Matrescence: Birth of a Mother


The process of becoming a mother, coined by Dana Raphael, Ph.D. (1973), is a developmental passage where a woman transitions through pre-conception, pregnancy and birth, surrogacy or adoption, to the postnatal period and beyond. The exact length of matrescence is individual, recurs with each child, and may arguably last a lifetime! The scope of the changes encompass multiple domains –bio-psycho-social-political-spiritual– and can be likened to the developmental push of adolescence. Increased attention to mothers has spurred new findings, from neuroscience to economics, and supports the rationale for a new field of study known as matrescence. Such an arena would allow the roundtable of specialists to come together and advance our understanding of this life passage.

– Aurélie Athan, Ph.D.

I offer coaching and support along the spectrum of motherhood, including fertility and conception (physioloigic and assisted), pregnancy and postpartum, adoption and surrogacy as well as abortion, pregnancy, and infant loss.

In addiiton to facilitating an informed and satisfying birth outcome, I am committed to cultivating a strong sense of agency, identity, connection, creativity, intimacy, community, and financial security on the path to motherhood.

Sessions are tailored to client preferences and can include:

  • journaling and creative expression
  • body literacy / menstrual cycle awareness education
  • therapeutic massage for you and your partner
  • fertility and menstrual health care
  • breathwork and pleasureable movement
  • sex and intimacy coaching
  • PCOS and period repair
  • health and fitness coaching
  • meal prep
  • preparing your body and life for conception, pregnancy, and postpartum
  • nonmedical emotional and physical support
  • pregnancy and infant loss support (abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth)
  • cultivating a spiritual and/or personal development practice
  • learning comfort measures for pregnancy, labor, and postpartum
  • building your medical and nonmedical support team
  • establishing systems and support for household management, childcare, and the transition to and from maternity leave
  • resources and strategies to increase income in preparation for conception,  pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting
  • support between sessions (email, text, chat)
  • sessions with guest speakers when available
  • on-call labor support from week 36 on

Click here to book a complementary session where we’ll get to know each other and find out if working together is a good fit.