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Matrescence: On the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Motherhood

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A beautiful, intelligent book that is as tender and moving as it is demanding and urgent. There is something insightful and original in the way Lucy Jones seamlessly combines the analytical with the emotional, and it is an absolutely essential new addition to the literature of mothering and parenthood Clover Stroud An exploration of the contrast between myth and reality and between individual and social expectations ... Jones writes beautifully and with searing honesty about the life-changing physical and emotional impact of having a child -- Rachel Sylvester ― The Times Matrescence has since been mainstreamed from academia to the general public, traveled globally, and continues to be amplified by many more voices. Now anyone can learn the concept and welcome the whole spectrum of experience from stress to wellness---the possibility of resilience and even flourishing while mothering!

matrescence – the ups and downs of new motherhood How to navigate matrescence – the ups and downs of new motherhood

Lucy Jones's book is a much needed cold shower, a removal of the pink colored lenses through which we are taught to look at motherhood. It's the honest friend you wished you had when you wondered what it will mean to bring a child into the world, if you truly wanted to know and did not only hope for the sanitized, rosy picture that media often serves us. It talks about the day to day realities of child bearing and about how the institution of motherhood in most countries expects the mother to be a village by herself and renounce most of personal ambitions or desires on the altar of the child, without offering her any valuable support. Matrescence is a wild and beautiful book, a blend of memoir, science, psychoanalytical thinking and nature writing with a poetic sensibility and a strong sense of political purpose New Statesman *Best Books of the Summer*


A wild and beautiful book ... a book that will be passed among friends and will no doubt bring solace ... Reading this, I felt a jolt of recognition ... more than six years later I can still feel the searing, silencing shame. I wish someone could have handed me Matrescence -- Sophie McBain ― New Statesman Beautiful and creative ... Jones is a pioneer ... she skilfully elucidates the monumental shifts motherhood brings ... I found myself inwardly cheering -- Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett ― Guardian

Matrescence: On the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy, Childbirth Matrescence: On the Metamorphosis of Pregnancy, Childbirth

It talks about the rawness of emotions that being a mother brings, the infinite joy and the helplessness, the initial isolation and the power of healing a community brings, the reshaping of a mother's brain (literally) and the way of looking at life expands and contracts at the same time. In recent years there has been a surge in novels and non-fiction books that grapple with the contradictions and strains of motherhood. Women hunger for them, perhaps because the dominant ideal of perfectionist, intensive, child-centred parenting throws into sharp relief liberal feminism’s failure to make sense of the demands of motherhood. From the acclaimed author of Losing Eden (“Powerful, beautifully written”—Anthony Doerr) an important, moving, passionate and passionately written inquiry—personal and scientific—into what happens—mentally, spiritually, physically, during the process of becoming a mother, from pregnancy and childbirth to early motherhood and what this profound process tells us about the way we live now.Jones writes beautifully with searing honesty about life-changing physical and emotional impact of having a child.” —Rachel Sylvester, The Times (UK) According to these authors, matrescence may start as soon as a woman is trying to conceive and may continue through pregnancy, well into the postpartum stage. It is the ups and downs of pregnancy, the good and the not so good; it is a transition, a healthy change. It is important to distinguish the natural experiences of matrescence from postpartum depression, which is considered as a psychiatric ailment. We must give a nod to Dr. Raphael. She coined the term “matrescence” and by doing so gave us the word to imagine a new, unexplored territory. Motherhood, like adolescence, is a stage of human physical, psychological, social, and spiritual development. Unfortunately, women’s experiences of this transition remain one of most under-developed areas of scholarship and training. Each year I revive “matrescence” in my classroom to awaken students and enlarge their scope of understanding from a simple focus on the child. Mothers may form the cornerstone of our most precious theories, yet the process of becoming a mother has not been examined sufficiently despite the fact that we all, every living being, are brought forth by one. There also remains a stronghold of maternal psychopathology and crisis as the core area of interest, with fewer formulations mapping out both the costs and benefits of the psychological work that is undergone. Understanding the birth of a mother can hopefully allow a more holistic view of this adaptation and with it new fields of study can be born. The creation of more research laboratories and coursework such as my own on Maternal Psychology and Reproductive Mental Health and Wellbeing, while at their infancy, can help the next generation of scholars and practitioners to get started. - NEW YORK TIMES, COMMENTS (2017)

There will be blood - New Statesman

Stern DN, Bruschweiler-Stern N, Freeland A. The birth of a mother: How the motherhood experience changes you forever. New York: Basic Books; 1998.A beautiful contemplation of the extraordinary yet ordinary metamorphosis that adult humans undergo as they become mothers ... I was entranced ... Matrescence is a passionate and powerful maternal roar for change Gaia Vince

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