Can we change our language with Mothers?

Can we change our language with Mothers?

Our words matter when we talk to families and new mothers. Did you know that googling the word ‘postpartum’ brings up a countless number of articles on depression? If you were expecting a new baby, this would feel really defeating. If we want to break the stigma, we must make a conscious effort to change our conversations.

MATRESCENCE -The birth of a mother involves similar hormonal and identity transitions to adolescence, and yet this natural process is often silenced by shame. Becoming a mother is an identity shift, and one of the most significant physical and psychological changes a woman will ever experience. It’s timeline varies with each individual. 

FOURTH TRIMESTER - this really applies to babies; it’s a pediatrics term. It suggests that babies still need to be close to mama, surrounded by an environment that mimics the womb space. Yes, we want mamas caring for themselves in ways of nutrition and physical rest but often this term gets tossed around with pressure towards the mothers ability to “bounce back” after the fourth trimester. I’ve used this term a lot too because I believe in honoring this time for new mothers, yet I’m starting to realize that nothing about postpartum should be placed in a box for mothers and parents.

POSTPARTUM - “after-birth” this is a time period that refers to the entire time after birth. You do not have postpartum. Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorder is not equivalent to Postpartum. I often here people say “she had a bit of postpartum” ....um no. This is inaccurate and creates a barrier/stigma which prevents women from seeking the help they so need and deserve. We use the term Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) which refers to a spectrum - anxiety, panic disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis.