'Matrescence' is a term that was devised by the anthropologist Dana Raphael.
It refers to the monumental metamorphosis women go through during the transition to motherhood.
She draws similarities to adolescence, when hormones are pulsing through our bodies, leaving us full of unrest.
Watch: Be a "good" mum. Post continues below.
However, motherhood is not commonly recognised as a transitory period in the same way adolescence is, which can leave new mothers feeling isolated in their (often very normal) struggles.
When we become pregnant, we go through physical, emotional and social changes. We essentially become a new version of ourselves.
This matrescence – the 'becoming' of motherhood – is painful, terrifying and beautiful.
The role of 'mother' is a journey that takes us through some extremely hard moments, but ultimately makes us stronger. We grow strong in places we didn’t even know existed.
We vomit daily for months. We have restless legs and sleepless nights. We lumber, heavy with our beloved child. We carry big babies, small babies, sick babies, twins.
We labour. Labour through pain, fear, vaginal births and c-sections. We have needles in our spines. We are terrified but we try to be brave. We finally understand the meaning of mind-bending pain.
We sit in the darkness feeding a sweet suckling newborn, when it feels like the rest of the world is sleeping. We lay awake at night and worry so much for our babies that we cry.
We push prams, heavy with reclined toddlers and squawking newborns, in driving wind and rain, in 40-degree heatwaves.
We lean over cots to shoosh, pat and console, even though our backs ache with the repeated effort. We build up the arm on our dominant side, lugging our babies around when they cling to us, hour after hour, day after day.
On this episode of Me After You, host Laura Byrne speaks to Narelda Jacobs, Teresa Palmer and more mums about raising kids and what their 'village' looks like. Post continues below.
We shower with earnest little noses pressed up against the steamy glass. We work from the kitchen bench with babies fussing and climbing our legs. We eat crusts off highchair trays and drink cold cups of tea.