Reflections on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day. What a wonderful time to reflect on an important life transition: becoming a mother. This transition changes everything. It is momentous in a way that few other life changes are.

By: Rachel Smith, ARNP 
Program Director
Weight Management at the Group 

Those who spend their careers walking this journey alongside their patients, know intimately how the transition to motherhood, tinged as it is with blood and sweat, can shape who that woman becomes as a mother.

When we do our jobs with a sense of wonder and respect for this life-changing event, encouraging our patients to be active participants in the process, engaging them in an exploration of their goals, their values and their fears, we can be a catalyst for dramatic personal growth and development. Of course, we can create that partnership with our patients regardless of our own experiences, but there is something about being a mother that can powerfully shape the care one brings to a pregnant patient. I have spent 10 years of my career as a nurse midwife. In that time, I have cared for women of various ages, backgrounds, and belief systems.

Each one made a unique journey into motherhood accompanied by her hopes and dreams, her fears and anxieties. When I am able to remember even for a moment what it felt like to be a 22-year-old having my first child, I am always just a little more patient, a little more receptive to one more question, a little more present with that woman. As healthcare providers who have the great honor of caring for women during the fabulous and sometimes scary time of pregnancy and childbirth, we take seriously the task of birthing not just babies, but also new mothers. Here is what some of my colleagues at

The Group have to say about the miracle of motherhood:

Dr. Lyndsey Day: I now have four kids (three biologic and one adopted), and each one has taught me more about life, love, being a parent, being a doctor, and helping women along this path to motherhood. When I had my first positive pregnancy test, I was so excited, very happy, and quite terrified about this incredible journey we were embarking on. I now know the depth of love for this little life, my heart, walking around outside of my body. I am experiencing motherhood in all of its immense joy and chaos and fear and wonder, right alongside the women I am fortunate enough to get to care for on their motherhood journey.

Dr. Rita Aronson: I have felt it to be the greatest honor, to be a part of this most special time in a family’s life. Many thanks to all the mothers who have given me that honor, these past 30 years.

Beth Carlson, CNM: I became a midwife a few years before becoming a mother myself. Initially, becoming a mother helped me empathize even more with the physical and emotional roller coaster of pregnancy the women I cared for were experiencing. While that is still true, I now find myself entering the teenage stage of parenting and the same holds true. I am able to see some of the struggles facing my own children reflected in the teens I care for, and can understand a bit better where they are coming from. I also know how the stresses of each stage of parenting thus far have affected me and my relationships with my spouse and children, and can draw on those experiences to help women as they enter similar times. I think this enhances my ability to relate to the women I care for on a deeper level. It is not just physical health that we work toward, but also emotional health.

Lydia Swailes, CNM: When I had my first baby, I was a really new labor and delivery nurse who thought I knew a lot about what labor was. The nurse taking care of me had been a long-time mentor. I knew by her sly smile and little giggle the moment I told her my contractions were really kicking in, that I had no idea what I was in for. That birth experience and all of my other parenting experiences have truly given me insight, and taught me how to be empathetic toward my patients. I really get it now. I understand the depth of pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. Now as I am preparing to give birth for a third time (my first as a midwife), I am learning that empathy all over again as I walk this path along with my patients.



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