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Talking About Matrescence: What Does It Mean and How You Can Embrace the New You

Category: Wellness

Bringing your newborn home can be an overwhelming experience that brings much joy, but also a dramatic change. In addition to bottles, diapers, and midnight feedings, you also experience major changes to your body, your sleep patterns, and sometimes, your mood. 

Women have long struggled in silence with these physical and psychological challenges that may present during this stage of life. Many women have been unable to access adequate resources to support their well being. More and more women have stepped forward to share their experiences to reduce the stigma around women’s health dating back to 2005 when Brooke Shields openly spoke about her battle with postpartum depression. The healthcare community is recognizing that new mothers need specialized support and services to help cope with these physical and emotional changes as well.

In fact, Sitrin has created an innovative program for women that focuses on physical healing from pelvic issues, understanding infant milestones, and even occupational therapy for postpartum depression. Our occupational therapists have advanced training in pelvic floor rehabilitation and in treating women with postpartum mood and anxiety disorders.

Let’s take a deeper look at maternal mental health, pelvic issues, and how to find support services or ways to cope.

Understanding Maternal Mental Health and the Role Occupational Therapy Plays

Motherhood encompasses many roles and responsibilities — for some it becomes overwhelming. 

New moms who haven’t ever had issues with anxiety or depression can find they have the "baby blues" after childbirth, which can include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety, or difficulty sleeping. Baby blues usually begin a few days after delivery and may last for up to two weeks.

But some new moms experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression known as Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMAD), more commonly known as postpartum depression. And if you have had anxiety or depression symptoms or struggles in the past, you are at a higher risk of developing postpartum depression.

Mother and her baby meeting with an occupational therapist to review postpartum

Alt tag:Mother and her baby meeting with an occupational therapist to review postpartum issues.

Occupational therapists can support mothers who are struggling by helping with::


  • Creating effective routines, self-care strategies, and child care techniques

  • Equipping moms with the skills to regulate their emotions 

  • Addressing common physical concerns that emerge during pregnancy or after childbirth with pelvic floor rehabilitation

Talking Openly About New Motherhood

Having a newborn — whether it’s the first time, second, or third — is a difficult transition. Your body is going through changes, your sleep schedule is interrupted, and if you don’t have a support system, it can be especially difficult to handle alone.

This stage of life has been coined matrescence (think “adolescence”) to describe the change you experience when you become a new mother. As “me” becomes “we,” you become a new version of yourself, which may feel very different. Sitrin is here to help support a healthy transition into matrescence.

First, it’s important to recognize the signs and talk to your doctor to distinguish what may be baby blues and what might be postpartum depression. Be on the lookout for: 

  • Emotional signs — frequent mood swings or changes in moods, excessive worry, forgetfulness, intrusive thoughts, or irritability.

  • Behavioral shifts — social withdrawal or lack of interest in bonding with your baby and/or difficulty bonding with the baby.

  • Physical changes — unexplained physical aches, headaches, changes in weight/appetite, or difficulty taking care of yourself or your baby.

There are several options for women dealing with changes after childbirth. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Schedule an appointment — First, consult your physician, who might recommend therapy, medication, or a combination of both. A physician’s referral is required for Sitrin’s Maternal Health and Infant Wellness Program

  • Try counseling or therapy — There are many options these days, from online therapy to traditional therapists to life coaches. Find what works best for you

  • Seek support and connect with others — Reach out to family, friends, or support groups and communicate openly with your partner or loved ones about your needs

  • Self-care practices and mindfulness — Prioritize sleep and rest whenever possible and engage in activities that promote relaxation and stress reduction like meditation, yoga, or taking a walk. Understand it's ok to ask for help and be sure to delegate tasks and share household responsibilities to alleviate stress

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation Program for Women of Any Age

Even if your last newborn was swaddled and brought home years or even decades ago, it’s never too late to get help for pelvic issues! Pelvic floor dysfunction can arise during pregnancy or following childbirth, but can also impact women (or men)  who have never given birth.

Pelvic floor dysfunction can include any of the following at any stage in life:

  • Pelvic pain

  • Issues with bowel function or bladder (constipation or incontinence)

  • Urinary issues such as difficulty urinating, frequent urination, or incontinence

  • Pelvic organ prolapse

  • Core weakness or diastasis recti

No matter how long it’s been since childbirth, pelvic floor rehab can help anyone.

Through Sitrin’s Maternal Health and Infant Wellness Program, our occupational therapists can address infant milestones like rolling, crawling, and walking. We can provide guidance around infant feeding by addressing ergomomics and positioning approaches for effective breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and pumping.  The goal at Sitrin is to establish healthy daily routines and habits to support the wellbeing of both mother and child, helping new mothers lead healthy fulfilled lives. 

Normalizing the Changes

We schedule regular doctor visits for our babies, but new mothers are typically only seen once or twice after childbirth. Women need to be proactive and seek out support and services they need as well.  

If you or someone you know is suffering from any postpartum issues related to childbirth or pelvic floor pain, it’s important to seek help, prioritize self-care, and find or foster a supportive environment. New mothers should be encouraged to prioritize their mental well-being during this new phase of life.

For more information about our Maternal Health and Infant Wellness Program, call 315-737-2246. A physician referral is required to make an appointment.



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