Top 5 Activities For New Moms for a Seacoast Mother's Day

As a new mom, most of us put ourselves last in line for everything.

And even though I believe moms should be celebrated every day (because really none of us would be here without a mom), we should at least take advantage of the one day a year that is named after us.

So in recognition of Mother's Day I put together a list of the top 5 activities to do on the Seacoast for Mother's Day.

Go to the Beach

Even though the weather has been on the chillier side these past few weeks... where did those nice warm days go? Heading over the beach is a great way to spend the day.

You can do this by yourself to reflect or take a breather (or a nap in the car, I won't tell anyone). Or you can bring your loved ones along and enjoy watching your little one play in the sand or snuggle up with you on a blanket while you breath in the fresh salty air and (hopefully) the sun.

Here's a list.

Have Brunch

You can either do this in bed (just like your little one does all the time) or enjoy an outing to one of the many great restaurants we have on the Seacoast.

Doing brunch instead of breakfast gives you time to get out the door without rushing and you should be able to time it around naps!

Here's just a few options.

Mom's Night Out

This one would actually take place before mother's day, but bare with me.  We have an amazing birth community on the Seacoast and they are putting on the play, BIRTH.

So call up or text your other mom friends or that new mom you just met on your walk and invite her to a night out.  Leave the babe home with your partner and enjoy an evening free of spit up and changing diapers.

Learn more about the play here.

Go for a Hike

Going up to hike the Whites or over to Blue Jobe may be a bit much for you right now, but there are some really pretty hikes around the Seacoast that are relatively flat and can be done with a newborn.

Head over to Portsmouth Forestry Center, Ordione State Park, Wagon Hill Farm, Vaughan Woods, Great Bay Discovery Center just to name a few.

Some of these locations also offer more than just a hike, including playgrounds, water access, indoor exploration and restrooms.

And because I'm also a realist (as a mom of an almost 3 year old)...

Hanging out At Home

Sometimes the best thing to do on mother's day is to send out the family and have some peace and quite at home.  Then you can take a bath, with dare I say candles, and a nice body soak. Actually shave and maybe even read a book while absorbing the sweat smells and releasing tension without the interruption of a crying babe or screaming child. Then maybe you can pamper yourself with a little nail painting or a nap!

Just whatever you do, don't do housework (unless you enjoy cleaning and would really like to without the interruption of a little one, then have at it!)

Enjoy your Mother's Day mamas and as always, if you can't enjoy any of these activities because of pain or pelvic floor know who to call!


Empowerment in Birth

I listened to the podcast The Birth Hour, on my way home from work the other day, and the mom was talking about her home birth and all the work she did to prepare for it.

At the end something she said really struck a cord in me. She described when she was asked about her birth experience, she would tell them that it was fast and there weren’t too many complications and they would say she was “lucky” and it must have been “easy.”

After a while she started to feel dis-empowered around her birth and that she hadn’t done all the work to really prepare for it. So she stopped telling people about her birth.

This really hit home for me because I feel the same way about my birth.

I did not have a home birth but I birthed at a birthing center. I stayed home as long as possible and I was only at the center for about 3 hours before my daughter was born. Everything was really smooth, a good length from beginning to end, there were no medical interventions and technically there were no complications with the birth.

There were complications at the end, with my daughter not breathing because the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around her neck and she needed to be resuscitated and we did end up going to the hospital to make sure she was okay. But all in all the actual labor and birth portion was smooth and uneventful.

Even though I can’t really remember people saying I was lucky or I wish I had a birth like that, there were times when people asked about my pregnancy or birth, it did feel like I was almost “out shining them” if they didn’t have a pregnancy or birth like mine.

So I stopped telling my birth experience to most people and felt ashamed, if I didn’t go into the problem areas that I had.

I’m really glad that this mom brought up her feelings around this, because I could tell she had a hard time trying to explain why she had the feelings she did, because it’s such a tender topic.

So many of us, do really prepare, do research, take care of our bodies and eat healthy and really dig deep to strive for the pregnancy, birth and postpartum experiences that we want and still it may not happen for us, for so many reasons that are out of our control.

