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“At the birth of my child, the attachment was not so simple”: how the word around motherhood was released

“At the birth of my child, the attachment was not so simple”: how the word around motherhood was released
Written by madishthestylebar

InvestigationOn social networks and in discussion groups, pregnant women and young mothers let go. They now dare to bear witness to the harshness of their daily lives, far from an enchanting vision that has long imposed silence on them.

Between Elsa’s first child Serot, born seven years ago, and his last, who is less than 1 year old, “it has nothing to do anymore”. “Before, talking about motherhood often boiled down to ‘it’s great, you’ll see.’ Today, we are extremely informed about everything. » To inquire during her first pregnancy in 2014, the young woman – 28 years old at the time – had the choice between “La Maison des maternales”, a flagship public service program on motherhood, and Baby boom, the docu-reality of TF1, which filmed in immersion births in several French maternities. The intergenerational bible of Laurence Pernoud I am expecting a child (first edition: 1956), a few forums and sites with more or less serious content as well as a handful of childbirth preparation courses completed the offer. All in a climate often flirting with an enchanted story. In these not so distant times, becoming a mother was still an almost obligatory epiphany.

From 2018, podcasts on motherhood – “Bliss Stories” and “La Matrescence” to name just two – multiplied, quickly meeting their audience, and giving rise to a new discourse. Four years later, there are countless books, blogs and Instagram accounts devoted to the subject. On social networks, the perfect mothers surrounded by their children in immaculate clothes have gradually given way to those who show behind the scenes, from pregnancy to postpartum through childbirth. My body is softer, my breasts sag a little more every day, the stretch marks have settled in and yet I find a certain beauty in it”, wrote the French singer and actress Juliette Katz on her account @coucoulesgirls.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers “Bliss stories”, the podcast that explores the intimacy of mothers

As if, faced with the extreme smoothing of the images, some had felt the need to share an inverted mirror, a sort of version without a filter. We see on the networks swollen or softened bellies, panties worn after delivery, cesarean section scars, babies still sticky with vernix pushing their first cry or screwed in their mother’s breast, the tears of the baby blues . We read there the stories of interminable or express deliveries, medicalized in the maternity sector or physiological in an inflatable bathtub in the middle of the living room, but also the miscarriages and the perinatal mourning.

Thick armor of idealization

In February 2020, sociologist Illana Weizman, along with three other feminist activists, launched the hashtag #monpostpartum, which put words to the reality of this period following childbirth. A freedom of speech on motherhood, an intimate domain par excellence, sometimes enclosed in a thick armor of idealization. “The women suffered in silence, relief Clémentine Galey, creator of the “Bliss Stories” podcast. And, when they complained, we tended to answer them: “Don’t complain, everyone is in good health”. »

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