Becoming a first-time mother is a profound and life-altering experience that brings forth a whirlwind of emotions, joys, and challenges. Amidst the euphoria of welcoming their little one, they may also encounter moments of doubt and vulnerability as they navigate the uncharted territory of motherhood.
In this review, we will delve into a book that addresses the intricacies of this transformative phase – ‘Mindful New Mom’ by Dr. Caroline Boyd. As we explore the key insights of this book, we will uncover how it empowers mothers to embrace their roles with confidence and self-compassion.
Dr. Caroline Boyd, a clinical psychologist, holds degrees in classics and psychology, along with a doctorate in clinical psychology.
With over a decade of experience in the NHS and mental health domains, she has established her expertise in assisting new parents through her private psychology practice, Parent Therapy Hub.
What is the book about?
‘Mindful New Mom’ by Dr. Caroline Boyd is a comprehensive and comforting guide that provides support to new mothers throughout their journey, from childbirth to their baby’s first steps. The book incorporates compassionate and evidence-based psychological concepts to help mothers navigate the joys and challenges of motherhood.
Organised into chapters, the book covers various stages of motherhood, from welcoming the baby to cocooning with them, adjusting to life with the baby, re-emerging with the baby, and eventually connecting different aspects of oneself. Additionally, the book offers guidance on seeking help and provides a selection of useful resources to offer further support to new mothers.
In the beginning, the book discloses mindful parenting, encouraging moms to accept and understand their emotions while taking care of their babies. It also discusses the big changes that happen in the mind, body, and sense of self during the early stage of motherhood and acknowledges the ups and downs of emotions that moms experience during the first year.
Throughout the book, readers will discover valuable information on natural remedies to manage sleep disruptions and handle strong emotions. It also provides nutritional advice to boost energy and uplift mood, along with mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga, designed to bring calmness to both the mind and body.
Table of contents
- Chapter 1: Mindful parenting
- Being a mindful mother
- All about you
- A compassionate approach to motherhood
- Affirmations and visualizations
- Breathing and meditation
- Natural remedies
- Movement- and nature-based practices
- Connecting to values
- Chapter 2: Welcoming your baby
- Chapter 3: Cocooning with your baby
- Chapter 4: Adjusting to life with your baby
- Chapter 5: Re-emerging with your baby
- Chapter 6: Connecting the different parts of you
- Where to seek help
- Useful resources
- About the author
Key takeaways from ‘Mindful New Mom’
1Embracing motherhood with self-compassion is crucial for the well-being of both: a new mother and a child
Dr. Caroline Boyd delves into the deep concept of mindful parenting, urging mothers to embrace their new role with self-compassion. The book goes beyond the dreamy euphoria and acknowledges that motherhood entails challenges and complexities that go beyond society’s joyful norms.
The hopes, fantasies, and fears that mothers bring to their new role are shaped by their own experiences of being parented and influenced by societal ideals of the ‘Supermum.’ To navigate these challenges, the book advocates for the importance of self-care and self-compassion. Drawing an analogy to the aeroplane oxygen mask, the author suggests that just as a mother must put on her own mask first to help her baby, she needs to learn to soothe herself before she can soothe her child effectively. Mindfulness, the practice of paying attention to the mind and body with compassion, is presented as a powerful tool to develop self-awareness and inner peace.
2Reconnecting with your pre-birth self is very helpful when returning back to work
Between six to 12 months after becoming a mother, things can change a lot, and new moms may face the challenge of returning back to work. This can bring up conflicting feelings. To handle the difficulties of transitioning from being a full-time mom to being both a full-time worker and mother, it is important for new moms to reconnect with their core values, which can help merge their old selves with their new roles as moms.
To ease worries about leaving their baby, they can imagine positive farewells and find childcare that feels right for them. Sharing responsibilities with their partners can also lighten the emotional burden and create a more equal partnership.
Facing these challenges, new moms should make self-care a priority and be aware of their emotional limits. They can use positive affirmations and compassionate visualisations, like writing kind letters to themselves, to forgive and accept their imperfections and grow in self-compassion.
3Engage in natural movements together with your baby is beneficial for postpartum recovery and bonding
Engaging in movement- and nature-based practices can be incredibly beneficial for parents, especially those navigating the emotional challenges of parenting. Mindfully connecting with nature, particularly immersing in water, can aid in healing, detoxifying, reducing stress, and improving mood.
Practices like swimming and gentle yoga are beneficial for postnatal recovery as well as well-being.
Baby massage is a powerful way to create an embodied connection with your baby. Respectful touch through sensitive stroking can activate the soothing system, producing feelings of calm and connection for both the parent and the baby. Parents often report feeling more relaxed, closer to their baby, and more confident in understanding their cues through baby massage.
Overall rating & strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Comforting and supportive content that resonates with new mothers.
Bite-sized and practical tips that are easy to pick up and apply during the parenting journey.
Concise and easily understandable psychological ideas, even for sleep-deprived new moms.
Beautifully written, making a wide range of psychological ideas interesting and understandable.
The book’s heavy focus on mindfulness might not resonate with all readers or may not be suitable for everyone’s preferences or beliefs.
While the book presents psychological ideas, it does not go into sufficient scientific depth, which might leave some readers seeking more comprehensive explanations.
Best quotes from ‘Mindful New Mom’
“Love, including mother-love, is multi-faceted and ever-changing, evolving over time in response to continued compassion, effort, and care. For many women, mother-love grows as they become more confident in their role.”
“Movement is medicine, shifting us out of our heads and into our bodies. Mindfully connecting to nature, particularly immersion in water, helps us heal and detoxify, reducing stress and enhancing mood.”
“From six to 12 months, you may find more of a rhythm with your baby, but changes may also be ahead, such as returning to work. Revisiting values, using compassionate visualizations, and prioritizing self-care can help you manage the process of separation and change, along with the mental load of parenting.”
‘Mindful New Mom’ by Dr. Caroline Boyd is a compassionate and comprehensive guide that offers valuable support to new mothers throughout their journey of motherhood. Dr. Boyd’s concise and easily understandable psychological ideas, coupled with practical tips, cater to the needs of new moms.
‘Mindful New Mom’ is a heartwarming and engaging book that will resonate with new mothers, offering them valuable tools to navigate the challenges and joys of motherhood.
Where to buy
You may purchase ‘Mindful New Mom’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in hardcover, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.
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