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As a Certified Infant Sleep Specialist, Brittni Cepeda is passionate about empowering moms to embrace what biologically normal infant sleep looks like. The mama and founder of Resting in Motherhood shares how she seeks to be a positive part of the matrescence journey, and reveals how her own struggles with body image after having her daughter led her to practice daily rituals to find her way back to self love - a lesson we could all benefit from.
Brittni, tell us a little about you:
I'm a mama to a spirited, highly sensitive and amazingly fun 3 and ½ year old daughter. She's my "why" behind everything. When I'm not momming (though, when do we actually stop?) I'm a Certified Infant Sleep Specialist and owner of Resting in Motherhood. I educate families on what biologically normal infant sleep looks like and help them make changes to the things that aren't working in a way that respects and honors their baby's needs. I’m passionate about empowering parents to do what works for their unique family and baby.
What was the most unexpected part of your motherhood journey?
How little support there truly is for moms. There is so much "advice" thrown at new moms, but very little support and encouragement.
How does Matrescence’s Mission to “mother the mother” resonate with you as a mom? In your career?
This mission is so important. When we become moms we are so focused on taking care of our baby that we often forget to take care of ourselves. Unfortunately, our friends and family don't always focus on supporting us either. As a mother, it took me 18 months to learn that I truly needed to take care of myself in order to show up as the best version of myself. I don't want other moms to have to wait 18 months to figure that out. This is why I'm so passionate about my work with families - and new mothers specifically. I want to be a positive part of their motherhood journey, I want to help them with their baby's sleep, but I also want to be there to remind them to take care of themselves and not to not feel guilty for doing so!
Body image is such a big issue for new moms. In what ways has it impacted you?
My first year postpartum, I hated looking in the mirror. It gave me so much anxiety because my body just didn't look the same. It was softer, and fuller, and I couldn't fully accept it. I wore bigger and baggier clothes which actually just made me feel worse. When I started taking time for selfcare I started to improve my relationship with my body. I realized what a gift it had given me- my daughter. I'm now very comfortable with my body. I'm thankful that it has helped me breastfeed for 3 and a half years and I'm thankful that it grew my tiny human. I have some affirmation cards taped to my mirror which say "I love ALL my parts" and "My body is a good body" which really help me.
Our focus this month is “loving the new you”. What does that mean to you as a mama?
It means truly understanding that you are a new person. Motherhood completely changes you and you need to learn to love this new you. It doesn't mean you have to lose who you were, you can absolutely mesh the two, but some things will change and that’s OK. I like to remind my clients that just as their baby is learning and growing, so are they as mothers. And it's important to have patience and empathy with ourselves as mothers and understand that this is a long journey full of ups and downs.
What’s one thing you wish you’d known before becoming a mom?
I wish I would have known to shut out the outside noise and just do what worked for me and my baby. This would have allowed me to get to know the baby in front of me instead of turning to the internet, a place that had no idea who my baby was and what her unique needs were.
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