Mother” has dwindled. Often the media and our culture drives a “back to
Published on Thursday, April 25 2013 02:47
Throughout history humans have used ceremony to mark turning points in their lives. Ceremony can honor and acknowledge a time of change, a transition, a growth, a passing, or a rite of passage; the reasons are as plentiful as those who would choose to partake. In today’s fast paced culture, less time is taken to honor and celebrate life’s cycles and transitions.
A traditional healing ceremony of the Navajo called a Blessing Way, contains rites, songs, and prayers that focus on creation, healing, peace, and harmony. Considered to be one of the most important ceremonies is that of a young girl making the transition into womanhood. Another is that of the transition into becoming a mother. This style of ceremony has gained resonance with many people who are looking to honor these and many others of life’s transitions. Though it should not be confused as a Navajo Blessing Way, the current iteration of a Blessingway can be that which the celebrants make it. The Blessingway can be adapted to any religion or none at all.
For girls the process of becoming a young woman is often confusing and filled with questions. It is an energetic process rarely acknowledged, honored, and celebrated in our society. For expectant mothers, our society is great at giving physical “stuff” in preparation for having a baby; just think of the last baby shower you attended. But what many mamas’ need is less tangible. The experience of birth is sacred and by honoring the mother we create an atmosphere of reverence and love for her to carry with her and call upon during that time.
We need women, sisters, and mothers to share their stories, encouragement, and wisdom. The support of a circle of women gives strength to the journey. Some of the activities of a Blessingway may include symbolic gift giving in representation of a story or message from each attendee; laying of hands and proclamations of blessings to the honoree; candle lighting; a basket of blessing notes for writing messages; foot washing, hair brushing or other grooming/pampering as signs of respect; feasting and socializing joyously rounds out many gatherings.
Here is to mothers, to daughters, to women, and to all the men who support strong women. Join me over the next few articles or in person at Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic in exploring the cycles of women’s lives and the celebrations, which give them tribute.
Janelle Boyington, RM, CPM is a midwife providing homebirths, well-woman care, and lactation services; seeing clients at Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic, here in Lyons.
Published on Thursday, May 02 2013 07:31
Preventative medicine is the key to affordable healthcare. The more we can work to keep ourselves well, the greater contributors we our to our community. Many states in the U.S. have taken the steps to license Naturopathic Doctors in order to establish their place in the medical world. Most primary care doctors are licensed as an MD, which means they have completed medical education within the conventionalRead more: Preventative Medicine = Affordable Healthcare
Published on Thursday, April 18 2013 08:37
So, how much pain is too much pain? I think the evolution of becoming more self aware about what is happening with our bodies, as well as living in one of the healthiest counties in the United States, isRead more: No Pain, No Gain?