Matrescence: Birth as an American Rite of Passage

In part one of this two-part series on matrescence, Susie explores the transformative concept of matrescence. Drawing on insights from Dr. Aurélie Athan and Robbie Davis-Floyd's "Birth as an American Rite of Passage," Susie unpacks the stages of matrescence, comparing it to adolescence and emphasizing the need for empathy and celebration in this unique journey. She draws parallels between the classic elements of a rite of passage and matrescence. She gives globally diverse examples of birthing rituals and sheds light on how hospital births in America have unintentionally adopted rituals that emphasize society’s patriarchal core values.

Topics Included: 
  • Matrescence definition and stages
  • Matrescence vs. adolescence
  • Global birthing rituals
  • Hospital births in America
  • Rite of passage stages: separation, transition, integration
  • Cultural variations in matrescence celebrations
  • Rewriting matrescence narratives for healing
  • Marginalized identities in matrescence
  • Transgender and LGBTQ+ maternal experiences
  • Matrescence for Black women
  • Matrescence for disabled mothers
  • Healing from difficult birth experiences
  • Support resources for diverse maternal journeys
Matrescence: Birth as an American Rite of Passage
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