IMG_3218I’m Sarah. I’m an American living in the UK, working on a PhD in infant and maternal health. I was an expert in babies…until I had my first baby.

Becoming a mom was, for me, an explosion of total joy and an isolating, sleep deprived endurance test. I was 28 when my son was born and for the whole of my life (and most especially while I was pregnant), people had discussed new motherhood with me in two ways: telling me how much labor would hurt and gleefully warning me that I would never sleep again. I found zero solace in either of those things when I was awake every 45 minutes at night, nursing a baby who would not sleep without me.

I was totally unprepared for how difficult having a newborn would be and I was 5,000 miles away from my family and friends, so I turned to social media mommy groups in an attempt to find support. What I found is that many pages exist to support the choice and not the parent. Countless posts fighting over definitions and decisions float in a sea of new-mom panic. Actual questions go unanswered and moms are left confused, embarrassed, or ashamed of themselves.

If I’ve learned anything in the last nine months, it’s that parenting choices are unique to individual experience, but parenting stressors are universal. The New Motherhood aims to be a supportive community of new moms building networks based on shared personal experience. This community thrives on reader submission and respectful discussion. If it’s safe for you and baby, you can read about it, write about it, and find a tribe.