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Motherhood fears and how to overcome them – with Belinda Hughes


Imagine a world where matrescence, the developmental transformation from woman to mother, was truly recognised. Where this rite of passage was as understood and spoken about as adolescence.

While matrescence isn’t a household word YET, my guest today on MAMA, UNLEASHED!, Nikki McCahon, has created a framework and language around matrescence to make this uncertain, and often challenging, time of becoming a mother more clear and less scary.

Nikki created her Seasons of Matrescence model to support mothers through the varying transitions and changes of motherhood and to offer the woman a map of where she is, and where she is most likely heading.

In this episode we talk all about matrescence, Nikki’s model (which incorporates the 4 seasons of the year) and how matrescence has the power to break the societal standards of motherhood.

In this episode you will learn: 


[3.45] In matrescence we ask ourselves a lot of questions: who am I now I’m a mother?

What happened to me?
What happened to me?
What’s going on in my life?
What’s happening to my relationship with my partner and with myself?
Why am I alone and isolated?

[5.45] Mothers need community to thrive. Isolation and loneliness are risk factors for postpartum/ postnatal depression.

[8.45] The importance of having language and a framework around matrescence. Otherwise, every mother will feel “there is something wrong with me”.

[11.30] Motherhood is a rite of passage – a moving from one group into another. Society tells us who we need to be to fit into the new group. This puts immense pressure on new mothers.

[13.00] How our society and culture benefit from us feeling like we are an inadequate mother and feeling like it is all our fault.

[14.33] The follow-on and full-circle effect of not supporting mothers: if society doesn’t look after the mother, the mother struggles more to look after her children. Research has shown this can lead to mental health issues in the children, which in turn will burden society.

[16.00] How Nikki created her Seasons of Matrescence model and program.

[19.55] The importance of understanding yourself, and how your life experiences have shaped you to this point, when you enter matrescence. How your current situation affects your transformation.

[22.00] Matrescence is different for every mother, and even every time the same mother has a new baby.

[23.20] The Seasons of Matrescence model – the Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer transformations of motherhood. We cycle through. Matrescence lasts a lifetime.

[36.40] Why pregnant women need to know about matrescence before they have their baby.

[40.00] How the transformation of matrescence empowers women to challenge the status quo and find their voice.

Listen to the full episode FREE 👇

Find out more about Nikki McCahon and her Seasons of Matrescence program

Explore Dr Jen’s new masterclass How To Be A Happier Motheruse your unique neurobiology and your motherhood transformation as the catalyst to thrive. Released late January 2023.


Forward it to them!

About my guest NIKKI MCCAHON

Nikki McCahon is a matrescence educator, women’s life cycle guide, podcast host and mother to her six-year-old son.

As a matrescence educator and guide, Nikki helps mothers navigate the often-unexpected changes and challenges of becoming and being a mother, whilst simultaneously supporting mothers to explore the opportunities that mothering can provide for their own personal growth and expansion.

Her model – the seasons of matrescence – applies a seasonal and cyclical lens to matrescence, providing a map for mothers to use when navigating times of change and transition and support to explore their matrescence journey within the context of their broader life cycle and rites of passage.

Nikki is passionate about creating community and normalising the physical, psychological, and emotional changes women go through during matrescence. In 2017 Nikki founded Australia’s largest meet-up community for mums, which grew to 40,000 members in three years, before it was acquired by a national not for profit, the centre of perinatal excellence (COPE) in 2020.

Her work now focuses on providing matrescence guidance and education to mothers through her podcast and group programs, and supporting those who work with mothers to integrate matrescence education, guidance and support into their practice through her Seasons of Matrescence teacher training program.

You can find out more about Nikki and her amazing work HERE.

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