But for the vast majority of us, we are not as prepared as we can be. Not because of lack of trying, but for lack of knowledge.

We are bombarded by images, videos, stories of birth that are fear based and do not empower moms.

We are told “that’s normal”, “you’re pregnant” or “well you just had a baby.” As if what we are experiencing can just be waved away and we have to live with it.

This sets us up to believe that there is nothing to be done to really prepare for pregnancy, birth and postpartum other than having our routine prenatal visits, going to a birthing class and having our 1 postpartum visit.

So really, we are left to our own devices to know what to do, we have little support along the way.

I hear too many times, “I wish I’d known…”

Just the knowing part can help empower moms to question what really is normal or if there is anything more than can be done. Or feeling comfortable with the birth experience they had without questioning, comparing or regretting.

So as my take away, I really want you to understand that no matter how you birthed, you shouldn’t feel ashamed, you should still feel empowered. But know that those who may have had a “smoother” sounding experience than you may not feel they are lucky. And those who may have had medical interventions or a “harder” birth may feel they were absolutely necessary or welcomed. So I feel the best thing to do is to listen and embrace and hold space for any mom who is daring enough to share her story, to honor the powerful mom she is.

And for those who may want a different birth experience or may want to work towards a different birth experience or postpartum recovery, there are people out there to help, all you need to do is ask.

Embrace Your Inner Animal

Yesterday, as my daughter and I were eating our afternoon snack a heron emerged from the tall grass in our front meadow also eating snack.

My daughter saw the heron (she is turning into a little birder, courtesy of her Papa!) and asked if I would take pictures. This tells you how many times we’ve had wildlife on our property and I grab my camera to takes photos…. inside scoop I am a nature photographer nerd.

So of course I had to grab my camera and head outside to take some pics.

When I was following the heron around trying not to spook it, I couldn’t help but watch it’s movements.

FYI, I am also a movement junky. As many of you know I love helping moms out of movement patterns that may be causing pain or discomfort into more efficient and beneficial movement patterns that work with your body and not against it.

So when watching other species move is really intriguing.

The way the heron can go from slowly strolling along into full flight in a matter of seconds was a sight to see and it made be reflect on how our bodies need to adjust and alter course in split seconds.

The difference between animals and humans is animals lean more into the autonomic or instinctual aspect of the nervous system, where humans tend to over ride our autonomic or instinctual portion of the nervous system.

Our habits, external forces, stress, accidents and injuries and so many other contributing factors play a role in our loss of the automatic.

Now, some of you may be thinking, but I know how to “automatically” breath or drive or whatever without thinking about it.

To which I say, yes habits or functions that keep us alive, like breathing, are automatic for those without neurological damage.

We can go through our day barely thinking about the movements or actions we are taking because we’ve done them so much. Just like an animal stocking prey or taking flight.

However the difference is allow these contributing factors play a larger role in how our bodies function than animals do.

For example, when an animal has a life threatening or stressful situation, it’s instinct kicks in to either freeze, fight or run. But almost immediately after that threat is removed, the animal with rebound and “let go” of the physical reactions that occurred in the body….like the increase in adrenoline or endorphins. You can see them shaking out the stress.

I believe this may also be part of the shaking that occurs after birth. Mom’s body has gone through a trauma, regardless of how “natural” birth is and our instinct kicks in to let go of the stress on our body.

I remember shaking uncontrollably after giving birth, without feeling cold. But I also remember feeling more relaxed after shaking, both mentally and physically.

So what can we learn from the animal world to propel our movement ability?

Embrace your instinct….

Allow your body to let go…..

Work with your body….

Use the most efficient modes of movement….

Understand that habits don’t need to define your movement….

When I’m working with new moms who may have lost their ability to control the pelvic floor, a muscle group that is meant to automatically work for us so we don’t pee or poop when we’re not suppose to, we really focus on recreating that connection.

That innate ability to have the body automatically know what it’s suppose to do without us having to consciously think about it. For some it has nothing to do with how strong the muscles are or how fit you are.

Sometimes it’s allowing the body to dig deeper into the mind-body connection to perform a task it knows instinctually how to do.