Expert Insights with Seed Mother: Rituals in Motherhood

Expert Insights with Seed Mother: Rituals in Motherhood

We sat down with matrescence experts Victoria Trinko and Julia Sarewitz of Seed Mother to discuss the monumental life shift of becoming a mother, and how a morning tea or skincare ritual might be just the thing you need to thrive in motherhood.


If you're reading this, chances are you've experienced firsthand the monumental life shift of becoming a mother. It's a journey that reshapes every aspect of our existence — from our relationships to our bodies and even our very identity. This process of matrescence plunges mothers into a whirlwind of psychological and social adjustments, often leaving us grappling with mental health challenges that are further exacerbated by hormonal swings, sleep disruptions, and the relentless demands of childcare.

Yet, despite these challenges, societal norms often sideline our needs as mothers, fostering a culture of self-sacrifice that can disconnect us from ourselves and our own well-being. In a time when more mothers feel adrift than ever before, resilience-building rituals emerge as the thread that can bring us back home to ourselves. Essential anchors to help us navigate the complexities of our matrescence journeys.

Defined as "a patterned, repetitive, and symbolic enactment of cultural (or individual) beliefs and values," rituals come in various forms, from daily mindfulness moments to cherished cultural traditions. And practicing them can offer mothers a meaningful way to reconnect with our inner experience of new motherhood and find equilibrium amidst its challenges. While rituals have stood the test of time across cultures, modern science now supports the profound impact they can have on well-being across diverse populations. Research has shown that rituals regulate emotions, strengthen social bonds, and even boost physical health. They evoke positive emotions, alleviate pain, stress, and anxiety, and contribute to greater adaptive functioning  — and this only scratches the surface of their many benefits.

The pivotal role of rituals in providing mothers with a protective buffer against the inherent challenges and vulnerabilities of this period cannot be overstated. By equipping us with a repertoire of skills, ritual practice reduces the risk of developing more severe mental health issues by deepening our connection to ourselves and others, shifting our perspective, and bolstering our coping strategies. Recent studies have even highlighted the ways mindfulness meditation can specifically improve maternal mental health by fostering mothers’ self-awareness, acceptance, and compassion. This demonstrates the vast potential that practicing rituals in all their various forms can have in positively influencing maternal well-being.

So, whether it's a morning cup of tea or a bedtime skincare routine, these seemingly simple acts of self-care wield immense power in nurturing well-being within the chaos of new motherhood. They both provide us with rare opportunities for self-reflection and can empower us to find our way through motherhood with more confidence, resilience, and ease. So, don't underestimate the profound impact that integrating rituals into your daily life can have — they might just be your lifeline. Not just to surviving, but perhaps also thriving through your transformative journey of matrescence.

Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. If you're eager to delve deeper into the practice of rituals alongside a supportive community of like-minded mothers, sign up for one of our upcoming educational workshop offerings, Matrescence Express or Fertile Ground, and Seed Mother can guide you through it every step of the way!

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Seed Mother is an evidence-based maternal education program focused on matrescence, created by Julia Sarewitz and Victoria Trinko. Developed and researched at Columbia University under the mentorship of Dr. Aurélie Athan, their strengths-based approach harnesses the power of education, ritual, and community to empower mothers in the transition to motherhood. Through educational workshops and 1:1 coaching, Seed Mother offers expert-led guidance and essential support to mothers through every stage of their journey -  whether they are expecting, a new mother, or newish (including for the second time or more or through surrogacy or adoption). 

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