#36 Prepping the Marriage for Pregnancy and Parenthood ft. Sofia Jacobsen of @themotherseed
Sofia Jacobsen (a.k.a. Sofi), a labor and postpartum doula, joins the show to guide couples through preparing for pregnancy and parenting. She’s been married seven years and has had five pregnancies and two kids (2:00). Sofi is the founder of the Mother Seed, an online community for modern parents (4:45). You can find it on Facebook and Instagram @themotherseed, and online at https://themotherseed.com.
Sofi’s first counsel is to modify expectations (9:40). For example, your family may not be as enthusiastic as you want or you may feel exhausted rather than rejuvenated during pregnancy. Within this Grace and Sofi talk about prenatal and postpartum depression in both mothers and fathers (13:10), and expectations around post-birth recovery (17:30) and taking care of the newborn (19:50). They thoroughly cover solutions for all areas, particularly breastfeeding struggles. To find a local breastfeeding counselor you can search the database on https://www.ilca.org/why-ibclc/falc and https://www.llli.org/.
Given that your parents/spouse might not be as available or helpful as you might hope, Sofi suggests building your community (33:30). This could include WIC, babywearing chapters, local parenting groups, pregnancy/parenting social media accounts (You can find Sofi’s list here), LLL, professionals--even acquaintances! Practice redefining your definition of community so you can gain increased support and connection. Sofi encourages you to remember that you are never alone in your experiences (38:00).
Her next piece of advice is to practice listening to other people’s advice without absorbing too much (41:30). While some of it may be helpful, we all get plenty of unwelcome comments, stories, and suggestions. Sofi and Grace outline how to set boundaries, which includes not taking on others’ emotional baggage and responding intentionally. You know yourself, baby, spouse, and situation the best--trust yourself first (45:20). They promote a respectful tone in all conversation on different parenting and pregnancy paths (49:30).
Sofi encourages learning for your own empowerment, not only individually but as a couple (53:10). She suggests a variety of topics and methods, and reminds you to learn in the ways that are realistic and helpful for you as a couple. Some of these include women’s cycles, nutrition, and self care.
Our professional doula’s final point dives into the importance of self care. Pregnancy often triggers unresolved issues within parents (56:30). Try to utilize the previous techniques and methods that have helped you in the past, be open with your spouse, utilize your community, and seek professional health. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes just as much work, community, and love, to raise a parent.
Sofi ends with sharing her favorite resources on pregnancy and parenting. The books she specifically mentioned can be found on the Newlywed Show Amazon shop and more are listed on The Mother Seed here.