Erin Pasquet: On Struggling with her Postpartum Body
Describe your journey to motherhood.
Motherhood came quite easily and naturally for me. I had a wonderful pregnancy, with only some nausea during the first trimester and some swelling towards the end of pregnancy. I was excited about experiencing pregnancy and birth after having worked as a doula for several years before becoming pregnant. The biggest challenge for me in pregnancy was body image and coming to terms with the changes after having been a model and the same size for 20+ years. As much as I loved my growing belly, it was hard to accept just how big not only my belly but everything else became! I had one modeling client ask for my measurements and I had a small meltdown over the numbers on the measuring tape. I’m not sure I really overcame this issue but I was very open about my challenges. My midwives were wonderful and didn’t require me to chart my weight through my pregnancy after I expressed that this was challenging for my mental health. Postpartum body image has continued to be a struggle but I’m also open about that and doing my best to accept and dare I say embrace the changes.
You became a doula before you became a mother, how did your experience help?
I came into my journey with more knowledge than the average expecting parent. This was helpful in many ways but I found myself having the same “freakouts” as my past clients. I would turn to my own doula for reassurance. I could rationally work through the fears and concerns but that didn’t stop my overactive emotions from popping up! During my birth, it was helpful to have the understanding of birth and labor but my labor did not take a typical pattern and that left me in my head too much, wondering “what the f is going on?!”. In the postpartum period, I was so lucky to have a giant pool of amazing doulas who jumped in to help me each day. I had lactation help, even though I’m a lactation counselor I needed other’s eyes and knowledge to assist me in breastfeeding. I had doulas help me with getting out of the apartment for the first time, going to the grocery store, and even putting together some baby items. It helped to have them there to help me process my birth story and hold space. And hold my baby so I could shower!
Advice for having an "empowered birth"?
My advice for having an “empowered birth” would be to 1) build a supportive and knowledgeable birth team. From your partner (if applicable), to your care provider, to family and a doula or two. I would also suggest that you get really real with yourself about your expectations of yourself and your partner and team. Write them down, talk it out, work it out. Discuss how you may feel if things go differently and what that may mean in terms of care and support. Be knowledgeable but don’t over Google!
Skincare and self-care during motherhood
Ooph! That’s a hard one! I find myself envying my pre-baby self and all of the self-care that I took for granted. In pregnancy, I spent moments of every day caring for myself that I just don’t have the time, energy or discretionary income that I had before. Now, my big moments of self-care are small. I take a few deep breathes while the baby is falling to sleep. I try to carve out a night here and there to do some face masks. I call a friend or family member to catch up while we are walking to the park. It’s small moments that help me reconnect to who I am not only as a mother but as all of the other parts of me.
My skincare routine has been pretty minimal since becoming a mom. A good cleanse at night and a moisturizer, eye cream if I can get it done in under 2 minutes. That's what I’ve liked about using the Rose Glow Trio , a great 3 step routine. I have never been one to use an essence and it’s a nice step. My skin feels more hydrated and refreshed and I swear that it’s glowing more now than before. It feels nice to take a few extra moments for something for myself. I favorite is the Rose Glow Souffle! My skin felt like it was doing a little hydration happy dance the first time I put it on.
Motherhood in one word?
What does Motherhood Refined mean to you?
To me, Motherhood Refined means an update to how we describe and portray motherhood. Refined doesn’t have to mean Pinterest worthy and Instagrammable ready at all times. In fact, I feel like it’s quite the opposite. It’s about being real and honest and open about the realities of motherhood. Rather than dividing mothers it’s about bringing us together as a community to lift each other up. Because this gig is hard AF without having to compete with one another!
I’m Erin Pasquet. I’m a birth and postpartum doula, lactation counselor, childbirth educator and pre/postnatal yoga and fitness instructor. I’m also a mom to a little boy. I’m passionate about educating and empowering birthing people and families to make informed choices that are best for them. From pregnancy to parenting there are so many choices to consider and I’m here to guide them- agenda free. You can find me at Erin@DoulightNYC.com, DoulightNYC.com and @erin_doulight.
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