Becoming Mama: The Importance of Finding Your Special Community

Photography: Talitha Walterfang

By Hannah Schenker

Finding your own community as you move into your new identity as a mother is so important. You have shed the skin of who you were before and must navigate your way through these new and often muddy waters – so having a sisterhood that can remind you of your own beauty, your strength and your courage can make such a huge difference. Photographer Talitha Walterfang, a mama herself, hoped to capture this sense of sacred community in a recent photoshoot in and around the flowing waters of the Anatoki River in Golden Bay.

The shoot was initiated by mama and yoga teacher Emma Present, who wanted something to remember this very precious time by, and also to celebrate women, mothers and her special local community.

“Our community is very supportive of mothers with newborns,” Emma says, “there are support groups that meet regularly for tea and talk, for sling sharing and for babywearing walks in nature. When I gave birth to my second child, the community organised a food roster and we had home-cooked meals delivered to us every night for two weeks. I wish every family could feel so supported.”

Emma is aware just how vital this community of women and mothers is, and hope that others out there may be able to recreate some of that in their own towns and cities. To reach out and make friends with other new mothers.

“We need each other,” she says. “We need other women who will understand that we don’t know what day it is, due to tiredness; women that care when we tell stories of the latest poo debacle, or when we need tips about sleep, feeding and living. Every mother of a newborn needs a ‘co-mum-ity’ (Yes, I totally made that word up!).”

Scroll down to see the rest of these beautiful photographs, and be inspired!

That is what Emma hopes. That you will be moved to seek out other women on a similar path, and build yourself a sacred, special “co-mum-ity”!

See next page for more beautiful photographs…
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