“Mama Bear Wisdom”, is a term I first learned while reading Mother-Daughter Wisdom by Dr. Christiane Northrup. Your Mama Bear Wisdom relates to your intuition. What you know to be true for yourself and your family from deep down inside. There is so much information swirling around about pregnancy, motherhood, baby care, and parenting. It is all telling us what to do and what not to do, much of which is contradictory. Much of this conflicting information leaves us feeling unsettled and confused. This is where your Mama Bear Wisdom comes in, helping you to determine what you and your family need in any given moment or situation. In my book, Pure Nurture: A Holistic Guide to a Healthy Baby, I share how it’s helpful to read, learn, and listen from friends, family, authors, and experts, however, the most important thing to do is to take the best (for you) and leave the rest. As ideas and suggestions come your way, use and implement only the ideas and suggestions that work best in your life.
The difficult part this simple piece of advice is in determining what feels the best and what will work the best for you and your children. Channeling your intuition or “Mama Bear Wisdom” can be the key to making simple and hard decisions when it comes to motherhood and raising children. Below are five tips for new mothers in how to channel that inner wisdom and how to develop it over time, applying it to your own self-care as a mom and to that of your little one(s). And as I said above, take what feels best for you and leave the rest.
Take a Deep Breath: Breathe into an idea or question. It sounds a little silly, but this can work really well, especially when you feel conflicted between two different things. Here is how it works: Get quiet. Eyes can be closed or open. Take 3 deep relaxed breaths in and out of your nose. Now, bring a question or issue to mind that you are trying to make a decision about. Notice if the breath is full, easy and relaxed feeling. Or do you notice your chest feeling tight, your breath feeling restricted? It is a very subtle feeling so it’s important to focus and tune in. It may take a few times to get the hang of it. It’s also helpful to try it when you are trying to decide between two different options. Notice which idea leaves you feeling more relaxed and breathing more deeply.
Trust Yourself: Sometimes you just know something about yourself or your baby. When you have that feeling of knowing, don’t deny it or push it away. Even when others are negating your feeling(s), stay strong. This can serve you well in many different circumstances. I’ve heard several stories about mothers listening to their intuition and it leading to something beneficial for themselves or their family.
Meditate Daily: Meditation is a powerful way to strengthen your intuitive “muscle.” Meditating can feel daunting or overwhelming. “Who has time to meditate?” You ask. “I can’t sit still or make my mind go blank,” you say. These are common concerns about creating a meditation practice, however it really isn’t as hard as you might think. Meditation can be a 3 to 5 minute practice. It can be done anywhere at any time. Set your phone to airplane mode and your timer to 3, 4, 5 or more minutes. Sit in a comfortable position, gently close your eyes or softly gaze toward the floor. Begin to breathe more deeply in and out through your nose. Watch your breath and as you inhale, think to yourself “I am.” As you exhale think to yourself, “calm.” Continue breathing and repeating this phrase as you breathe in and out. When you get distracted and when you notice you’re distracted, simply come back to the breath and repeated phrase. That’s it! That’s one way to meditate. Doing this daily will benefit you in so many ways, including a stronger intuition.
Move Your Body: Moving your body will help you to get out of your head. Fear and anxiety can come from our head. Too much thinking and worry can lead to all kinds of fear-based thoughts. Get out of your head by getting into your body. Take a walk outside, do some stretching or yoga. Do whatever type of physical activity you enjoy the most. It doesn’t have to be exercise or fitness related. Gardening, cooking, crafts etc., are all ways to move your body and get out of your head. When we are engaged in movement and activities like these, intuitive feelings will sometimes bubble up from within. So give yourself a little time to unplug and get physical.
Journal: Journaling is beneficial in many ways. One way is that it helps clear the clutter in our minds. Taking what is swirling around in our had and letting if flow out onto paper can offer a release and help you to gain clarity. When we have too much going on in our lives and in our heads it can be hard to tune into our Mama Bear Wisdom. Give yourself some time to journal and discover what may come from that special practice.
Mama Bear Wisdom is there to support you on this journey of motherhood. It’s not always easy to tune into, but know that it is there to support you. Use one or more of these ideas to help you strengthen your intuition. And as always, use what feels best for you and leave the rest.