Book Review of Julia Jones Newborn Mothers, when a baby is born so is a mother written by Cara Green.
“Newborn Mother – A recently born mother, whose strength is asking for help. She acknowledges that the birth of a mother is more intense than childbirth, and that she is as sensitive and vulnerable as her baby. Her heart is wide open, and her needs are high. As she nourishes herself, she nourishes her children.”
Everything you thought you knew about baby brain, newborn mother nourishment, postpartum care, and the way in which it is best to parent your child is about to be challenged, modified and reinstalled in your belief system.
For decades, women have been turning to books, scientists, doctors, and how-to literature to understand the best way in which to be a mother. Julia Jones, author of ‘Newborn Mothers, when a baby is born so is a mother’ will help you recognize and trust your intuition, boost your parenting confidence and rewire the way you feel throughout your postpartum journey.
Being a doula, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Julia Jones is a wealth of knowledge and experience. She aids in postpartum nourishment through her book Nourishing Newborn Mothers – Ayurvedic Recipes to Heal Your Mind, Body and Soul after childbirth and offers parents and birth professionals education through her online course Newborn Mothers Collective.
Not only was I hooked on this book from the get-go, my approach to my friends and family, who have celebrated the birth of a child, completely changed. I grasped the ways in which I could truly help without fear of intrusion. I understood the best way in which I could talk to them regarding their postpartum journey and learnt the internal battles mothers endure each day without expressing a peep of it.
A noticeable theme throughout the whole of Julia’s book is the challenge of these modern-day expectations on mothers and fathers. Not only does she explain what ‘baby brain’ truly is and how we shouldn’t use it in the derogatory way we do, she thoroughly clarifies the physiological changes, how they affect you as a parent, why it happens, and the studies done over the years to show these findings. By tapping into this natural flow of hormonal changes and physiological adaptations, a mother, and father, can optimise not only their first 40 days of parenting, but ongoing for the rest of their life.
“When love hormones flow, your milk will flow, your blood pressure will drop, your body will heal, you’ll feel less pain, your mental health will improve, and you’ll have more tolerance for the monotony of motherhood. You’ll be the happy, healthy mother you always planned to be.”
As we have all heard ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. Not only is this true as this was never designed as a one-person job, but it is proven to help both mother and baby in those first few weeks or months of their life. Whether it is your first, second or fifth child, it is never too late to build your village, and Julia Jones will tell you just how to do that. A huge hurdle being in that our preconceived ideas tell us we are supposed to be able to do this on our own, and to ask for help is to admit defeat and weakness. Understanding this and bringing forth awareness of these feelings is the beginning of building your support system. As noted, not only does this physically and emotionally help you as a mother, but it also creates an environment that produces a delicious concoction of oxytocin and other love hormones to aid in healing and hormonal wellbeing.
Something I truly love about this book, and to be honest cannot stop talking about, is Julia’s dispute against the Obstetric Dilemma. If you have not heard of this before, type it into your web browser and flick through the immense number of answers you will get. Much like myself, I bet you’re feeling an influx of rage, confusion and ‘I am Woman’ vibes.
This Dilemma tells us that we as women, human women, cannot accommodate for the birth of a child who can be independent of their mother, due to the small size of our pelvis and hips. As you see with other mammalian species, many young are born with the ability to walk, eat, go to the toilet on their own and clean themselves. However, human babies are extremely dependent on their mothers. Julia does an incredible job at confronting this view with the knowledge of humans increased metabolic needs, brain development and the need to be in a highly social environment.
Similar to any other ceremony in life, birth and the postpartum also have differing rituals and traditions based on culture. A great idea, as noted by Julia, is to ask your family members and elders what they did for their birth and how they nourished their postpartum journey. Continuing traditions, should it align with your values and how you feel, is a great way to feel more connection. Julia goes through the different cultural confinement processes for the first forty days, notably Malaysian, Moroccan, and Kenyan. This was absolutely fascinating! I jumped onto YouTube immediately to further my knowledge of cultural processes from Vietnamese, Aboriginal and Indian. It also gave me a great range of ideas of how to ensure I am supported, nourished, and given the best opportunity for bonding and healing when my turn comes around.
It is true that this book is 90% aimed at the new mothers of the world. However, dads, this book is a great way for you to gain understanding of the process of postpartum for mothers and how you, as their main support person, can optimise their healing. Julia, a definite advocate for woman’s voices, also puts a hand up for you fathers. Bringing forth understanding for mums on how to create the space and patience for you to learn how to be your best version of a father. It is not easy for many mothers to let go of control and trust others with their newborn, and understandably. She also touches on the best healing foods for new mothers, and best bets are you will be cooking these for her! So dads, get a coffee, sit in the sun and have a good read. It will help you just as much as it will help mum.
Julia highlights the importance of tuning into your body and intuition rather than getting stuck on all the details, research, routines, and methods you are told to try. Through her 6 pillars of postpartum you can ensure the best chance of a peace and joy for this phase of your life.
Much emphasis is placed on pregnancy and birth of a child, and more often than not the child itself. The postpartum journey is overlooked, and the happiness of the mother is expected. Not only do I strongly argue each mother needs a postpartum doula, or ‘village’, but this book along with other helpful information, resources and pamphlets must be provided for mothers throughout their pregnancy. You are one resource away from creating the most euphoric, connected, and joyful postpartum period, so let Julia Jones guide you and open your mind up to an endless number of possibilities.
To see more of her work go to Julia’s website:
We are an extension of the community you build. We are here for you.
I truly hope you find the best way of enhancing postpartum healing and nourishing for you and your baby. I am a birth and postpartum doula, trained through the Doula Training Academy. If you would like to have a chat about working together or wanting more information on my services, please contact me via one of the below platforms.
I can’t wait to connect with you!
0422 524 290