Matrescence - Play Nourish Thrive


When my daughter was about 2 months old, I opened up google and started typing in different phrases to the effect of 'difficult transition to motherhood’. This was common for me at this time, typing into the ethos of the internet the things I dared not say out loud. Searching desperately for any evidence that I wasn't the only person who felt like motherhood wasn’t what I had expected🤱

I thankfully came across reproductive psychiatrist Dr Alexandra Sacks' Ted Talk 'A new way to think about the transition to motherhood'. She argues that the transition to motherhood is like that of adolescence, one of great physical, psychological and emotional change. Except that the transition to motherhood is so underappreciated that there is not even a word to describe it.

Except that there is...

💥 Matrescence 💥

Dana Raphael coined the term matrescence in 1973 to normalise, rather than pathologise the mixed feelings that women experience in motherhood. However, the term remains relatively unknown, even by the majority of the new mothers who experience it.

Dr Sacks argues that a better understanding of matrescence will help normalise and validate how new mothers may be feeling. Finally having language to describe what I was experiencing was a turning point. I was able to drop those high expectations I had of motherhood. I was also more empowered to open up to the people around me and get support. My hope is that the term 'matrescence' becomes just as much part of our vocabulary as 'adolescence' ❤🌿

Matrescence: The physical, emotional and psychological transition to motherhoodDr Alexandra Sacks quote

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