By Dr. Angela Potter
Alissa and I met during prenatal yoga. It has been wonderful walking alongside her as we both have become mothers. She is a world traveler and has even swum among sharks! She has incredible stories to tell and has a big heart for creating community wherever she goes.
Where do you call home?
Overlook neighborhood in north Portland, Oregon
How many kids do you have?
A sweet baby boy, who just turned 1 year old.
What was one of the hardest changes for you physically during your postpartum journey?
My c-section scar. I had what they call a homebirth cesarean: I had planned for an out-of-hospital birth but I ended up in the hospital giving birth via cesarean.
I didn’t do a very good job of taking care of myself for almost an entire year. I left my scar alone. It felt like a part of me that I didn’t know and didn’t want to know. I was too scared to touch it or look at it. I should have done a lot of things but didn’t: I didn’t massage it enough, I didn’t do enough breath work, I didn’t do enough stretching, and I didn’t have enough mindfulness around accepting my body. I felt weak and out of shape. And then one day, I was ready again. I was ready to start getting my body back and embrace the new version of myself.
What was one of the hardest changes for you mentally/emotionally during your postpartum journey?
My c-section scar (again). There was so much fear and anguish wrapped up in it. I didn’t want to touch it, engage with it, acknowledge it. I was really upset that I had a homebirth cesarean. I felt like an evolutionary dead-end because my baby was breech. I kept thinking that I would have been that woman to die in the Serengeti. I kept thinking that my body failed me.
I can’t tell you how many hours of yoga and mindfulness I practiced in preparation for labor and the pain and the physical challenge of birth. I wanted to feel it all. I was not ready for what I ultimately experienced but working through this has been the the most meaningful challenge thus far in my life.
What has been your greatest joy in motherhood?
Sharing life’s moments with my son.
It’s a beautiful, emotional, soul-filling thing to watch him experience things and people for the first time. It keeps me grounded and centered and helps me appreciate the small, subtle moments that would otherwise pass by.
What is one resource that felt invaluable to you during the postpartum time?
Kellymom for breastfeeding help.
But truly, the best resource was the women in my life. I made a conscientious choice to avoid the internet for my postpartum questions. Rather, I chose to make my postpartum experience about connection with women: my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my mentor’s wife. All of these women provided profound, uplifting, spiritual support that no internet article could ever provide. Making sure that I nurtured my relationships with these women helped me feel connected the the life-force energy that lives in all of us.
What is one piece of advice you would like to give to pregnant moms in preparation for their postpartum journey?
Identify the women in your life that are also mothers and matriarchs and connect with them. They will be your most invaluable resource. Googling your questions is not soul-filling. Asking for help and accepting it from those who have done it before you is soul-filling and will help you get through the good, the challenging, and the everyday.
Alissa is on the pursuit of the extraordinary. After years in leadership positions working in community development and leading scientific expeditions in theMaldives, India, and Bangladesh, Alissa and her husband ultimately found a home in Portland.
Ever since she bought a dilapidated 1911 bungalow in North Portland, Alissa has experienced the power of real estate and how it shapes community. She has grown her portfolio and is passionate about helping others with their real estate dreams.
Alissa holds undergraduate degrees in international studies and Japanese, and a master’s degree in intercultural service, leadership, and management. She is a co-founder of the property management company, 45 Main Properties.
Hi! I’m Dr. Potter
Too often, new moms don’t have the support
they need for their own health as they care for
their infant. My practice is focused on supporting
and caring for postpartum women during this
tender time. I help mothers by using gentle and
effective treatments that give them energy, peace of
mind and confidence as they navigate life with a new baby.
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