30: Postpartum fear & worry-why it’s normal for new moms. Interview with Audrey Hills of Surf Stoked Moms
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Have any of you mamas experienced a newfound sense of fear or extreme cautiousness postpartum? For instance, you find yourself second guessing decisions like paddling out on a solid day, or going down a steep run you used to know like the back of your hand? This feeling of fearfulness may have made you a bit disillusioned and doubtful because you may have felt like the only mama who has struggled with this. Your chosen sport or hobby pre-baby may suddenly not feel as appealing and it’s hard to understand why.
Today’s guest, Audrey Hills founder of Surf Stoked Moms and Sea Hearts Surf Club is here to tell us that postpartum fear is actually a neurological phenomenon and that you are not alone if you are or have experienced this. In fact, I have had conversations with mamas postpartum about this very thing, before I heard from Audrey. One mother and I, here in California, were discussing surfing overhead days when her babies were little and how she felt an extreme sense of lowered confidence now. She couldn’t quite figure out if it was mental or physical or both, and she said it haunted her surfing experience for a longtime after having her kids. There was a feeling of shame and disappointment around this newfound fear.
Longtime surfer Audrey Hills, raised in San Diego, but currently living in Australia with her partner and four year old daughter Valentina, decided to take on this subject full force in order to make mamas feel more empowered and less alone. Audrey recalls balling her eyes out after a trip to Bali postpartum because she no longer felt comfortable surfing anything over than two feet. She decided to take the bull by the horns and research fear and the neurological changes that occur in the brain after becoming a mom. Her blog Surf Stoked Moms began as a way to express her newfound knowledge and postpartum experience with this.
She is now implementing what she learned from researching in-water preparedness and coping techniques and is hosting her first surf retreat in Lombock Indonesia April 2019 just for this very purpose-to coach women to feel more confident in the water. Today Audrey is going to share with our Soul Mamma Listeners tools and tips that have helped her cope with fear as well as her experience living abroad with a child and starting her own surf retreats and surf club.She also shares why it is so important to have a tribe of other mamas to help you out and how residing in Australia has been a blessing because of the many mom groups available that have allowed her to get back into the water postpartum.
11:28: She didn’t want to lose the things in her life that fired her up once she had a baby, so she decided to live an on purpose life with her little one in tow.
13:41: The surf mom groups in Australia were very important to her and her ability to have mommy time postpartum.
16:13: Having a community to give you a hand when you are a mom is truly life changing. Audrey recommends reaching out on social media to possible mom groups in a similar demographic to your own.
16:41: Audrey reflects on her first bouts of postpartum anxiety and a newfound fear of the ocean.
18:52: A mama actually has neurological changes in her brain after her baby is born, so a heightened sense of worry and fear is actually normal.
21:36: Certain parts of our brain light up when our baby cries or even frowns. This also includes an increase in heart rate and pulse. This is why we shouldn’t feel guilty as moms for experiencing this.
25:43: Exercise and movement is a great remedy for Postpartum anxiety and stress in Audrey’s opinion.
30:20: Either we can control a fear based outcome and compartmentalize it, or we cannot control and outcome and therefore have to let it go.
36:12: Audrey is now offering surf retreats in Indonesia for mamas to gain or regain confidence in the water.