Dr. Sara Bloom: Maternal Wellness and Postpartum Health Expert

Dr. Sara Bloom: Maternal Wellness and Postpartum Health Expert

Even the professionals feel the enormity of the transformation matrescence brings. As a specialist in maternal wellness and postpartum health, Dr. Sara Bloom said she was “shocked” when she became a new mom herself and discovered how little focus was given to the postpartum mother’s mental health and wellbeing. She started her own practice to fill in the gap in conventional medical care, and to further help empower new mothers, both physically and emotionally. 


Sara, tell us about you:

I’m a 36-year-old mom of three and a physician specializing in maternal wellness and postpartum health.  I grew up in New York City and have a younger sister, who now lives the town over from me. I met my wonderful husband, Sam, in college. We lived in the dorm rooms next to each other freshman year but didn’t start dating until 4 years later. We lived in NYC for almost a decade post-college before moving out of the city during COVID and somewhat randomly landing in the suburbs of Philly. I have two boys and a baby girl, Charlie (4), Oliver (3 in April), and Penelope (3 months), and a rescue dog named Blu. 

What did becoming a mom look like for you? 

Becoming a mother is the most amazing thing I’ve ever done, but also the hardest. I had my first child, Charlie, right after I finished my medical residency. I don’t think anything could have prepared me for just how transformative becoming a mother was. Just when I thought I was getting my footing, meeting other moms, and starting to feel like myself again, COVID hit, and I then felt the same isolation I had felt in those early postpartum days all over again. I got pregnant with our second son, Oliver, when Charlie was 9 months old. Trying to navigate mothering two littles and finding time to take care of myself was so challenging. I had so much guilt because I felt like I wasn’t able to give either of them or myself the attention we deserved. My third was born, just a few months ago, and it’s the first postpartum experience where I’ve felt at peace with all that comes with it. I’m embracing the chaos, letting go of guilt, and truly giving myself grace. Mothering without all the resistance I was creating has been so freeing! 


What motivated you to focus your practice on maternal wellness?

My own experience! When I was pregnant with my first, I was shocked to find out how little focus was put on mom’s well-being. Then, once I was postpartum, I really couldn’t believe the lack of support mothers received. How was it that I’d had so many visits during pregnancy and that my babies had over 10 appointments in their first year, yet I only had one 6-week follow-up after I gave birth. Even as someone in the medical field, I felt like I had little information regarding what was happening in my body and how to support it. In addition, so many women are left to believe that their symptoms are just a normal part of being a mom. But being a mother is not a diagnosis or a reason to feel unwell! I started my practice to fill the gap in conventional medical care, so women could meet motherhood feeling empowered, supported, and healthy, both physically and emotionally. 

As an expert in moms, was the most unexpected part of your own motherhood journey? 

I think the most unexpected part of my motherhood journey thus far has been realizing just how dynamic and ever-changing motherhood is. Motherhood is a constant evolution. You feel like you’ve figured one stage out and boom here comes the next. Same with each subsequent pregnancy and postpartum experience. 


How does Matrescence’s Mission to “mother the mother” resonate with you as a mom? In your career?

This resonates with me on such a deep level, both professionally and personally. We moms give so much of ourselves, literally and figuratively! From the second we conceive, we are giving our nutrients and energy to our babies and we continue to sacrifice a lot for our families as they grow. Mothers deserve the same care, compassion, and love they give to everyone else. They deserve this from their partners, from society, and from our medical system. 

Somewhere along the way the narrative became that being a good mother means putting everyone else first. But you can’t pour from an empty cup, and being a mother isn’t a reason to feel unwell or to struggle. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish; it’s a necessity. 

In what ways do you find self-care in your day? Do you struggle with prioritizing it in your life?

I incorporate self-care into my day by setting boundaries. I’ve learned to start being more comfortable with telling people ”no” without guilt and protecting my time. But I definitely struggle with prioritizing my needs sometimes. It feels so unnatural to put myself first but then I remember the “Oxygen mask” theory. It feels counterintuitive to put your own oxygen mask on first during an emergency, but if you didn’t you wouldn’t be well enough to then take care of others. 


What is the best thing you learned about parenting and who did you learn it from?

The best advice I’ve received about parenting is “You’re not meant to mother alone.”  My mom always reminds me that it’s okay to ask for help or to accept help from those around you. I think we’ve unfortunately become disconnected from the concept that “it takes a village” to take care of our families. Whether it’s family, friends, a nanny, whatever works for you and your family, it’s important to have people and a community to fall back on for support. 

What struggles have you encountered finding balance and how do you navigate them?

Finding balance is a constant struggle! Having three kids in four years and running a business makes it feel like I sometimes have too many balls in the air. I’m learning to embrace the chaos and accept that what I can offer right now is good enough. I’m leaning into the fact that this is a particular season of my life, and that might mean I’m a little late for school dropoff most of the time, or I’m not able to cook as much as I’d prefer, or some days we watch too much tv, and that’s okay! I’ve learned to accept that whatever my best is right now is enough and I shouldn’t compare this season to previous phases in my life. 

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