"Allowing the mother to breathe"

Image: The Telegraph

Image: The Telegraph

This is such a lovely, moving article by Amanda Revell Walton which was published in the Independent today.  It deals with a subject - childlessness - that most of our patients don't want to read or think about but I think it's important to acknowledge that for some couples childlessness is a reality.  Whether by choice or whether it's been forced upon them.

Revell Walton doesn't deal with the options of adoption or fostering but talks eloquently about allowing 'the mother' inside her room to breathe and develop through her love and care for others - partners, nephews and nieces, friends and pets.  

The article highlights the fact that the mothering aspect of ourselves doesn't need to atrophy just because we don't have children.  She says:

Not having children will not destroy you, or your life. I’m passionate about sharing my experience and showing that it is possible to live a positive life without children.

Being childless is just another path that perhaps you didn’t expect to be walking down, but one that can be equally fun, equally satisfying, and equally happy.

The article made me think of advice we often give to our female patients: make room in your life NOW for the child you so want.  Don't leave it until you're pregnant to make lifestyle changes.  If you haven't got time now in your work and social schedule, even for yourself, to relax and wind down, how are you going to find time for a child? 

This might sound a bit prescriptive but from a physiological point of view it makes so much sense.  If your body is in constant 'fight or flight' mode, which it will be if you are busy and working with deadlines (even if that deadline is 'I have got to empty the dishwasher before I go to bed'), then it is not going to be geared up for conception.  In order to conceive you need the right balance of hormones and constant high levels of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, work against this by suppressing progesterone and narrowing blood vessels.

Making time in your life now to relax, de-stress and allowing your maternal aspect room to breathe and grow can only be a positive step.  Love and mother yourself and those around you - whether or not you are aiming to conceive your own child now or in the future.