How Our Bodies Hold Emotions (And How First-Time Mums Can Balance These Emotions)

Our bodies are flexible, pliable, and strong. Pregnancy and birth is certainly a testament to that. We are full of energy, catapulted in one way or another with rigid tension, the chaotic wonder of excitement, along with a thousand other perplexing and perpetual emotions.

With so many feelings filtering and fluttering through our limbs, our minds and bodies are intricately linked. But how do we hold and store emotions in our body and what can new mothers do to balance these barrelling feelings in early motherhood?

Holding Our Emotions

Our experiences of becoming a mum and the practicalities of caring for a new baby can be overwhelming, especially in those first few months when everything is new and extraordinary. We hold much of those experiences and the intense emotions that come with them physically in our body.

The more unwanted our emotions, the more we store them up, ignoring them in the hope they will go away; that’s when our body cries out for a release. Those blocked feelings become aches and pains such as lower back pain, stomach aches, headaches, and neck and shoulder tension.

Releasing Our Emotions

The physical symptoms of holding on to repressed feelings can heighten the emotions we attempt to run away from and add stress and tension to an already tight and ailing body. We’re provoked by fear and anxiety, pushing those feelings further into the tips of our toes and to the bottom of our stomach. But repeatedly doing this creates self-destructive behaviours and exacerbates the symptoms.

Confronting and releasing these emotions brings incredible relief. Although the journey may not be easy, it’s worth it as our confidence rises. We develop stronger habits as we strengthen our emotional core. It’s the ultimate resilience-building endeavour!

Balancing Our Emotions In Motherhood

The physical and emotional upheaval of having a baby is overwhelming; the potential for unrecognised turmoil or trauma beneath the surface. With so much going on in those early months as we recover physically, our emotional recovery can be put to the end of the list: we may question our own ability as a mother; feel uncertain about the new routine; we can be utterly overwhelmed, and have a lack of confidence.

We may feel disappointed, angry, or even guilty as we grow into motherhood with a surge of new emotions. As a new mum balancing a torrent of emotions we need to take it one day at a time. Sleep as much as we can. Ask for help. Care for our own body and mind with a healthy diet, social interaction and forgive ourselves. And most importantly we need to honour, accept, feel, and release those difficult emotions causing us physical pain.

Geraldine Walsh

Mum of two Geraldine Walsh happily works from home as a freelance writer chatting about parenting, wellness and mental health.

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