“We were never meant to parent our children in isolation, but instead to have nurturing, loving support at arms reach.”Jojo Hogan, Founder of the Slow Post-Partum movement
The conversation you’re about to listen to was recorded towards the end of 2018, and it’s a conversation I have returned to many times over the past few months. It’s a conversation that opened old wounds, and brought up feelings of powerlessness and shame, hope and compassion.
As you may know, I was diagnosed with severe postnatal depression after our second baby was born, and that horrible, tumultuous, vulnerable time is the reason I’m here today. It’s what introduced me to the idea of slow living in a very roundabout way, and I’m actually incredibly grateful for it now.
But what today’s conversation highlighted to me, and that I’ve found myself coming back to over and over again since, is the crushing isolation so many new parents feel and that I’ve felt in some capacity for every single one of the last ten years.
It’s a vulnerable time, where literally everything changes, and yet we’re bombarded with messages that we simply need to work a little harder, bounce back, and carry on as though nothing much has changed except that now we have a baby. I can only write about my experience, but this is what, in very simple terms, made me feel so deficient as a new parent, forcing me to turn inward even more, searching for strength that I didn’t have, convinced that I wasn’t trying hard enough.
What I now realise, and what I hope today’s episode highlights, is that we need to encourage ourselves and the new parents in our lives to look outward. To develop a network of people who love us and want to support us, to allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to say the words, “I need help.”
If you’re deep in the trenches of new parenthood right now (or any big life changes for that matter), I’d encourage you to lift your head up and see who is near you, see who will help, and see what a difference it can make to realise you don’t have to shoulder the burden alone. And if you don’t feel like there is anyone you can turn to, call on a professional. Speak to a GP, call a mental health hotline, find a counsellor who will take a Skype session with you. Just know you’re not alone.
With all that being said, today’s episode is truly wonderful, and features a heartfelt discussion with Jojo Hogan: founder of the Slow Postpartum movement, yoga teacher, aromatherapist, massage therapist and doula.
Jojo has been working with expectant mothers for many years, and now specialises as a postpartum doula, providing much needed support to mothers after giving birth. There are so many beautiful intersections between slow living principles and the postpartum care practices that Jojo provides and educates around, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
Because if my postpartum experience is anything to go by (and I know I’m not alone in any of it), the wisdom that Jojo shares is becoming increasingly important as we lead frantic, disconnected lives. It’s all about learning how to build that village, you know?
We talk about:
- the pillars of postpartum care that cultures around the world share
- the importance of deciding your parenting values before baby arrives
- how women can create their own villages to support them after birth
- ways to bring more slow and presence to a stressful time
Questions featured in this episode:
- When did your own journey of slowing down and simplifying begin? What prompted it?
- When did you begin working with new parents?
- What does a slow postpartum look like?
- What’s something realistic that a new parent can do to bring some slowness into those early days post-birth?
- How can we approach the ‘stuff’ that often comes with having a baby with a slower, more conscious mindset?
Or you can listen to the show directly, simply by hitting the Play button above. Enjoy!
Things to Check Out After Today’s Episode:
- Jojo’s website – slowpostpartum.com
- Slow Postpartum on Facebook
- Slow Postpartum on Instagram
- Julia Jones – Newborn Mothers
- The Let Down TV show (also available on Netflix in some regions)
As always, thank you for listening!